Race & All Mountain Handbooks
These guides have been developed to assist our Race Team athletes and our All-Mountain athletes and their families in learning about recreational alpine ski racing programs at Bear Valley and the Far West Division of US SKI & SNOWBOARD. The goal of this guide is to make sure all our team participants understand how the programs work and are prepared to make the experience fun and rewarding.
The mission of the Bear Valley Snow Sports Team Program is to develop recreational
and racing skiing/boarding skills in a positive and encouraging atmosphere while
developing a lifelong passion for snow sports.
Josh Bridges, Snow Sports Manager
209-753-2301 x 680
Jeff Millar, Snow Sports Team Supervisor
Nick Shawkey, Head Race Team Coach
The Bear Valley Teams Program provides an opportunity for skiers and snowboarders who desire to improve their recreational or racing skiing/boarding skills in a team environment. The program focuses on developing and improving the fundamental skills necessary for a strong skiing/boarding foundation. Bear Valley’s coaching staff strives to provide individual training so each athlete may reach their full potential with the goal of being able to successfully navigate all terrain and snow conditions in a safe, confident manner.
Our Teams Program curriculum is based on the Professional Ski instructors of America (PSIA), American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), and U.S. Ski and Snowboard (USSS) Training Systems. These systems are focused on age appropriate content based on cognitive and physical stages of development.
The All-Mountain Teams train athletes on a variety of slopes and focus on mastering ski and snowboard fundamentals. The ultimate goal is to develop skiers and snowboarders who are proficient in all terrain and snow conditions. The season long program also helps to foster lasting relationships and build community to share the fun of the mountain environment with.
The Race Teams are for those athletes who want to further develop skiing skills with an emphasis on learning ski racing techniques. This program is ideally suited for skiers who want to participate in ski races, such as NASTAR, the Central Sierra Series, or Far West competitions. Bear Valley Race Team offers members the opportunity to travel to other Sierra resorts to compete in competitions. Many skiers move from the All-Mountain Teams to the Race Teams as their skills improve or when they desire the challenge of a more competitive environment.
|Kodiak All-Mountain Team||4-5 Years old||Ski & Snowboard|
|Youth All-Mountain Team||6-17 Years Old||Ski & Snowboard|
|Adult All-Mountain Team||18+ Years Old||Ski & Snowboard|
Kodiak Team: This team is a ski and snowboard development program for children 4-5 years of age that are at a minimum a strong beginner level with successful chairlift loading and unloading experience. Kodiak Team members train for 2 hours per day on Saturdays and Sundays, every other weekend, including a holiday training camp
between Christmas and New Year’s. This schedule allows parents who are snow enthusiasts an opportunity to get a few hours of skiing or boarding while their kids are safe and learning new skills in a team environment. Parents are also welcome to join training, especially early in the season, to provide additional support for the chairlift loading and unloading procedure. For effective instruction, student/coach ratios are from 3-4:1.
Youth All-Mountain Teams (Ski & Snowboard): All-Mountain Teams are for skiers and riders between 6-17 years of age who are excited to improve their ski/boarding technique in a team setting. All-Mountain Teams train four hours per day on Saturdays and Sundays, every other weekend, including a holiday training camp between Christmas and New Year’s. Participants work on a variety of skill development in all snow conditions and terrain, building skills and confidence under the direction of a professional instructor. The emphasis is on having fun while developing mountain safety and teamwork skills. Team members will also be introduced to Freestyle features and elements, skier/boarder cross-course techniques, and running gates. All-Mountain Teams require a minimum skill level of advanced-beginner to intermediate skiing or riding ability and all members must be capable of riding a chairlift without assistance.
Adult All-Mountain Teams (Ski & Snowboard): The Adult All-Mountain Team is the best and most affordable way to improve your skiing and riding technique in a friendly and supportive environment. Open to strong beginner through advanced skiers, teams focus on improving specific skills with Bear Valley’s professional and friendly coaching staff. Adult All-Mountain Teams train two hours per day on Saturdays and Sundays, every other weekend, including a holiday training camp between Christmas and New Year’s. Participants work on a variety of skill development in all snow conditions and terrain, building skills and confidence under the direction of a professional instructor. The emphasis is on having fun while developing mountain safety and teamwork skills.
|Development Race Ski Team||6+||Ski|
|Youth All-Mountain Team||6+||Ski|
Development Race Ski Team: The Development Race Team is for skiers aged 6-13, who are considering ski racing while enjoying the Mountain and improving their technique. Development Race Teams train four hours per day on Saturdays and Sundays, every other weekend, including a holiday training camp between Christmas and New Year’s. An important component of this program is the introduction to the technical skills needed to transition to the Bear Valley Race Team. The program includes drills, free skiing, race techniques and an introduction to giant slalom and
slalom race courses, while emphasizing skill development in all snow conditions and terrain in a safe and confidence building environment. This team requires a minimum skill level of intermediate skiing; athletes that are not at this level will be referred back to the All-Mountain Team. Development Race Team members may race in the Central Series and Far West races at Bear Valley and other resorts with the agreement of the Head Race Team Coach.
Race Team: This is a competitive ski race team for strong intermediate to advanced skier athletes aged 6-13 years old who are looking to improve their racing skills, have a passion for racing, and are ready to compete at a top level. Ideal for committed young athletes that want to train and compete with the support of a solid team and enthusiastic coaches, the team trains for four hours each day during every weekend of the winter season and includes a holiday training camp between Christmas and New Year’s. The Race Team participates in Bear Valley’s Rasmussen Classic race and travels to other Central Sierra resorts for 3 other races during the season along with the Championships typically hosted in Lake Tahoe or Mammoth Mountain. The focus of this team is on developing fundamental technical skills to improve racing technique. This team requires a minimum skill level of intermediate skiing. More information is available in the Race Team Handbook.
2023/24 Training Days & Times
Team Orientation & Welcome Meeting – ALL Teams
Kodiak and Adult All-Mountain Teams train from 9:15-11:30 each scheduled day.
All other teams train from 9:30-11:30 and 12:30-2:30 each scheduled day.
All-Mountain Teams & Race Development Team:
|Month||Scheduled Training Days|
|December||TBD (one weekend plus Holiday Camp)|
|January||TBD (2 weekends)|
|February||TBD (2 weekends)|
|March||TBD (2 weekends)|
|Month||Scheduled Training Days|
|December||TBD (two weekends plus Holiday Camp)|
|January||Every weekend day *|
|February||Every weekend day *|
|March||Every weekend day *|
*Additional weekdays TBA
In addition to ski clothing, all skiers and boarders need the following equipment:
- Season Pass
- Team Pass
- Helmet (Mandatory)
- Powder cords
The Teams Program has a mandatory team jacket. Ordering details will be sent out over the summer/fall.
Race Team members may want to consider additional equipment which is specified in the Race Team Handbook.
Email updates will be sent no later than the end of day the Thursday prior to the weekend training session providing parents and team members with pertinent information.
The BYGA app is a great communication and roster management tool. BYGA is our primary source for team messaging and daily updates. We also use BYGA for roster management, the app can show you what team your child is on and if changes need to be made the app can be updated by coaches in real time to reflect the team roster.
Social Media will be used to provide a number of options to keep up to date with Team information. Information that is sent out on Wednesdays will be distributed on Facebook and Twitter. While you may choose to follow TeamBV on multiple social media sites, only one of the following is required to receive all information. We recommend you
Team Bulletin Board
Team Bulletin board is under development in the Village Center.
Team BV Website
The TeamBV website contains a great deal of information in addition to Team updates regarding their respective teams. It is a comprehensive resource for news, events, equipment selection and maintenance, snow safety, training, and conditioning. It is a mobile-friendly site that can be accessed from a variety of devices.
Mattly Trent Weather Updates
For updates on weather and snow conditions, Bear Valley’s world-renowned Matt Trent posts a daily update on the Bear Valley YouTube channel, usually at some crazy early hour. We recommend you subscribe to his YouTube channel.
We value your input and parents are encouraged to discuss the progress of their athlete with their coach before and after training sessions. We understand that every athlete is unique; keep your coach informed regarding any specific issues he/she may need to know about your child. Any concern that cannot be resolved directly with your coach should be brought to the attention of the Head Race Team Coach or the All Mountain Team Supervisor. Parents are encouraged to “shadow” the team whenever they desire, however please maintain a respectful distance so that your child is not distracted by your presence.
