High Performance communication

By USA Curling | Aug. 24, 2018, 4:32 p.m. (ET)

High Performance Communication

The USA Curling High Performance Advisory Group includes Athletes’ Advisory Council members, USCA Board members and USCA High Performance staff. During the High Performance Advisory Group Planning meeting held in May, the following process was agreed upon in principle for the Men’s and Women’s World Championships qualification from 2019-2022.  The USCA will set minimum qualification standards where winners of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Championships will represent USA at the World Championships if they have reached the stated qualification standards and meet standard USCA eligibility requirements:

Definitions/clarifications:

  • Order of Merit (OOM) – The rolling ranking system used by the World Curling Tour to rank teams
  • Order of Merit Year to Date (OOM YTD) – The single year ranking system used by the World Curling Tour to rank teams
  • As of means “at the time of, or on the day of.” For example, “Be within the Top 100 on the WCT Order of Merit as of Jan. 31, 2019, means that teams must be ranked within the Top 100 on Jan. 31, 2019

Men’s and Women’s World Championship Qualification 2019-2022

  • 2019 – Teams must have achieved at least one of the following by Jan. 31, 2019:
    • 40 World Curling Tour (WCT) Order of Merit points (or points equivalent subject to OOM changes) from the start of the 2018-19 season.
    • Be within the Top 100 on the WCT Order of Merit as of Jan. 31, 2019.
    • Be within the Top 100 on the WCT Order of Merit Year-to-date as of Jan. 31, 2019.
  • 2020 – Teams must have achieved at least one of the following by Jan. 31, 2020:
    • 60 WCT Order of Merit points (or points equivalent subject to OOM changes) from the start of 2019-20 season.
    • Be within the Top 70 on the WCT Order of Merit as of Jan. 31, 2020.
    • Be within the Top 70 on the WCT Order of Merit Year-to-date as of Jan. 31, 2020
  • 2021 – Teams must have achieved at least one of the following by Jan. 31, 2021:
    • 80 WCT Order of Merit points (or points equivalent subject to OOM changes) from the start of 2020-21 season.
    • Be within the Top 50 on the WCT Order of Merit as of Jan. 31, 2021.
    • Be within the Top 50 on the WCT Order of Merit Year-to-date as of Jan. 31, 2021.
  • 2022 – Teams must have achieved at least one of the following by Jan. 31, 2022:
    • 40 WCT Order of Merit points (or points equivalent subject to OOM changes) from the start of 2021-22 season.
    • Be within the Top 100 on the WCT Order of Merit as of Jan. 31, 2022.
    • Be within the Top 100 on the WCT Order of Merit Year-to-date as of Jan. 31 2022.

    In the event that a team that has not reached the minimum standards wins the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Championships, then the USCA will revert to the points system which has been in place since 2014 and as detailed in the current rule book. The qualification standards were set and agreed upon to have a progressively higher threshold in Olympic Qualification Points years (2020 and 2021) and a lower threshold in non-Olympic Qualification Points years.

    There will be Men’s and Women’s National Championship entries reserved for one junior men’s and one junior women’s team each year, with those teams to be designated by the Junior Director of High Performance.

    Mixed Doubles National Championship 2019

    During the High Performance Advisory Group Planning meeting held in May, and subsequent follow-up discussions with the AAC Chairman, the following format was discussed for the 2019 Mixed Doubles National Championship.  The USCA AAC Chairman did not agree with a wildcard pick, but due to scheduling conflicts, the Director of High Performance has decided there will be one wildcard pick, made by the Director of Coaching if he deems it necessary (details below). The winner of the U.S. Mixed Doubles National Championship will represent USA at the 2019 World Mixed Doubles Championship in Norway.

    Host Site – Granite Curling Club, Seattle

    Dates – Feb. 27-March 3, 2019

    Challenge Round dates – Dec. 19-23 (exact dates subject to number of entries)

    Challenge Round Site - TBD

    Number of teams at National Championship – 12

    Qualification Process:

  • 2018 National Champions receive a bye
  • 2018 U.S. Olympic Mixed Doubles Team receives a bye
  • Two berth bonspiels from U.S. Mixed Doubles tournaments, with the top USA team at each event qualifying. Berth bonspiels will be reviewed annually, but for 2019 we will be using the following events:
    • Madison, Wis. – Nov. 2-4, 2018
    • Duluth, Minn. – Nov. 25-27, 2018
  • The top two eligible USA teams not already qualified will qualify on WCT Order of Merit rankings as of Nov. 30, 2018
  • The top two eligible USA teams not already qualified will qualify on WCT Order of Merit Year-to-Date rankings as of Nov. 30, 2018
  • Order of Merit rankings will be considered first, Order of Merit Year to Date will be considered second.
  • The Director of Coaching has the right to add a wildcard team on or about Nov. 30, 2018, due to event conflicts which may prevent some of the most competitive U.S. Mixed Doubles teams from competing in other qualifying events. If the wildcard is not utilized, then an additional qualifying spot will be included in the Challenge Round.
  • Three or four teams will qualify from the Mixed Doubles Challenge Round, depending on the wildcard selection as noted above.

