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Dcasper
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jun 2011
Location:
Posts: 21

quote:
Originally posted by AlanMacNeill
I just want to know what the USCA will do when their handpicked, blond haired Wisconsin bred boys come home 11th next year.


us blond haired wisconsin bred boys have long since been an afterthought.... trust me.

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Old Post 05-09-13 01:42PM
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Gerry
CZ Founder

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 3375

quote:
Originally posted by chapnlie


Maybe USCA should check with Tom Brewster for some insight. He skips Scotland to silver place finishes at two consecutive Worlds, defeats David Murdoch et al to qualify his 2013 team for the Worlds, only to have the Scottish Association demotes him to third to insert David Murdoch as skip of 'his' team. To add insult to injury, Tom even got benched for 3 games at the World (but they let him back on the ice in time to capture the bronze medal in Victoria).
Yes, the Scots were able to earn the bronze medal with David Murdoch at skip but, unfortunately for the US, the USCA has absolutely no one like David Murdoch in the wings...



Murdoch skipped with Tom Brewster at 3rd in the Scottish Nationals. Murdoch was added to the team at the beginning of the season by the Association to create a 5 man squad. With that team, it was like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole for much of the year.

The proposal is NOT this, the total opposite in fact. This is setup to encourage teams to play for it. Everyone starts at 0.

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Old Post 05-09-13 02:00PM
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SPMFromPCC
Swing Artist

Registered: Jun 2007
Location:
Posts: 342

Youngen - care to sign your name to that post? I'm betting you have no life commitments right now, so it's real easy to say what you say, though it is accurate to a point.

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Old Post 05-09-13 02:03PM
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youngen
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2009
Location:
Posts: 31

Thank you Curlrock for displaying that you didn't even bother to fully read my post. I am not what USOC wants. I am against hand-picked teams. I choose not to eat, sleep and breath curling to the point that is needed to win consistently at the international level. And I very much want the USCA to remain our NGB so we can keep as democratic of process as possible.

And to Sean Murray, I say this because I believe it is what needs to be, not because I think I can do it myself.

All I see this proposal as meaning, is if you want to make it to Worlds after winning Nationals then make sure you spent some time earlier in the season playing and hopefully finishing well at other events.

If anyone actually read Gerry's posts, nobody that won nationals in the last several years would have been denied the berth to Worlds based on this proposed points system. I understand that this fact makes the whole thing seem redundant, but if it satisfies USOC to get off our back for yet one more year it could be worth it.

And lastly, I definitely agree with Mr. Lucky! Dave you are completely on track. To have athletes that devote enough time to perfection, you need someone to keep them on the right path. All the best curling teams I can think of have amazing coaches as well. After meeting Jules Owchar in 2008, I am a believer in coaching for sure.

Kyle Young

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Old Post 05-09-13 02:22PM
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Mjgrazi
Knee-Slider

Registered: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 1

What if, instead of just rankings, the USCA implemented a points system as a sort of qualifier to be able to move on. Say, instead of counting nationals as another event, adding the points on, and sending the highest total team to worlds, there were a number of teams who would automatically move on if they won. If the bar was set either at a certain number of points during the season or say, top 5, 8, 10, whatever ranked US teams were eligible to move on, and if a non-qualified team won, the best finisher of the qualified teams would move on to worlds, winner would gain funding, Continental Cup, etc. This would create a barrier of entry to make sure that Team USA would have at least some competitive experience as a team, yet still give the teams who can't travel as much a shot if they do decently well in an event with a strong field. Although it would create two tiers of teams at nationals, it would level the field between eligible teams, and, in an ideal world, motivate the low- and mid-tier teams to travel and compete more, possibly creating a field where no teams, or maybe only one or two, are ineligible to move on to worlds. It would also avoid a situation where a team might only have to finish in the top 4 at nationals to move on because they had a great season (though I'd hope they'd do better than that anyway).

Overall, if whatever the USCA chooses to do is done right, all of this will be a moot point. Teams will be encouraged to travel and spiel more, the quality of play in the US will increase, and the national champion will move on to worlds.

All that being said, I'd rather see the path to worlds remain more like March Madness and less like the BCS. Hopefully there's some middle ground that increases quality and excludes the fewest number of athletes

-Graz

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Old Post 05-09-13 02:35PM
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B Anderson
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2012
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Posts: 15

I just want to say that I'm really surprised Tuck has an opinion on all of this.



