Frequently Asked Questions
What is SSRA?
Spokane Ski Racing Association is the alpine ski racing team that operating at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park. SSRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The team was formed in 1959 and has a long and successful history in alpine competition. SSRA offers programs to competitors ages 5 to adult. Although SSRA operates at Mt. Spokane, it is an independent entity that enjoys special privileges related to pass pricing, grooming, early lifts, fundraising and designated meeting and training space at Mt. Spokane, our greatest supporter!
What is the program's philosophy?
SSRA provides an important service to Spokane and the communities of the Inland Northwest. The team helps young people to be involved in a healthy outdoor competitive experience rivaled by few. SSRA teaches athletes to have fun while learning to be expert skiers and outstanding competitors. We strive to retain athletes through the entire continuum of competitive programs that SSRA offers. We realize that while having fun and learning to ski all terrain and conditions is the goal at the entry level, competition teaches the greatest lessons as racers progress through SSRA. Life skills such as dedication, hard work, time-management, goal setting and ability to travel become an important part of what we teach. SSRA strives to develop outstanding skiers who love the sport and the outdoor winter alpine environment. And, SSRA strives to develop outstanding young human beings. SSRA strongly promotes the concept of team and reliance on others in the collective pursuit of excellence. SSRA promotes participation and seeks to grow our organization in all areas, each year. We host events and showcase winter snow sports competition at Mt. Spokane.
SSRA is committed to fun.
SSRA is committed to learning.
SSRA is committed to excellence.
What does it mean to be a member of SSRA?
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, SSRA is bound by its Articles of Incorporation. SSRA is governed by a body of annually/biannually elected directors who set policy in accordance with the organizations Bylaws. Operations and the day to day management of SSRA rests with the organization's Program Director. Participants in SSRA's full-time programs are required to pay tuition to take advantage of the program and its benefits. Although membership does not include ownership interest in the club, or the right to participate in governance of the program, all members can present agenda items to the board at monthly meetings and have voting rights in annual SSRA BOD elections, normally in May.
What are the coaches' credentials?
Our coaching staff consists of dedicated and caring skiing professionals who share a genuine interest in each athlete's personal growth as a skier, alpine competitor and human being. Coaches are involved in two nationally accredited organizations: USSCA (United States Ski and Snowboard Coaches Association) and PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America). Through these systems and in-house clinics, SSRA coaches remain on the cutting edge of the sport of ski racing.
Am I ready to be a part of the team?
If you are an intermediate skier and can independently load the lift, you are ready for SSRA! Of course an eagerness to ski, have fun, and aggressively pursue the skills of the sport are important parts of fitting into a competitive alpine team environment.
SSRA coaches evaluate athletes during the first two weekends of training. If you are not ready, or it proves to be too much of a challenge, program fees are refunded in full. Athletes may also choose our TBYB, try before you buy program. (In any involvement with SSRA,TBYB or otherwise, an enrollment form/liability release must be signed prior to participation)
In what team should I enroll?
SSRA offers 7 different season long teams: Introduction to Ski Racing, Youth Ski League, Full-time Youth Ski League, Alpine Team Development (DEVO), U16 Alpine Team, FIS Alpine Team, and Masters Training Center.
All of SSRA's teams are designed around our athletes. Teams are defined by age ranges and varying levels of training opportunities. Programs are not designed by ability required in order to participate. Groups within each team are created with athletes of commensurate ability, age, and maturity/focus. If you have specific questions, you should consult Chuck Holcomb, Executive Director/Head Coach.
How do I enroll?
Simply fill out an SSRA enrollment form, volunteer form, and submit fees with the completed forms to SSRA Registrar, 2018 N. Willamette Dr., Post Falls, ID 83854. These forms can be found online on the www.gossra.org homepage. You can print them out, complete it in full, and mail with fees.
Enroll online at www.gossra.org.
How much does it cost?
Fees vary from team to team. Fee structure can be accessed on the www.gossra.org homepage under, "registration information, enrollment form", or by clicking here. Tuition is subsidized approximately 40% annually from membership fundraising and the races that we host.
What other costs can I expect?
