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USSA Congress approves XC ski racing changes

Tue, May  25, 2010 - By USSA

At the USSA Congress in May, the Cross Country Committee approved the following important changes:

At USSA Sanctioned US Championships mass start races (including Sprints and Relays), a “photo finish camera system” will be required (i.e. FinishLynx, Omega Scan'O'Vision STAR, Alge).

For individual starts, TDs will require that ski poles be in front of the start wand and that there be a post on both sides of the start gate.

A policy will be implemented for TDs to alert skiers and/or coaches that there is a problem with a skier’s performance prior to the Jury meeting to determine grounds for disqualification. FIS protocols will be consulted, but in place of a time being displayed it may say "pending" or "review". Decision coming by July 1st.

National Ranking List (NRL) changes:

  • No Team Events will be scored to the NRL.
  • The regional NRL point minimums were adjusted down to: men 50; women 65.
  • The penalty calculation for all NRL races will use the discipline point list except for JOs.
  • The time period of February 5 – March 20 will include FIS European & Continental Cup races being scored to the USSA NRL so that athletes competing in the JWC & U23 World Championships (and others) can maximize their European race season. Races to be chosen by USST staff and posted at USSA.org when available.

U23 Team Selection Criteria will be changed so that the best 2 out of 4 races at U.S. Championships are used.

U23 and JWC Team Selection Criteria for single race results have been decreased to the following levels:

  • U-23 men 50 points, women 60 points
  • JWC men 65 points, women 75 points

The proposal to allow Junior Olympic Team athletes in Nordic Combined and/or Ski Jumping to be eligible to compete in the USSA Junior Olympics for Cross Country was accepted in concept. Because the joint JOs would not be held until 2012 in Utah, there is time to work through the details and explore issues that have not currently been anticipated. Reciprocal rights would be offered to Cross Country skiers at the J/NC Junior Olympics.

The distance for the team Relay at Junior Olympics will be shortened to 3km for all classes. The goal is to keep the field closer together to provide more head to head race experience.

The technique rotation for Junior Olympics will be changed to a freestyle-classic-freestyle-classic rotation, followed the next year by a classic-freestyle-classic-freestyle rotation.

Test events were approved for the 2011 season allowing an Organizer to have two scored races (USSA & FIS) in one day (eg: two sprint qualifiers during the same competition day, or a sprint qualifier followed by a prologue). Points will be scored to the USSA NRL and to FIS when sanctioned as such.

A working group composed of 2 to 3 representatives from each region will be formed to research the major cornerstones of Athletic, Operational and Business Plans for a new Regional approach to Development. It includes researching the USSA Alpine National Development System (NDS) that is in place at USSA. This working group is expected to report back by July 15.

Clubs, officials and organizers are challenged to further the work of homologating more U.S. venues so that we can continue to host FIS level races which help to improve our athletes' FIS point profiles.

National event calendar draft can be downloaded below, and will be updated asap at: http://www.ussa.org/magnoliaPublic/ussa/en/sports/crosscountry/events.html:

USSA XC National Draft Calendar 2011