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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 307

New Team USA selection process

Recent post on Facebook says USCA is adopting new procedures for selecting teams to represent USA at international events. Winning national championship may not be sufficient. Who knows details?

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Old Post 05-07-13 01:47PM
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SPMFromPCC
Swing Artist

Registered: Jun 2007
Location:
Posts: 338

I have been nicely asked to take down the documents. Enough people have seen them anyways.

Last edited by SPMFromPCC on 05-08-13 at 01:33PM

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Old Post 05-07-13 06:38PM
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MNIceman
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 70

Thanks for posting Sean. Funny how they've already decided to do this but don't really have any of the details worked out. Maybe they'll just see how things are going next season and adjust the point system as needed

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Old Post 05-07-13 09:05PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
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Posts: 307

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Given USA's lack of international success, the folks responsible for that performance have got to be feeling the heat. Our current playdown system is not working so why not try something else?

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Old Post 05-07-13 10:19PM
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jhcurl
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: US - CT
Posts: 1147

Why not try to work with the team that wins? Why not try to get better coaching? Why bother playing in Nationals if winning means you go home? What magical super team exists that does not win Nationals but would medal at Worlds? How come they can't beat the supposed "wrong" teams at Nationals? How many times do we need to change the playdown process (and still not have success) to figure out the playdown process is NOT the problem?

Feel free to add more questions, none will be answered so it does not matter.

Personal opinions only
JH

__________________
JH
Lets go Phils!

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Old Post 05-08-13 12:28AM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 307

In addition to asking curlers to play in a Nationals where winning gets them nothing but a trophy, how does USCA get curling clubs to host a Nationals that really now is virtually meaningless?

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Old Post 05-08-13 01:24AM
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atticus
Knee-Slider

Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Fairbanks AK
Posts: 4

How about the fact that funded teams will essentially be getting 20 thousand dollar head starts at accruing points. Very few teams in the country can compete with that. If they are basing the selection on OOM points they better spread that money out

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Old Post 05-08-13 01:56AM
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Tee-Eh
Knee-Slider

Registered: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6

Just a bunch of geniuses trying to save face for the failed attempts before. Just a new way to make sure the teams they want to go actually go this time and they don't waste thousands upon thousands of dollars.

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Old Post 05-08-13 03:18AM
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mr. lucky
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2007
Location:
Posts: 100

A text from my daughter this morning ( 25 year old, past junior champ who just finished school and now wants to curl competitively again)

Steph: did the USCA really just make it so the national champ might now go to worlds?

Me; yup

Steph: Well, then why bother going to nationals. Seriously.

Me; They don't want you to bother. It insures the HP teams win.

What was wrong with the Old Old model. Oh for the good old days of the second chance, Ed, AND medals

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Old Post 05-08-13 09:36AM
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Curlrock
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 66

I posted on this site a couple of years ago referencing how the USOC controlled speed skating and dictated who would eventually compete internationally. Nobody responded to that post, as I'm sure they thought I was just blowing smoke. As I suspected the USOC was going to give it a couple of years. Based on the performance of the US internationally, they have had enough. Trust me, they will ultimately decide one way or another who competes. The USCA is frustrated right now because they have found that it was significantly easier to control this in other sports.

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Old Post 05-08-13 09:53AM
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VanillaIce
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: St. Michael, MN USA
Posts: 127

Really?

Here is what I will say. When was the last time our country was consistently relevant at the World level? Forget medals here. Let's just say even close on a regular basis.

Meanwhile countries like Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, etc. are finding ways to consistently challenge and beat the Canadians. Like it or not, that is what we are talking about and that is the question we are being asked by the USOC.

If your opinion is that we can do without the USOC funding and that we don't need to be relevant at the World level to continue to grow the sport, then, yes, we can keep the status quo. I, for one, have personally benefited and seen our area of the country benefit from the exposure greatly (my current employment is just one example).

I say all of this knowing that, had this been in place 5 years ago, I may have never seen the World stage myself. The game is changing. Like it or not, we are currently on a path that REQUIRES performance at the World level. Selecting a team based on long term consistent results seems like a very good step to me. To those who feel this gives the funded teams an unfair advantage, I would ask you how you think they got to be funded? It's not a popularity contest....they've earned it.

