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US Ski Team Race at Cochran's....

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Who else here is going to the TGFS Men's race at Cochran's in March?

post #2 of 22

i shall be there.

looking forward to stealing some points from the big guns. Was talking to some Cochran's coaches today ... it sounds like it's gonna be an awesome event. Perfect for celebrating the end of exams.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hopefully they are all on cruise mode for that day... should be a good day though.

post #4 of 22

it's going to be an absolute giveaway for sure ...

post #5 of 22

just wanted to say this was a fantastic event put on by Cochran's.


The weather certainly helped, all the racers were out on the hill all day, enjoying the sun and watching the action... getting to see current, former, and aspiring USST members didn't hurt either (those guys are GOOD).

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Possibly one of the best days skiing this season. Was nice and sunny all day, the snow was great, and the vibe was sooooo laid back. I just wish I had paid attention to how I was skiing during my race runs (kinda zoned out and cruised the whole time). I'm deffinately returning next year :)

post #7 of 22

Always nice to see a 25.00 point penalty at a USSA event.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

It's actually going to be 4 points, not the 25 default.

post #9 of 22


Originally Posted by Rise To The Top View Post


It's actually going to be 4 points, not the 25 default.


Hopeful for the competitors that USSA scores the calculated penalty, but very doubtful. The rules are very clear. 

post #10 of 22


Originally Posted by whygimf View Post




Hopeful for the competitors that USSA scores the calculated penalty, but very doubtful. The rules are very clear. 

QFT, here in Canada they are even stricter on points, They even prevent atheletes from entering foreign events in summer to prevent point chasing.

post #11 of 22

I think that whygimf's point is that the USSA is pretty crystal clear that the minimum penalty for non FIS, USSA races is 25.0  If the calculated penalty is less {4.80 in this race}, the applied penalty is 25. Can't remember the page in the USSA competition guide, but it's clear.


Now, is that fair? From what I've heard through a few conversations, the guys were all skiing pretty fast. The top 50 guys in that race, to be honest, were there to support Cochran's and have some fun. They are entirely focused on their FIS points profiles, I am quite sure, rather than their USSA points. For the rest, it's unfortunate that a legitimate claculated penalty needs to be raised by 20 points.


I don't get the sense that there was any manipulation going on. maybe I'm wrong.


Regardless, in the spirit of competing on a fun little hill, in great weather, against at least a lot of the East's best racers, it sounds like a great day. I know that they've thought about doing this for a few years, and that a lot of planning went into it. Hopefully it will continue for  years to come. Good stuff!  

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

I know, but there have been exceptions to the penalty rules. I have seen a handful of non-fis USSA races with penalties around 10 points.

post #13 of 22

Wow, I'm not aware of any in the East. At least in the last 3 years. In NH, a couple of Macomber Cup races have had calculated penalties under 25, as has the UNH Fundraiser, in recent years. In Vermont, it's happened at the Sugar Slalom. There was one two weeks ago in Maine, at Sunday River, just before the NCAA's were held there. Calculated penalty was about 12.  Applied penalty has been raised to 25 in each of these instances. You may be seeing domestic FIS races, which also have USSA points/penalties calculated for each, appearing in various skiers USSA profiles? The rule is quite clear. You only get sub 25 point USSA penalties in domestic FIS races that calculate to that level based on the racers' USSA points. I'm about 99.99% sure of that, and I just spoke with a buddy who's a pretty veteran TD. It would be great, and I personally think fair, if the 4.80 penalty were applied, as I don't really understand the logic of  the rule, but I bet it's a real longshot. I wouldn't even know who'd make the decision. Hope it works that way for you guys.  

post #14 of 22

I don't know about the US but here ACA points are pretty well useless exept to name juvies teams and so on... If so, what's the big deal?

post #15 of 22

My guess is that it depends on where you're racing, the level at which you are, and what you aspire to in terms of short term and long term goals. If you're at a level where you're racing predominantly FIS races, and your points are good enough to make the entry list all the time, then the USSA profile doesn't mean much. But, entry lists for U.S. FIS races are based on your USSA points, as well as a whole bunch of various quota's. I have never quite understood the USSA point part, other than for the 990 kids new to FIS. So an improved USSA profile could help you in terms of that. For most skiing a FIS schedule, USSA and FIS point profiles are close.


