or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Independent" USSA Racing

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

After racing NASTAR and with my school for two years, I am planning on getting an USSA membership next year, but I do not have time to join a club or other race program.  Upon doing some research,  I have noticed that all athletes need to be represented at the Team Captain's meeting.  I am 14, so I am guessing that I can not represent myself.  Can I have a parent represent me? If so, would they need to have an USSA membership; What type of membership would they need?  Could a coach from another team represent me?  Would they, or are there liability issues?

 

Also, could someone explain to me how a USSA event is run, in detail?  I don't want to be that clueless guy that everyone hates who gets in the way. :D  Any response is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for your time, 

 

Dan E

Starbird

 

P.s. oops, spelled Independent wrong in the title.  Sorry.

post #2 of 20

fixed it for ya

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks

post #4 of 20
What region? Best to contact VARA or whatever divisions you will be racing in. You need coach representation, I believe. Your parents would be useless unless they are familiar with racing. I'm sure the lingo would be confusing and slow things down since people would have to explain things to them.

No one can explain the whole racing thing in an internet forum. They'll either leave out key items assuming you know it or confuse you with too much information. You need a mentor. Preferably sometime who is going to those same races. Like.. A coach.
post #5 of 20
Also, you need to figure out if you are going to be racing in scored or unscored races. Here the U14s get a Youth license, unless they are contenders for the end of season championships in which case they may need a Competitors license. I don't know how VARA is handling their U14s.
post #6 of 20

You don't mention where you are from and where you plan to race. VARA is a great organization, but represents Vermont athletes. Every region has it's own set of rules for races, whether they are scored or not. In addition to joining USSA, you may need to join a state association too. Where do you plan to train? That program might be able to help you out. At lower level races, a parent can represent you at the team captains meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to get information. The event insurance covers certain aspects of the race and it is important to know the schedule for the day, the training area and training time as well as where information is posted should there be a change to the schedule. A coach can be a great asset when it comes to course inspection and wax selection. If you do ask a coach to represent you, it is your responsibility to get all the relevant information about the race from the coach right after the meeting.

post #7 of 20
The thing is, I don't get the feeling his parents are race people or interested in becoming involved in racing. Would be the blind leading the blind.

Prior posts mentioned Vermont ski areas.
post #8 of 20
....and honestly, without some parental support and interest, it just isn't going to happen unless the neighbors are into doing it.
post #9 of 20

I think your best plan would be to start out speaking with people that work at your home mountain such as the race team coaches.  Being on a resort race team is usally extremely expensive and cost prohibitive for the average skier.  However, there are many program mentors that have other more flexible options for kids that express the desire to race but lack the financial resources to be on the race team full time.  You may be able to work something out with them (say once a week practice and possibly working schlepping gates and equipment for a discount) so that you could at least get the local support needed to try running a race at the your home mountain or something near by then decide where to go from there. 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies.  I am in the eastern region,  skiing out of Gunstock in Gilford, NH.  My father used to race with USSA and VARA; He is still very interested in the sport.  I guess I would have to join NHARA, too.  As for training -- My high school varsity team will meet several times a week during the 14-15 season.  I know how to tune/wax my own equipment based on conditions.  That just leaves the problem of representation - Would my father need a USSA membership in order to represent me?  Anything else I am missing?  Thanks.

 

EDIT: Let me also add that I have attended many middle school races - I was just wondering if there is any major difference between the way that a middle school/high school race and a USSA race is run.  I greatly appreciate all the information that you guys provided me with.

post #11 of 20

Why not just contact the local clubs and ask? It costs nothing and they should be happy to help. Sometimes the horses mouth is the best place to look for the answer. :) 

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbird View Post
 

Thanks for all the replies.  I am in the eastern region,  skiing out of Gunstock in Gilford, NH.  My father used to race with USSA and VARA; He is still very interested in the sport.  I guess I would have to join NHARA, too.  As for training -- My high school varsity team will meet several times a week during the 14-15 season.  I know how to tune/wax my own equipment based on conditions.  That just leaves the problem of representation - Would my father need a USSA membership in order to represent me?  Anything else I am missing?  Thanks.

 

EDIT: Let me also add that I have attended many middle school races - I was just wondering if there is any major difference between the way that a middle school/high school race and a USSA race is run.  I greatly appreciate all the information that you guys provided me with.