In all cases that I know of, they have put much of their own time and money into it before becoming funded. Prior to 2009, I had received a whopping $1000 of funding over the 18 years of playing down in men's. A very conservative average of $5000 a year puts me at $90,000 invested prior to winning.

Not to mention time away from family and work. I made these choices and my wife can tell you that sometimes they were hard...very hard. Sometimes to the point of costing us our relationship. Nobody is entitled to anything but a chance to compete. Nobody said the road would be easy or cheap.

Try making the U.S. Open of Golf or Tennis and you'll find similar circumstances. Try becoming an Olympic hopeful in ANY other sport! It almost seems silly to me that we'd even be discussing this! The fact is that right now, you could sign up, play in one 5 day event, qualify for Nationals, play in another 8 day event, and become our world rep. and an Olympic Trials team! Really? We think that's going to be good for the sport? Now, as to why our "best" teams don't win Nationals...that's another question.

Our current "program", which has been falling under question as well, is just starting its third year. And though I am biased, I feel it has the potential to make a huge difference to many of our teams...and it already has. However, any program is only as good as the level of buy in that the athletes give it.

We have very talented athletes that have a chance to be great, but it takes time for new methods to be accepted and for some to look at and address deficiencies. The best part about it right now is that it's an Objective methodology. Statistical and video analysis of every call, every shot, every situation. A breakdown that shows you exactly where you need improvement. A method to tell you exactly what you need to train for. How can that be bad? Well this went on much further than I had planned.

It has been claimed that this proposal came out so that the staff could save their jobs and, of course, as I had said, I am biased. I'll concede the latter point. but coaching isn't a job to me and I'd do it whether I was paid or not. Respectfully. JB

Last edited by VanillaIce on 05-08-13 at 10:06AM

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:04AM
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danel1
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2009
Location:
Posts: 18

This has been coming for awhile. I believe it was always the intention but just not disclosed.
Its a fact that the USOC has the money and they will control our Olympic approach, and by extension, our Worlds approach. The question that needs to be addressed is... do we let the USCA and our entire system morph into what they want? Or should there be two parallel systems one of which might some how be able to be considered important to regular curlers and most curling clubs. Ill need to sit down and remind myself what the point of paying dues to the USCA is.

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:11AM
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mr. lucky
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2007
Location:
Posts: 100

Re: Really?

quote:
Originally posted by VanillaIce
If your opinion is that we can do without the USOC funding and that we don't need to be relevant at the World level to continue to grow the sport, then, yes, we can keep the status quo. Respectfully. JB [/B]


There are probably more people than you think that feel this way. It's our heritage, and no one wants to give it up. Medals aren't as important as opportunity. Opportunity brings innovation. Teams themselves are crucibles of innovation. I'll bet we do better than you think with more teams in the mix. More curlers who try because they have the opportunity and thereby develop into elite curlers. This only further stifles that process.

Last, why hid this from the membership. It only furthers suspicion and puts the governance change in jeopardy

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:34AM
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Curlrock
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 66

Exactly Daniel. Spot on. Curling clubs will reap the benefits of the Olympic exposure whether the USCA is involved or not. Dont't get me wrong I agree with Nilla. Gone are the days when it was enough for four good curlers to simply go out and compete(many times with a hangover). To win consistently on the international stage you have to have a plan. The USOC is pushing for their plan based on successes they have had in other sports. It's not as romantic as the "Hoosiers" scenerio of the past. But the past scenerio just doesn't work anymore. To Daniel's point. There are a lot of curlers who feel that if the USOC is going to call most of the shots (pun intended), why should my USCA dues go to fund it?

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:47AM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 307

Vanilla Ice asks 2 good questions. [1] when was the last time our country was consistently relevant at the World level? [2] Do we need to be relevant to continue to grow the sport.
USA was relevant internationally in the "old days" of curling before other countries started putting $$$ into curling. We can argue that those days were better and that our sport is more important than medals, but recent years have demonstrated that we are not going to be competitive if we do not change our process. We don't need to like it but I don't think we can blame those charged with USA high performance from wanting to try something different.
Now whether we need the visibility of the Olympics to continue to grow the sports is an interesting issue. Clearly the Olympics has given our sport a huge boost. Who knows if it now has sufficient momentum to continue to grow without a US presence and success at the Olympics. National vanity being what it is, TV coverage is likely to be less if USA is not a threat to medal. Americans love to watch sports, but apparently only if Americans are winning.
I think our sport can continue to grow with less or no Olympic coverage. But I also wonder if this is really even part of this equation. Plain and simple, this is about gaining Olympic medals and the $$$$ that goes with it. The USCA, which purports to represent all US curlers, has been hijacked by the USOC. What happens now as we focus on medals and $$$$ should surprise nobody.