The safety of your athlete is our number one priority. We will push your athlete and stretch their abilities by SAFELY challenging them on appropriate terrain and conditions. Always encourage your athlete to follow the directions of their coach. Our goal is to build lifetime ski and boarding skills in a safe, caring, and fun environment.
Coaches will report all injuries to Ski Patrol for assessment, treatment, and transport to the medical clinic if required. Please ensure that your emergency contact information includes a contact number where you can be reached while at the mountain.
MEDICAL EVACUATION SERVICES
The Bear Valley Snow Sports Foundation has negotiated a group rate with AirMedCare which includes CalStar and Reach Air as well as PHI CARES. These are the three helicopter MedEvac operators serving Bear Valley and the Highway 4 corridor. Any one of these companies may respond based on availability at the time of the emergency. Memberships in these MedEvac programs provide the assurance that there will be no additional charge to you beyond what your insurance company covers in the event you require air ambulance services provided by the organizations with which you are a member. Please visit the BVSF website for additional information.
Team placement is important and we strive to place your athlete on a team that is appropriate to their skill level while considering age and social relationships. In order for the individuals to progress successfully and safely through the season, team composition will include athletes of the same ability level. While efforts will be made to include siblings and/or friends on the same team, their abilities must be similar. Grouping athletes purely by age without allowing for some movement or exposure to athletes who have more or less experience or who are more or less physiologically mature than their same age peers can have a detrimental effect on their performance. Experienced coaches will evaluate athletes and determine skill appropriate team groupings while giving consideration to age/maturity level. The first team weekend in December and the holiday training camp are critical times for team placement and every effort should be made to have your athlete present on these dates. Teams are typically finalized by the end of the holiday team camp. Throughout the season, athletes will progress at different speeds and there will always be movement between teams – trust your coach’s assessment of your athlete’s ability.
While attendance at every team session is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged. Like any sport, proficiency in skiing and boarding is based upon the acquisition and development of skills that build upon one another. Athletes who do not attend training sessions may miss out on important progressions and can fall behind their teammates.
At the beginning of the season, each team will be assigned a team number. Each training day morning, a team sign with that number will be posted out in the meeting area. All teams meet at their team sign in the area between the Sun Deck and Koala Chair at least ten (10) minutes before the scheduled start time.
Timeliness is critically important to maximize our training time. All teams meet at their team sign in the area between the Sun Deck and Koala Chair and depart the meeting area at 9:30 and 12:30 sharp. Plan to arrive early so that your child is fully geared up and ready to ski/board at the scheduled departure times. Teams return to the meeting area at 11:30 and 2:30. Please be present at these times to pick up your athletes so that coaches can be released. If you are comfortable with your athlete being released from training sessions without a parent present, please advise your athlete’s coach.
Teams train all over the mountain as determined by weather and snow conditions; it can be difficult to locate your athlete’s team if you are late. Coaches will not wait for late arrivals, as this reduces valuable training time and is unfair to those who arrive on time. To assist late arriving athletes in finding their team, each team has a designated chairlift where they will always take their first run of the day. Please consult with your coach to determine which chairlift they will utilize on their first run. Coaches are not obligated to make more than one run on their designated chairlift.
The team descriptions in the “About the Teams” section identify the minimum required ski/boarding skills for each team. With the exception of the Kodiak team, all team members should also possess the following minimum skills:
- Ability to put on their jacket/helmet/gloves without assistance
- Ability to put on their skis/boots without assistance (flat and sloped terrain)
- Ability to load on a chairlift without assistance and be comfortable riding alone on the chair if required
Team members will be issued a Team Pass which be utilized to maintain athlete accountability and validate team membership. As athletes arrive each day, they will give their team pass to their coach as part of a positive “check- in” process. By retaining the team pass, coaches will always know the number and names of the athletes under their supervision. Coaches will return the pass to the athlete at the end of the training session as part of a formal “check-out“ process. Athletes must bring their Team Pass to each training session.
Team members learn best when they arrive well-prepared and ready for training. Please feed your athlete a light meal prior to morning training and ensure that their bathroom needs are addressed before arriving at the team meeting area. Team members are released to their parent/guardian for lunch and athletes are encouraged to fuel up before returning for the afternoon session.
Skiing and boarding are winter sports and we will train in all conditions. If the lifts are running, teams will go out. Be sure your athlete is properly equipped and ready for the elements.
Helmet use is mandatory and must be worn at all times when participating in team activities.
Athletes who are not prepared for winter conditions cannot concentrate on learning and having fun. Skiers and boarders should be dressed in layers to keep them warm and protected from adverse weather. Layering also allows athletes to shed clothing during warmer conditions. Athletes should also have access to multiple pairs of warm gloves/mittens to switch out during adverse weather. Eye protection in the form of sunglasses and goggles should also be available at all times. Accessories such as hand warmers, neck gaiters and face protectors are also recommended. Skin protection such as sunscreen and lip balm should also be used regularly.
To protect your athlete’s safety, ski and board equipment should be in good condition and bindings should inspected annually for functionality by a certified technician. Release settings should be checked prior to skiing with the team; coaches are not allowed to adjust bindings. To improve the learning experience, skis, and boards should be tuned and waxed regularly. Boots should fit well to maximize skier/boarder comfort and performance. Skiers should also have access to powder cords to prevent the loss of skis during powder conditions.
Reba Sports at the resort has a full line of gear and apparel for all your equipment needs including skis, snowboards, boots, helmets, goggles, equipment leases and more.
A positive attitude and willingness to learn are the most important things that your athlete can bring each day. Training sessions are designed to be fun and it is essential that your child wants to be part of the program. Things change frequently; weather, snow quality/condition, and training plans are highly variable, so encourage your athlete to have a flexible attitude and be ready for last-minute changes.
The development of good sportsmanship skills and lasting social relationships are important components of the Team experience. Athletes are expected to support their teammates in a positive manner and follow the direction of their coaches at all times. Team members represent Bear Valley and are ambassadors of the Snow Sports Program; they shall treat the public, the coaching staff, Bear Valley employees, and each other with courtesy and respect. The safety of our athletes and other mountain guests is paramount and team members shall ski/board safely and under control, follow all posted warning signs/boundary restrictions, and shall not cut under rope lines or in front of resort guests. Athletes must understand that utilizing the ski school line is a privilege. Failure to behave in a manner that is consistent these principles can result in suspension or dismissal from the team.
We value your input and expect that every parent will have an open dialogue with their athlete’s coach. Any concern that cannot be resolved directly with your coach should be brought to the attention of the Head Race Team Coach or the All Mountain Team Supervisor. If your concerns cannot be resolved at this level, they will be referred to Josh Bridges, Snow Sports Manager.
The All Mountain Team coaches follow standard PSIA/AASI coaching progressions to develop strong skiing and boarding skills. The ultimate goal of this program is to develop skiers and boarders who can enjoy all terrain and snow conditions in a safe, confident manner. These progressions include an emphasis on improving body awareness, along with introducing specific edging, rotary, and pressure movements.
Ski All-Mountain Team members move through a progression of instruction that allows them to move from wedge turns on beginner and low intermediate terrain, to wedge Christy or skidded parallel turns on intermediate terrain and ultimately mastering carved turns on intermediate and expert terrain. An emphasis will be placed on varying turn shape in response to changing conditions as well as developing proficiency skiing a variety of conditions such as moguls, powder, and trees. There will also be opportunity to be introduced to the Freestyle environment in our Cub or Kodiak Terrain Parks, with an emphasis on learning PARK SMART terrain park etiquette.
Snowboard All-Mountain Team members progress from using basic “S” turns to more dynamic turns focusing on turn shape and turn size to create different outcomes on the board. Using different techniques riders will learn how to safely navigate a variety of terrain including groomers, powder, steeps and trees. Riders will also be encouraged to be creative in their riding and find out what their individual style is. There will also be opportunity to be introduced to the Freestyle environment in our Cub or Kodiak Terrain Parks, with an emphasis on learning PARK SMART terrain park etiquette.
SkillsQuest is a cornerstone program of the Alpine Training System (ATS) designed to assist coaches with and to motivate and reward athletes in working toward and
improving abilities in the key areas of emphasis of the ATS. As its name implies, it represents a quest, or journey toward success in ski and snowboard competition, by focusing on skills, the critical components that make up a high performing ski and/or snowboard competitor. In its full build-out, it will include activities and competencies for skiing and snowboard skills, technique and tactics, conditioning, equipment preparation, performance psychology and athlete management.
Although the USSA Training Systems’ goal is to develop skiers and riders for world class competition, the fundamental skills embodied in this system comprise the critical foundation for expert skiing and riding whether it is for competition or pleasure.
NASTAR is the acronym for the NAtional STAndard Race and is the largest public grassroots ski race program in the world. Participants compete within their age and gender groups to win platinum, gold, silver and bronze medals. In addition, participants are ranked in their medal group and the top ranked racers qualify to compete in the
NASTAR National Championships.
To compete in NASTAR events, you must register with NASTAR and obtain a NASTAR number. NASTAR numbers are permanent, so your number is good for as long as you want to race. If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check the NASTAR website for your ID. You can check your account or register with NASTAR at http://www.nastar.com/
Nastar registration fees are included when you are a member of the team. We will encourage coaches to run the Nastar course with their teams. To minimize long lines at the start, please ensure your ski team member is signed up for Nastar on the first day of the season or during the first weekend of scheduled training at the events booth.
For more information, check out the NASTAR page.
Skier / Bordercross
Each season, Bear Valley holds several Slopestyle competitions which challenge competitors to demonstrate their terrain park skills. This season the 6ifth Annual Nickolay Dodov Slopestyle Competition will be held in March. Watch for announcements coming later in the season.
The Rasmussen Classic is the yearly USSA sanctioned Youth GS and/or SL race held at Bear Valley. The Rasmussen Classic is a great opportunity for any Devo team member to experience a fun and truly competitive youth ski race. This event is typically held the first or second weekend in January and is part of the USSS Far West Central Race Series. Racers come from the Central/South Sierra resorts of Dodge Ridge, Yosemite, China Peak, and Snow Summit. The race is open to racers between the ages of 7 and 15 with racers competing in their age classification. The event includes races on both Saturday and Sunday with each day’s race comprising 2 runs. The Saturday evening Award Dinner is a fun event for racers, their families and anyone else who wishes to attend. All racers must have current memberships in USSS to register for the race (see the Race Handbook – Competitions Section for more info and contact your coach if you have questions).
Central/South Series Races
The Central Series Races of the Far West Division of USSS include SL, GS and Super G races held at each of the Central/South Sierra resorts of Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge, Yosemite, China Peak, and Snow Summit. The races are open to age classification of U8, U10, U12, U14 and U16. The race schedule can be found on the Far West Skiing website and is also listed here under the Events page. All racers must have current memberships in USSA to register for the race. See the Race Handbook – Competitions Section for more info and contact your coach if you have questions.
The Bear Valley Snowsports Foundation (BVSF) was originally founded as Bear Valley Race Team Foundation with the purpose of supporting Alpine racing at Bear Valley. The Foundation has been run predominantly by parents of current and former racers who have worked closely with Bear Valley Mountain Resort to organize alpine races and
support the race team. Over the years BVSF has expanded its Mission to support all BV Teams plus the Adaptive Program.
The Bear Valley Snowsports Foundation (BVSF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the support of Bear Valley’s snow sports athletes in achieving their athletic, academic and personal goals. The programs we support promote the development of essential skills; stimulate interest in competitive events and the positive values of sportsmanship, self-discipline, goal setting, character building and the pursuit of healthy lifestyle activities.
What BVSF Does
BVSF assists Bear Valley’s Competitive and All-Mountain Teams in many ways including team communication and administrative tasks. We support the professional development of coaches and support their efforts in providing the best possible skills development for our athletes. Our members assist coaches with training set up, safety monitoring, team communication and administrative tasks. Through fundraising and on- mountain volunteer work, we provide Bear Valley with the necessary parent and community support to develop highly competitive ski and snow sports teams. Through these efforts Bear Valley’s programs are among the most affordable in the Sierras. This enables more young snow sports athletes to participate in a sport that would otherwise not be affordable.
- Maintains the TeamBV website Manages and funds the Nastar Race Program
- Organizes the USSA Central Series Rasmussen Cup Race
- Subsidizes professional development for coaches
- Purchases equipment for the Adaptive Program
- Organizes fundraising events and solicits sponsorships to fund its activities
In order for BVSF to accomplish its Mission and achieve its goals, funds must be raised on an ongoing basis. In recent years, BVSF funded scholarships, coach’s education, video equipment, computer and video analysis software, radios, safety equipment and race gates.
Our funds typically are generated from donations, sponsorships, fund raising events and USSA race activities at Bear Valley which are organized by BVSF. Our ability to realize our vision to see Bear Valley acknowledged as one of the top snow sports development destination in the Sierras is only limited by the number of members willing to assist in our
Supporter Program which enables individuals to financially support BVSF and be acknowledged with a Supporter Pin and be listed on the website Supporter page. We have set contribution levels as follows; Contributor – $100; Supporter – $250; Patron – $500. Click HERE to donate.
For corporate sponsors, BVSF Sponsorship will not only help the Foundation tremendously, but sponsor companies will be widely promoted to our membership and potentially all Bear Valley’s guests. To become a BVSF Sponsor, click HERE for information.
And last, but certainly not least, is supporting BVSF through your volunteer efforts. The more members who contribute their time and/or expertise, the more we can accomplish. If you are interested in helping the BV Teams, or have a special expertise or a unique way to support BVSF we would love to hear from you. To volunteer, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with how you would like to help.
In order to have a successful race season for our Race and Devo Race teams, a lot of volunteer work must be done. Other than our paid coaching, all tasks are performed by our BVSF member volunteers. This is similar to how many other youth sports programs operate – heavily dependent on volunteer commitments. Our Team Program is only as successful as our members make it!
BVSF has decided to operate on a point-based system, instead of a money deposit system where you “earn” back your deposit as many other race teams do. We hope that this will be successful so a money deposit program is not necessary. We are reflecting the different job values by assigning a point-based “work credit” on a scale from 10 to 40. Frequently, the “value” of the job and the estimated time of work are not equivalent. This policy is designed to incentivize members to volunteer for the critical jobs that must be accomplished. In particular, we are in need of parents to sign up for official US Ski & Snowboard Association roles that require training at Palisades on the first weekend in November. If we don’t have people in these roles, races WILL be cancelled.
The season Volunteer Point recommendation varies by Team. Race Devo recommendation is 10 points; Race Team is 20 points. Any adult can assign their points earned to any family, so families can help each other, or friends and relatives can also help.
For more details and to sign up to volunteer, go to the Volunteer Page.
Every year we plan to have at least one social event. You can see the current scheduled Social Event here. Here are some of the events that have happened in the past:
Team Orientation and Welcome Meeting Social – Typically held the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the resort, it is an opportunity to meet and mingle with coaches, new team members, and old friends.
Annual BVSF Ski Swap – Held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the Bear Bungalow/Sunroom, usually starting at 10AM. Great deals on used gear and an opportunity to sell your equipment on consignment. A portion of the proceeds benefits BVSF.
Team Potluck Social – Held annually during the Holiday Camp week at 2:30 PM. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with coaches, new team members, and old friends; bring a dish to share and Bear Valley will provide the soft drinks.
Costume Day – The last Saturday of All-Mountain/Devo Race teams, come dressed up in your favorite costume.
Team Barbeque – Typically held during lunch on the last weekend of All-Mountain/Devo Race teams and open to all teams families, it is a celebration of another successful team season with a complimentary barbeque on the Sun Deck.
Race Team Handbook
Welcome to the Bear Valley Race Team!
This guide has been developed to assist our Race Team athletes and their families in learning about recreational alpine ski racing programs at Bear Valley and the Far West Division of US SKI & SNOWBOARD. The goal of this guide is to make sure all our team participants understand how the programs work and are prepared to make the experience fun and rewarding.
Like all youth sports, ski racers tend to start young. As they progress, the competition, training and equipment will tend to add intensity to the sport. We must remind ourselves that our young athletes race to have fun and develop their skiing skill for the life long experience and probably will not be the next Bode Miller or Julia Mancuso. That said, there may be a few of our young racers that have the ability and drive to make it to the highest level and they should be afforded every opportunity to realize the goal. Bear Valley Mountain Resort and Bear Valley SnowSports Foundation strive to support the needs of all our athletes in this regard.
This Orientation Guide pulls information from a variety of sources to bring together information regarding various perspectives of ski racing. It is intended to cover our program from entry level racers, who may be as young as 6 or 7 to 14 year olds. From ages 15 and older, ski racing becomes much more competitive and our athletes who compete at that level will be well aware of how to navigate the ski racing landscape. For those who are interested in how this advanced level works, the Far West and USSS Competition Manuals provide a great deal of information.
This Guide will include sections that address the U16/U (13/14 year olds) separately. The U16 and older levels have different rules for competition that will affect our athletes.
Lastly, and most importantly, if you have questions on any aspect of the program, competitions, equipment or other related topic, PLEASE ask the Coaches…they are there to help out in whatever way they can.
As most of you know, Bear Valley has several teams in its Snow Sports program. Most of our Race Team members will have come from the All Mountain ( Devo ) Program where they have developed the fundamental skills necessary for the Race Team. It is not mandatory for Race Team members to have participated in this program however joining the race team does require a certain skill level.
The Race Coaches will assess each athlete to ensure that their skill level is appropriate for participation on the team. This is done for three reasons; first, and most important, the safety of the athlete-whether it be running gates or free skiing, pushing an athlete beyond his/her ability in terms of speed and terrain is dangerous; and second, to ensure that our coaching resources can focus on efficiently developing the skill level of the entire team. If coaches must spend a disproportionate amount of time with an individual athlete on remedial instruction, the progress of the team suffers. Third, if your athlete cannot keep up with his/her teammates, the fun and enjoyment are replaced with stress and frustration.
The Race Team is divided into groups based on age classification.
Junior Racing Classifications for each Season is the competitor’s age as of Dec 31.
Age Class Age as of Dec 31
- Seniors 21 and older
- U21 19-20 years old
- U19 16-18 years old
- U16 14-15 years old
- U14 12-13 years old
- U12 10-11 years old
- U10 8-9 years old
- U8 7 years old and under
Generally, all racers will train together but compete in age class categories..They also will compete in the same Central Series races although there may be some U14 and U16 Far West races in which U14 and U16 may compete.
During training, the groups may be combined for certain drills or practice. It is very common to combine U10 and U12 athletes. In some cases, U14 athletes may train with older racers as well. If several racers require work on a specific skill, one coach may take several racers from their respective groups for a specific drill or training.
As the season progresses, coaches will time the training runs to give the racers a perspective of how their line and technique can influence time. In addition, all racers will be videotaped and will have individual assessments with a coach who will point out key aspects of their techniques that both are commendable or need improvement.
During the season, the training will vary with the upcoming race discipline. Techniques and tactics differ among the various disciplines of Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G. The coaching staff works on disciplines according to the race schedules. Because the U8/U10U12/U14 and U16/U19 have different schedules, it is common for the groups to working on different disciplines. Different disciplines require different equipment (see Equipment Section). Race team members will be advised which disciplines are the focus of each training session so they can come prepared.
When the team is training for speed events such as Super G, training may take place before the resort opens to the public. This is because the runs and speeds required cannot be safely incorporated with the regular operation of the resort. During these training sessions, racers are to be on the Mountain at 7 am. No parents or other non-race team skiers are permitted on the mountain during early morning training unless specifically approved to assist with training course set up/take down. Please be aware that early morning training tends to be scheduled for specific groups and/or ability levels. Participating in these sessions is solely at the discretion of the coaches.
Race training by no means is restricted to the training course. In fact, the best racers are those with plenty of free skiing time. Free skiing helps develop the balance, reaction times and judgment required to be a competitive athlete. Free skiing may occur during any training session. At times of heavy snowfall, training courses cannot be set but the team will take these opportunities to free ski.
The Bear Valley Race Team uses the US Ski Team Alpine Training System which provides a guideline to achieve an integrated system for athlete development. The system is focused on age-appropriate content and stages of development, including areas of emphasis within the relevant sport domains, as well as a competition system that optimizes training and competition windows. It is based on a long-term athlete development model for skiers and riders that emphasize age-appropriate training and competition that will allow each athlete to reach their full potential.
The USSS SkillsQuest program is also used to provide structure to teaching fundamental skiing skills. SkillsQuest is a cornerstone program of the Training System designed to assist coaches with and to motivate and reward athletes in working toward and improving abilities in the key areas of emphasis of the Alpine Training System. As its name implies, it represents a quest, or journey toward success in ski and snowboard competition, by focusing on skills, the critical components that make up a high-performing ski and/or snowboard competitor. In its full build-out, it will include activities and competencies for skiing and snowboard skills, technique and tactics, conditioning, equipment preparation, performance psychology, and athlete management.
Each discipline of ski racing has equipment with different characteristics. Equipment includes boots, skis, bindings, poles, and body protection. Most of the equipment used by youth racers is designated as “junior race”. This separates the equipment from youth recreational ski equipment in terms of design, performance, and durabilty. Junior race equipment is typically available from major name-brand manufacturers and is usually available through specialty ski shops rather than large chains that offer recreational gear.
The following guideline will get you started in gear selection. The race team coaches are the best authority if you have questions about equipment.
Ski Boots- It is important that racers have ski boots that are of the proper design and fit for racing. Ski boots should be 4 buckle boots. Ski boots should be sized so that the fit is snug. In addition to length, ski boots tend to be designed to be low, medium, or high volume fit. This designation is aimed at accommodating the width and mass of the skier’s foot. Certain manufacturers have certain fit characteristics. For example, Lange boots traditionally have been recognized as a low to medium volume boot. Most junior skiers usually fit best in low to medium volume boots. Junior race boots also come in a variety of “flex indexes” which relates to the stiffness of the boot. Most junior boots have flex indices between 60 and 100. In general, U8/U10/12/U14 racers will want to have boots in the 60-80 range of flex index with the stronger, heavier U16s in stiffer boots of 90-100. Manufacturers of junior race boots include Fischer, Lange, Nordica, Salomon, Tecnica, Rossignol, and Atomic.
It is recommended that boots be purchased at a location that stocks junior race equipment and has staff qualified as “boot fitters”. In addition to the size, proper boot fitting may also include checking the skier’s stance in the boot to see if “canting” is called for. This is to ensure that the boot and therefore the ski is absolutely flat when the skier is standing. If a racer is slightly “knock-kneed” or “bow-legged” this will need to be compensated for through canting to ensure the racer properly controls the ski. The boot fitter may also recommend custom footbeds for the boots which have the effect of greatly improving the fit in many cases.
Skis-Typically racers have a pair of skis for Slalom and a pair for Giant Slalom. Older racers, U16 and beyond may also have Super G and downhill skis. For entry-level racers ages 7-9, there are dual event skis that will perform well for both Slalom and Giant Slalom.
Racers should have skis that are specifically designated as Junior race skis. These skis are specifically designed to be of the correct flex and torsional rigidity which are appropriate for alpine racing. These skis will perform much better than a youth recreational ski.
Slalom skis are relatively short skis with a fairly big “side cut”. The side cut refers to how much difference there is when comparing the width of the tip to the waist (section under the foot) and tail. Skis with a big side cut tend to have a shorter turn radius meaning the ski can make sharper turns. In the SL discipline, gates are closer together necessitating tighter turns. The typical turn radius of a junior SL ski would be around 9-12 meters, with shorter skis having a smaller turn radius. The easiest way to determine the length of SL skis is to stand the skis on their tails. As a general rule appropriately sized SL skis will be of a length that is between the chin and eyes of the racer.
Giant Slalom, or GS skis, are skied longer than SL skis. As a guideline, GS skis should be of a length that is from mid-forehead to 2-3 inches above the racer’s head. The better the skier, the longer ski he/she can handle. These skis typically have less side-cut than SL skis, but their shape is still fairly pronounced. The typical turn radius of a junior GS ski would be from 14-18 meters, again depending on the length of the ski.
Dual event skis fall between SL and GS in terms of sidecut. These skis should be skied at a length that is eye level.
Manufacturers that make junior race skis include Atomic, Blizzard, Elan, Fischer, Dynastar, Head, Nordica, Rossignol, and Volkl.
At the higher levels, some racers have 2 pairs of identical skis, one for training and one for competition. This ensures that race skis are maintained in pristine condition. However, this is completely optional and not necessary for racers to be competitive.
While U14 and older racers may have a separate pair of skis for course inspection, preserving the tune on their race skis for competition, U12 and younger competitors must use only one pair of skis per race (inspection & competition). Parents, coaches, or technicians are not allowed to furnish additional pairs of skis for use during race day inspections or competition. Non-compliance may result in NPS or depending on circumstances, DSQ (proven violation after start).
Bindings- Most ski manufacturers make their skis to be used with their own brand of bindings, such as Atomic and Fischer, or with specific bindings from partner manufacturers such as Dynastar/Look bindings or Volkl/Marker bindings. Ski shops that sell race skis generally either package skis and bindings together or will recommend the appropriate binding for the ski. As with the other equipment, it is important to use junior race bindings. Not only do these bindings tend to work better with race skis, but they are typically designed to be “free flex” bindings meaning their release properties are not changed by a fully bent ski. As kids learn how to edge skis well, they will bend or arc the ski significantly. It is important that the binding’s ability to release is not impaired when this occurs.
Look for binding DIN ranges that are appropriate for your racer’s size and ability. DIN ranges of 3-10 for most racers in the U8/U10/U12/U14 classifications with heavier, stronger U16s using bindings with DIN ranges up to 14. Here again, ski shops that specialize in race gear and/or coaches are the best resource to ensure the appropriate bindings are used.
Poles- For most beginning racers, standard ski poles of the appropriate length are all that is required. For SL races, pole guards must be used to protect the hands if the skier “cross-blocks” the gates. Pole guards should be of the full guard type that clamp to the shaft of the pole and are anchored by a screw at the top of the grip. “Half” guards can catch a gate which could be a safety issue. These pole guards must be removed for GS and other events, again this is for safety. Please note that Coaches will often have young, entry-level racers refrain from cross-blocking gates. In fact, U8/U10/U12 racers actually use short “stubby” gates for their competition. Please consult with your child’s coach regarding the need for pole guards
Many racers use a separate set of poles for GS and other speed events. These poles are contoured to fit around the profile of the racer’s body when in a tuck position and are meant to reduce drag. Entry-level skiers need not work about this, but it is convenient not to have to remove pole guards from poles when switching disciplines. In addition, GS poles are generally used in a longer length to help with a better push out of the start gate.
Helmet – Probably the most important piece of body protection equipment is the helmet. Helmets are required for all Bear Valley team participation, but there are a few requirements for helmets used by the race team. Race helmets must be full coverage helmets with rigid, not soft, sides. Helmets must bear a CE mark and conform to recognized and appropriate standards such as CEH.Din1077, ASTM F2040, SNELL S98 or RS98 and be marked as such. Helmet face guards are required for SL races, so make sure your racers can accommodate the optional face guard.
Goggles- Goggles should be a good fit with the helmet and have a good-quality lens.
Shin Guards- The technique used to run a slalom course quickly requires the racer’s skis to go around the gate, but his/her body to go “at” the gate which can be knocked out of the way due to its spring-loaded base. One of the ways the racer knocks the gate out of the way is by “shinning” by hitting the gate with the shin. It is for this reason, that shin guards are required for the slalom discipline. Shin guards are available in a variety of sizes and should cover the leg from the knee and extend down to cover the top part of the boot.
As with cross-blocking, often coaches will want young, entry-level racers to refrain from “shinning” gates. Please consult with your child’s coach regarding the need for shin guards.
Speed Suit- The purpose of the speed suit is to aid the racer in being as aerodynamic as possible by reducing drag. Although entry-level racers are not required to wear a speed suit, your young racer will undoubtedly want to have a speed suit. There are general types of speed suits; a GS suit which typically has padding sewn in the arms and shoulders and a downhill suit which does not have padding. Because of the padding, GS suits tend to cost a bit more, but the protection they afford is probably worth it.
Speed suits are expensive, usually costing around $200 and up when new. However, used speed suits can usually be located from other team members who may have outgrown them or through sources like eBay. If you do find a downhill suit that lacks padding, padded tops can be purchased to be worn under the suit for protection.
Body Armor – More advanced racers may want to consider using some sort of body armor for SL events. This body armor is an added layer of protection for the torso when hitting gates. Some body armor consists of rigid panels sewn into a top while others consist of additional padding. Coaches should be contacted for suggestions if you are considering this type of gear.
Spine Protectors – Spine protectors are designed to protect the back against impact in the case of a high-speed fall. Spine protectors are recommended to be used by all racers, especially for GS, Super G, and Downhill competitions and training.
Mouthguards – Mouthguards are highly recommended for all racers engaging in gate training and competition activities. Not only have they been shown to minimize injury to teeth and mouth tissues during any kind of impact, but also relate to concussion issues from the sudden acceleration of the lower jaw in the event of head trauma.
Backpack– A good ski backpack is essential to carry water, snacks, and gear during training sessions and at races. The best type of pack has padded shoulder straps and a waist strap.
Equipment Sources – Ski racing equipment is typically of top quality and can be quite expensive. BVSF works with the Ski Coaches to find the best prices through negotiated discounts and manufacturer discounts known as “pro-form” pricing. Very good deals on used ski race equipment can also be found through the BVSF community and its website. Also, check Appendix III of this publication for online sources offering good prices. In order to get the best prices, call the online retailers and tell them the purchase is for a USSA racer and have your USSA number ready.
This section is not intended to be a “how to” guide because there many sources that expertly cover the subjects of how to tune and wax skis. Instead, this section helps you understand “what” is done to properly prepare race skis. Resources where you may find the expert “how to” information are near the end of this section
Edge preparation will determine how the skis feel on snow. The edge geometry chosen should match the skiers’ ability and the equipment. By preparing and maintaining your own skis a dependable level of consistency can be achieved. Instead of tuning skis once at the beginning of the ski season, only to let them get progressively worse until they are tuned again, maintaining the base and edges means that your skis will always perform well. Predictable performance is not only safer but can also become the foundation for improvement.
When you hear about edge bevels there are two angles that are being described, base edge angle, or base bevel, and side edge angle, or side bevel. It is very important to understand the difference between base and side bevels, as they have different effects on the ski. Base bevel is the amount that the edge is tipped up off the snow relative to a flat base.
Base bevels range from 0 degrees to 1.5 degrees. Less base bevel makes a ski quick and grip hard. Slalom skis often have only a half degree of base bevel. More bevel on the base lets the ski transition from edge to edge more easily, making the ski more forgiving, especially at speed. For this reason, downhill skis often have base bevels up to 1.5 degrees. Side edge bevel refers to how much the edge is “pointed” and is measured relative to 90 degrees of the base. To confuse you further there are three methods to describe this angle. Some people describe the angle as an increase from 90 degrees, therefore two degrees is 92, conversely this angle can be described as a decrease from 90 degrees making two degrees 88. Most simply this angle can be described by its difference from 90.
Side bevel determines how the edge will hold, mild bevels of 0-1 degree provide some bite, but remain forgiving for less advanced skiers. For someone seeking a higher level of performance, side bevels of 2-3 degrees will allow the ski to hold better, especially on hard snow. Extreme side bevels of 4+ degrees hold even better, but can become too demanding for most people. Because of the increase in hold, the ski will be harder to break loose once it has been set on edge making a line correction very difficult.
Regular use of wax will allow your skis to glide and turn easier than skis with an untreated base. Skis actually ride on a very thin layer of water as they move across the snow. The water-repellent wax reduces the friction of the ski base over the snow making the ski glide easier. Most waxes today are paraffin, a hydrocarbon petroleum byproduct that has hydrophobic (water-repellent) properties. Wax will also protect your base from oxidation. Bases exposed to oxygen will oxidize and become rough, similar to the roughness created when steel oxidizes in the form of rust. Wax seals your base to prevent harmful oxidation which slows ski glide.
Since their introduction in 1990, fluorocarbon waxes have proven indispensable for serious racers. Unlike regular paraffin-based hydrocarbon waxes which are comprised of carbon molecules with neutrally-charged hydrogen atoms, fluorocarbon waxes are comprised of carbon molecules with negatively-charged fluorine atoms. Somewhat like Teflon, they repel water better by reducing friction (capillary attraction) between bases and water in the snowpack, plus help keep bases cleaner and faster in dirty snow by repelling dirt particles (which, like the fluorine molecules, are negatively charged).
As of the 2019-2020 Season, U14 and under competitors should refrain from using fluorinated wax. In any case, application of any type of waxing solution must not be applied at U14-and-under competition venues. Use of ski preparation benches at U14-and-under competition venues is not allowed.
Both hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon waxes are offered in a variant of universal and temperature-specific formulations. In addition, fluorocarbon waxes also are offered in humidity-specific formulations with low-fluoro wax is best suited for dry, low-humidity conditions (when it’s hard to make a snowball), and high-fluoro wax is for wet and high humidity (when it’s easy to pack a wet snowball).
It penetrates deeper into p-tex bases and lasts the longest when melted in using a hot wax iron. When a ski is waxed, heat transferred from the iron to the ski’s base expands its pores allowing it to be impregnated by molten wax.
As your racer moves up into the more competitive age classification, the preparation of the ski becomes more important, especially in the “speed events” of GS, Super G (and Downhill…but this does not concern entry-level racers). The final step for preparing a ski for a speed event is the application of a fluorocarbon overlay. Overlays are available in liquid, paste, or powder form. The overlay is applied to a race ski after it is properly waxed with the temperature-specific wax for the conditions on race day. The overlay is applied based on manufacturers’ instructions with each form of overlay requiring a different procedure. Once the overlay is applied, the ski should only be placed on the snow just before the starting gate. While overlays will provide for a fabulous glide, they last but one run.
Getting this done…
While a good ski shop can handle the task of race tuning and waxing, at some point most racers and/or their parents become “ski techs” and take care of the racers’ skis. In order to do this, there are special tools required. The following list provides an overview of what is needed for the “do it yourself ski tech”
|Basic Tuning||Average Racer||Competitive Racer|
|Tuning Bench||Tuning Bench||Tuning Bench|
|Tuning Vise||Tuning Vise||Tuning Vise|
|Wax Iron||Wax Iron||Wax Iron|
|Plexi Scraper||Plexi Scraper||Plexi Scraper|
|Metal Scraper||Metal Scraper||Metal Scraper|
|Nylon Brush||Nylon Brush||Nylon Brush|
|Gumi Stone||Gumi Stone||Gumi Stone|
|Ski Break Retainer||Ski Break Retainer||Ski Break Retainer|
|Multi-Tool Base/Side Edger||All Angle Base Edge Guide
All Angle Side Edger Guide
|All Angle Base Edge Guide
All Angle Side Edger Guide
|File Brush||File Brush||File Brush|
DMT Diamond Stone
|Full Set 70-mm
DMT Diamond Stone
|Full Set 70-mm
DMT Diamond Stone
|Hydrocarbon Wax||Hydrocarbon Wax||Hydrocarbon Wax|
|Brass Brush (opt)||Brass Brush||Brass Brush|
|Horse Hair Brush||Horse Hair Brush|
|Brass Brush||Brass Brush|
|Fibertex Buffing (3) Pads||Fibertex Buffing (3) Pads|
|Polishing Cloth||Polishing Cloth|
|Natural Cork||Natural Cork|
|Scraper Sharpener||Scraper Sharpener|
|Sidewall plane||Sidewall plane|
|Brass Brush||Brass Brush|
|Hard Chrome File|
|Synthetic Cork (hardwood)|
|Felt Block (hardwood)|
|Red Gumi Stone/td>|
|Base Cleaning Brushes
(extra brass, just for dirt)
There are a large variety of guides on how to properly tune and wax your skis, providing detail on how to use all the above tools.
Here are a number of good sources:
If you decide becoming a ski tech is not for you, there are a number of shops that can take care of race skis. Just be sure to be clear about what you want done. The quick “roll on” wax job is not adequate for a racer’s needs. Bear Valley Sport Shop in the Village can handle all your tuning and waxing needs. Also, the Repair Shop at the Mountain can handle tuning and waxing, but make sure you are clear on what you want. For base grinding and top-of-the-line ski prep, The Start Haus in Truckee can’t be beat. Granite Chief in Truckee is also an excellent race prep shop.
The Bear Valley Race Team competes in events that are sanctioned by US SKI & SNOWBOARD. US SKI & SNOWBOARD is divided into 3 Regions, Eastern, Rocky/Central, and Western. Each Region is further divided into Divisions. Bear Valley Race Team is a member club of the Far West Division of the Western Region.
There are 4 different types of races or disciplines in Alpine ski racing. Slalom (SL), Giant Slalom (GS), Super G (SG), and Downhill (DH). Each discipline has its own characteristics such as length of course, vertical drop, number of gates, and distance between gates. Slalom courses are shorter and have tight gate placement requiring shorter, quick turns. GS, SG, and DH events are characterized by progressively longer courses, gates set much farther apart, and much higher speeds. All levels U8 to U21 run SL and GS courses. U12/U14 U16/U18/U21 run SG and only U16/U18/U21 run DH events. Full details on each discipline can be found in the US SKI & SNOWBOARD Alpine Competition Guide.
All Far West competitors involved in US SKI & SNOWBOARD junior racing must be members in good standing of FAR WEST SKIING, and members of US SKI & SNOWBOARD, to participate in any US SKI & SNOWBOARD or FIS races. Athletes must be able to present their current US SKI & SNOWBOARD card, indicating appropriate age class and membership status, to race organizers in order to compete in any US SKI & SNOWBOARD race.
All Central South Series and Far West competitors must have the appropriate competitor license. Online Membership application and complete information can be found at the US SKI & SNOWBOARD website https://usskiandsnowboard.org/membership
The U8/U10/12/U14 program is for racers ages thirteen and under. Twelve- and thirteen-year-old athletes race as U14s; those 10 and 11 compete as U12 with 8- and 9-year-olds designated as U10. U8/U10/12/U14 races in the Far West are non-scored US SKI & SNOWBOARD-sanctioned events. U8/U10/U12 compete in the same races but are maintained as separate fields with their own start lists and are run separately. Depending on the disciplines U14 may compete in the same races or have their own race designation. The starting order is determined by random draw, which is reversed for the second run in GS and SL races. All competitors are allowed to start the second run in their starting spot, including those who did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ) in the first run. Awards will be given for each age class and gender. Hero gates will be used for all U8/U10/U12 Slalom events.
Bear Valley, along with Dodge Ridge, Yosemite Ski Club (Badger Pass), China Peak, and Snow Summit comprise the Central South Series of Far West. There is also a North Series. Throughout the season, most of the races our team attends are Central South Series races. The series consists of two slaloms (SL), two giant slaloms (GS), and two Super-G’s (SG) for U12/U14 athletes; and two slaloms (SL), two giant slaloms (GS) and two one-run giant slaloms (with minimum gates and maximum length) (one run GS) or a two-run GS for U8/U10 In addition, there are three races (SL, GS, SG for U12s; SL, GS, one run GS or two-run GS for U8/U10) at the divisional championships. The U14 class has a separate Championship event. There are also non-series races for U8/U10/12/U14 athletes.
For the individual overall season awards, U8/U10/12 series races will be scored by age class using current “Old World Cup Points.” A racer may win a series award in only one geographic area (North, Central, or South). The results from the championships shall be scored separately. The best four results from the six scheduled series races (regardless of discipline) are used to calculate the series awards. If any of the series’ races are canceled, one-half of the races held are scored (odd numbers are rounded up). A tie is broken by adding a racer’s next-best score(s) until the tie is broken.
The U10 program is for racers ages nine and under. U10 races in the Far West are non-scored U.S. Ski & Snowboard sanctioned events. US Ski and Snowboard Equipment and Wax Rules are in effect: U12 and Under athletes are only allowed the use of one pair of skis within the race arena, which is defined as the area between the fences and including the start and finish areas. Fluorinated wax is not allowed at any US Ski and Snowboard competitions for any age group. No wax benches are allowed in the U14 and younger race arena. Application of wax is not allowed at the U14 and under competition venue, which is defined as the ski resort property.
