May 13, 2016 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:

    • I attended the GLCA regional meeting on Saturday, in Lansing, Mich., making a brief presentation along with USCA Director and Vice Chairman Courtney Schmidt. We had a good, engaging conversation with the regional representatives, and I enjoyed being able to stay for the remainder of their meeting to learn more about the objectives and needs of the GLCA.
    • USCA Head Ice Technician David Staveteig’s father passed away earlier this week in Grand Forks. More information can be found if you look up George Staveteig at this link.
    • Decisions were finalized and publicized regarding the High Performance Program proposals introduced earlier this spring for changes and additions to competitive and developmental programs.
    • The Mixed Doubles Olympic Team Selection Procedures committee met on Monday and handled the final details for completing the current draft of the procedures, which will now be submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee for their initial review. A brief summary of the proposed process can be found in the communication referenced above.
    • The Championships Site Selection Committee met and voted to accept four bids for hosting 2016-17 USCA events as follows: Men’s Challenge Round, Blaine, Minn.; Women’s Challenge Round, Waupaca, Wis.; Club Nationals, Fairbanks, Alaska; Mixed Nationals, The Country Club, Brookline, Mass. The potential hosts have been notified and are in the process of confirming acceptance.
    • The USA Curling 2016 Arena National Championships are continuing toward the playoff rounds at Ice Line in West Chester, Penn. I am planning on attending Sunday’s games, after joining Chairman Rich Lepping at the GNCC Annual Meeting on Saturday in Tarrytown, N.Y.
    • Summaries of the High Performance Program Athlete Survey have been provided to all HPP staff, and will soon be aggregated for sharing with the USCA Board and USOC sport performance partners.
    • Derek and I had more discussions with our USOC partners regarding the 2016-17 High Performance Plan and resource allocation requests. We are anticipating the USOC’s decisions on resource allocations to be shared by the end of this month.
    • The USA Mixed Doubles world bronze medalist team of Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo is a finalist for U.S. Olympic Committee Team of the Month honors.
    • Thirty-three athletes have been invited to and have accepted invitations to the 2016-17 USCA Athlete Combine to be held May 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Team training site in Blaine, Minn. The combine is one part of the athlete selection process for next season’s High Performance Program.
    • The World Curling Federation announced it will be hosting a “Sweeping Summit” in Ottawa May 23-27. USA will be represented by Ann Swisshelm (Chair of WCF’s Athlete Commission) and Derek Brown, high performance director, among potentially others. Public comment is welcome through a WCF survey, which closes May 16.
    • As of May 2, only 50 of 300 rooms set aside for fans wanting to purchase the “Hit and Stay Package” were left at the Gold Coast hotel in Las Vegas for the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling.
    • A survey is underway of athletes who were part of or tried out for the 2015-16 USA Curling wheelchair program National Team. As with the Olympic program, this confidential evaluation survey will be 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 U.S. Paralympic Division sport performance partners.
    • The 2016-17 High Performance Plan for the USCA Paralympic Program is in the final stages of drafting, and will be submitted to the U.S. Paralympic Division by the June 1 deadline.
    • Selection procedures are also in development for the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Team curlers.
    • Twenty people attended the USCA Town Hall meeting by teleconference on May 2, which featured updates from Chairman Rich Lepping and me, as well as comments from 2016 World Junior Silver Medalist and High Performance Program athlete Korey Dropkin.
    • If you haven’t downloaded the USA Curling mobile app yet, please consider doing so. Downloads and app use do count in our web site traffic reporting with the U.S. Olympic Committee, which is important because the compensation that the USCA receives as part of its digital media agreement (DMA) with the USOC is based upon web site traffic. Just search for “USA Curling” in your mobile app store.  We are one of the first NGBSs on the USOC platform to have launched the mobile app provided as part of the DMA.
    • Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson and I have kept up our conversations on how our organizations can continue to work together toward mutual goals. I will be meeting with her in Toronto on June 2, on the way back from NBC meetings in New York. 

    What’s up next week:

    • USCA Operations Group meeting, Tuesday.
    • TV and production site visit for 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling, Las Vegas, Tuesday. 

    What’s coming two weeks from now (May 22-28, 2016):

    • The World Curling Federation “Sweeping Summit” takes place in Ottawa May 23-27.
    • NGB Diversity Champions quarterly meeting, May 24.

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