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mgulseth
Knee-Slider

Registered: Apr 2009
Location:
Posts: 9

Re: Really?

quote:
Originally posted by VanillaIce
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. JB


Therein lies the problem- you are treating curling like any other Olympic sport. One of the magical things about curling in its Olympic run has been the perception that anyone can do it...that you don't need to start when you are 4 years old and dedicate your life to the sport just to be successful. When you ask will it be good for the game if some team can win a 5 day tourney followed by an 8 day tourney to win a spot at Worlds, I will argue with you that is exactly what is good for the game. People will still see an opportunity, more will stay involved, more will care. If that opportunity is taken away, in the long term you will crush the game.

Dbsdbs said it right with the statement that the USOC has high-jacked the USCA. I just hope they don't sell out the future of the game for a few medals. Medals are great, I love to see our national champ do well, I just don't think that it defines us. I think it was the wise Tuck who once said that the USOC needs us more than we need them. Unfortunately, their are a few that seem to have been brainwashed that are making the decisions for the masses.

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Old Post 05-08-13 12:22PM
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evan.workin.1
Knee-Slider

Registered: May 2013
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 3

Well said Mr. Lucky

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Old Post 05-08-13 12:40PM
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curlny
Hitting Paint

Registered: Dec 2005
Location:
Posts: 161

Lets take last year as an example. Overwhelming winning record at Nationals.

Team McCormick, in Feb, runs the table in round robin, and in playoffs. In the process, they beat Fenson 3 times.

And maybe Fenson goes to Worlds because he had a better November?

What about an injury? Hypothetically, Heater sprains an ankle in Nov, is back to full health by mid Dec, team clicking on all cylinders, run the table in Feb, but have forfeited a chance at Worlds for missing a critical part of the fall schedule? Really?

I must be missing something or I think the plan needs tweaking...

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danel1
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2009
Location:
Posts: 18

The other thing im wondering is... will those in the High Performance plan deny publicly that this isnt just one more step down the path to a hand selected team? A skeptic could view all of these changes in recent years as a slow, methodical march toward the proven international system of hand picking teams.

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VanillaIce
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: St. Michael, MN USA
Posts: 126

Why is it?

Why is it so hard to connect the dots? Has the growth and attraction to the sport in the past decade not been mostly due to our involvement in the Olympics? Isn't it clear that our presence there is important? Isn't it also clear that our success at the World level is a determining factor leading up to that? We are now in jeopardy of losing that spot. This is not meant to slight the teams who have been there. Its more of a statement that rest of the world (excluding Canada...one million curlers) have found better ways to do it than us. It just means that we need to find a way to do two things:

1. Step up our program to better prepare our teams to win at a world level (this is in progress, but will not happen overnight).

2. Move to a selection process that rewards the current most consistent performer over an extended period, which also may include a win of our Nationals.

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Old Post 05-08-13 12:54PM
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chubb
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Nov 2004
Location:
Posts: 45

In the big picture, how many curlers does this really affect?

There have been years where all 8 teams that signed up for womenís play got a bye to the Nationals.
Do you want a team that has won a toaster their whole curling career representing you at Worlds?
I get it, you used a democratic playoff system to determine your champion and they so happened to get hot and win. Well as quickly as they got hot, they could get cold and cost the USA the following years representation at Worlds or Olympics.

Your USCA dues go towards running the National championships for all levels of play.
Junior, Seniors, Club Nationals, Mixed, Mixed Doubles. I find it interesting that you want to $h!t all over a program to give you better representation at the elite level. Itís that elite level that determines
the level of funding for the USCA. Unfortunately, the good times of the past have changed
for the sport of curling. It is all business and athleticism.

If you want to be considered a top athlete in curling you need to train like one. Ken Read (top Canadian skier) was always critical of the sport of curling because in his mind it wasn't a sport, it was a game. Well, I think Tiger Woods has changed the sport of golf from a game to an athletic event. I firmly believe that elite curling has changed forever and you either curl full time or Club Nationals is the way for you.

