USA Curling Members' Assembly (2017)

Below you will find a summary of sessions, including some accompanying materials, from the 2017 USA Curling Members’ Assembly (St. Paul, Minn.). Presentations are designed to prompt questions and discussion. We encourage you to attend future USA Curling Members’ Assemblies to learn from the experience of and share your knowledge with curlers from across the nation.

Annual USA Curling Members’ Meeting

Rich Lepping, Chairman, U.S. Curling Association Board of Directors

Gordon Maclean, Secretary, U.S. Curling Association

Rick Patzke, CEO, and additional USA Curling Staff Members

Have you ever asked, “What has the USCA done for us this year?” Presentations on the High Performance Program, Operations, Competitions, Member Services, Growth & Development, Communications, and more will highlight the organization’s achievements over the past season and look toward future possibilities. New member clubs will be welcomed into the organization and all items requiring Member voting will be addressed.


Benefits of Hosting National Events

Jenny Biadasz, USA Curling                                     

Kevin Madsen, Glacial Ridge Curling Club

Rick Patzke, USA Curling

Amelia Young, Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club

Has your club thought about hosting a national championship or other national event? Is your board concerned about making a profit or finding enough volunteers? Do you have questions about sponsorships? This session will address the potential benefits of hosting national events including a chance to profit financially, promoting your club to the larger community, gaining insight and expertise from USA Curling’s certified ice technicians, and more.

  • Event Hosting Information

    Capitalizing on the Olympic Winter Games 2018

    Kim Nawyn, USA Curling

    The 2018 Olympic Winter Games are just a few months away. This session will discuss effective recruiting techniques used around the country and how your club can capitalize on the “Olympic bump” this season. We encourage you to bring your creativity to this interactive session.

    Choosing the Right Equipment

    Gary Suslavich, BroomsUp Curling Supplies

    Have you thought about whether you purchased or are considering the right equipment for yourself? Are you recommending the best options to new curlers? Education and knowledge is power! Gain a better understanding of the latest developments happening in curling equipment with Gary Suslavich of Brooms Up Curling Supplies. In this informative session, you will learn the pros and cons of different slider thicknesses and the various materials used in broom handles. Since Brooms Up is an independently owned and operated business, the pros and cons of each major manufacturer (Asham, BalancePlus,  Goldline, Hardline and Olson) will be covered in an honest and straight forward way.

  • BroomsUp Curling Supplies

    Don’t Sweep Aside the Risks

    Marty Lemert, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

    Volunteers are the lifeblood of every curling club. Whether your club relies solely on volunteers or has paid employees, clubs need to be aware of the potential legal risks they pose to the organization, especially if they work with vulnerable populations such as youth or special needs curlers. Don’t miss this interactive and practical session designed to discuss the risks and steps your club can take to safeguard itself. 


  • Risks - Lemert

    Moving from an Arena to Dedicated Ice: Dakota Curling

    Darcy Ellarby, Dakota Curling

    John Larson, Dakota Curling

    Have you ever thought about what it takes to convert an existing building to dedicated ice? Are you wondering how your club is going to pay for major renovations to its current dedicated ice facility? Darcy Ellarby and John Larson of Dakota Curling will guide participants through the process of retrofitting a building to host curling, including the funding process. Participants are encouraged to ask questions.


  • Dakota Curling – Ellarby and Larson

    Retaining Olympic Recruits

    Steven O’Keefe, Wausau Curling Club

    Lon Peper, Cedar Rapids Curling Club

    It is never too early to think about retaining your new recruits. Getting new curlers more involved in club life (e.g., volunteering), improving their skills (e.g., training opportunities for second/third year curlers), and ensuring there is an obvious pathway to transition from a rookie league to an experienced league are a few ways that clubs have worked to keep newer curlers interested in the sport. Members of this panel will discuss recruiting challenges and successes. 

    Stones! Stones! Stones!

    Kimberly Tuck, Canada Curling Stone Co.