There are some race series, for example all USCSA college races, that are USSA sanctioned. USSA points are important to those skiers. The NCAA races are FIS. There are various state series in NH, VT, ME, NY, etc. which are all USSA sanctioned. There can be a minimum point profile to enter some of those races. Those races are often the "qualifiers" to reach various year-end championships, including the Banknorth Eastern Cup Champs in the Northeast, where the top three overall get slots to US Nationals. Odd that you can qualify via USSA races, yet the races are sanctioned by FIS. {You also qualify based on your FIS results in the Eastern Cups, both for the Champs, and for Nationals}.


For kids who are J2's and for the J3's this time of year {once JO's are finished J3's can enter seeded races and build a profile}, USSA points are fairly important. We tend to have big fields in many races, and even 10 points can make a big difference in start position.  Plus, it's a yardstick to measure against.


Bottom line, I think is that everybody wants to have lower points. I was speaking with a friend who's a coach, and hand recently spent a week on the road with a bunch of J1 {17-19} boys, and he was joking that he was going to go nuts as ALL that the boys talked about were points, results, points, etc. He couldn't believe how into it they were...talking about other guys' results from 3 years ago. My theory is that if you ski faster, and better, all of the rest eventually takes care of itself.  Trying to chase the "right" races to score fails more often, I think, than it works.


Sorry for the long winded answer.

post #16 of 22

Here's the results from a Mac cup race @ Dartmouth this past January.  Look at the results for the Men:


Mac Cup Results


Calculated Penalty:  16.64

Penalty Applied:  25.00


As others have stated.  For USSA races the rules are clear...


BTW - That race has been scored.  Here's the info from the USSA website on the winner:


USSA Pen: 25.00  
Finish Place USSA ID Full Name YOB Division First Run Second Run Race Time Race Points USSA Result

1 4956801 Jitloff, Tim 1985 Intermtn 34.80 36.19 01.10.99 0.00 25.00
post #17 of 22

As others have pointed out, the 25-pt-minimum rule, for non-FIS races, is clear. If anyone feels the need to look it up, it's on page 28 of the current Alpine Competition Guide.


Whether it's fair or not is a lot harder to say. Clearly, it does work at least some rough justice in avoiding the really egregious point-gifting (or whatever you want to call it) that sometimes occurs. I think everyone has at least heard stories about the USST member at the local club race who kicked the wand open, stood around for a little bit, then said, "Oh, shoot, I guess I should go, huh?" Or who turns around a few non-existent gates in an open section of the course.


As for the importance, points are clearly incredibly important to the J1 and J2 racers who are truly competitive at a regional/national level. Indeed, points seems to the primary, overriding goal for most of them. As mentioned, they determine what races you get to race in (which, of course, then determines whether you'll have an opportunity to lower your points further). So far as I can tell, they also seem to be the primary criterion for getting recruited by the big NCAA teams. If you ever have the misfortune to be stuck in a room with serious racer-parents and their head coach, you might get the impression that there is nothing in the world of any importance other than points. You might also get the perhaps less accurate impression that the primary determinant of a kid's points has nothing to do with the vagaries of his technique and everything to do with what races he  goes to.

post #18 of 22

Exceptions to the 25 pt penalty minimum can be granted. They have to be approved in advance of the race, as was done for the NCAA Championships (Which are not FIS) this year.  If you look at the USSA results for the Women's GS from NCAA's the penalty is below 25.  Not sure why the rest of the results from NCAA's haven't been posted, but they will all be under 25 also.


Correction: Men's GS from NCAA's is also posted and is a penalty of 7.

Edited by skicoach73 - 3/21/2009 at 09:16 pm
post #19 of 22

Good Post. Interesting to know. Do you know what the process is to get the exception? The EISA championships {Eastern NCAA Regionals} are USSA races as well. Colby hosted this year at Sugarloaf. Penalty in the GS calculated to 12, and 25 was applied. It was obvious with the field that the penalty would calculate to under 25. Same deal with that USSA race at Sunday River, site of the NCAA's, the weekend before the NCAA's. A lot of the NCAA field raced, and I would assume that one could counted on a sub 25 penalty. Calculated to 12, and 25 applied. Made me wonder what the exception/approval process is. Thanks for the post.

post #20 of 22

Someone at Colby or Sugarloaf was supposed to ask for an exemption but apparently no one did or it was done to late. It was done last year for the regionals at Middlebury, but at the NCAA's no one did.  It's really just a matter of making sure the paper work is done and talking to the right people.


Sunday River also tried to get an exemption for the USSA race prior to the NCAA's when they found out a lot of the NCAA skiers were going to enter it, but it was too late.

post #21 of 22

Thanks. So presumably it's a request through the regional USSA office, in advance.

post #22 of 22


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