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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 2574

2017 Arena

Arena championships are just around the corner. Notre Dame this year...pretty cool.

I suppose for the Men's side everyone with half a brain will pick (yawn) Dallas with Knott and Nicky Bling Bling and the Grafton ND Sando kid. Fortunately, I'm just shy of half a brain and I'm going shopping for a longshot.

I should pick someone outside of Knott's pool so I have a better chance of making the playoffs and perhaps temporarily looking smart. In the past, I have fruitlessly picked the Oklahoma team in a vain effort to get free appetizers at a curler's pub. No free apps, so I'm not making that mistake again. Galas looks like a contender.

However, I'm fearless. So I'm taking a real longshot with a team in Knott's Pool of Death. I am NOT taking the powerful St. Louis 1 team. I'm rolling the dice and picking the St. Louis 2 Davis rink. Yep. I'm betting on the infant kidney doctor. (sidenote: is it not a touch bizarre to not only specialize in kidneys; but infant kidneys?) Scoff if you wish; but that's my pick.

The Women's side looks pretty wide open. California, Michigan and Pennsylvania seem set to do well. I'm going away from the favorites again here and picking a longshot. If the Witzke on the Men's side can't arrange free OKC food, maybe the Oklahoma Merrifield team can set me up. If not, then my backup pick will be Borowiak Windy City team. They are represented in Congress by Bill Foster who may be The World's Most Interesting Man. Rep. Bill was on the Fermilab team that worked with neutrinos AND the team that proved the top quark AND he's a member of congress. Borowiak may have physics on their side.

So no boring picks here. Longshots only. Baby Kidney Doctor in the Men's and OKC in the Women's if they bribe me...Fermilab Windy City gals if OKC doesn't bribe me.

Ben Tucker (Can I be bought for onion rings? Yes, if they are really good onion rings)

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Old Post 04-21-17 10:58PM
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markwngo
Knee-Slider

Registered: Jun 2014
Location:
Posts: 2

Mark from Team Oklahoma here. If you come to Oklahoma, we'll get you some apps and the first 2 beers.

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Old Post 04-23-17 01:13PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

tuck, do you have a listing of the final teams? I have not seen anyting posted yet. There was a list back from December, but no clubs had 2 teams. But somewhere along the line without an official request being sent out, 2 clubs now have 2 teams.

But outside of that, on the mens side, the last few years the front runners have been Dallas, Pittsburgh & Cincinnati. On the womens side, SF has been very solid, and I think Pittsburgh, but cant recall outside of that.

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Old Post 04-23-17 03:58PM
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dontburntherock
Knee-Slider

Registered: Mar 2017
Location:
Posts: 1

quote:
Originally posted by curlky
tuck, do you have a listing of the final teams? I have not seen anyting posted yet. There was a list back from December, but no clubs had 2 teams. But somewhere along the line without an official request being sent out, 2 clubs now have 2 teams.



I'm not Tuck, but here you go: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/...Competing-Teams

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Old Post 04-23-17 11:32PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

OK, .looking at the pools for this years arena championships, the men's event I would not call super balanced. Format for those4 unfamiliar is 20 mens teams, 4 pools, 5 in each pool. Top 2 in each pool advnace to an 8 team playoff. Based upon last years results, this is what you will see

Pool 1 - 2 returning playoff teams
Pool 2 - 4 returning playoff teams
Pool 3 - 2 returning playoff teams
Pool 4 - 0 returning playoff teams

Making Pool 2 the group of death. SO my early predictions for playoffs will be

Houston & Wine Country
SF & Cincinnati
Pittsburgh & Dallas
Vikingland & ???maybe Circle City

On the womens side, there are 3 pools, 2 with 5 teams 1 with 4. I am guessing that 6 teams will make the playoffs so my picks are

San Francisco & ???Cincinnati
Pittsburgh & ???Lone Star
Oklahoma & Circle City

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Old Post 04-24-17 12:04AM
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SFCurler
Knee-Slider

Registered: Apr 2017
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1

On the women's side, last year SFBACC sent three teams. All three made the playoffs and team Walsh won the event for the second year in a row.