A season pass is the best way to pay for lifts when you are part of the SSRA team. Luckily, Mt. Spokane season passes are amongst the most affordable in the nation! In addition, Ski Northwest Rockies offers a 5th grade passport allowing children to ski free at four of the local areas. Mt. Spokane extends this deal to 5th graders for the entire season for the cost of processing a season pass ($25)!
You will need to have your own ski equipment and appropriate clothing. However, you can get deeply discounted equipment at the fall racer sales at the local ski shops (Alpine Haus and Sports Creel). See the team calendar or SSRA Newsflash for more info.
Periodically, SSRA organizes a team uniform order. When this is done (approximately every 2-3 years), each member is obligated to purchase a coat as this is a fundamental component of our team identity. Prices vary, but are kept as inexpensive as possible, while maintaining our image and expectations of quality.
USSA licenses are required for all athletes. These are $95 for athletes 12 and under (Youth license) and $185 for athletes 12 and up (Alpine Competitor license)
FIS licenses are required for atheltes ages 16 and up. These are $80 if purchased by August 15.
Team Camp and Race Travel
Travel costs for team camps and race travel are divided amongst the athletes attending. Camps involving travel are offered to Alpine Team Development (DEVO) and the U16 and FIS Alpine Teams. Travel costs are handled apart from the team until an athlete begins to compete outside of the Inland Northwest (EEYSL). For the Buddy Werner Championships (U14's only) and Scored racing U14, U16, U18 and U21, athletes establish race accounts. From these, race entries, van costs, lodging, and team wax fees are routinely deducted.
When are fees due?
For returning members who want to take advantage of the "early bird discount", fees are due by October 1st, 2012. Otherwise, fees are due at the time that the program begins. See below:
Early Bird Deadline
Full Payment Due
FIS Alpine Team/U16 Alpine Team
Alpine Team Development (DEVO)
Youth Ski League, Full-Time YSL –and-
Introduction to Ski Racing –and-Masters Training Center
Can I upgrade to another program during the season?
Absolutely! You may upgrade to another program at any time during the season. At that point, the fee difference will be prorated.
What does membership include?
Membership includes training tuition fees. Membership provides the privilege of receiving the highest quality coaching available and training on the best venue in the Pacific Northwest!
Does membership include a season pass? Rental equipment? Transportation?
No. As stated above, season passes are purchased seperately. Equipment, in most cases is best purchased at a racer sale, rather than rented. Transportation is not provided for training, other than night training (van user fees apply). However, most members carpool regularly. At the U14, U16 and FIS Team level, transportion is provided for many races (van user fees apply).
Do I need a season pass?
Membership does not include a season pass since SSRA is an independent entity from Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.
Please note that 5th graders can receive a free season pass ($25 processing fee) at Mt. Spokane. Apply at the Ski Northwest Rockies website. Mt. Spokane is the only Inland Northwest ski area that offers this outstanding program to families all season long.
Where do my fees go?
Fees are spent on coaching, eqiupment, adminstration, etc. However, fees cover only 60% of these expenditures.
Am I expected to volunteer?
Yes. Volunteering is an essential component of being part of a team like SSRA. There are countless reasons why we need volunteers to make our program and services the best in the Pacific Northwest. These include helping out at home races, fundraisers, and other functions. Without volunteering, the cost of participation in SSRA would almost double as revenue received as a result of volunteering heavily subsidizes the club's programs.
How does SSRA manage risk with my child?
Coaches are trained in risk mitigation in the winter alpine environment. Coaches are trained to help athletes prepare and deal with cold and adverse training conditions. Coaches stress proper clothing, nutrition, and hydration. Coaches practice and teach athletes about the Riders Responsibility Code. Coaches are trained in group handling skills to help minimize risk of skiers being lost or separated from the group. Coaches take frequent head counts, use the buddy system to further this cause, and maintain radio contact with the entire coaching staff.
Coaches are certified to set courses as stipulated by USSA and set courses in accordance with the rules of FIS and USSA.
How does SSRA conform to Washington State's Lystedt Law?