Far West U10 Divisional Championships
Athletes from all three geographic areas will meet at the end of the ski-racing season for the Far West Divisional U10 Championships. The Championships will consist of 1SL, 1GS, 2 Run Big GS, Skills Quest (Tentative), and 1 Parallel Event. All four race events will count towards the Championship overall standings. These events, including the SQ, will be awarded 1st-5th place per gender, per age class. A separate Championships Team draw will take place at the Championships opening team captains meeting. The rotation will be split into thirds, to be rotated per discipline. The 2nd run start order will be reverse order of the first run. Women will start first in the first event, men will start first in the second event, and continuing the alternate starting order throughout the Championships. All competitors are allowed to start the second run in their starting spot, including those who did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ) in the first run. The U10 Far West Divisional Championships are open only to current age-eligible members of FWS and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Competitors from out of the division are not allowed to participate in these races. The OC may utilize a Championship Bib at a reasonable cost to the participants.
North and Central South Series races award 1st- 5th place. For the individual overall season awards, U10 series races will be scored by age class using current “World Cup Points” (see Rules Governing Far West Competitors Section of this document). A racer may win a series award in only one geographic area (North/Central South). The results from the Championships shall be scored separately. All results from the scheduled series races (regardless of discipline) are used to calculate the series awards. A tie is broken by a racer’s best GS “World Cup” score(s), moving to Slalom until the tie is broken.
The Rasmussen Cup – U10 Team Series Award
The Maury Rasmussen Team Series Award (a perpetual trophy) goes to the top team in each of the two geographic areas within the Far West. There is no maximum number of competitors per team. For scoring, the top thirty U10 finishers, per gender, of the respective geographic area will count. The top three men and the top three women from any one team will be scored per race. All series races held, and the four disciplines of the championship series will be scored. Scored with “World Cup Points.”
Richmond Cup (U10 age class cup)
Bryan Richmond was a talented athlete who skied all of his life. This cup was named in his memory and his love for the sport and achievements in his racing career. The Richmond Cup is given to the best U10 man and woman competing at the Far West U10 Championships, using “World Cup Points.” Ties will be broken by using the best finish in the GS, followed by SL, then Big G. The athlete does not have to complete all races in the series.
The U12 program is for racers ages ten and eleven. U12 races in the Far West are non-scored U.S. Ski & Snowboard sanctioned events.
U12 and Under athletes are only allowed the use of one pair of skis within the race arena, which is defined as the area between the fences and including the start and finish areas. Fluorinated wax is not allowed at any US Ski and Snowboard competitions for any age group. No wax benches are allowed in the U14 and younger race arena. Application of wax is not allowed at the U14 and under competition venue, which is defined as the ski resort property.
All competitors are allowed to start the second run in their starting spot, including those who did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ) in the first run. Awards will be given for each age class and gender. It is required by FWS that U12 Slaloms be contested with 60” tall gates exclusively. In order to minimize travel, the U12 program is divided into two geographic areas within the Far West: North (Tahoe, Mammoth, Shasta, Mt. Ashland, Northern Nevada); Central South(Western Slope of the Sierra, Southern California, Southern Nevada). Each of the two geographic areas runs a season-long series. There are non-series/open- races for U12 athletes, too. Open series races are not scored to overall standings.
The U12 Start list will be a random draw for the first run and the second run will be in reverse order, the second day will be the reverse order followed by the original first run order. The OC may allow alternate gender start order for each day of the event throughout the season. U12 Super G racing: The SG start order will be a random draw for the first race and the second day/race will be in reversed order. A training run on the actual racecourse is required for all competitors. This training run is held the day prior to the race in the North Series. Skills quest for the U12’s will take place during the regular series SG Training Day. FWS 22-23 17
The philosophy behind the scheduling of U12 races is to encourage racing in each athlete’s own geographical series by scheduling the same events in each geographical area on similar weekends. Series races are scheduled to allow time for skill development, using GS as the base event.
Far West U12 Divisional Championships
Athletes from all three geographic areas will meet at the end of the ski-racing season for the Far West Divisional U12 Championships. The Championships will consist of 1SL, 1GS, 1SG TR, and SG race. Skills quest for the U12s will take place during the regular series SG Training Day. All four events will count towards the Championship overall standings. These events will be awarded 1st-5th place per gender, per age class. Each event will be a random draw, the 2nd run start order will be reverse order of the first run. The OC may allow alternate gender start orders for each day of the event. SG training will be run via a team draw, with a random draw for the race. All competitors are allowed to start the second run in their starting spot, including those who did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ) in the first run.
The U12 Far West Divisional Championships are open only to current age-eligible members of FWS and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Competitors from out of the division are not allowed to participate in these races. The OC may utilize a Championship Bib at a reasonable cost to the participants.
North, Central South Series races award 1st- 5th place. For the individual overall season awards, U12 series races will be scored by age class using current “World Cup Points” (see Rules Governing Far West Competitors Section of this document). A racer may win a series award in only one geographic area (North/Central South). The results from the Championships shall be scored separately. All results from the scheduled series races (regardless of discipline) are used to calculate the series awards. A tie is broken by a racer’s best GS “World Cup” score(s), moving to Slalom until the tie is broken. If conditions force the cancellation of a series race, the FWS ACC U12 subcommittee determines and publicizes any necessary changes in scoring.
The Poulsen Cup- U12 Team Series Award
The Poulsen Team Series Award (a perpetual trophy) goes to the top team in each of the three geographic areas within the Far West. There is no maximum number of competitors per team. For scoring, the top thirty U12 finishers, per gender, of the respective geographic area will count. The top three men and the top three women from any one team will be scored per race. All series races held, and the four disciplines of the championship series will be scored. Scored with “World Cup Points.”
Allan Cup (U12 age class cup)
Brendan Allan was a talented athlete who skied all his life. This cup was named in his memory and his love for the sport and achievements in his racing career. The Allan Cup is given to the best U12 man and woman competing at the Far West U12 Championships, using “World Cup Points.” Ties will be broken by using the best finish in the GS, followed by SL, then SG. The athlete does not have to complete all races in the series.
The U14 program is for racers ages twelve and thirteen years of age. All Far West U14 athletes may compete in the California Challenge Series (qualifying series for the Western Region U14 Championships). Start lists are seeded by U.S. Ski & Snowboard points and scored to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard points list.
Competitors who did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ) in the first run can start the second run with their original bib after the last qualified competitor (U621.11.3) Awards will be given for each gender. The Central South will host U14/U16 scored events.
California Challenge Series
The U14-only series includes three SL, three GS, and three SG, and these WR U14 Jr Champs qualifying races are open to all Far West U14 athletes. A training run on the actual racecourse is required for all competitors in a U14 SG (U1256.4). This training run will be held the day prior to the race in the California Challenge Series. US Ski and Snowboard Equipment and Wax Rules are in effect: Fluorinated wax is not allowed at any US Ski and Snowboard competitions for any age group. No wax benches are allowed in the U14 and younger race arena. Application of wax is not allowed at the U14 and under competition venue, which is defined as the ski resort property.
Open Series start opportunities for U14’S:
All Far West U14s will be allowed to participate in the Far West SG Finals, a SG training run is mandatory for all U14s. It is highly recommended that the U14s participate in the Speed Development
Far West U14 Divisional Championships
Athletes from all three geographic areas will meet at the end of the ski-racing season for the Far West Divisional U14 Championships. The Championships will consist of SG TR, SG, GS, and SL. These events will be awarded 1st-5th place per gender, per age class. Start lists are seeded by U.S. Ski & Snowboard points and bibbo for second run if applicable. Competitors who did not finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ) in the first run can start the second run with their original bib after the last qualified competitor if Jury and Race Organizer allow.
The U14 Far West Divisional Championships are open only to current age-eligible members of FWS and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. The OC may utilize a Championship Bib at a reasonable cost to the participants.
Awarded 1st-5th place per race and overall standings/per gender. For the individual overall season awards, U14 series races will be scored by age class using current “World Cup Points” (see Rules Governing Far West Competitors Section of this document). The results from the Championships shall be scored separately. All results from the scheduled series races (regardless of discipline) are used to calculate the series awards. A tie is broken by a racer’s best GS “World Cup” score(s), moving to Slalom until the tie is broken. If conditions force the cancellation of a series race, the FWS ACC U14 subcommittee determines & publicizes any necessary changes in scoring.
