The good news: There IS going to be a Michigan Cup Race Series for 2020-21 - The Michigan Cup Committee approved a revised race calendar (see below).
Now the bad news: the COVID-10 pandemic will likely require extensive changes to how (and if) races are held, with great impact each skier's race experience.
Race directors will struggle to maintain a safe environment for skiers:
Race directors also have a few other worries:
There are a number of options race directors have at their disposal:
If a vaccine is released early AND there are enough doses for skiers AND skiers get vaccinated, things might be easier. The likelihood of this occurring, however, is very low.
The main takeaway for skiers is to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Don't be surprised if the lodge is closed or you can't register day of the race. Make sure you can lodge in your car. Don't complain if you're required to wear a mask.
Also remember that the Michigan Cup does not put on races and has no control over what race directors decide to do. The Michigan Cup selects races to be included in the series based on the quality of the race or the race organizers.
The Michigan Cup Committee discussed whether virtual races would be scored for Michigan Cup points, if any race directors decided to go virtual. Virtual racers use Strava or other software to race the designated race distance on same course but over several days or on different course on the same day or over several days. While the Committee encourages skiers to participate in virtual races, virtual races will not be scored for Michigan Cup Races because the course and conditions could greatly vary between racers.
The Michigan Cup budget continues to cover expenses. There were more than normal expenses last year as we restocked medals and trophies, but this periodic bump is normal and offset by years with fewer expenses. There was discussion of charging races a fee to be part of the Michigan Cup, but some committee members noted that many of the races only break even or even run a deficit. The Committee decided to ask race directors to add a recommended donation field of $5 during online registration. A discussion around asking for donations on paper forms was rejected by the race directors attending the meeting: paper forms would require someone to manually go through each form after the race to figure out if there was a donation.
Money allocated to supporting junior racing was left over from last year's budget. That money continues to be available, but no new money was allocated because to the uncertainty around the junior racing, particularly Junior Nationals.
The Traverse City High School teams have been merged from individual schools into the Vasa Ski Club. Formerly, the teams were jointly operated between the schools and the Vasa Ski Club, but the combination of public school and private school (St Francis) restrictions, plus issues with buses and insurance lead to the consolidation under the Vasa Ski Club. From a Michigan Cup standpoint, there is no change: the high school teams were already counted as part of Vasa Ski Club.
Jay Woodbeck and Kyle Hanson took over the scoring of the Brumbaugh Cup from Chris Jones partway through the season last year. They found some edge cases where they were not sure how to score:
A more compressive set of rules around the Brumbaugh proposed by Woodbeck and Hanson were adopted after discussion and some modification. The final draft is being edited for clarity and will be posted on the Michigan Cup website shortly.
Only one change has been made to this season's schedule: The "Michael Seaman Memorial Classic" was moved up to January 30.
Notice that no distances are listed. We expect race directors may make changes to distances as part of their COVID-19 response and are waiting for more details about the races
|Sat 12||Winterstart||Lakes of the North|
|Sun 13||Forbush Time Trial||Forbush Corner|
|Sat 2||4 Hour Relay||Hanson Hills|
|Sat 9||Frosty Freestyle||Huron Meadows|
|Sun 10||Krazy Klassic||Huron Meadows|
|Sat 16||Cote Dame Marie
Northbound Outfitters Kids Ski Festival
|Sat 23||Noquemanon Ski Marathon||Ishpeming|
|Sat 30||Michael Seaman Memorial Classic||Forbush Corner|
|Sat 6||White Pine Stampede||Mancelona/Shanty Creek|
|Sat 13||North American Vasa||Timber Ridge|
|Sun 14||North American Vasa||Timber Ridge|
|Sat 20||Forbush Freestyle||Forbush Corner|
|Sun 21||Hanson Hills Classic||Hanson Hills|
|Sat 27||Boyne Vistas||Boyne Mountain|
|Sun 28||Muffin Race||XC Ski Headquarters|
|Sat 6||Black Mountain Classic||Cheboygan|
|Sun 7||Black Moutain Freestyle||Cheboygan|
|Sun 14||Michigan Cup Relays||XC Ski Headquarters|