April 28, 2016 Edition

    What happened this week:

    • The spring USCA Board of Directors meeting was held at the U.S. Olympic Team Training Center in Colorado Springs Friday-Saturday, April 22-23. Rich Lepping was re-elected as Chairman for another two years.
    • Twenty-eight athletes (87%) from the 2015-16 USCA High Performance Program completed an extensive evaluation survey that is used to help assess the program and staff overall, and to identify areas of strength, weakness and opportunities. Aggregate data will be shared with key stakeholders, including the USCA Board as well as our USOC sport performance partners.
    • The 2016-17 USCA High Performance Plan and resource allocation request was presented to the U.S. Olympic Committee on Monday. Chairman Rich Lepping and National Coach Ann Swisshelm joined me at the presentation in person, while High Performance Director Derek Brown and USOC AAC Representative Doug Pottinger joined via phone. The USOC decision on resource allocations is anticipated to be made by the end of May.
    • Following the HPP presentation, we also had a meeting with USOC sport performance partners to review “deliverables” (needs, requests, plans, etc.) for curling for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, which are now about 20 months away.
    • One of the focuses of Growth & Development is currently on using feedback from the recent Level II Instructor pilot courses to make adjustments to the program. As a result of this feedback, a new delivery analysis checklist is currently under review. 
    • In addition, work is proceeding on a new Kids Curl initiative to be introduced in the fall. Kim Nawyn, Director of Growth & Development, will be meeting in person with youth coaches this weekend to discuss the program.
    • Kim has also held several phone conferences to discuss potential new member benefits over the past two weeks. Potential programs are currently being vetted.
    • Christy Hering, Development Associate, is continuing her efforts to improve communication with participants in the Arena National Championships, sending a weekly update newsletter, “Calling the Shot.”
    • Registration for the 2016 Business of Curling Symposium remains open. The Symposium will take place at the Milwaukee Curling Club June 4-5, 2016. Click here for more information and registration details.
    • If your club has interest in hosting a USCA event in 2016-17, please complete our online bid form.
    • Seventy-two applications were received for the 2016-17 High Performance Program, in addition to all 31 athletes in the 2015-16 program who initially indicated their desire to return. The applicants include 30 junior men, 15 junior women, 22 men, and 5 women. The Athlete Combine – which is one part of the athlete selection process – will take place May 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Team training site in Blaine, Minn. The proposal for this season is to have 3 women’s and 3 men’s teams in the High Performance Program, plus 2 junior women’s and 2 junior men’s teams.
    • USA’s Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo, coached by Wally Henry, won the bronze medal in the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship on Saturday. A record 42 nations competed in the Worlds this year, the first qualifying event for countries to earn points toward qualifying to compete in the inaugural Olympic mixed doubles competition in 2018.
    • Check out this interactive Sway presentation on USA’s medal run in the World Mixed Doubles, created by USCA Communications Director Terry Davis.
    • The U.S. senior women’s and men’s teams came up short of the medal games in the World Senior Curling Championships in Karlstad, Sweden. The U.S. men, led by Geoff Goodland, lost in the quarterfinals, while the U.S. women, skipped by Norma O’Leary, lost a tiebreaker for the playoffs and finished 7th overall.
    • The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Selection Procedures for women’s and men’s team curling are now posted. Procedures for mixed doubles are still being finalized.
    • With still less than a month since sales began, more than 3,000 all-event tickets have now been sold for the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas. All 1,100 rooms at the host hotel – The Orleans – have already been booked, and only 100 of 300 rooms remain available at the sister hotel, The Gold Coast. 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  (for the Gold Coast now), at .
    • The USCA has received a $25,000 donation from the hosts of the 2016 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas, more than double the amount anticipated.
    • I have a call scheduled for this afternoon with Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson, following up on conversations we had earlier this month about how our organizations can continue to work together toward mutual goals.
    • NBCSN ratings from the 2016 Men’s World Curling Championships show the USA vs. Canada round robin game (same-day, tape delay) drawing 135,000 viewers, and the bronze medal game of USA. vs. Japan drawing 81,000. Both of these were the top-rated programs of the day on NBCSN.

    What’s up next week:

    • USCA Town Hall meeting by teleconference, Monday, 7 p.m. Central.
    • GLCA regional meeting (Patzke attending), May 7, Lansing, Mich.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (May 8-14, 2016):

    • NGB Council meeting, May 9.
    • GNCC regional meeting (Lepping and Patzke attending), May 13-15, Tarrytown, N.Y.

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