This year, all three of last year's skips went for different/more competitive big events in the spring (Club Nationals and the Pacific International Cup) and the club had to scramble to find four women to send to arenas... the new scheduling for the women's half of the event didn't help. (FYI, organizers, a mid-week only event is not attractive to women with jobs. It also strikes some of us in the liberal Bay Area as mildly sexist that, in contrast, the men essentially get a weekend spiel.) I wouldn't look for the SF women to be as dominant as in the past... but I'm rooting for them!

Oklahoma, Cincinnati, and Circle City are probably the strongest returning teams, looking at the rosters, with my overall pick going to Oklahoma. Sarah Wruck out of Kansas City is also pretty solid. Beyond those teams, the field seems pretty wide open.

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Old Post 04-24-17 04:57AM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

SFCurler, I am not sure I am on board with the sexist angle that you bring, but do see your point. I think the intent of the organizers was somewhat logical, to try to minimize the number of days for each event (thus saving you money on hotels), and I think that was pure. But once it got to paper to make a schedule, the idea fell apart and became nonsense. And its not a men's weekend spiel, they still have to be there on Wednesday, 1 day after the ladies, but I do understand your point.

Thanks for the updates on your ladies teams. Sorry to hear that past players could not make it.

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Old Post 04-24-17 11:02AM
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Grat
Hitting Paint

Registered: Mar 2014
Location:
Posts: 101

I agree that the schedule was well intended, but I don't think much was gained. Men have practice Wednesday morning so you have to travel Tuesday. If you plan your travel based on playing for a medal you can't get a flight until Monday morning, so it's still 6 nights of hotels. And the men still average 1 round robin game per day.

Another, but more expensive way to do it is start the women on Saturday, overlap the end of the women's with the men's midweek, then finish the men's event earlier on Sunday. This is a better playing and travel schedule, but you lose some of the comraderie between the men's and women's teams, and tax your volunteers more.

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Old Post 04-24-17 12:47PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

quote:
Originally posted by Grat
Another, but more expensive way to do it is start the women on Saturday, overlap the end of the women's with the men's midweek, then finish the men's event earlier on Sunday. This is a better playing and travel schedule, but you lose some of the comraderie between the men's and women's teams, and tax your volunteers more.


Problem with only 15 womens teams (actually they have 14 I think but lets just say 15) is that with 5 sheets, 10 teams play at a time. SO that means a guarantee that half of the teams will play back to back every draw, and there be no time to broom stack, and I think that every team will play 3 draws every day. Its either that, or you have unused ice, which when you are renting arena ice, is a bad thing for the ice to just sit. PLus, I think the entire womens event would have taken only 2 days if they play that way

It all comes down to the fact that with 35 teams and 5 sheets, if you mix the events, you have each team having not much each day, and feeling like they have way too much free time. But if you keep the events separate, then at least on the womens side, the schedule is crazy stupid, making it hard to enjoy.

Last edited by curlky on 04-24-17 at 03:28PM

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Old Post 04-24-17 03:09PM
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biterbar
Drawmaster

Registered: Mar 2009
Location:
Posts: 554

If you're going to set the field at 35 or 36 teams you can't complain about scheduling. That is a lot of teams. Looks like the popularity may call for some regional thinning.

My guess is we are going to see some blowouts, thin the herd a little or take what you get.

__________________
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire"-Winston Churchill

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Old Post 04-24-17 07:32PM
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Phil_D
Drawmaster

Registered: May 2014
Location: Joliet, IL
Posts: 584

quote:
Originally posted by tuck
Arena championships are just around the corner. Notre Dame this year...pretty cool.

I suppose for the Men's side everyone with half a brain will pick (yawn) Dallas with Knott and Nicky Bling Bling and the Grafton ND Sando kid. Fortunately, I'm just shy of half a brain and I'm going shopping for a longshot.

I should pick someone outside of Knott's pool so I have a better chance of making the playoffs and perhaps temporarily looking smart. In the past, I have fruitlessly picked the Oklahoma team in a vain effort to get free appetizers at a curler's pub. No free apps, so I'm not making that mistake again. Galas looks like a contender.