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:48AM
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VanillaIce
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: St. Michael, MN USA
Posts: 127

Two Points

1. This was not "hidden" from anyone. Your directors voted to give Rick and Derek operational control over the HP program. There are many decisions made at the USCA that are not made public or voted on. Just like any other company.

2. Right now the USCA is the NGB for Curling in the USA. Do you really think that if we don't have a rep in the Games that we'll get 80 hours of coverage from NBC? If we're not the NGB, who will pick up the slack? Do you really think a separation makes this any better? Worlds and Olympics will always be tied due to the nature of the International field and if another organization takes over those qualification processes for the USA, the criteria will be even tougher. That's a guarantee. Be careful what you wish for.

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:54AM
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MNIceman
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 70

The quality of our teams needs to be improved, not the quality of the selection process. There isn't a team in the US right now that you could pick to go to World's and be confident that they will medal.

Don't get me wrong, I do think we have several very good teams that I wouldn't be surprised to see on the podium. I just wouldn't be too confident in them getting there.

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Old Post 05-08-13 10:56AM
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jaymanmac2010
Knee-Slider

Registered: Jun 2011
Location:
Posts: 2

Guess it is time to get my Canadian citizenship and compete here. I honestly think I'd have a better chance of making it to worlds and at least the selection process is fair.

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Old Post 05-08-13 11:19AM
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mr. lucky
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2007
Location:
Posts: 100

Well the reality is the change is here to stay. A lot on the line.

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Old Post 05-08-13 11:34AM
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Dcasper
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jun 2011
Location:
Posts: 21

Have other options been looked at ? I mean, if its the issue of getting the best teams to nationals... I feel we have already done that with the OOM advancement and TKO qualifier. If anything to spur more playing and perhaps border hopping to Canada expand the OOM spots to 4 return your national champion to nationals. Perhaps trimming the nationals field to 8 or use 3 team playoff of RR format. Either way, I think the winner of nationals should go to worlds. I do not like making some mathematical selection based on what happened 5 months prior. There can be flukes with points too ya know....

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Old Post 05-08-13 11:34AM
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danel1
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2009
Location:
Posts: 18

One other thing that should be said is that this has to be a pretty tough day for all of the people that have worked hard and achieved the honor of representing the US to the world. Id like to say that I'm proud of you all that have achieved this and Im sorry if all this controversy diminishes the experience for you. I think you did fine and should be very proud of your accomplishments.

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Old Post 05-08-13 11:47AM
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Tee-Eh
Knee-Slider

Registered: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 6

A team could have one good weekend north of the border and have enough points to qualify. Says nothing about consistency, especially if it happens months prior.

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Old Post 05-08-13 12:04PM
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misty1
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 2658

I know that the US has been struggling at the world level for a number of years but I dont think that this is the kind of response thats needed and that will get the results they want.

Last edited by misty1 on 05-08-13 at 12:09PM

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danel1
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2009
Location:
Posts: 18

I believe that this approach is absolutely the best way to get medals. Other countries have proven it. I just am unconvinced that Medals should be our only consideration. Im not convinced that we should sell our soul to the USOC to gain their precious funding. Sometimes it just isnt worth it for what you lose.

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Old Post 05-08-13 12:15PM
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Dcasper
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jun 2011
Location:
Posts: 21

quote:
Originally posted by Tee-Eh
A team could have one good weekend north of the border and have enough points to qualify. Says nothing about consistency, especially if it happens months prior.


Then why should it factor into who goes to worlds....??? What I am tired of is all the meddling with the format. It has been in perpetual change for 20 plus years.... I dont think the format is the issue here... sure we can do other things to ensure that one hot skip with a good week and goes to worlds. but I dont think this is it!!!!

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