What happened in the previous two weeks:
Inside the curling world
- The USCA Executive Committee unanimously approved amendments to the Board of Directors resolution aimed at protecting the benefits of membership for USCA member clubs. The amended resolution and a letter from Chairman Rich Lepping were distributed to the national curling community on Tuesday.
- Member clubs* have received renewal information for the 2016-17 USA Curling Club Insurance Program. Thankfully, we have been able to keep the rates steady at $10 per person for the upcoming season. To participate in the program, click here to complete the application. *As GNCC clubs have a separate insurance program through the region, they do not receive this notification.
- A federal judge in Texas has issued a nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing a rule that would raise the salary limit below which workers automatically qualify for overtime pay. This rule was set to take effect Dec. 1, and would significantly impact millions of employees around the nation, including several at the USCA.
- The USCA Ad Hoc Membership Committee met by teleconference to discuss the changing landscape of curling in the United States and how the national organization could potentially adjust current policies and procedures to better reflect those changes.
- A sub-group of the College Curling Committee is working with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee to diversify the students participating on the college level. The groups will be working to develop materials to reach out to campus diversity and inclusion offices.
- Ten clubs have been selected to act as pilot sites for the new KidsCurl program. The clubs, which include Boise CC (MoPac), Fargo-Moorhead CC (Dakota Territories), Granite CC (Washington), Mayfield CC (GLCA), Norfolk CC (GNCC), Portage CC (WSCA), St. Paul CC (MCA), Stevens Point CC (WSCA), Triangle CC (GNCC), Two Harbors CC (MCA), were notified this week. In addition to a curriculum and workbooks for kids, the pilot sites will receive, 10 kid-sized brooms, 6 stabilizers, sliders, approximately 30 grippers, penguin patches and pins, participation trackers with stickers, and a banner illustrating the house and various lines in the field of play.
- A webinar was held Tuesday to discuss changes to the 2016-17 Rules of Curling and Competition, as well as new procedures involving brooms to be implemented at national championships. All officials serving as chief umpires and deputy chief umpires were invited to attend.
- Level I and Level II Officiating Courses are scheduled to be held at the Duluth Curling Club this weekend in anticipation of next week’s Curling Night in America event. Registration closes Wednesday.
- With 10 teams registered for the U.S. Women’s National Championship playdowns, there will be 8 teams competing in the Nationals, and the Challenge Round will be held as scheduled Jan. 5-8 in Waupaca, Wis. The men’s Challenge Round will take place Jan. 4-8 in Blaine, Minn.
- The three women’s and four men’s teams registered for the East Regional for the 2017 USA Curling Junior Nationals were advanced directly to the Nationals after review of all registered teams in both the East and West regions. Eight teams each have registered in the West Regional, and there will now be five women’s teams advancing from the West instead of four.
- Registration is currently underway for several national championships. Don’t forget to check the deadlines for early registration discounts! CLICK HERE to register for an event and check final deadlines.
- The first of several new projects/campaigns being implemented by the USCA Revenue Development Committee was launched this week. The committee is also close to finalizing The Granite Society program and will begin promoting this soon.
- I have renewed the USOC marketing division for a $100,000 presenting sponsorship for Curling Night in America 2017-18. Their previous two-year agreement goes through this year’s event and programming.
- The World Curling Federation has approved our Development Assistance Programme grant application submitted earlier this month by Kim Nawyn. Grant funds will be used toward continued development of the SafeSport program, web streaming at the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Nationals, as well as development efforts to support the growth of new clubs.
- Danny Lamoureux of Curling Canada and I had a good conversation this week about continued planning for an Americas Zone Club Championship, the future of the Continental Cup, and other projects we have been collaborating on.
- The broadcast schedule for Curling Night in America 2017 on NBC Sports Network has been announced.
- Check out how the Wine Country Curling Club actively promotes curling and club development on Twitter around the Curling Night in America programs.
- NBC has also agreed to a proposed programming schedule for Curling Night in America 2017-18, with the first six programs (men’s and women’s team games) starting in October 2017 and running through the second week of November, just prior to the Olympic Trials, followed by three programs featuring mixed doubles, which will lead into the mixed doubles Olympic Trials programming.
- I have confirmed the NBC programming schedule for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and Mixed Doubles Team Trials. There were will 18 hours of live and taped coverage of the men’s and women’s Trials, and 9 hours of live and taped coverage of the mixed doubles.
- The High Performance Program (HPP) teams led by Jamie Sinclair and Heath McCormick have won the points chase to earn the invitations to represent USA in the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas. Both teams have accepted the invitations. The Sinclair team sewed up its Cup invitation by advancing to the semifinals of the Dekalb SuperSpiel in Manitoba last weekend, finishing 6-2 overall.
- Elsewhere last weekend, the HPP junior team skipped by Madison Bear reached the semifinals of the Sunlife Financial Junior Challenge in Manitoba, and the junior team skipped by Andrew Stopera made it to the quarterfinals of the Balmoral Harvest Junior Classic in Alberta.
- USCA High Performance Program athletes Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo reached the playoffs of the Wall Grain Mixed Doubles Classic last week.
- Two weeks ago, the High Performance Program team led by Craig Brown reached the semifinals of the GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2 event, and the team led by Nina Roth reached the quarterfinals of the same event in the women’s competition. USA’s Brady Clark team also made it to the quarterfinals in that event. The Junior HPP team led by Annmarie Dubberstein reached the semifinals of the KW Junior Classic.
What’s up next week:
- Chairman Rich Lepping and I will be meeting with St. Paul CC leaders on Tuesday to continue discussions on working together for mutual benefit.
- Curling Night in America event and TV production, Duluth, Minn., Thursday - Saturday.
What’s coming two weeks from now (Dec. 4-10, 2016):
Pre-registration for the 2017 USA Curling Arena Nationals begins Dec. 8.