Nov 11 2016 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:
    Inside the curling world

    • Thirty-four USCA member clubs applied for the pilot Kids Curl program. Ten clubs have just been selected to participate in the program, which includes a curriculum for youth curlers aged 6-9, as well as an equipment package. The clubs will be notified in the coming week. This program is made possible through a grant from P&G/Team USA Youth Sports Fund and USCA sponsor Brooms Up Curling Supplies.
    • The USCA Executive Committee will meet by teleconference today to discuss the latest developments regarding the resolution passed at the last Board meeting related to protecting and promoting member benefits.
    • Several new sets of stones purchased through the World Curling Federation’s deferred payment program are about to ship from Kays of Scotland to the Cleveland and Dakota Curling Clubs.
    • The 2016 U.S. Women’s Curling Association Scots Tour began Nov. 4 as the 20 Tour members departed USA for Scotland.
    • I had a good discussion with WCF President Kate Caithness last week to discuss a variety of items related to curling in the United States, and international projects of mutual interest.
    • Three USCA Athletes Advisory Council representatives met with leaders of the Chaska Curling Centre last week to discuss concerns and opportunities regarding USCA membership.
    • Kim Nawyn, Christy Herring, Chairman Rich Lepping talked at length about the USCA Members Assembly past results, 2016 survey feedback, and future potential, and have agreed to proceed with planning the fourth annual Assembly for the fall of 2017 (potentially in the latter part of September).

    Events/Sport Education

    • The late registration window for the 2017 USA Curling Junior Nationals closes at 11:59 CST tonight.
    • Registration for many other events is also open, about to open, or nearing completion, including:
      • Men’s/Women’s Nationals – closes next week
      • U18 Nationals – early bird registration for GLCA, IL and WI ends next week
      • Seniors – early bird registration ends Nov. 16
      • Club Nationals – GNCC and WI registration closes next week; closes Nov. 23
      • Mixed Doubles – early bird registration ends Nov. 23
      • Mixed – regional registration for IL and WA opens next week
    • As the registration periods and deadlines for regionally-based events are set in collaboration with each region, all interested players should pay close attention to the registration site information.
    • Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 USA Curling M/W Nationals in Everett, Wash.
    • A webinar has been scheduled for Nov. 22 for Chief Umpires and Deputy Chief Umpires to discuss rules changes and procedures prior to the start of the competition season. For officials who are unable to attend the live webinar, a recording will be available to review.
    • Nineteen people attended the USCA Ice Technician clinic Oct. 29 in St. Louis. The next Ice Technician course (Level 1) is set for Nov. 19 in Golden, Colo.
    • Michael Dellemann and I participated in a site visit in Omaha, Neb., Nov. 3-4 for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for curling, along with representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee, NBC, and the Ak-Sar-Ben Curling Club.
    • At the invitation of USA Luge, I’m evaluating an opportunity to add a curling demonstration/participation event to the USA Luge Challenge held annually at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in the Pocono Mountains near Palmerton, Penn. This resort is 90 minutes from both New York City and Philadelphia, and the next event is Feb. 4-5, 2017.

