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USASA Skier Divisions
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TOPIC: USASA Skier Divisions

USASA Skier Divisions 5 years, 3 months ago #42

  • jason
USASA initially welcomed skiers into USASA events because there was no one else holding events for skiers in Halfpipe, Slopestyle or SkierCross. It was planned to do it for a year or two and then have someone from the ski side break off into a ski version of USASA, a sister organization.

After all these years we are still the only ones offering a National grassroots series of events for skiers so we will continue to offer them. But here is the challenge. The skier membership is growing and should be broken into more age groups, similar to or even mirroring our snowboard age groups. That is actually very easy to do at the Regional Level and in our scoring software, rankings, etc.

The PROBLEM is Nationals. Last year we went to a 6 Day Nationals, partly in order to accommodate more skiers by giving them their own competition group/day. Even with that addition we still maxed out the competition group size (and all the other snowboard groups as well) with only 5 Skier age divisions. We simply have no room at Nationals for any more age groups because for every age group we create we add potentially 34 more people (per gender).

Right now we have 33 Regional Series. Each Series is allowed to send 1 rider, their top qualifier and we invite the returning National Champion:

Current potential numbers-

Skier Boys 10 and under: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 10 and under: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Boys 11-15: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 11-15: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Men 16-19: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Women 16-19: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Men 20 and Over: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Women 20 and Over: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Open Class Skier Men: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Open Class Skier Women: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34

That is 340 total right there, without anyone qualifying from National Rankings! Granted not every series will have a qualifier in each age group in both guys and girls, but we have to assume they could.

We can only run 160 people in a day on any course at Nationals. We pushed close to 180 riders through a couple days, but it is not ideal, and not fair for the athletes to be in such a giant comp group. 160 is the max we should ever have in a day.

11-15 Boys had over 200 members across the country last year, but we could only accommodate the top qualifier from each series, we didn't have room to invite anyone from the National Rankings.

So what happens if we break the divisions up even more? let's say we ONLY broke 11-15 into 2 divisions:

Skier Boys 11-12: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 11-12: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Boys 13-15: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 13-15: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34

We just ADDED 68 more skiers making a total of 408 skier that need to fit into one 160 person day.

Break 10 and under into two groups, like 8 and under and 9-10 and we add another 68 spots at Nationals.

See where I am going with this? We absolutely need to break the skiers into more realistic age groups but we do not have room for any more athletes at Nationals in the current format of Nationals.

Sure we could have the 11-15 age group compete at Nationals as a group then separate the awards for those 11-12 and those 13-15. BUT that isn't really the issue. The issue is the 11 or 12 year old probably didn't make it to Nationals because he or she was competing against 14-15 years old at the regional level fighting for the ONE qualifying spot to Nationals.

Here is the only realistic solution I can think of: USASA Skiing National Championships as a separate event.

Stick with me on this...

If we added 3 days to the beginning of USASA Nationals for the Ski events (plus a practice day, so 4 total), skiers would have their 1 day/comp group broken into 3 days/groups. That would accommodate 160 X 3 = 480 ski competitors per day instead of just 160.

1 Group on SS, 1 on HP and 1 on SkierCross. They rotate the venues each day. After 3 days, the skiers are done and Snowboarders arrive for their practice day and then Snowboard Nationals starts as usual.

Snowboard Nationals could either go back to 5 days of competition OR keep the 6th day and spread out the age groups that we currently pack into 5 groups allowing more snowboarders to qualify to Nationals. We have so many people that need to fit into Nationals now that some of our Snowboard age groups have suffered, being cut to just the top rider in each series and NO National Ranking qualifying spots. Menehune Girls is a perfect example. We had only enough room for 25 of them, not even enough for 33 Series winners let alone anyone from the National Rankings.

Skier Age Groups would ideally change to (in my opinion):

Skier Boys 9 and under: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 9 and under: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Boys 10-11: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 10-11: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Boys 12-13: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 12-13: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Boys 14-15: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Girls 14-15: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Men 16-17: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Women 16-17: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Men 18 and Over: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Skier Women 18 and Over: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Open Class Skier Men: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34
Open Class Skier Women: 33 Regional Winners plus returning Champion = 34

This is 476 potential qualifying spots for SKI Nationals. Not all those spots would be filled in each age group or gender so we would be able to also invite skiers in the larger age groups off of the National Rankings.

For families that have both a skier and a snowboarder in USASA, they would go to one location for both Nationals, they just might have to stay a little longer than those families that only have a skier or a snowboarder. But it wouldn't be a totally separate event, at a different resort in a different month or anything like that.

Regionally this would hopefully attract MORE skiers because kids would have a better chance of qualifying for Nationals and being more competitive in their age groups.

Something to think about anyway.

Re:USASA Skier Divisions 4 years, 2 months ago #371

  • backintoit
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With respect to Nationals pricing, are there any rules for athletes who compete some events on skies and other events on snowboard? Do those athletes need to buy two separte sets of credentials?

Re:USASA Skier Divisions 4 years, 1 month ago #477

My son competed in ski and snowboard events at the 2006 Northstar Nationals, and was registered with two different member numbers and two slightly different names. He had one set of credentials, but 2 bibs (one for ski events, one for snowboarding). We were only charged for one USASA registration and one Nationals registration. Hope that helps - he hasn't competed in ski and snowboard at Nats since so I don't know if the way they run it has changed.
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