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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Looking to venture out next season w my U10 boy. Currently in Buddy Werner Race Program and doing very well. Not ready to transition yet to every weekend USSA race program as we are fortunate to ski midweek mostly (50 + days) allowing both my boys (7 and 8) to play hockey on weekends, (not ready to quit hockey as it's a long season Sept to April 3 times a week). ~ boys are too young to specialize!!
My ultimate goal would be to let the boys race 3-5 USSA events next season. We live in Tri State, but train in VT and NH at camps. I am a USSA/PSIA coach attached to Buddy Werner Program w limited knowledge of USSA rules. It is my understanding that I need to sign them up for both USSA and either TARA (where we live) or VARA/NHARA where we train.
Question is: Are we able to do this as an independent? If so, which region? (TARA events seem to be at less desire able locations) . Also, what are minimum requirements to be eligible for extended season if they do well? Ie. event minimum.
Also, please any insight to potential issues/ challenges we may encounter.
And lastly, which are some of the more fun events, such as the Chip Gilroy T shirt race.
And really last question. Can we jump around and register for events in multiple regions?
Thank you for your feedback.
post #2 of 7
You probably should talk to a ski team where you usually ski, as your boys need to be represented at captains meetings day of race. Now, they MAY allow you to represent, but they'll expect you to understand what's going on and not ask newb questions, hanging them up on a busy day. Otherwise, your kids need to be adjuncts of some kind represented by one of the coaches. You'll probably be having issues of last minute schedule changes, etc., and getting forgotten.

Championship races are based on qualifying race results throughout the season. That should be on the divisional sites.

There are usually official's education classes before the season starts, which may be useful.
post #3 of 7

Live in N.Y ( Westchester).Both of my boys were in a weekend race program in southern Vt. and when were younger only had to worry about  Southern Vt. race council within VARA which was 6 or so races over the season and all very local.. However as they got older and USSA and FIS races started demanding travel all over the Vermont state the local program coaches refused ( in general) to travel beyond southern region and so I became their "coach" for race day purposes. There were no issues at registration and captains meetings just be certain to have a USSA coach license ( mainly paperwork appilication.  As I became better known to other coaches ( the real ones) they often helped me by  sharing course reports during the race or if I was on course a couple volunteered to help the boys get clicked in at the start.  However if your boys are younger  and less independent you'll prob want to be in the start to help them and help carry/share duty gettting clothes back down to finish.and course reports at younger races not that big a deal. I found that coaches from ski academies like SMS or GMVS were often v helpful when I explained the circumstances. Also, when I got sick for most of one season and couldn't be on the hill, the coaches from SMS were beyond helpful making sure my guys were good to go at race time. However by then my guys were older and fairly independent. 

  You will need to known USSA rules, how to file a protest ( if ever necessary) and be prepared to slip the courses with your kids and perhaps explain situation to  a ski academy coach who might be willing to have your boys tag along during inspection.  Buy Motorola pro radio(s) so can monitor race frequency and talk to your guys )   V. important: if you are on the hill know what the etiquette is re where you can and cannot be and when, when course closes to inspection etc, where to stand  during race etc etc. And be prepared to help out to share course pulling, B net tear down etc.

   Can't speak to NH but VARA is a terrific organization and has a real junior development program and have their S..T together in general. Races are  well run ( generally) and the "real deal" .BTW, by the time my boys were 15 yo they had tons of new friends via VARA events even though they were for most purposes independent although they trained in an formal organized program. By time they were 17 , they were only 2 of maybe 6 other kids who were not attached to a ski academy but still got along with and hung out with kids from all over VT at the races even through by then the racing was quite serious and ultra competitive.

   BTW, be prepared when the day comes and your kids have got it "handled" and don't want you around except to drive.. ( unless you'r last name is Hirscher or Girardelli :)

Good luck

post #4 of 7

I've competed as an independent in Vermont, Maine, NH, NY, and Canada as an independent for the last 7 years. If you compete as an independent, you do not have to get a organizational membership (VARA. MARA. NHARA, etc). You only have to have a membership if you are in a program for that given state. Do be aware that some race series give priority and preference to members when it comes to entries and entry caps. I have never had an issue with this.


In one season I had starts in Vermont, Maine, NH, NY, and QC, so jumping around isn't an issue.


As for championship qualification, it all depends on the event you are looking to get into. I have attended Easter Championships/Finals numerous times. If you have the points/results, it shouldn't be a problem to get into said events. For a couple of seasons I had a VT coach enter me in to Eastern Finals. I know every year they have certain quota allotments for each state. I'm not sure if I was part of the VT quota for those years that I was entered, or if I was entered using the NH quota (since I am from NH). That would be a question you would want to ask the Eastern Office to get clarification. This year I would have been eligible for FIS-NorAms and US Nationals (speed events only), had I finished a FIS race. Entry to those events is solely dealt with by the Eastern Office.


For the younger champ events (ie, VT state champs, NH champs, etc), I'd ask the race secretary at the host mountain and let them know your situation, or the state organization. I race in VT state championships almost every year as a NH resident and never have an issue with my entry.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank You All for the fantastic advice!


SIBHUSKY, thank you and yes I am a USSA100 coach and will continue to educate myself with the wonderful clinics offerd each year, but I am not a coach in a USSA program which leaves me somewhat ignorant. In addition, I coach 25 U8 racers in Buddy Werner (volunteer) (yes, I have a boring regular day job), which is where I love being involved most with the little ones, and only coach to better make informed decisions about who coaches my boys.


MIGS, thank you and congratualations on your boys' success!  My boys are already outgrowing me when it comes to racing.  Where I am busy with my litle racers on race days, they have to be moderately independent.  My 8 yr old just attended the SMS SL and GS camps with coaches Steve Lathrop, Chance Longley, and Jim Sullivan. These SMS camps were very fun and informative for my son.  He learned a lot from this great crew.


Rise To the Top, Thank you for taking the time as a young man to write, it sounds like youre having a great time!  I thought that it was possible, and am glad you wrote to confirm.  I get a lot of different feedback from the various organizations.  My short term goal is to proceed as an independent and yet not fall behind until it is time to decide whether to enroll in an academy.  I also am trying to balance the 2 boys equally and avoid any future burn out.  We will try this next year as a U10 and see how it goes.

post #6 of 7
I was actually referring to the OFFICIALS clinics. Not talking about ski technique, but reading up on what is going on at the races so that you're not totally clueless. Otherwise, speaking as a once newb parent, who at least had a coach to pester with questions, who are you going to ask? Lots of times race officials are overworked and... cranky. Reading the study materials could help you understand what is going on, certainly at least read the Comp Guide. And whatever divisional handbooks are available. I wish the internet site for our division when we started a long time back had had anything like is out there now. I needed a translator.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I will certainly take advantage of your advice, I didn't think to take that approach, I like it!  Thank you.

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