MEMBERSHIP in the MCA and USCA
Membership in the Minnesota Curling Association is processed through member clubs. At the end of each January, curling clubs tally their registered members and contribute $3 per curler in dues. Like membership in other athletic organizations, fraternal orders, and affinity associations, belonging to the MCA is both a privilege and an opportunity to support and serve.
MCA member curlers are eligible to compete in MCA bonspiels: the Women’s Gopher State, the Men’s Seniors, and the State Mixed Doubles Championships; and Minnesota state playdowns that lead to national championships: Men’s and Women’s Club Championships, Mixed Championships, Men’s and Women’s Junior Regional Challenge, Under-18 Junior Championships.
MCA membership dues provide monetary support to MCA member curling clubs who host these events, a stipend to head officials, and participation and award pins and patches to competing curlers.
Hosting the Men’s and Women’s State Club Championships
Hosting the Mixed State Championship
Hosting the Juniors Under-18 State Championships
► To curling clubs who host state / regional events … $750
► To curling clubs who host national events … $1,000/week-long events, $750/half-week
► To curling teams winning state / regional events … $900/champions, $600/runners-up, should the event entitle two teams from our region
The United States Curling Association provides additional funds to curling clubs hosting national events.
The MCA Board and MCA Club Representatives (all volunteers) serve state curlers by coordinating MCA bonspiel and championship host sites; representing MCA member curlers at United States Curling Association meetings; and promoting member clubs’ bonspiels with the MCA web site and state bonspiel calendar.
Belonging to the Minnesota Curling Association is in partnership with membership in the United States Curling Association. Individual state curling clubs facilitate members’ dues payments to the USCA. With these dues, member clubs and curlers recognize both tangible and intangible benefits gained from USCA membership.
USCA Membership Benefits and Services supported by Member Dues
► Quarterly Issues of the U.S. Curling News magazine
Mailed to all Members; Articles on Rules, Techniques, and Strategy; National List of Member Clubs’ Bonspiels, Photos and Notes of Bonspiel Winners
► USA Curling Web Site, Facebook Page, Twitter Account
Curling News; Real-time Championship Scoring; Resources and Links
► National Championships that lead to World Championships, National Wheelchair Curling Program, College Curling Championships
► Annual Members Assembly Conference
► Training and Certification Courses for Coaches, Ice Makers, Instructors, and Officials
► Curling Education via Videos & Brochures, Curling in the Gym Program, Camps and Clinics
► Member Club Support with Darwin Grants, No-Interest Loans, and Liability Insurance Group Policy
► Curling Hall of Fame Recognition and Awards
► National Partnerships with USA Curling Sponsors
Member discounts at Businesses and Services, e.g., Hotels, Airlines, Restaurants (LINK)
► National Promotion and Education of the Sport of Curling
► Contracts with TV Networks and Online Streaming of Curling Competitions
► 12th End Sports Network Webcasts
► Special Events and Promotions, e.g., at Super Bowl festivities, Rockefeller Ice Rink, Continental Cup in Las Vegas
► Curling Liaison to International Olympic Committee
Coordinating High Performance Teams (with funds from the IOC)
► Resources for New Clubs
Rock Loans, Ice Maker Training, Financial Advice, Site Visits
One of the most tangible benefits state clubs gain from the efforts of the USCA is the general public’s exposure to curling via televised events such as Friday Night Curling in America and the United States’ participation in Winter Olympic curling. Since curling returned to the Winter Olympics, as an exhibition sport in Calgary (1988) and Albertville (1992), and as an official medal sport in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, the awareness and interest in the sport of curling has multiplied exponentially. Curling club managers are quick to tell how the number of inquiries about curling and league play increases greatly during Olympic telecasts. Recruitment by individual clubs (e.g., staffing a curling exhibition booth at a county fair, distributing flyers, writing an article in the local newspaper) are more easily successful today than they were 25 years ago because people are familiar with the elements of curling thanks to televised competitions.
While tangible MCA and USCA member benefits are definitely comprehensive, nearly every veteran curler will say the number one reason curlers love and support this game is the camaraderie and friendship between curlers made locally to internationally, at their home clubs and while bonspieling in another state or country. As with that other Scottish sport: golf, a curling game is played with intentional etiquette and then rehashed and celebrated at the 19th hole (in golf) and the clubroom in curling. Around a table of eight, the two teams of curlers readily banter as they replay the game’s shots and compare strategies and then chat about work, family, and hobbies.