However, I'm fearless. So I'm taking a real longshot with a team in Knott's Pool of Death. I am NOT taking the powerful St. Louis 1 team. I'm rolling the dice and picking the St. Louis 2 Davis rink. Yep. I'm betting on the infant kidney doctor. (sidenote: is it not a touch bizarre to not only specialize in kidneys; but infant kidneys?) Scoff if you wish; but that's my pick.

The Women's side looks pretty wide open. California, Michigan and Pennsylvania seem set to do well. I'm going away from the favorites again here and picking a longshot. If the Witzke on the Men's side can't arrange free OKC food, maybe the Oklahoma Merrifield team can set me up. If not, then my backup pick will be Borowiak Windy City team. They are represented in Congress by Bill Foster who may be The World's Most Interesting Man. Rep. Bill was on the Fermilab team that worked with neutrinos AND the team that proved the top quark AND he's a member of congress. Borowiak may have physics on their side.

So no boring picks here. Longshots only. Baby Kidney Doctor in the Men's and OKC in the Women's if they bribe me...Fermilab Windy City gals if OKC doesn't bribe me.

Ben Tucker (Can I be bought for onion rings? Yes, if they are really good onion rings)



Tuck, thanks for your vote(s) of confidence for our team(s)...not sure how much weight it holds, but thanks nonetheless!

__________________
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Co-host of the NerdCurl podcast & occasional blogger.

http://www.nerdcurl.com

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Old Post 04-24-17 08:55PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

quote:
Originally posted by biterbar
If you're going to set the field at 35 or 36 teams you can't complain about scheduling. That is a lot of teams. Looks like the popularity may call for some regional thinning.

My guess is we are going to see some blowouts, thin the herd a little or take what you get.



Your comments arent wrong. Arena curling is a tough thing to figure out what to do with for any regional thinning. A playdown on regular week to week ice is not really a true measure of playing down. Assuming two teams with similar skill, even if not even, is won by which ever team finds the best zamboni tracks to follow more so that the highest skill. This is what has lead to a larger field. They have enough demand that some clubs get left out.

As for the blowouts, they do happen. But they went from a bonspiel style bracket to qualify to a round robin pool play to try to level that out, and I think that is a good thing for the event. But of course, you can say the same about blowouts in any event, even at the nationals.

But the reality of the Arena championships is that clubs that have players who used to curl at dedicated ice in years past tend to be the best teams at the event. The clubs that send players who have only curled on arena ice except for going to some bonspiels are trying ot catch up. But, the event is a great thing, and is good for everyone there.

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Old Post 04-24-17 09:03PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 2574

Oh, Phil. Philly, Philly D, Phil, Phil, Phil. "...not sure how much weight it holds"??? Oh, Phil.

Ben Tucker (just kidding)

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Old Post 04-24-17 09:33PM
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southerncurler
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jan 2015
Location:
Posts: 60

Does anyone have any idea why curl Troy and St. Louis each got two men's teams? Two teams dropped out from the initial list but no communication went out asking for second teams like happened for the women's side when a team dropped out.

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Old Post 04-25-17 01:08AM
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biterbar
Drawmaster

Registered: Mar 2009
Location:
Posts: 554

Perhaps the regions could get some ice time at dedicated clubs for regional play downs? A shorter travel time than everyone heading to Nationals.

It is a tough situation and as the Arena membership grows it needs to be addressed. It may need to go to the team count and schedule of Club Nationals, how many teams tried out and didn't make nationals?

__________________
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire"-Winston Churchill

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Old Post 04-25-17 09:49AM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

quote:
Originally posted by southerncurler
Does anyone have any idea why curl Troy and St. Louis each got two men's teams? Two teams dropped out from the initial list but no communication went out asking for second teams like happened for the women's side when a team dropped out.


I alluded to this in an earlier post. No answer. Selfishly I had a team ready for that request to be sent out, but never saw it

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Old Post 04-25-17 10:33AM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

quote:
Originally posted by biterbar
Perhaps the regions could get some ice time at dedicated clubs for regional play downs? A shorter travel time than everyone heading to Nationals.