SSRA treats concussions seriously and adheres to Washington State's Lystedt Law through the use of concussion education and baseline/post concussion testing (for athletes 10 and up).
All coaches participate in concussion training. All SSRA members are required to read the SSRA concussion information sheet and confirm by signing the appropriate enrollment form section pertaining to it. For athletes in the Alpine Team Development (DEVO), U16 Alpine Team, and FIS Alpine Team programs, SSRA requires baseline cognitive testing (Impact Test) for its athletes. In accordance with Washington State law, in the event of a concussion, an athlete is required to be cleared, in writing, by a health care professional trained in concussion assessment and management before returning to training. Due to the serious nature of second impact syndrome and lingering symptoms of concussion being detectable only through congnitive tests, a second impact test can be conducted after a concussion. A health care professional can compare this data with the baseline test data from the fall to determine when an athlete can return to training and competition.
What is the best resource for information about SSRA?
SSRA's website: www.gossra.org is the best resource for information. Email is used extensively as well. When critical information is communicated to you via email, a link to the associated page on the website is often provided. For up-to-the-minute training information, the SSRA training hotline is also an important tool to use.
What is the SSRA training hotline?
The training hotline is a recorded message indicating the training plans for the next day. The SSRA training hotline is part of the Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park voice mail system. The number is (509) 238-2220. Once you dial the number, you must enter the extension 303. The training hotline is updated by 5pm each day, for the following days activities.
How should I expect to be communicated with, as a parent?
If you are at the mountain on training days, you can expect to have easy access to talking to your child's coach each day at the meeting spot, during lunch, or after training. Off of the hill, primarily email is used. At times, and with urgent matters, you may be called.
Who should I contact first when I have a question or concern?
It is always best to talk to your child's coach first. If you are unable to resolve your concern, you can contact the head coach of your child's program. If you feel that your concerns or questions have not been addressed at this point, you may always contact Executive Director/Head Coach, Chuck Holcomb with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 979-7499.
Will my child receive written evaluations?
Yes! Coaches provide athlete evaluations once-twice a year (depending on the team) for all SSRA athletes. Evaluations are emailed to parents unless the athlete is a Junior/FIS Junior. Junior/FIS Junior evaluations are given directly to the athletes in addition to parents. Evaluations are provided during mid-January and at the end of the season.
How can I provide feedback?
At any time, feel free to provide feedback to your coach, head coach, or the Program Director. And whenever you have feedback AND a suggested solution...don't hold back, let us know! Also, parent survey are often provided online.
What does my child need?
Quality race skis and good fitting ski boots are essential to your child’s ski racing experience. Hard-ear Helmets are required in all United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and International Ski Federation (FIS) races and are required to train as well. We also recommend that you invest in a good pair of ski pants with a side-zip for easy access to boot buckles and ease of dressing down at the top of a race or training course. Goggles with interchangeable lenses are also helpful in a variety of light and snow conditions.
In addition to the above recommendations, ski competition has rules governing ski length and sidecut, as well as binding/plate lift and boot sole lift. These rules are created to apply to specific age classes. Please consult a coach with questions about the below information.
Where should we buy equipment?
In Spokane, the Alpine Haus (South Hill) and Sports Creel (Valley) are good ski shops. Wintersport on the northside is a longtime SSRA supporter as well. Reliable Racing, The Race Place, and Race Werks are quality online shops. Also, just checking in with other families about good deals and inter-club deals can be a way to save money. There is a used equipment forum on www.gossra.org to facilitate member equipment sales. Check it out! In addition, some folks take advantage of the discounted equipment at the Annual Ski Patrol Ski Swap at the Spokane Fairgrounds (Halloween weekend).
Are there any "deals" for SSRA athletes?
We do recommend checking with a coach prior to purchasing skis or boots on your own just to make sure you are getting quality gear at the best price for your athlete. Many of the coaches have connections to various product representatives and are able to get deals for your athletes depending on their ski level, race ability and past performance.
How do I choose the right ski length?
Please consult your coach for specific ski sizing info.
How do I properly fit a boot?