    Curling stones are one of the most important aspects of the game. But, players often have little knowledge of the stones with which they are playing at their home club, bonspiels, or event championship events. This session will touch upon the various types of stones on the market and  what clubs need to do to keep their stones in top condition.


  • Canada Curling Stone

    Strategy and Tactics Workshop

    Bill Tschirhart, Author of “A Pane in the Glass: A Coach’s Companion”

    Strategy is about planning the right shots. Tactics is about playing those shots right. Teams often make good plans, but end up abandoning those plans mid-game or lack understanding about how to implement the plan effectively. In this workshop, you will be taught how to discover your team’s strengths and how to use those to plan effective strategy and tactics. All participants will receive the information they need to go back to their home clubs and continue working with the teams on which they play or coach. 

    Tips from the Top: Preparing for Competitions

    Dean Gemmell, U.S. Men’s National Champion, co-author “Fit to Curl”

    Mark Lazar, USA Curling Junior High Performance Coach

    Jessica Schultz, Two-time Olympian, multiple U.S. Women’s National Champion

    Do you want to improve your mental and/or physical preparation for bonspiels or play downs? Learning how to perform optimally can be a challenge. Athletes who have experience competing at National and World level events will discuss the techniques they use to prepare.

    Training Tips from Jon and Bev

    Jon Mielke, USCA Hall of Fame/U.S. Curling News Columnist

    Bev Schroeder, USA Curling Junior High Performance Coach

    The popular U.S. Curling News column "Training Tips From Jon" debuted in 2011. Since then, topics such as delivery, timing, sweeping, strategy, and much more have been discussed. During this session, top coaches and instructors, Jon Mielke and Bev Schroeder, will focus on your interests and questions.


  • Training Tips – Mielke and Schroeder

    Using Technology to Enhance Club Management

    Darcy Ellarby, Dakota Curling

    Did you know the internet is full of free and inexpensive tools you can use to manage your club?  This session will introduce a variety of tools you can use to manage league registration, sell tickets to learn to curl classes and other events, organize volunteers, and develop a professional looking website.  An open discussion will be included at the end of the session for attendees to cross-share their own creative ways to incorporate technology into club management.

    Using Video to Promote Your Club

    Matt Gamboa, Hollywood Curling Club

    Video can be an effective and inexpensive way to promote your curling club to members of the public. During this session, ways in which video can be used to make an impact on your club’s website and social media without a large financial investment will be discussed. (NOTE: USA Curling is producing a club-based commercial for use by Member Clubs this season)

    What Are You Thinking?!?! Sports Psychology for Curlers

    Bill Tschirhart, Author of “A Pane in the Glass: A Coach’s Companion”

    Most of what goes into making a shot happens before you ever get into the hack. Curler inconsistency is not always because of lack of good technical skill. It is often psychological. Curlers already possess all of the tools that they need to become more consistent performers. This session will help curlers tap into their hidden potential by asking the question, “what are you thinking?” 

    Why Clubs Should Care about Casual Fans

    Jack Reeves, Casual.Fans

    Since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the sport of curling has been growing - in the United States and around the world. Most of the people who consider themselves fans of curling have never stepped foot on the ice - and probably never will. But they will watch on TV, stream online, buy curling-related merchandise, and lend their support to competitive curlers at the local and, especially, national levels. This session will focus on the important role that fans play in the growth of curling in the United States, and the opportunity for clubs to engage fans in new ways. It will feature discussion of new, exclusive research on curling fans and how clubs can use this knowledge to sell sponsorship opportunities to local and/or regional businesses and more

    Casual Fans - Reeves

    Why Nutritional Supplements Should Matter to All Curlers

    Wesley Barnett, Thorne Supplements

    Are you getting the nutrients you need to perform your best on the ice? Many Americans are too busy to eat balanced meals every day, but still expect their bodies to excel in sports, manage stress, and prevent disease.  Wesley Barnett, Vice President of Thorne Nutritional Supplements, the official nutritional supplement partner of USA Curling and 11 other Olympic sports, will address who they are, what they do, and why supplements are important to curlers at all levels of the sport.

  Thorne Research

Additional Information: