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11-29-17 08:26AM
1manwolfpack is offline Click Here to See the Profile for 1manwolfpack Click here to Send 1manwolfpack a Private Message Find more posts by 1manwolfpack Add 1manwolfpack to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
1manwolfpack
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Mixed Doubles a Throwaway?

The Fact that nearly every player on the newly crowned Olympic Teams is also playing in the Mixed Doubles trials seems strange to me.
3 of the Men's team are playing down here: John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and Joe Polo.
4 of the Women's team: Nina Roth, Tab Peterson, Becca Hamilton and the 5th, Cory Christensen.
4 of the 8 playdown teams have already-qualified-Olympic-curlers on them. 50%!
Wouldn't you think that the powers-that-be would want our Olympic Teams thinking of nothing else but that? Not have to deal with a Mixed Doubles competition now and even possibly DURING the olympics?!
I realize that these will be played at different times - With the doubles being played after the team, I think.
Just seems to me that I'd want my teams concentrating on one thing and one thing only. I'd sure hate for either competition to become a distraction for the other...
Thoughts? Explanations?

Last edited by 1manwolfpack on 11-29-17 at 02:52PM

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11-29-17 09:17AM
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Observer
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I don't see any of our other Olympic sports worrying about this. They don't tell the Williams sisters to just concentrate on singles and not play the doubles too. Likewise they don't tell Michael Phelps, "We think you're doing too many swimming events. Just concentrate on that one, please."

You're supposed to be taxed to the limit in this, because It's the _Olympics_ . Super endurance is part of it.

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11-29-17 12:27PM
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dbsdbs
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Bottom line is that USCA only wants HP curlers playing unless somehow a non-HP curler should win a qualifying event. Hence, the discretionary picks were all HP curlers. No other consideratons matter.

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11-29-17 02:11PM
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Alice
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dbsdbs,
You've got that right.
As long as the "Warm Room Skips" have a majority of the USCA Board and the HP coaches and USCa paid staff have a majority vote on the selection committees, we'll get this HPP staffers' job protection racket of sandbagging self-formed teams. (No time for any discretionary selection appeals of mixed teams? A new low of sandbagging.) Kiss goodbye growing the sport to enable deeper depth of the competitive field for another 4 years except for those selected for HPP.
I watched closely how each USCA leader voted on the 2 rounds of Team Birr appeals - the only transparent votes in our trials system. Until our leadership stops being dictated to by Warm Room Skips, we'll continue to have these sorts of, yes, assaults against the Spirit of Curling ideals of fair play protected now only through federal right to play law for USOC.

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11-29-17 02:50PM
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1manwolfpack
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I get what you're saying, Observer, but none of these other sports face what USA Curling does. With our performances at the last two olympics being extremely subpar, they have the threat of funding being taken away and the USOC taking over the selection and training of curlers and its program.
I just don't think that doing anything that takes even a fraction away from the total concentration we have been told is necessary to compete at this level is the correct move.
All of the recent changes in National Championships, World Selections, and Olympic Prep have been to get better at the Olympics. Period. Does this accomplish that?

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11-29-17 03:34PM
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AlanMacNeill
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We want our strongest teams competing in all three disciplines.

Unfortunately, our bench is kinda thin currently (why? that's a discussion for about 100 other threads, 99 of which we've already had...),

It would save money to have the Mixed Doubles team come from the quads teams...to be honest, I'm slightly surprised the IOC didn't demand that for the nations who qualified Men's and Women's teams.

In a game with subs and 5th players, the advantage of two players knowing the ice from a competition just days before the event begins outweighs potential fatigue factors.

If the events were interspersed, the argument would be valid, but one ends, there is a day, and then the others begin...there's enough time to recharge.

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11-29-17 03:38PM
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AlanMacNeill
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quote:
Originally posted by 1manwolfpack
With our performances at the last two olympics being extremely subpar, they have the threat of funding being taken away and the USOC taking over the selection and training of curlers and its program.


Not realistically...

Shuster's performances at World's the last two years pretty much guarantee the USOC will stay on board with the USCA's plan, unless we come in DFL in all three disciplines.

The USOC doesn't demand medals, they demand a reasonable chance at medals, alternatively a big audience regardless...that's why sports like field hockey and team handball get peanuts (we're 20 years away from getting anywhere in either of those sports, if we even try), but curling (BIG ratings, even when Team USA bombs) won't get messed with.

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11-29-17 03:49PM
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Alice
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Right Alan. One overt major WCF argument to get mixed doubles into the Olympics was the potential use of 5ths for doubles to save costs on adding athlete village rooms. Another was sunk costs on the ice venue. TV revenue bump up for a new event. Expected younger and thus more TV-attractive athletes given the more intense sweeping and shorter ends. And, ironically, a big selling point to IOC a few years ago was that more nontraditional curling nationals would be there with the "new" sport. Ha! Of the eight nations qualified only Finland remains among the nontraditional countries. Canada will playdown 18 teams for their mixed berth.

Last edited by Alice on 11-29-17 at 04:11PM

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11-29-17 07:18PM
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Gerry
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For the potential drawbacks of playing both Doubles and the four-player game at the Olympics, there is definitely the trade off of having the advantage of playing games on the ice before the other teams.

As for USA, athletes have the right to play both, so the door is open for them to do so.

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12-04-17 03:54PM
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RockDoc
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In Canada, they have decided to keep M/W and mixed doubles teams separate. But they have a very deep bench of curlers.

In the US, perhaps I see why we don't do that because our HP program has strangled long-term development in favor of short-term gains. It's a choice...

Given that, the ethical and longer-term thing to do is to ensure that mixed doubles qualification is as open and transparent as possible, so we don't turn off future athletes who could excel in this sport when the current crop of curlers becomes uncompetitive. Let there be open and meaningful competition, and let the HP teams duke it out with the wannabes. If some of the wannabes wind up on top of the qualification process, then good for the USA!

If we don't subject our system to rigorous competition within AND without, then the process becomes an uncompetitive, self-fulfilling prophecy. We need lots of young pups nipping at the tails of the top dogs--then everyone gets better.

Mixed doubles is an opportunity to recruit an entire new generation of curlers to the game, ones that might find the fast-paced action of mixed doubles more appealing than traditional men's and women's curling. Consider how many smaller curling countries are excelling in this discipline, even though they are unable to achieve the same level of excellence in traditional curling.

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