Good fitting boots are extremely important. They need to be low-volume (snug!) to allow for high performance. The cuff height should be proportional to the lower leg and the flex soft. You always want to start off in a soft flexing boot. There are many ways that a coach can stiffen up a boot if need be.
If you need to see if a boot fits try this process called shell-sizing:
Pull out the liner
Have the child put their foot in the shell of the boot
Have the child put all their weight on that foot
Have the child flex (bend) their knee
Then put your fingers behind their heel
For 12 and under athletes 1.5-2 fingers should fit behind the heel (.25-.75 inches), with a medium to light weight sock. Athletes 12 and up should be in boots .5-1.5 fingers behind the heel (.10-.50 inches). A common mistake is buying boots that are too large; the “they’ll grow into them” concept. When your child puts pressure on the side or front of their boot in order to start their turn, energy is transferred from their leg and foot to their ski. If their boot is too large the energy is not transferred to their ski efficiently. In short, energy is lost, timing is effected, and your child will have a more difficult time turning. No fun.
Once I purchase a boot, what else do I need to do?
Wear lightweight socks and make sure your long underwear is not tucked into your socks or inside of the boots. Socks should be pulled up all way and not crumpled down as this could result in shin bang or a sore spot on the shin. Lastly, keep your boots dry. Condensation from sweat and snow results in wet cold and miserable feet the next day. Take the liners out each evening or find a good boot dryer. This will be difficult at first, but over time it will get easier.
How long should my poles be?
Since the length of your ski pole will effect your ski stance and posture, choosing the correct length is crucial to good technique. Here's how to determine the best length:
Stand up straight with your arms at your sides.
Turn the pole upside down and hold the pointed end, directly underneath the basket.
With the grip touching the floor, your forearm must stay parallel to the ground. If you need to lift or lower your arm, the pole is the wrong length for you.
Keep in mind that a pole that is too long can be cut down. However, there is nothing that can be done for a pole that is too short, so be sure to choose wisely.
What kind of protective equipment do I need?
Our philosophy is to have athletes well protected to minimize fear of hitting gates or getting as close as possible.
Helmets (with hard plastic over the ears) are required in all USSA and FIS races. SSRA requires that a helmet be worn at all times. A face guard/mouth guard is required for slalom (SSRA team policy); and pole and shin guards are needed. For GS and Super G, a stealth or padded top is an important piece of equipment for aggressive skiing. Back protectors are important for speed events and are being used more and more for giant slalom.
What is ski tuning?
A properly tuned pair of skis gives you better control and is safer and easier to handle. Your skis' capacity to turn and glide is reduced when not tuned properly. Skiing on an imperfect base or edge requires you to use more strength and tires you out faster. Good, sharp edges are essential for control; flat, waxed bases glide better for speed and ease of turning. Tuning your equipment will let it perform like new again!
What's involved in tuning skis?
In the simplest terms, skis need to be flat for the bases and edges to work in harmony. Skis also need to have sharp, burr-free, and in most cases, beveled edges. A flat or "true" ski is easy to turn, carving both into and out of the turn, holds its edge through the turn and feels both predictable and smooth.
There are two primary things that happen as a ski is used - the ski base and bottom of the edge wear down, and the beveled side of the edge becomes dull. As the base and edge wear down, two different states may appear on the bottom of the skis. These states are referred to as edge high and base high.
Should I do it myself, or have a ski shop tune my skis?
Either one will do. Some people find that once they learn to tune their own skis that a shop tune no longer benefits them. The variability of shop tunes can be frustrating for the learning skier: if you've just had your skis tuned by a new shop, and you're having difficulty skiing as you'd like, is it you or the tune? For the cost of a few shop tunes, you can outfit yourself with the tools you need to keep your skis performing in top condition. With just a little practice, your tunes will be consistent, eliminating one variable in your performance. You can cater your tune to a variety of snow conditions, you need sharper edges on ice and will have to de-tune on softer snow conditions. Before you jump into tuning on your own you should check with a coach, or someone at a ski shop. There are a lot of great resources and tutorials out there for beginner tuners.
How often should I tune my skis?