-BA

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Old Post 05-09-13 03:05PM
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Third Nerd
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Dec 2008
Location:
Posts: 81

Just like the Swallows returning to Capistrano. Another spring another format discussion.

A note about using Gerry's formula above (45 points for 1st at Nationals, 35 for 2nd, 30 for 3rd and 20 for 4th) added to the OOM on the USCA website

Clark 45 + 3.90 = 48.9
George 35 + 20.4 = 55.4
Shuster 30 + 30.175 = 60.175

Shuster would have gone to World's despite finishing 3rd. So it would have changed the results.

Of course the USCA plan doesn't have any of the details spelled out and all of this depends on the actual formula used.

But just an example of the weirdness that could happen.

TN

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Old Post 05-09-13 03:10PM
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curlny
Hitting Paint

Registered: Dec 2005
Location:
Posts: 167

Just asking, will this apply to all world events? Seniors, juniors, mixed doubles ?

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Old Post 05-09-13 03:33PM
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Curlrock
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 66

Kyle. I did read your entire post. I did not mean to imply that you were in favor of a hand picked team. I was only agreeing with you that the USOC is looking for that type of commitment. For the record, I think the best way for the US to compete on the international level is to fully fund 2-4 men's and women's teams. Send them to Canada with a top level coach. I'll let smarter peolple than me decide which teams should be selected. Is that what's best for US curling? Probably not. Is that what is best for immediate international success and Olympic Medals. Most likely. The USOC wants medals. That's all they want.

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Old Post 05-09-13 04:06PM
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Alice
Hitting Paint

Registered: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 121

I still have not been able to find anywhere the written "required" USOC pressure for USCA to have an HP program which ignores a board's or grassroots' concerns in favor of paid/professional employees. Found lots of references in USOC documents to the importance of "transparency" in decison making by NGOs like USCA, bits about "sustained" excellence in Olympic results and growth of more people doing all Olympic sports, and references to best practices from NGO governance "guidelines" (a guideline is not a requirement...) but nothing - nothing! - that says best practices can't be unique for each sport.

Curling is first and foremost a thinking sport for smart and well-socialized people - not something for genetic odditites like female gymnasts and basketball players or a brute stamina or strength spectacle. Yes, national level front ends should be fit enough to play 8+ games a week without swallowing a bottle of Advil everyday and the international play now has state-funded professionals, but in the long run we all know grassroots depth and best coaching for all who want to be elite is the formula for sustained success. Flash in the pan hired guns, gambling points, cherry picked funded teams.... those are all just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Money. That's what Rick's "proposal" all boils down to. Who really controls the big Olympic slush funds for advancing the many official purposes of the USOC corporation? The truly most experienced adults in the USCA who have been for years and years in the trenches of both competitive and grassroots activities need to do their own "proposal" and then fight for it. If not, we will have soon a paid staff/coach micromanaging our teams at all worlds.... Exit stage left the thinking game of our best curlers. Instead they will be mere peons and pawns beholden to paid masters.

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Old Post 05-09-13 07:20PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 319

As much as I wish it were not so, I think CurlRock has the best proposal -- given that our game now is just about medals.

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Old Post 05-09-13 09:41PM
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misty1
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Sep 2011
Location:
Posts: 2705

The US is so great at so many sports. There are not very many where the americans are not at least consideredco-favorites with someone so I do understand the frustration. However the US has not been a consistant medal getter at the worlds ever since it became more than a 4 or 5 team field. If the US is looking to to do in curling what it does in most other sports I am not sure that it will ever really happen because the interest in it just isnt really there

even still im not sure this is the way to go

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Old Post 05-10-13 07:53AM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 1923

Somewhere between total speculation and an educated guess:

Not having heard much, I'm assuming that by now the Exec Committee concured that DerekTheScot and Rick do have the authority to change this policy with no need for any other approval.

That was the main question this week: Can they change this policy given the authority granted to them by the full Board of Directors a couple of years ago. That authority was granted with the amendment that "consideration" be given to open access to the National Championships and that the National Champion and the Olympic Representative be determined "on the ice".

The National Champions will be determined "on the ice". Team USA will be determined by points. I guess that fits "on the ice", but I doubt it meets the intent of the amendment.

If the Exec did confirm the authority, then look for the new policy to detailed in the coming weeks and then announced by month's end. A significant change like this requires ample advance notice to teams in order to keep things fair.

Ben Tucker
"Keep things fair" was not meant to be sarcastic...but it would qualify.

