Recently, USA Curling’s board of directors voted to remove the regional association representing clubs in the Eastern United States, the Grand National Curling Club. We dive into why this happened, what this means, possible resolutions and the next steps for the two organizations. Joining us are Kristen Conrad, vice chair of the GNCC board of directors, and Dean Gemmell, USA Curling’s director of curling development.
In this episode we discuss the fragmented state of curling live streams and how it mirrors the world of streaming overall. What will the future hold for live streaming of curling events, both on tour and at the national and world level? Also in this episode:
- Olympic qualifiers
- Canadian Pre-Trials
- British Curling’s team selections
- World Wheelchair Curling Championships
- USA Curling’s updated transgender participation policy and guidance
Lots of excited news from around the curling news to discuss. We start in the US where the Southern California Curling Center hosted Team USA and the Late Late Show with James Corden. We also have news from curling center that either just opened or will soon across the US in San Francisco, Austin, Nashville and suburban Denver. Internationally, we talk about the Pre-Olympic Qualification Event and the team that will be noticeably absent from the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships. We also take time to answer some of your questions and even spend some time talking about some of the world’s best curlers and the upcoming Grand Slam of Curling Events.
Jonathan and Ryan discuss the news out of the World Curling Federation’s Annual General Assembly. First, the rule changes that will be tested at the 2022 World Curling Championships. Does the version of the game we see on TV need to match what we experience at curling centers? Are we over-complicating things for potential first-time viewers? Next, the new Pan-Continental Curling Championships that will help determine future fields at World Championships. What major improvement do we think should be implemented to make this system better? Finally, we touch on other curling news from Poland, the USA and Canada.
How do you watch the Tim Horton’s Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts in the United States? What’s the difference between ESPN+ and ESPN3? We have the answers for you in this brief video explainer. The answer is that if you’re viewing this webpage in the U.S. you very likely have access to live streams of the Brier and the Scotties. If you enjoyed this content, consider checking out our podcast episodes!
What does it mean to be a member of USA Curling? What benefits does an individual or club get from membership? That’s now in the process of changing. USA Curling is rolling out a new membership structure where individuals, not just clubs, can join the national organization. In this show, we talk about what that means and the impact it will have on curlers and clubs with Mid-South Curling Club’s Evan Lu and USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush. Evan will also tell us the history of his club and how a small arena club in the south recruits and retains members.
The future of curling will rely on our ability to grow the game with younger demographics. But how do we get the next generation to play the sport and watch it on TV? John Allgood, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the Executive Masters of Sports Business at Temple University, joins us to discuss this and many more topics related to sports marketing. John made a career out of selling sports like minor league baseball, pro bull riding and soccer and now he teaches the next generation of front office staff how to do the same. Join us as we find out how an emerging sport like curling can stand out in a crowded market.
The changes in curling in the United States and in high-level curling can be told through the story of John Shuster. His Olympic triumph vindicated his team and legitimized USA curling. This is the story of the changes in Shuster’s sport, his team and himself that led to that moment.
We start by recapping the many national curling championships that just completed, including Scotland, Switzerland, Japan and the US. We finish off by discussing the recent hire of Jeff Plush as the new CEO of USA Curling, hear from some people who know him better than we do and talk about what his success will look like if you’re a club curler.
Bobby Torres from the Curling Club at Penn State joins us to discuss his recent Growth of Curling Survey. It’s a fascinating look at how real curlers feel curling clubs can improve. We talk about learn-to-curl opportunities, marketing to the next generation and the unorthodox ways his club is attracting new members. Also, Jonathan and Ryan settle-up on their bad beer bet with the Game of Stones podcast.