McKinney Cup (age class cup)
Tamara McKinney is a former member of the US Ski Team. She won four World Cup season titles, most notably the 1983 overall. With 18 World Cup victories and World Championship Gold, Tamara is a positive influence on all our racers in the Far West. The McKinney Cup is given to the best U14 woman competing at the Far West U14 Championships, using “World Cup Points.” Ties will be broken by using the best finish in the GS, followed by SL, then SG, then Parallel. The athlete does not have to complete all races in the series.
Rahlves Cup (age class cup)
Daron Rahlves is considered one of the most accomplished speed skiers (Downhill, Super G) in American History, Rahlves is also the 2008 WX gold medalist in Skier Cross. 12 World Cup victories and a World Championship Gold are part of the reason he loves to share his passion for skiing. This cup is named for his love of the sport and achievements in his racing career. The Rahlves Cup is given to the best U14 man at the Far West U14 Championships, using “World Cup Points.” Ties will be broken by using the best finish in the GS, followed by SL, then SG. The athlete does not have to complete all races in the series
U14 Western Region Jr Championships
The U14 Regional Championships brings together U14 athletes from the five divisions of the Western Region (Alaska, Northern, Pacific Northwest, Intermountain and Far West). This provides them the opportunity to improve their skiing skills and to introduce our athletes and coaches to each other and foster a healthy Regional environment. Athletes must be members in good standing of U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Far West Skiing for the 2022-2023 season, including any (X) foreign athletes. Participation in this event is by selection only based on US Ski and Snowboard points and limited by the Division quota. For more information on the U14 opportunities as well as U16 and older programs check the Far West Skiing Policies and Procedures.
If you or your athlete have never participated in an organized ski race, a preview of some of the logistics may be helpful. Knowing what to expect and being prepared can make ski racing an enjoyable family experience. Most of this section refers to Central Series races and is intended for new race famililes.
It is helpful to make a checklist of all the gear your racer will need. Many racers are so used to having all their gear in their locker, they can easily forget to bring along vital equipment. Make sure you bring along an extra pair of skis for slip skis if you have them. Especially for GS races, you will want to save your race prepped skis for the competition. If you only have one pair of skis, no problem the coaches and parent assistants will help do a quick prep at the top of the course.
There are 4 “away” events for the Bear Valley U8/U10/12/U14 Team; Dodge Ridge, Yosemite, China Peak and the Far West Championships. Lodging for these away events, especially Dodge Ridge and China Peak should be booked as early as possible. A good practice is to make your reservations as soon as the Far West Schedule is pubished for the upcoming season. This usually takes place in late August or early September. Lodging information is contained in the Appendix of this guide. The lodging selections are not exhaustive, but reflect where the Bear Valley team usually stay.If these choices are booked, try to secure accomodations as close to the resort as possible since race days start early.
Each morning, racers need to “check in”, usually about 7:30 am, at a designated point at the hosting resort. This confirms the race organizer has received your registration. This is also where racers can buy discounted lift tickets. For Central Series races, other transactions such as picking up Award Dinner tickets, sweatshirts etc. may also occur at check-in. It is a good idea to make sure you either have plenty of cash or your check book since some venues do not accept credit cards for discounted lift tickets and other event payments..
During the check-in period, Start Lists will be available for the day’s race. Sometimes race day schedules are also availabe. Make sure to pick up a Start List so you know the order in which your racer will be running.
All racers require numbered bibs for the race. For Central Series races permanent bis are used per above information. For other Far West events and U16 and older racers bibs are provide at each race. These bibs are given to the coach at the coaches meeting which is usually held the evening before the race. Make sure you meet the coach at the appointed time to receive a bib. After the event, bibs must be returned. If you don’t return your bib, the team will be charged $50.
After checkin, the team usually assembles at the base of the lift serving the race course, usually around 8-8:30 am. The team will proceed to the top of the course where gear will be dropped. Racers will warm up with free ski runs until the the course is open for inspection, typically 8:30-9:30 am.
During inspection the team slips the course with the coach who describes the best line to take and discusses key points to help the racers maintain a fast line.
For GS and SL events there are generally 2 runs that comprise the race. For most events, the first run begins around 10 am and the second run around 1 pm. A race is held for each level and gender. For example, U8/U10 Girls may take their run first followed by U8/U10 Boys, then U12/U14 Girls, etc. Racers should know approximately when they are scheduled to run so as not to miss his/her start.
The coaches will always be the best source for information about start times and the schedule for the race day.
Many racers enroll in summer race camps at Mt. Hood, OR. The Bear Valley Race Team traditionally has attended the Olin-Lacasse Ski Camp operated by Tony Olin and Josee Lacasse. The program consists of one week sessions, 3 days of SL and 3 days of GS.
We attempt to attend the 2nd or 3rd week as a team, but often times some team members cannot attend with the group and choose a different week. Some racers register for back to back weeks to get more practice.
While Ski Camp is an excellent way to continue to build skill, all athletes should be engaged in some sort of sport or physical activity to keep conditioned, build strength and improve coordination. Sports such as soccer, cross country, swimming, cycling are all excellent in terms of conditioning.
The newest and most diversified complex in the Pinecrest Lake area. Spacious cabins, townhouses and RV Park. Located by the North Fork of the Tuolumne River. Closest lodging to Dodge Ridge Wintersports Area. 500 Dodge Ridge Road, P.O. Box 1279 Pinecrest, CA 95364.
Pinecrest Lake Resort
Nestled among towering sugar pines, Pinecrest Lake Resort is only five minutes from Dodge Ridge. Motel Rooms, Cabins, Townhouses, Restaurant and Bar available.
Located on the south fork of the Stanislaus River and just five miles from Dodge Ridge, Strawberry Inn is a newly remodeled, full service resort, including a restaurant, bar, and 15 hotel rooms. Located 1 mile east on Hwy. 108 from the Dodge Ridge/Pinecrest turnoff. 31888 Highway 108, P.O. Box 61 Strawberry, CA 95375.
Cabins at Strawberry
P.O. Box 109-31888 • Hwy. 108
Strawberry, CA 95375
Ten new fully-furnished cabins located on the South Fork of the Stanislaus River. 3 bedroom/2 bath cabins. Amenities include: fireplaces, linens, TV/VCR, and fully-stocked kitchens. Open year-round. Pet friendly. Call for reservations or brochure.
China Peak Inn
Contact the China Peak Inn at (559) 233-1200 or by email at email@example.com for reservations and room availability.
The China Peak Inn is located just a short walk to the lifts and offers a variety of rooms and suites in a rustic charm all its own. The Inn’s casual atmosphere allows you to relax after a day on the slopes and enjoy drinks in the Buckhorn Bar or a casual meal in the Dining Room.
Located just minutes from China Peak, Lakeshore Resort offers rustic hospitality in charming cabins at a reasonable price
Tamarack Motor Lodge
Located 5 miles from China Peak
9 studio suites
Huntington Condos 800-422-4102
Other Accommodation options can be found at https://goshaver.org/lodging
Donner Lake Village Resort has studios, one bedroom and townhouse accomodations.
Phone: 1800 621 6664
Good location for Sugar Bowl and Boreal events
These are nice 1 bedroom and 1 bedroom with loft.Prices are reasonable and location is convenient
Mammoth Mountain Inn
Located at the main base of Mammoth Mtn, the Mammoth Mountain Inn is the most convenient location to access the mountain. Condos are a bit pricey, but rooms may be a good alternative.
Snowcreek Resort (Condos)
Toll Free: 1-800-544-6007
Local: (760) 934-3333
P.O. Box 1647
1254 Old Mammoth Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Snowcreek Resort Vacation Rentals provides Mammoth Lakes visitors with luxurious condominiums and town homes in a variety of floor plans. These units can be economical especially if shared.
Tenaya Lodge toll free at 888-514-2167 Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is a classic mountain resort set two miles from Yosemite National Park’s southern gate
Yosemite Lodge at the Falls
Make your Yosemite reservation online or call us at (801) 559-4884
Closest property to Yosemite Falls, the main complex was redesigned with an emphasis on glass and wood detailing to blend harmoniously with its surroundings
US SKI & SNOWBOARD – https://usskiandsnowboard.org/
Far West Division of US SKI & SNOWBOARD – http://www.fwskiing.us/
Race Werks – http://www.race-werks.com/
The Race Place – http://www.the-raceplace.com /
Start Haus – http://starthaus.com/index.php
Ski Depot – http://www.ski-depot.com/