I think we all need to think outside the box here and ask ourselves the question. In the last twenty years of menís curling, USA has one Bronze medal at Worlds (I know the Leafs haven't won since '67).

Is the status quo in the democratic selection process going to change this result?

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MNIceman
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 67

I agree, Olympic exposure is a huge part of growing the sport. We can't disregard the USOC and the money they bring. So I also agree that we need a good plan to improve the US Team performance at Worlds.

But I don't think this selection process will change anything. Over that past several years the US has sent teams that have been a bit of a surprise and that have been favorites. All have had similar results. There are a lot more possible negatives to going to this format than there are positives.

As I said before I think the Scottish plan could work well. It would allow the USOC money to go into developing high performance teams but still give everyone a chance to win Nationals and compete at Worlds.

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Old Post 05-08-13 01:11PM
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danel1
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2009
Location:
Posts: 18

My final point for the day - All time Scotland has won just about 2x the medals that Sweden has at the World Championships. Sweden uses a point system and Scotland hand picks thier representatives. Given that, and if the goal is Medals, I'm wondering how the HP staff justifies taking only this halfway measure? Clearly hand picking is most effective and it could be argued that this proposed new system of points doesn't go far enough.

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TakeItOut!
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Fairport, NY
Posts: 99

Seems like how poker decides Player of the Year

There is a points system for the World Series of Poker's player of the year. This sounds like a similar system.

Teams can enter the qualifying events (at a significant cost). You earn points by how you finish. The team with the most points wins.

There are significant barriers to entry to both the WSOP (events all over the world, significant entry fees, travel) and the new curling points system (very similar barriers). The trick for up and coming curling teams is going to be figuring out how to reduce the barriers to entry.

One more thing, in the world of big time poker tournaments, sometimes the winner of the WSOP Main Event isn't player of the year. They may win the big one but do nothing in any other event. But I also think it's possible for the WSOP Player of the Year to win that title without actually winning any tournament.

I don't know how I feel about the changes, but the details seem pretty important.

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peteski
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2007
Location:
Posts: 320

quote:
Originally posted by danel1
My final point for the day - All time Scotland has won just about 2x the medals that Sweden has at the World Championships. Sweden uses a point system and Scotland hand picks thier representatives. Given that, and if the goal is Medals, I'm wondering how the HP staff justifies taking only this halfway measure? Clearly hand picking is most effective and it could be argued that this proposed new system of points doesn't go far enough.


Your premise is wrong. Scotland has handpicked their Olympic reps, but not their world reps, which they still use playdowns for. And Sweden has only used a points system for a year or two. Their all time record is hardly relevant.

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Dcasper
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jun 2011
Location:
Posts: 21

I have connected the dots John, I get the exposure point... But I have yet to hear any reasoning as to how this new system of selecting a potential non national championship winner will lead to better finishes at Worlds. Consistency? how can we gauge that? I would like to see the ponits system itsself and review how it would have impacted the outcomes of the prior 3 national championships? Would it deny Heater or Pete a trip to worlds after being undefeated? (and finishing sub brady at worlds). I have heard there is one system from this past year where BRady still goes, one where george goes... and even one where your bonze medal winner Shuster goes.... I'll buy into it and perhaps more people will if its presented in this manner. And is only invoked in rare and EXTREME circumstances.

Also, when, or if, it fails.... What do we do then? Hand pick a team? Fire everyone and start over? The substance may be there... but the presentation sucks!

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MiniMark
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2012
Location: DeWitt, MI
Posts: 76

nonononono

Let's be VERY clear here- the Olympics did nothing more than bring ATTENTION to curling, AFTER we medaled. Curlers did the work to grow the sport.

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mgulseth
Knee-Slider

Registered: Apr 2009
Location:
Posts: 9

Re: Why is it?

quote:
Originally posted by VanillaIce
Why is it so hard to connect the dots? Has the growth and attraction to the sport in the past decade not been mostly due to our involvement in the Olympics?