I think this area is in @Rise To The Top's neck of the woods.  Maybe he'll come to the white courtesy phone and give you the skinny on new Hampshire USSA racing starting out as an independent.

post #13 of 20

Assuming you're 15+, you'll be racing mostly Tecnica Cup races if you race as part of NHARA.

 

As a former/current (at times) USSA/FIS racer and current coach, here's my advice:

 

Check out the NHARA website at www.nhara.org and poke around and do some reading. Then contact the president of the gunstock club and figure out a time to meet and share your story and get a sense of how you can get involved and if they can help you financially should your parents be unwilling/unable to pay for it. Gunstock has a great club program with racers at every level, from people just starting out to high-level FIS racers. Check it out. http://www.gunstockskiclub.com/page/show/432577-contact-information-for-the-gunstock-ski-club

 

As to your questions:

Technically you have to be represented at captains meetings, but in practice, roll call is almost never done, and if it is, some coach will represent you, since nobody wants an athlete to miss out because somebody isn't at the meeting. That said, anyone over 18 can represent you in the team captains meeting, they don't technically even need to be affiliated with USSA. They will need a USSA membership to be eligible for coaches' tickets at most races. That said, join a club or befriend a coach who can actually help you here. It will benefit your race career, your skiing in general, and your level of fun. According to USSA rules, every athlete must also be a member of a state organization, so you'll have to join NHARA as well.

 

As an echo to everyone else, nothing can really replace good coaching and reps on real sets. Since you haven't really been in a USSA program before, and having watched prior video of your skiing that you've posted on epic - you can really really benefit from solid coaching. If you just show up, you might have fun but you'll be way over your head. More importantly, you'll be alone, and one of the best parts of racing is the camaraderie and friendships that form along the way. Join a club. Get a coach.

 

USSA races are run differently in different regions, but in New Hampshire it's pretty standard. You'll have one run in the morning and one in the afternoon (if you finish the first run). The host club will post a schedule online (for NHARA races, either on nhara.org or on live-timing.com) at least a couple days prior, so you know when to show up, but registration is usually from 7-830 or so.

 

But really, find a way to join a club or at least get consistent coaching. Not to disparage high school racing too much, but it's not the same. You will really benefit from being in a club.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 


I think this area is in @Rise To The Top's neck of the woods.  Maybe he'll come to the white courtesy phone and give you the skinny on new Hampshire USSA racing starting out as an independent.

 

Here I am.

 

I started when I was 15. Generally they don't give a shit about representation at the non-FIS level. Just show up for registration and grab your bib. Make sure to grab a start list too, they tend to change the day of. At registration make sure to ask where you can pick up the start list for second run (if the race isn't on livetiming and if you don't have a smart phone).

 

As for NHARA, there is no need for you to join as an independent. Only those that are club affiliated are required to join NHARA/VARA/MARA. As an independent you are not part of a club, therefore do not have to register under a state organization. Feel free to PM me, I'll be on here alot more seeing as the season is getting closer. I may be coaching up at Sunapee this season too, so if you need someone to give ya pointers I may be able to help.

post #15 of 20
Make sure you don't follow him into the back country. He's got scars from it.
http://www.epicski.com/t/127450/a-day-in-king-ravine-mount-adams-nh/0_10#post_1721864
post #16 of 20

Club affiliation typically takes care of insurance coverage requirements for competitors.

 

How is this managed for independents?

post #17 of 20
Here in Northern, you're still in a division, and pay dues and fill out insurance waiver forms. The resorts where the races are have additional waiver forms. I thought the USSA license have you some kind of insurance? You are required to have medical insurance to be a member and the license covers some "excess" thing.

Since you must be a USSA member in order to race, it's taken care of.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
 

Club affiliation typically takes care of insurance coverage requirements for competitors.

 

How is this managed for independents?

 

The USSA competition insurance waiver covers this. As long as you have insurance that satisfies the USSA requirement (which all USSA/FIS athletes must have), you are good to go.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Make sure you don't follow him into the back country. He's got scars from it.
http://www.epicski.com/t/127450/a-day-in-king-ravine-mount-adams-nh/0_10#post_1721864


That is true, he did get his ass kicked on that little excursion.  But, I believe he has a lot of real world experience in the NH USSA racing world.  His advice here is much more reliable.

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice @Rise To The Top.  (And everyone else too.)  It is much appreciated.  I'll probably be PMing you at some point, heads up :D 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home