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Old Post 05-10-13 01:28PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
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"National Championship" will be a pretty hollow event if a teams comes into the event with the points lead already sewed up. With nothing on the line then, not sure why anyone would want to watch. Is there a consolation prize for a team that wins the Nationals but does not have enough points go on from there?

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Old Post 05-10-13 04:22PM
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Diego
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Dec 2005
Location:
Posts: 51

Yes, at least proposed that "National Champion" will be team invited to following years Continental Cup and would get funding through HP if not already funded.

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Old Post 05-10-13 04:40PM
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JustShort
Knee-Slider

Registered: Apr 2011
Location: Hibbing, MN
Posts: 6

It sounds like we are taking some pages from NASCAR. Maybe we should rename the US National Championship to the US Players Championship. Qualify via OOM points and/or Playdown Qualifier points just as before. This Championship then is the last grab for points to be the World rep. The Players Champion, if different, will go to the Continental Cup and advances in funding.

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Old Post 05-10-13 05:56PM
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Alice
Hitting Paint

Registered: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 121

Mr. Rick dropped his letter on the board a day AFTER they'd met in person for a regular meeting. A letter of such importance it couldn't have been put on the board's regular agenda as a face-to-face discussion item? ??? ?!?

I am from the private sector. That kind of shenigans gets people fired from boards to staff. Time for the board to act like grownups instead of chickens with rubber stamps. Or maybe a majority of the board enjoys mushroom treatment? Or are they just brainwashed by..... (you dear reader can fill in the blank).

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Old Post 05-10-13 07:43PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 1923

Alice, while I agree...somewhat...with your direction, I don't think you are being totally fair to Rick.

His contention (that is not without merit) is that he and Derek Brown were granted authority to make such changes. His contention is that he does not need Board appoval. He did ask for our Exec Committee to give feedback on the proposal, but he clearly stated that he did not need a motion to approve.

Given that thinking, right or wrong, Rick probably did not want to totally stop all Board action...as this would have become a show-stopping topic.

Transperancy is another issue all together...but I don't think Rick deserves that shot. Other shots? Perhaps, but not that one.

I could be wrong,
Ben Tucker

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Old Post 05-10-13 08:15PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 319

quote:
Originally posted by tuck


His contention (that is not without merit) is that he and Derek Brown were granted authority to make such changes. His contention is that he does not need Board appoval. He did ask for our Exec Committee to give feedback on the proposal, but he clearly stated that he did not need a motion to approve.

Given that thinking, right or wrong, Rick probably did not want to totally stop all Board action...as this would have become a show-stopping topic.




I understand where you are coming from Tuck and my first inclination was to agree with you but... If Rick really did was concerned that this topic might be a show-stopper and might stop all Board action, then just maybe that concern suggests that it was important enough to NOT be put off until the next day?

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Old Post 05-10-13 09:22PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 1923

So put another way from a more business-like perspective:

Your banker (the USOC) suggests that your Board quit managing certain things in your business and let your top staff (Rick and Derek) handle what is in their areas of expertize.

You (the USCA) are not in any position to piss off your banker, so you grant your COO (Rick's title is COO) and his VP (HPP Director Derek) authority to make capital purchases up to $800,000. You add, however, that they "consider" how long it will take to recoup the investment and insist that fits your business model.

Now the COO and his VP send out a letter saying that they are going to spend $500,000. You don't think the payback is anything like you had in mind...but they obviously "considered" it. You don't think it fits your business model, but they think that it does.

So there you sit. You authorized them...maybe. You hate the purchase.

You can 1) concur that they have the authority and hope that the purchase isn't as bad as you think OR 2) fire them and bring in new people whose capital purchase philosophy closer reflects your own OR 3) chill for a bit and talk things over...get through the details...look for compromise...be open-minded and maybe the COO and the VP will convince you of the purchase.

Now you are more than a little pissed off that your COO sprung this on you the day after a big board meeting, but it is possible he didn't really need to tell you until after is was a feat' accompli or maybe he didn't want to paralyze the board meeting. The COO is really pissed because his letter to the Board officers got spread around to everybody and I mean everybody. Everybody is pissed. Maybe chilling out and talking a little is the best action.

Then again, I could be wrong. Sayin' that a lot lately, but not much for news on this topic and I ain't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. Just ask Benton. I can't even connect dots. (Just kidding, 'Nilla...no harm, no foul)

Ben Tucker

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Old Post 05-10-13 09:30PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 1923

Any of you math guys out there know where the keyboard key is for "squared"? I'm not fond of typing dbsdbs and would prefer dbs-squared.