Many athletes tune their skis every evening. For YSL athletes, SSRA recommends every 2 days on snow and always before a race or training session. U16 and FIS ALpine Team members Juniors should have skis tuned before each day of skiing or racing.
Are ski tuning clinics offered?
Yes, and check with your local ski shop as well.
What do I need in my tuning box?
You will find that you can tune your skis using only a few items. A basic kit should contain the following:
Rubber bands for brake retention
3 Degree File Guide
Small clamps for file guide
Panzer (body) file
Hard Chrome #1 cut aggressive file
File card for cleaning files
2-sided arkansas soft stone for deburring
ceramic stone for polishing
scotch brite pads
100 and 200 grit sandpaper
Nylon or horsehair brush
Wax: Swix pink, purple and red CH waxes
How do I get a pair of skis ready for the season?
New skis are not ready to ski out of the wrapper. If skis are flat, no stonegrind is necessary (stonegrinding will make a ski slower initially, so unnecessary stonegrinding should be avoided.). However, sidewall material should be planed away and side bevels should be established. Skis should be sharpened and edges polished. Then, wax, wax, wax!
How do I make a pair of skis fast?
Wax, Scrape, and brush with a brass or horsehair brush. Repeat..as many times as possible!
What kind of wax should I use for training?
There are a variety of wax types, depending on snow type i.e. wet, man-made, coarse, etc. For training a mid range wax will do.
What are flouros?
Fluorocarbon ski waxes are comprised of carbon molecules with negatively charged fluorine atoms. Similar to Teflon, they repel water better by reducing friction between bases and water in the snowpack, plus help keep bases cleaner and faster in dirty snow by repelling dirt particles.
Fluorocarbon ski waxes are offered in a variety of both universal and temperature-specific formulations that range from relatively inexpensive low-fluoro wax, to mid-fluoro wax, to high-fluoro wax, all the way up to expensive 100% fluoro overlays for top race speed applications. Low-fluoro wax is best suited for dry, low humidity conditions (when it’s hard to make a snowball), mid-fluoro wax is for medium humidity (when it’s easier to pack a snowball), and high-fluoro wax is for wet and high humidity (when it’s easy to pack a wet snowball). Different wax companies have varying but similar standards of humidity levels.
Flourinated waxes should be used for races only, in appropriate conditions.
What are flourinated overlays? What is "juicing"?
Flourinated overlay waxes are something that SSRA coaches may apply to skis at the start. This is wax that is rubbed/corked into the base for a boost in the right conditions. These are particularly expensive and athletes 13 and up are provided these waxes at cost to avoid having to buy their own.
Juicing is the slang term for applying overlays. We juice skis for GS, SG and DH in the right conditions.
Should I wax my skis before I travel?
Yes, it is very important to wax. Use an inexpensive wax such as the swix base prep wax and lay it on heavy and thick. It also protects the edges and bases.
What should I do to make sure my skis stay fast over the summer?
Skis should be tuned and waxed and stored in cool and clean environment. If you like, keep waxing them all summer long!
How do I get an SSRA coat?
Check with Chuck.
How should I dress for training?
Wear your uniform. Beyond that, layers are essential. If you get warm you can always shed a layer. Always wear your downhill suit, it keeps you warm and the more you train in your suit the more you will get used to it. Ski pants with a side-zip or training shorts expedite suiting down at the top of the course. Lightweight ski socks, and polypropylene or capilene base layers help keep you warm and dry.
Should I bring any additional clothing?
Neck gaitor or scarf, spare socks, gloves, and jacket when skiing in wet conditions. Hand warmers come in hand, especially for younger racers.
One of the best things you can do is carry a spare pair of goggles or goggle lenses in your pack!
Do I need a downhill/speed suit?
When ski racing at a competitive level it is helpful to wear a downhill suit. It is more aerodynamic than wearing all your clothes.
Where can I find a downhill/speed suit?
Reliable Racing, Race Werks, The Race Place, and eBay are great online shops. Ski swaps and other families whose athletes may have grown out of theirs are great options.
How are groups formed?
Groups are formed based on ski level, ability, and age.
Will I be able to ski with my friends?