There is little doubt that the Olympic exposure attracted many new curlers. But did we gain more new curlers in 2006 when we won a bronze medal compared to the years where we didn't medal? I doubt it, and this is the problem I have with this line of thinking.

Of the 31-32 teams playing down for men's challenge/nationals this year, how many teams would have taken the time off of work, paid for the travel, hotel, etc. had they known that even with a win in both tourneys, they would still not represent us at Worlds? You could do that at club nationals. Maybe Ken is right- this is exactly what you want. But I argue that less is not more...in terms of competition, it never will be. That is where you are not connecting the dots. I also think that the 2009/2010 John Benton would not be in favor of this system.

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Old Post 05-08-13 02:35PM
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VanillaIce
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: St. Michael, MN USA
Posts: 126

Disagree

It was obvious to me at the outset of this that had it been in place at the time, I would not have seen Worlds or the Olympics. But it is at least, in part, due to what I saw during that time that I am in favor of a change. Was there a chance for us to medal at that event? Sure, but we would have needed much more time and experience as a team to beat those teams consistently. That was clear based on our Tour and Slam results leading up to Vancouver. Yes, we earned the spot, and worked at improving our game, but we just hadn't developed any consistency as a team.

To me, medals are not the goal here. Keeping us in the game at that level is the goal. Consistent relevance, if you will. The medals will come ONLY if we are participating in these events to begin with. You may think its a trivial thing, but I grew up in the sport in the 70's and 80's when we had nearly nothing.

Again, I would say that this is not as much about our ability, talent, or effort as it is about the rest of the world making advances while we are stagnant in our approach.

I wish I could say that the commitment required is fair, but in an Olympic sport, it rarely is. I appreciate the "every man" nature that we all take pride in, but if we aren't in the Olympics in the first place, who will see the sport and say "I can do that."?

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Old Post 05-08-13 02:56PM
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kdropkin
Knee-Slider

Registered: Jun 2011
Location: Southborough, MA
Posts: 2

Allow me to ask a question that may reframe the analysis just a bit. Does anyone have data that could address the hypothesis that countries succeeding at the world level are doing so, not so much due to their selection process, but by professionalizing their teams?

Do their elite athletes hold signficant job responsibilies or are they funded sufficiently to be first and foremost professional athletes? And if this is true, will altering our methods of determining world reps not have any measurable impact unless funds are also provided to offer those athletes the means to compete on an equal training basis?

I was very much surprised to learn when in a conversation with the national coach of a very successful team at Juniors in Sochi, that their country's male athletes did not attend school and did not have jobs. The clear response I got was that they are successful because they are full time curlers!

No selection process can replace that competitive advantage.

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Old Post 05-08-13 03:19PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 296

kdropkin - Bingo!! No selection process can replace the competitive advantage gained by being a full-time curler.

I don't know this to be true, but I am guessing that there are not many other US Olympic athletes who are not full-time athletes. Unless USA commits to funding full-time curlers, I don't know that any process is going to ensure that we will be competitive internationally. And if we cannot reach that goal, then perhaps we need to really focus on all USCA members, not just the HP group. The complaint with our current selection process seems to be its lack of international success. Unless we really really believe that changing this process will change results, then why are we going through these machinations? Comments on CZ are a small sample, but this change does not seem to be garnering much support. Unfortunately, there is not much to suggest that this change is going to bring any different results. If we cannot guarantee that this change is going to work for USA curling, then is it really worth it?

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Old Post 05-08-13 03:47PM
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Dcasper
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jun 2011
Location:
Posts: 21

Pro curlers... Where is Swervin Mervin when you need him? If you dont get this reference you know nothing of a curling circus!

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Old Post 05-08-13 03:47PM
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Alice
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 97

SWEEEP!

That demand to remove the CYA note? So much for transparency... Long live the dictators! Long live the dark closets! The VIP suites at hotels paid for by TV money!!

Did we not learn anything about the real hide-the-books Olympic Movement from the Salt Lake City scandals? Professional sports....