Dbs, Rick is a bright guy. He knew full well that this is important and controversial. Do I know that for a fact? No...but I'll bet money on it.

I'm pretty sure that he didn't bring it out because (in his opinion) it lays within his authority, is outside of the Board's authority and would have stopped the Board from conducting equally important business.

Now transparency is another issue. I don't like secrecy...mostly because it seldom works. I also don't like it because some of the secret keepers have people at home that they are representing. Representing somebody comes with obligations. I serve on boards as a representative of my neighboring farmers and listened to statements like "...and this does NOT leave this boardroom!" I'm very open about my dislike for secrets and my obligation to report back to the people I represent. Outside of the military, secrets should be reserved for sex and slow curling rocks.

Ben Tucker

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Old Post 05-10-13 09:50PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 319

Don't disagree with you Tuck especially if the BoD had other important business to conduct. Problem is that for those of us not part of the inner circle it seems like this HP stuff is all the BoD focuses on. Now maybe that is not fair but if it is not then the BoD needs to demonstrate that to us unwashed -- which takes us right back to communication.

[Wish I could help you with that dbs-squared idea. dbs2 is a little shorter

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Old Post 05-10-13 10:16PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 1923

DBS,ibid (OK, now I'm just amusing myself and boring others),

I have never been in the Inner Circle, but I know some people. Budgets need to be hammered out. Junior programs need to be discussed. Committee reports heard. Insurance programs updated. All nuts/and/bolts boring stuff...that needs to get done. If they scheduled a week, it would take a week.

I think it appears that staff and Board members only do Competitive stuff because that is all we hear about. We only hear about the competitive stuff because that is all we care about. We hear some about new clubs and growth...because we care about that as well. If a great majority of us wanted to hear about the insurance program and policies, I'm sure we'd hear about it.

Actually, I kind of feel sorry for some Board members. They do the work on the less glamorous committees and it can be thankless work. Look at the College Curling program. Formerly an excuse for under-aged drinking, it is becoming a showcase. Can curling really infiltrate college sport at any entry level? I ain't bettin' against whoever is doing this good work. If the University Games is any indication, they got it goin' on.

But we digress. There is a proposal out there that looks like it will become policy by the end of the month. I see the thinking behind the proposal...I just don't think the same way. In fact, I'm starting to hate the idea.

Ben Tucker

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Old Post 05-10-13 11:16PM
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dbsdbs
Swing Artist

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 319

I know there are things that need to be accomplished, but my experience is that BoD is more likely to simply ratify committee proposals/actions than to really examine/debate them. My comment was really aimed more at the idea of communication and transparency. Not sure if we only hear about things we care about or if most of us even know there are other things going on. Unfortunately, most USA curlers really do not care about anything the USCA does or even know there is a USCA and that they pay dues to that organization. USCA is in a tough spot with pressure/$$$ from USOC -- not sure I blame them for wanting to try something different [throw mud at the wall and see what sticks]. The current process just has not been very productive. Perhaps there are younger curlers in the proverbial pipeline but will USOC wait that long? Does not mean I like this new proposal but I think I understand where it comes from.

-- DBS,ibid [at least I am amused]

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Old Post 05-11-13 12:25AM
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Alice
Hitting Paint

Registered: Feb 2012
Location:
Posts: 121

Tuck, You are again so right. I love your Number 3 idea: chill and talk. No one is saying as best I can tell that USOC money (aka mostly NBC TV money) goes poof if that "proposal" isn't endorsed. So, there is time to talk. That huge percentage of an organization's annual budget.... a board simply can't delegate in good conscience such a large purchase authority without having full understandings and disclosures during a regular agendized meeting.

And, it seems some read alouds of "The Spirit of Curling" are overdue for some of the decision makers in this kerfluffle. Mindful of the Spirit's "kindly feeling" I would like to say I'm sure Mr. Rick is doing his very best.

In my dreams, if the board deadlocks, they should just do a draw the button contest to decide hard decisions. Winners buy the first round. The alternative is the board is about to be bombed by emails and telephone calls from the rank and file since the board is split on this vital issue and words are leaking out. If it weren't split, the issue would have been duly agendized and staff work endorsed as merely a boring housekeeping issue.

Hmmmm.... splitting the house. Time to change strategy?

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Old Post 05-11-13 01:14AM
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