Sometimes, but don’t worry if you are not placed in a group with your friends. You can meet up them in the lodge and off the hill.
What if I feel like I can't keep up?
Coaches have put you in a group because they feel that you are capable of skiing with the other athletes. If you have any concerns please speak with your coach.
What if I feel like I am not being pushed?
Ask your coach. Remember that you can ask us anything and if you have any concerns... let us know!
It is also important to realize that sometimes you will be one of the top skiers in your group. You may need to lead. This does not mean you will not be pushed or coached to maximize your potential. Coaches are trained to individualize training to appropriately challenge each athlete. We are only doing our best when everyone is learning, getting better, and going faster!
Who will be my coach?
Coaches are assigned to specific groups based on their experience coaching at your specific level.
What is training?
There are various types of on-hill training consisting of undirected and directed free skiing, drills in and out of gates, course sections and race simulation. SSRA event training consists of Giant Slalom and Slalom training, also there will be speed training SG and DH during designated times throughout the season.
How can I find out what the training plans are for the day?
Call the training hotline (509) 238-2220, ext. 303 or check the website at gossra.org.
What should my child bring?
Appropriate skis for the days training i.e. GS, SL, or speed skis. Downhill suit, Helmet and protective equipment corresponding to the days training. Water bottle, sunscreen (if necessary).
How should my child be prepared for training?
Your child should be well rested, hydrated and have eaten a well-balanced breakfast and have a lunch or lunch money.
Where and when do we meet?
8:45 am at meeting spot above Lodge 1, but during the first weekend or two of the season we may be based out of Lodge 2 if Lodge 1 is not open yet. Check by calling the training hotline at (238-2220, ext.303).
What happens if we are late?
Have your child wait at the base of chair one and we will link them up with their appropriate group. Feel free to ask any coach who comes by the bottom of the lift to contact your child's coach, via radio.
What happens if the weather is inclement?
Coaches meet every morning prior to training and make appropriate decisions on the days training. Training is rarely cancelled. We ski in the cold, the wind, the snow, the rain, and the fog. We even ski when it is sunny and warm! :) Instead of cancelling training when conditions are adverse, accomodations are made to balance training with the challenges of the elements.
Are we expected to be there every day? On a regular basis?
SSRA coaches have a relatively short amount of time in which to work with their athletes during the season. Regular attendance is expected in order to make improvements in your athletes skiing and racing.
What happens if I miss a day?
Contact your coach in advance, when you can. Let your coach know if you are going to be absent for a long period of time so we can cater a training program to your needs.
When is lunchtime?
Are my children supervised during lunch?
Coaches will be available to meet with athletes and parents during lunch.
What happens if an athlete needs to use the restroom?
If the athlete is younger, we accompany the athlete and bring the group in for a brief break. If the athlete is older, we let them go in to use the restroom and have them wait at the base of the chair to link up with their group.
What if I get cold or wet? Can I go in?
Yes, no one is going to force your athlete to train when they are uncomfortable, but we do ask that you make sure they are dressed appropriate to the conditions. Remember that you are under the supervision of coaches, so if you need to end your day early, we will need to link up with the appropriate parent or guardian.
What happens if I get hurt?
If you get hurt on the hill we will get in touch with ski patrol. All coaches are equipped with radio’s to keep in touch with other coaches and can expedite the response time of patrol. Parents of athletes will be contacted as soon as possible. Coaches will accompany athletes to the ski patrol building whenever possible.
What happens if I get lost?
If you have lost your group or are lost ski to the nearest base of the chairlift and wait. Tell someone on the hill, most likely they will help get you back where you need to be.
Can I train with my children's group?
You can watch your child train, but remember that shadowing your child's group becomes akward after a short period of time. Iif you want to train you can join our Master’s Training Center program!
May I "shadow" my child's group?
Feel free to shadow your child’s group, but it is important to let the coaches do their job too!
I used to be a ski instructor; can I help by coaching my child when he is not skiing with SSRA?
Please avoid coaching of your own kids, that’s why you’ve hired us!
Do I have to race?
No one is going to force you to race, but racing is really fun! It is important to have some races in your plans to give your training purpose and to align with teammates and team goals.