It is a tough situation and as the Arena membership grows it needs to be addressed. It may need to go to the team count and schedule of Club Nationals, how many teams tried out and didn't make nationals?



With regional playdowns, most regions rotate the club where playdowns will take place. This is accepted by membership because they know their membership loses ice time 1 year when playdowns come, but the next year the same things happens are other clubs. The system is logical and works.

With arena curling, the issue is that arena clubs have nothing to offer than anyone else in a dedicated club actually wants in trade. So the dedicated ice clubs have no real incentive to allow the use of their ice time and prevent their own membership from use of the ice time they pay for. For my clubs internal playdowns, we are fortunate enough that a club with dedicated ice about 2 hours away allows us to use their ice at a low usage time (ie early on a Sunday) for our club to send a couple teams to have a club play down for a spot. But I'm not sure if many arena clubs are that lucky. If you look at the map of curling clubs, basically any arena club west of the Mississippi that is not next to WI, MN, or ND have no real options on a dedicated club to go to.

This is a complicated issue for a great event that is not understood very much by people from dedicated clubs.

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Old Post 04-25-17 10:41AM
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USAnewbie
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 41

quote:
Originally posted by southerncurler
Does anyone have any idea why curl Troy and St. Louis each got two men's teams? Two teams dropped out from the initial list but no communication went out asking for second teams like happened for the women's side when a team dropped out.


An email was sent out by Christy Hering on 2/7/17 asking for an additional men's team. At that time there was one open spot, at which St. Louis CC was the first to respond...thus they were granted the open spot. Subsequently, there was a second team that dropped out later, so Christy took the second club that responded to the intial request on 2/7/17, Curl Troy, and they were granted the second spot.

You will have to contact her as to who the email on 2/7/17 was distributed to.

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Old Post 04-25-17 11:51AM
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USAnewbie
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 41

In order for this event to gain respect and lift up the level of competition, a regional playdown system must be implemented. Right now the only playdown, if any, is done at the club level to determine the club representative. What happens when the #2 or #3 or #4 team (which yes, there are some clubs that have 4 teams playing down for one spot) at a certain club is better than the #1 team at another club which scrambled to just throw a team together? There is no way to account for this at the current team selection process. That is why there are several blow-out games in the round robin stage.

With the other playdown systems, club nationals, ect. if a region is allocated a second spot, that second spot goes to the second best team at that region, which may or may not be at the same club. Heck even college nationals has a system where teams have to accumulate points to earn a spot into the championship.

Again, I understand that this event was initially created as a developmental event, but improvement can be made to make this a legitimate national championship event

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Old Post 04-25-17 01:06PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
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USAnewbie, What is your proposal for how to improve the event, and how to pay for it? Keep in mind that arena ice rents for $250 per hour on average, or $500 for 1 draw time. Couple that with the fact that most arena will not give arena clubs more than 2 consecutive hours, maybe 4. This becomes a complicated project to create a regional playdown system for the event. Not insurmountable, just challenging.

I am 100% confident that this is a great event, and needs to take place. I am also certain that they are trying to figure out how to improve the event every year. When it first started, the goal was for 16 mens and 16 womens teams. But demand ultimately showed that there was a bit more demand on the mens side rather than the womens, so the event has been reconfigured for 20 mens teams and 15 womens teams. This was not done out of sexism, just out of the number of clubs that signed up. I assume once the demand evens out, or swings towards more women, the event will slightly change at that point as well.

But if you want to know why there are blowouts, first I say that blowouts happen in any event. Second, as I said previously, it just comes down to which US Arena Curling Club has the most transplants of people who grew up curling at a dedicated club, and have moved to a new area.

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Old Post 04-25-17 02:53PM
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USAnewbie
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 41

quote:
Originally posted by curlky
USAnewbie, What is your proposal for how to improve the event, and how to pay for it? Keep in mind that arena ice rents for $250 per hour on average, or $500 for 1 draw time. Couple that with the fact that most arena will not give arena clubs more than 2 consecutive hours, maybe 4. This becomes a complicated project to create a regional playdown system for the event. Not insurmountable, just challenging.

