April 15 2016 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:

    • USA medaled for the first time in the World Men’s Curling Championshipsince 2007, with the team of John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner and Kroy Nernberger bringing home the bronze. USA finished 8-3 in the round robin, and defeated Japan in the bronze medal game after falling to Denmark in the semifinals. This placing puts USA in a great position to qualify a men’s team for the 2018 Olympics. Terry Davis, Communications Director, created this innovative and interactive Sway recap of USA’s results in the 2016 World Men’s Curling Championship, held in Basel, Switzerland.
    • USA vs. Canada in the 2016 Men’s World Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland, was carried same day tape delayed on NBCSN on April 3 (135,000 viewers), and USA vs. Scotland aired on UniHD on tape-delay on April 6. The gold medal game was featured on tape-delay on NBSCN on Tuesday. Since USA was in the bronze medal game, NBCSN opted to cover that game in full and highlighted the gold medal game thereafter.
    • Two USA games from the women’s Worlds were broadcast on UniHD and NBCSN, as was the gold medal game (79,000 viewers).
    • While in Basel, I have had several meetings with World Curling Federation leaders; Katherine Henderson, the new CEO for Curling Canada; and leaders of other WCF member nations. The WCF has approved a request for support for continuation of the Curling Night in America series on NBCSN for 2017 and tentatively 2018, and has also earmarked some funding for a business development officer to assist with our ongoing efforts to maximize TV and sponsor interest for curling in the USA.
    • Team Washington won the 2016 USA Curling Mixed National Championship in Tempe, Ariz., and will represent USA in the 2016 World Mixed Curling Championship in Kazan, Russia, Oct. 15-22. The team consists of Fred Maxie, Emily Good, Guy MacAllan and Frances Walsh.
    • World Senior Curling Championships begin today in Karlstad, Sweden. The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship starts tomorrow, also in Karlstad.
    • Proposals for changes to several USCA competitive programs were sent directly to over 1,000 athletes, coaches, and other target audiences as well as posted on the USCA web site, inviting feedback. As of today, 25 people have submitted feedback to the proposals for change to several USCA competitive programs. A general summary from the feedback received is high interest in a U18 championship and the junior development programs; a mix of praise and concerns about the proposed changes to the Junior Nationals; concerns about reducing the m/w Nationals field, and mostly support for the proposed changes to mixed doubles. All feedback is being shared with the HPP staff for consideration as they move toward final recommendations.
    • A confidential survey has begun of all 2015-16 High Performance Program athletes (except for those currently competing in the Worlds), as part of my annual evaluation of the program, coaching and support staff, services, etc. I will share aggregate data with Derek and the HPP staff, and other parties including the Board of Directors and USOC sport performance partners.
    • A survey is underway of women’s national championship/playdown competitors from the last several years, with the goal being to gain insights into future participation interests, trends, etc.
    • The application process began on Wednesday for the 2016 High Performance Program Athlete Combine, set for May 21-23 in Blaine, Minn.
    • Kim Nawyn, Director of Growth & Development, is headed out to the Evergreen Curling Club for the second trial session of the revised Level II Instructor course held this spring (the first took place recently at Nutmeg Curling Club). Kim, along with several members of the Training and Instruction Committee, have been working hard to get this course ready to more fully re-launch next season. Following these two courses, comments will be evaluated before finalizing the program for the 2016-17 season.
    • Christy Hering, Development Associate, has been working with the Bowling Green Curling Club on the purchase of four sets of stones through the World Curling Federation Stone Purchase Program facilitated by the USCA. They plan to use these stones in their new curling facility next season.
    • Eleven requests for Curling in the Gym equipment came in this week alone. If you are interested in borrowing stones for Olympic Day events or other summer programs, fill out the electronic request form.
    • Since the April 1 launch of ticket sales and hotel packages for the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas, nearly 2,500 tickets and over 1,000 hotel rooms at The Orleans have already been booked. As a reminder, a limited block of tickets has been set aside in Section 117 for USA Curling fans who are interested in getting seats together. To book in this block, you must enter promo code USACURL. Ticket and hotel packages can also be booked directly with The Orleans, at .
    • The USCA is receiving a $25,000 donation from the hosts of the 2016 Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas, more than double the previously anticipated amount.
    • The Q1 report for the 2016 USOC Challenge Grant is being submitted today. The USOC will match $25,000 in new cash gifts raised during the 2016 calendar year, once we have attained that level.
    • Mike Dellemann and I had our first of what will be monthly calls with 2017 Everett Nationals Chairman Harry Saylor.
    • Work continues on the 2016-17 HPP Plan and presentation for the Olympic program, scheduled with the USOC on Monday, April 25. Chairman Rich Lepping, National Coach Ann Swisshelm and me will be at the presentation in person; HPP Director Derek Brown and USOC AAC Representative Doug Pottinger are planning to participate via phone or skype.
    • The first draft of the HPP Plan for the Paralympic program has been received and is under review. Paralympic Program Outreach & Development Director Marc DePerno and I had a conference call with U.S. Paralympic Division leaders last week to discuss moving toward a calendar year performance partnership agreement, which is the desire of U.S. Paralympics. This could be a precursor of a move by the USOC for the same timing for the Olympic program, too.
    • Six teams (3 boys’ teams 3 girls’ teams) represented the United States at the 2016 Optimist U18 International Curling Championships March 30-April 3, 2016. All of the teams gained valuable international curling experience, with Team Minnesota making it to the bronze medal game on the girl’s side, losing there to Team Japan. During the event, it was announced that this would be the last year for the championship in its current form. Similar to the proposal from USA Curling to start an under-18 national championship, the event will become a Canadian U18 championship in 2017.
    • Registration for the 2016 Business of Curling Symposium is now open. The symposium – in collaboration with the WCF – will take place at the Milwaukee Curling Club June 4-5, 2016, and the registration deadline is May 27.
    • The Darwin Curtis Fund Grant Program has been extended by The Chicago Community Trust for the next three years. In the past four years, this program has brought $80,000 in grant funds to clubs seeking to grow the sport of curling on the local level. Through assistance of these funds, clubs have been able to start youth programs, invest in new equipment, make their facilities more accessible, and much more. This year, $25,000 will be available in grants, and applications are now being taken.
    • USA Curling is preparing a printed calendar for distribution to clubs at the start of the 2016-17 curling season. Each page will highlight either photos from a member club or an event popular with members. Clubs are encouraged to send photos for consideration by the end of May 2016. Please email files to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    • The college curling scene is growing. Participants traveled over 54,000 miles in their attempts to earn merit points this season. The College Curling Committee added three student representatives during their meeting April 3. Students were chosen from a strong field of nominations and will serve one-year terms. These voices will help guide efforts going forward. The student representatives for the 2016-17 season attend University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.

    What’s up next week:

    • USCA Board of Directors and Standing Committee meetings, April 22-23, Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Selection Procedures review with USOC, Monday (teleconference).
    • NGB Tier Working Group meeting Monday to discuss strategies for creation of criteria aimed at identifying and supporting medal capable athletes, and driving resources to the same.
    • 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials site selection panel meets by teleconference Thursday to review host site bids.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (April 24-30, 2016):

    • 2016-17 High Performance Plan presentation to the USOC, April 25, Colorado Springs.

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