Do I race against my own age group?
Yes, ski racing in the United States is largely organized by age group. This is especially the case for athletes 15 and under. Beginning at age 12, athletes begin competing against others outside of their age class. However, until age 16, ability class racing is limited.
USSA Age Classes
What kind of memberships do I need?
In order to race in USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association) races you are required to have a USSA license. Visit ussa.org to become a member. International Ski Federations or FIS races for U18 athletes and older require another membership, visit fis-ski.com to enroll.
USSA membership required
Ages 11 and under: Youth Competitor
Ages 12+: Alpine Competitor
Ages 16+: FIS license required in addition to USSA Alpine Competitor
How do I "enter" a race?
Race announcements will be made available online.
Club races can be entered on the day of the race or online prior to the race.
At the 11 and under level, race entries must be sent in for EEYSL races using an EEYSL race entry form. Entry must arrive to the appropriate organizer by Tuesday preceding the race.
At the 12-13 years old level (U14 level) race travel consists of two different types. U14's race in some EEYSL races and enter these races on their own. In addition, U14's race in the Buddy Werner Championships and select scored races with the Alpine Team. For these races, athletes will be registered for races by SSRA's team entry. Race travel will be organized for families. This will include lodging, transportation, and the use of SSRA race accounts.
At the U16 and older level, SSRA registers athletes for races using team entry format. Team travel is organized including team entry, lodging, transportation, and the use of SSRA race accounts.
These are set up for athletes ages 11 and up. Race accounts are designed to simplify race travel. The concept is based in the idea that members pay into a savings account at the beginning of the season, from which race travel expenses are then deducted. Accounting is provided on the team pages to help families check calculations. When the account becomes depleted, it is the responsibility of members to deposit enough money to pre-pay for the next event(s). Race accounts are not set up to finance members' race travel. To the contrary, accounts are set up, tracked, and maintained to keep the team from financing individual member expenses.
Are there entry deadlines?
Yes, it is imperative that you sign your athlete up on time; failure to do so will result in their not being able to compete.
When should I be at a mountain for a race?
Race days are different than training days. 7:00 to 7:30 arrival time is normal depending on the schedule of the race.
What is course inspection?
Similar to training, you must inspect the course in order to be able to recognize rhythm changes and combinations in the course. In training, inspection should be done in exactly the same way it is done before a race. Deliberate and precise inspection is always encouraged. Coaches lead course inspection. Sometimes, coaches will invite older athletes to inspect on their own in the technical events (SL/GS).
Extra attention should be paid to following two parts:
Entering into and exiting out of gate combinations.
Transitions from steep to flat or flat to steep.
As you examine a course for the following elements you should visualize yourself actually skiing through the course with perfect form and a perfect line. Visualization makes a tremendous difference in how you ski. Most sports experts agree that it’s an integral part of success for an athlete and almost as good as actually doing the sport. Visualizing skiing down the race course is almost as good as getting practice runs down it.
It’s not easy to memorize a course, but the more you practice the easier it will become. The most successful racers can remember every turn of the course. It’s to your advantage to practice this important skill. You won’t remember the entire course initially but eventually with practice you will. The important thing initially is to get a feel for the course, to know what to expect. With limited practice you will be able to remember that there is a rhythm section for five or so turns, then a hairpin followed by a shorter rhythm section, then a flush, then a longer rhythm section, then a hairpin, a couple more turns and then the finish, for example.
Terms for course inspection
Fall line- the imaginary line down the slope determined by the path of a ball if you let it go. It changes at different portions of the slope.
Gate- made up of one pole in slalom or a pair of flagged poles in GS. Speed events (SG and DH) also use outside gates.
Flush- 3 or 4 vertical gates in succession
Hairpin- 2 vertical gates in succession
Turning pole - The inside pole of the pair that you come closest to/turn around when making your turn.
Outside pole -The other pole in a pair that makes up a gate, these no longer exist in most SL or GS courses other than combinations and delays.
May I inspect/slip the course with my child?
Courses should be inspected with coaches. Races should be no different than training.