Also agreed upon in principle at the planning meeting were the selection processes for the following international competitions, subject to their continuation in their current format and USA receiving invitations to enter teams:

  • Continental Cup 2020-2022 – USA World Championship representatives from the previous season. Any changes from the original team roster/lineup will be subject to approval by the USCA High Performance Director and CEO.
  • WCF Curling World Cup series – The three highest ranked USA teams on the Order of Merit at the end of the previous season will receive the invitations. The highest ranked teams will receive first choice of which of the initial three Cups they would like to attend, the second highest ranked teams will receive the second choice, and the third ranked teams will receive the third choice. This is also subject to the teams retaining a minimum of three of four original players. If any team(s) decline these invitations then the HPP will decide who the invitation(s) will go to.
  • Curling Night in America – The USCA and event partners (WCF and TV partners) reserve the right to invite any USA teams that they determine best suit the objectives of the event and partners, including for competitive, commercial and broadcast purposes.

    During the High Performance Advisory Group Planning meeting, the following formats and timelines were agreed upon in principle for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling (subject to change with further discussion and formal development of the team selection procedures). For all disciplines, the winners of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent USA at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (subject to USA qualifying).

    Men’s and Women’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials 2022

    Number of teams at Olympic Trials – TBD

    Timelines – Trials will tentatively take place in November 2021. A Pre-Trials qualification event will tentatively take place in late April/early May 2021 (more details below).

    Qualification process summary:

    A small U.S. Olympic Team Selection Procedures Committee will develop the Trials procedures in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee, and taking into consideration the advisory group’s agreements in principle: 

  • There would be a high qualification standard set by the committee, similar to the 2018 selection procedures.
  • The field would be small (2-4 teams), with the understanding that the field could increase if more teams meet the high qualification standards.
  • There would be a Pre-Trials qualification event from which one team of each gender would qualify for the Trials. A minimum standard of Top 100 on the Order of Merit at the end of season 2020-21 will be required for entry into the Pre-Trials.
  • There would be no discretionary team selection for the Trials unless there are extenuating circumstances. It should be noted that the USCA Athletes’ Advisory Council has stated that it is firmly against discretionary team selections.

Mixed Doubles U.S. Olympic Team Trials 2022

 Number of teams at Trials – 8

Timelines – Trials will tentatively take place in early March 2021.Qualification Process:

  • Top 4 teams from the 2020 U.S. Mixed Doubles National Championship would qualify
  • There would be three qualification spots from established U.S. Mixed Doubles tournaments in season 2019-20, and the top USA team (non-qualified) at each event would qualify for the Trials.
  • There would be no discretionary team selection for the Trials unless there are extenuating circumstances. It should be noted that the USCA Athletes’ Advisory Council has stated that it is firmly against discretionary team selections.

Non-High Performance Teams Order of Merit Opportunity 2018-19

The USCA will provide a performance incentive bonus of $5,000 (tournament funding) to the top-ranked teams not in the USCA High Performance Program (one men’s and one women’s) on the Order of Merit Year-to-Date as of Dec. 31, 2018. The USCA will also continue to provide $5,000 in tournament funding to the two teams (one men’s and one women’s) who win the National Championships for the purpose of competing in the Champions Cup Grand Slam. If the eligible team(s) decline(s) to compete in the Champions Cup Grand Slam, that funding will be forfeited. [Edited to add this sentence on 9/20/2018: Points from the U.S. Open, which concludes on 12/31, will count toward the points totals for teams.]

High Performance Outreach Ambassador

The USCA has appointed 2018 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Tyler George as an ambassador for High Performance and Member Services. Tyler will spend time in an advisory capacity to assist teams just outside of the HP Program, and will also spend some time at the home club of these teams to meet with members.  As part of this new role, Tyler will be attending and presenting at the USCA Members’ Assembly in Albany, N.Y., Oct. 12-14, 2018. He will also be advising the current U.S. Mixed National Champions during a training weekend as they prepare to compete in the upcoming World Mixed Championship. Further opportunities have yet to be confirmed.