I still want to know EXACTLY what USOC demands for board governance and HP programs, especially to whom and how much funds are disbursed. The online out-of-date USCA financial reports are so vague to be nearly useless.

About the fear of losing 80 hours of TV if both male and femaleUSA teams are not at the Olympics... In the last 8 years, I've seen my local club grow like crazy with new and young players filling up state and regional playdown slots at an exponential rate because they see our national teams not medalling and think to themselves, "Hey! I could do better than them!" This year they have started to bonspiel all around the country and even to Iceland (!) due to a local 2+ year old effort to help local competitive curlers. Not a penny from that fabled TV money do we get in the boonies.

What those new young players need is better coaching and clinics, cheaper travel costs, and knowing the Big Brass Ring is not restricted just to those who can afford to go to yet-to-be-determined Favored Few points places.

For heaven's sake, just look at the actual results at nationals and worlds of who got direct support via USOC and who did not over the past 3 years.

As for the whiz-bang idea that a moving target and closeted ("Take down that CYA letter pretty please!) HP program's " chosen" v. hot winner teams will get better results in the long run than by improving the quality of all our elite athletes.... I must ask what do those few who stand to benefit the most from the rubberstamped HP program fear from a better quality of players coming at them from our own back waters?

Until our rubberstamping Board stands up and says, "The Emperor has no clothes!" nothing will change. JH said it: Q and A to a brick wall. A wall the Board built and maintains. _This is like watching someone shoot to smithereens their left foot and then reload superfast and shoot off the right one. Ka-bang! I feel like writing a "Devil Wears Prada" book about this fiasco. My working title: SWEEEEP!

Last edited by Alice on 05-08-13 at 04:07PM

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Old Post 05-08-13 03:58PM
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VanillaIce
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: St. Michael, MN USA
Posts: 126

Ethics

Alice,

I appreciate your passion. However, you are mistaken about a number of things. There are rules that govern and organization about what is ethical and what unethical behavior...what can and should be published publicly and what should not and when.

I would agree that the USCA leaves a lot to be desired from a communication standpoint, but frankly this issue is NOT one of them.

The public airing of this "PROPOSAL" could and IS doing serious damage to the organization in many ways that you may not have even considered.

Having a discussion about its points should have been left to the State and Regional Reps. / The Championship Committee / AAC and Staff. That's what all these people are there for.

So for the the 100th time, talk to your Regional Rep or AAC rep if you have issues or need information that you are not getting from the website.

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Curlrock
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 66

Let the USOC pick five men, five women, send them to Canada. Partially fund 16 juniors. That's the route were headed. May as well do it sooner rather than later. Get the USCA out of the business of supporting Olympic curling and focus on grassroots curling. That would make 97% of US curlers happy.

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chapnlie
Swing Artist

Registered: Jan 2005
Location:
Posts: 267

Re: Ethics

quote:
Originally posted by VanillaIce

...I would agree that the USCA leaves a lot to be desired from a communication standpoint, but frankly this issue is NOT one of them.

The public airing of this "PROPOSAL" could and IS doing serious damage to the organization in many ways that you may not have even considered.

Having a discussion about its points should have been left to the State and Regional Reps. / The Championship Committee / AAC and Staff. That's what all these people are there for...




THAT is ridiculous!! Rather than take down this discussion, the USCA should insist that its BoD and Executive Committee log in and take note. There have been some very valid points made in this discussion, by some of the most dedicated members of the curling community.

I cannot think of anything more absurd than the statement that this discussion should have been left to the BoD, Championship Committee, etc.!!!!!!!!! I believe all those parties are to be representing USCA members, like those posting here.

And I agree with Mr Dropkin's comment that the changes seem to be intended to achieve the success of other nations which have professionalized our sport, but by choosing still another unproven route.

Last edited by chapnlie on 05-08-13 at 04:32PM

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VanillaIce
Hitting Paint

Registered: Nov 2005
Location: St. Michael, MN USA
Posts: 126

My point...

My point exactly. They were elected to "represent". Let them do that and hold them accountable.