    Grants/Sponsorships/Revenue Development

    • Projects the USCA Revenue Development Committee, chaired by Hawley Maclean, are currently working on include The Granite Society donor program, and annual appeal mailed and digital campaigns.
    • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the last round of proposals to fully spend the 2015-16 Adaptive Sports Grant. We are working on the closeout report now.
    • The first quarter report for the U.S. Olympic Committee high performance program allocation is being finalized this week.
    • Several more boxes of Nike apparel for world championship outfitting arrived at the USCA National Office this week. We are currently working on the apparel styles and designs for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic teams.
    • I have a verbal agreement with the Local Organizing Committee for the 2018 World Men’s Curling Championships in Las Vegas for a sponsorship/advertising package in conjunction with the 2016-17 Curling Night in America event and NBCSN programming.
    • Contracts have been received from all except one of the clubs that received Darwin Curtis Fund awards for the 2016-17 grant cycle. The checks for the first half of grant awards have been distributed. The second half of the grant will be disbursed upon completion of the project.
    • A Development Assistance Program application has been submitted to the World Curling Federation (WCF) for 2016-17. Each year the WCF offers a grant of up to $12,000 to each member association to support programs to grow the sport.
    • The Ki Mobility sponsorship of USA Curling officially launched last week with recognition at the National Wheelchair Team Trials in Wausau, Wis. The sponsorship is a mix of cash and value-in-kind totaling approximately $25,000. Ki Mobility has agreed to produce custom wheelchairs for all eight 2017 National Team members. (As chairs are considered “competitive gear,” these will be at the discretion of the athletes.)
    • I had two conversations recently with current USCA sponsor LifeWear Technologies (CryoMAX 8-Hour Coldpacks) and the organizers of Frozen Fenway with an eye toward including curling in the 2017 running of this event, which is a festival of hockey, figure skating and other winter sports and entertainment staged within Fenway Park in Boston. A decision on whether or not to proceed is expected to be made within the next two weeks, with our next call scheduled for Monday.
    • A multi-year sponsorship renewal has been finalized with Brooms Up Curling Supplies, which first partnered with the USCA in 2011.
    • A first-year sponsorship agreement has been signed with Jet Ice. More details will be forthcoming soon.

    Competitive Programs

    • The 2016-17 USA Curling Wheelchair National Team Trials were held Nov. 4-6 at the Wausau (Wis.) Curling Club. Congratulations to the eight athletes named to the team: James Joseph, Penny Greely, Meghan Lino, Stephen Emt, Justin Marshall, Matthew Thums, Pam Wilson and Kirk Black.
    • USCA High Performance Program athletes Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo were the runners-up in the Pacific Northwest Mixed Doubles Invitational last weekend.
    • Several USA teams are competing in the GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 1 and Tier 2 events this week.
    • The USCA High Performance Program men’s Blue Team of Heath McCormick, Chris Plys, Korey Dropkin and Thomas Howell won the World Curling Tour Huron ReprGraphics Oil Heritage Classic in Sarnia, Ontario, two weeks ago. In the same event, the HPP men’s white team of Craig Brown, Jason Smith, Kroy Nernberger and Sean Beighton reached the quarterfinals. The USA team of Todd Birr, Rich Ruohonen, John Benton and Tom O’Connor made the semifinals of this event, and other U.S. teams competing included those led by Brady Clark and Brandon Corbett.
    • Elsewhere in Ontario, the USCA HPP Junior Men’s Blue Team of Hunter Clawson, Cody Clouser, Caleb Clawson and Andrew Dunnam finished second in the OVCA Brokerlink Junior Superspiel.
    • The Heath McCormick and Jamie Sinclair rinks currently lead the points chase in place for selecting USA’s teams for the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas.


    • GNCC Director Joel Leneker and I are working on a GNCC 150th anniversary celebration feature slated to be included within the 2017 Curling Night in America series on NBCSN. The first episode of the 2017 series is scheduled to air on Jan. 19, with the nine-program series continuing through March 17.
    • To date we have received five letters of intent to bid for hosting the 2017-18 Curling Night in America event. I have been speaking with NBC’s Peter Diamond regarding the 2017-18 programming schedule, with one proposal to have the series air earlier in the fall/winter, given the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in February 2017.
    • Terry Davis finished the design and layout of the Winter 2016 print and digital edition of the U.S. Curling News this week, and has sent it off to Quad Graphics for prepress production. It should begin arriving in homes around the week of Thanksgiving.

    What’s up next week:

    • USCA Operations Group teleconference, Tuesday.
    • Ad Hoc Membership Committee teleconference, Thursday.
    • Wisconsin P3 Retail Luncheon Presentation, Wausau, Wis., Thursday.
    • Continued discussion with Experience 2 lead re: Corporate Executive Development program, Friday.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Nov. 20-26, 2016):

    • USCA Revenue Development Committee teleconference, Nov. 21.

    NGB Diversity Champions Quarterly meeting, Nov. 22. 

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