I am 100% confident that this is a great event, and needs to take place. I am also certain that they are trying to figure out how to improve the event every year. When it first started, the goal was for 16 mens and 16 womens teams. But demand ultimately showed that there was a bit more demand on the mens side rather than the womens, so the event has been reconfigured for 20 mens teams and 15 womens teams. This was not done out of sexism, just out of the number of clubs that signed up. I assume once the demand evens out, or swings towards more women, the event will slightly change at that point as well.

But if you want to know why there are blowouts, first I say that blowouts happen in any event. Second, as I said previously, it just comes down to which US Arena Curling Club has the most transplants of people who grew up curling at a dedicated club, and have moved to a new area.



My Proposal as mentioned above is to have a regional playdown system. It would be up to the region to determine the nature of the playdown, just like the other championship event. The ones that are participating would be the ones that would be covering the costs (whether it be ice time, or regional playdown association fees, etc). Those that are truly interested in participating would take the necessary steps and pay the necessary fees to participate.

I just have a hard time comprehending that the 20 best arena teams are competing for the title when some clubs throw together a team while other clubs have several teams playdown. The #2 or #3 team may be better than the #1 team of another club. Through a regional playdown system, this would be solved.

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Last edited by USAnewbie on 04-25-17 at 03:16PM

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Old Post 04-25-17 03:00PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

quote:
Originally posted by USAnewbie
I just have a hard time comprehending that the 20 best arena teams are competing for the title when some clubs throw together a team while other clubs have several teams playdown. The #2 or #3 team may be better than the #1 team of another club. Through a regional playdown system, this would be solved.


I will do the math on what it would cost to do an 8 team playdown at arena curling price and get back to you, and as I said there is no guarantee that you can get that many consecutive hours at an arena, and that playdown will be done on zamboni ice, which proves nothing (you will understand this if you have ever played arena curling and not understand it if you have no experience with it). But you are missing that the Arena National Championship also has a secondary goal. And that is to give as many arena curlers as possible (ie arena clubs as possible) the chance to do something that they reasonably cannot achieve, and that is to play on truly championship ice. In the long run, it is better for the sport to send 20 different arena clubs to the arena championships rather than the 20 best teams. I know this statement might be controversial, but what can I say. SOmewhat related in Canada, they dont send the top 12 teams (or soon to be 14) to the Brier/Scotties. They send 1 team from each region (plus 3 bonus teams in the upcoming year), regardless of how good or bad each region is. Maybe at the SCotties and Brier it is not as noticed, but at Juniors it is very noticed with how a team from Nunavut might fair against a team from Ontario.

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Old Post 04-25-17 05:11PM
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USAnewbie
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 41

quote:
Originally posted by curlky


I will do the math on what it would cost to do an 8 team playdown at arena curling price and get back to you.



Why does the playdown have to happen at an arena club? Can't the playdown happen at a dedicated facility earlier in the year just like all the other playdown events?

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Old Post 04-25-17 06:52PM
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curlky
Drawmaster

Registered: Oct 2013
Location:
Posts: 501

quote:
Originally posted by USAnewbie
Why does the playdown have to happen at an arena club? Can't the playdown happen at a dedicated facility earlier in the year just like all the other playdown events?


Some regions maybe, but look at this map

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/Clubs/Find-a-Club

If you are west of the mississippi river, adn not north in MN or WI, where do you go. Lets say you are in Texas, or LA, not a lot of dedicated options. Plus, for clubs like mine that are close to some dedicated ice, what incentive do they have to let us use the ice their membership pays for and uses. We have nothing in trade we can give them, and they just might not have ice time available.

But none of that is all that important. This is a great event, and outside of some blowouts, there is some pretty competitive curling being played. Maybe its not Olympci level, but very high level.

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Old Post 04-25-17 10:03PM
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CurlingGeek
Swing Artist

Registered: Apr 2011
Location:
Posts: 203

We have a few volunteers on site sharing games from the arena throughout the weekend. Follow along here:

http://games.curlinggeek.com

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Old Post 04-26-17 11:11AM
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