And nobody suggested taking the discussion down. I simply asked that the official document photos be removed. Put it this way, would you allow all of your official company records and documents to be posted publicly for all to see? Let's be real here. The USCA is a business just like any other. You may not agree with all of the policies but they do have a right to some privacy for good reason.

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rjl
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2009
Location:
Posts: 9

What's the point of even trying to play down now? This is going to turn into an elite sport that stifles the number of competitive curlers.

I don't have the time to dedicate myself to curling in Canada every weekend. I however would love the opportunity to play against our top teams at nationals to get that experience. But without the opportunity to advance, why even register. I doubt I'm the only one that feels this way.

This new system may produce medals in the near term, but what is the long-term cost?

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misty1
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 2633

quote:
Originally posted by danel1
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.


I dont agree there. A selection process hasnt really meant that a country using it gets a ton of medals..or any really

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misty1
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 2633

quote:
Originally posted by rjl
What's the point of even trying to play down now? This is going to turn into an elite sport that stifles the number of competitive curlers.

I don't have the time to dedicate myself to curling in Canada every weekend. I however would love the opportunity to play against our top teams at nationals to get that experience. But without the opportunity to advance, why even register. I doubt I'm the only one that feels this way.

This new system may produce medals in the near term, but what is the long-term cost?



It kind of already is. As more and more countries make the shift to only pay attention to a hand full of teams and funds those professionally more countries that choose not to do that will be shut out and left in the dark.

Its funny really. Countries did this to compete with Canada but while they might have succeeded I do believe they are hurting themselves in the long run.

If only a hand full of teams are getting national funding and are the only ones even being considered for being sent to worlds then how long will those teams wait and continue to play? how many years of frustration and being over looked will teams tolerate before they give up?

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Manitoba Curling
New Teams and Rumours???? ( 1 2 3 4 ... Last page )
Rock Talk
Big Changes Coming? ( 1 2 3 4 ... Last page )
Rock Talk
Why is interest in curling falling?
Rock Talk
What is Sportsnet doing? ( 1 2 )
U.S.A. Curling
High Performance Program ( 1 2 )
U.S.A. Curling
FL in 2016, where in 2015?
U.S.A. Curling
Governance Issues
U.S.A. Curling
Kentucky Derby
Saskatchewan Curling
New teams for 2014/2015
Rock Talk
Putting bums in the seats....... ( 1 2 )
Rock Talk
Not Breaking Up - Team JJ
Rock Talk
Ottawa Curling Club Considering American Ice Maker?
Playdowns
2014 World Mixed Doubles ( 1 2 )
Rock Talk
Problems with new curling shoes
Rock Talk
European Masters
U.S.A. Curling
The Chosen 16
Playdowns
2014 Mens World Championship ( 1 2 3 4 ... Last page )
Playdowns
the "who's who at this years Player's Championships
U.S.A. Curling
U-18
Playdowns
Koe front end
Playdowns
Homan blow up or Koe blow up, which is worse?
Rock Talk
What should be the future of residency rules for elite curlers in Canada? ( 1 2 3 4 )
Rock Talk
Breakout Curling Stars 2015
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Koe Can't Win Gold?
Playdowns
TOP SKIP - Reality Show
U.S.A. Curling
World Men's 2014 ( 1 2 3 4 )
Playdowns
HELP! Need Video of 1-2 Game Mens Worlds
Playdowns
streaming SF
U.S.A. Curling
Curling in the good ol' US of A.
Playdowns
2014 Brier ( 1 2 3 4 ... Last page )
Rock Talk
Kreviazuk Question
Asia-Pacific Curling
Southern Hemisphere
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CZ Chat - how do I turn it off
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New chat line
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Retro Curling Gear
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Velcro
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Fun with Physics ( 1 2 3 )
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Summer Training
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Team Jennifer Jones Future ( 1 2 3 )
Games
World Curling Championship: Pete Fenson vs. Ewan MacDonald
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Curling Speed Traps
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