April 28, 2017
What happened in the previous two weeks:
- The U.S. team led by Patti Lank has qualified directly to the semifinals in the 2017 World Senior Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Canada, starting at 2 p.m. MT today. The U.S. team led by Mike Farbelow finished the round robin at 3-4 and fell short of the playoffs.
- The women’s playoffs get underway today at the USA Curling Arena National Championships in South Bend, Ind., while the men’s round robin continues. Christy Hering, Development Associate and Chair of the Arena Committee, is representing the USCA at this event.
- Look for an announcement soon about a series of new bonspiels being held in conjunction with the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for curling in Omaha.
- Space is still available for the Level II Instructor Course scheduled for May 20th at Dakota Curling’s new facility in Lakeville, Minn. Keep an eye out for an announcement about a Level II Instructor course coming to Coyotes Curling Club in early June.
- Registration remains open for the June Business of Curling Symposium in Connecticut and the July Business of Curling Symposium in Ohio.
- Detroit will be hosting the 2018 Junior National Championships; Brainerd Lakes (Minn.) will be hosting the 2018 Club National Championships, and The Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn., has been selected to host the 2018 USA Curling Women’s Challenge round. Other host site bids are still being accepted.
Inside the curling world
- A 2017-18 Championships Season message has been sent to all State/Region event contacts, with highlights including:
- A single mixed doubles event will be held next season (national championship).
- The Junior Nationals East and West Challenge Rounds will not be held, being replaced by four “berth bonspiels” around the country. The Junior National Championships field will go back to 10 teams of each gender.
- Given the above, there is no longer a conflict with the Junior playdowns and states/regions wanting to hold U18 playdowns during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period.
- There are still a few places for teams interested in participating in the WCF’s Sweetlake Junior Curling Camp in the Netherlands, July 31-Aug. 6. The application deadline is May 15.
- The USCA Board of Directors spring meeting took place Saturday in Chicago. Key items of agreement have been publicized. A Town Hall meeting (by teleconference) highlighting meeting news and other USCA items will be held at 7 p.m. Central on May 3.
- Steps toward starting a curling club are taking place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. If you know any curlers currently living in that community, please send contact information to Kim Nawyn, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Fairbanks (Alaska) Curling Club is the latest USCA-member club to take advantage of the deferred payment stone purchase program offered by the World Curling Federation and facilitated by the USCA, having placed an order for six sets of new stones.
- USA Curling is seeking submissions for the consideration as the official USA Curling pin honoring the sport’s participation in the Olympic Winter Games 2018.
- Siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton finished their pool play in the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, undefeated (7-0), beating Canada in a thrilling last-rock victory to do so. The USA duo will now face Finland in the round of 16 at 12:30 p.m. MT today. USA’s Sarah Anderson is on the WCF commentating team at this event.
- HPP teams led by John Shuster and Jamie Sinclair are competing in the Grand Slam Humpty Champions Cup, which they qualified for by winning the 2017 USA Curling National Championships.
- The HPP team led by Heath McCormick finished fourth in the European Masters, participating on a sponsor invitation.
- There will not be a High Performance Program combine this season, for either adult or junior teams, but all eligible athletes currently in the programs have been asked to indicate whether they want to return to the program or not, with an early May response deadline. Any interested athletes are also being invited to apply to both the adult and junior programs. There are also plans in the works to have a junior-aged development camp/combine for future athlete selection.
- Information has been received from the WCF regarding the specific handles that will be used on stones in the 2018 Paralympics, as well as the proposed rules for allowable delivery sticks in those Games. This has been distributed to all USA Curling National Wheelchair Team athletes, coaches, and WCF representatives.
- A sponsorship proposal has been submitted to a nutritional supplements company, and I have a meeting with a company representative Monday morning for initial review.
- A sponsorship deal with a trucking company has been confirmed, with further details in the works. This deal includes the donation of a 48-foot semi-trailer to the USCA for shipping and equipment storage, as well as the transportation of that trailer to USCA events by the trucking company.
- USCA Director Hawley MacLean has confirmed tentative approval of a sponsorship with a financial services company we had submitted a proposal to early this month.
- I am in the process of finalizing an agreement with the USOC for USCA consulting and provision of Street Curling kits for the Road to PyeongChang pep rallies.
- Check out the NBA on TNT video clip with curling and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Nice of TNT to be thinking about curling!
- The April edition of the “Preparing for the Olympic Winter Games 2018” e-newsletter was distributed to the USA Curling email list.
- NBC Sports Network is televising coverage of the World Mixed Doubles Championship immediately following live coverage of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
What’s up next week:
- 2017-18 USOC High Performance Plan presentation, Monday, Colorado Springs.
- Curling Night in America 2017-18 site visit, Tuesday, Omaha.
- USCA Town Hall Meeting (teleconference), Wednesday.
What’s coming two weeks from now (May 7 – 13, 2017):
- USOC Sport Performance Partner teleconference, May 10.
Rick Patzke, USA Curling