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Wachusett Mountain Race Team Participation Guide
The new season is just around the corner - our favorite time of year!
Quality alpine ski training and coaching is perceived to be the exclusive domain of our northern New England neighbors. Yet, we understand through proper scheduling, creative facility usage and age appropriate training schemes that we can provide an exceptionally upbeat, positive and accelerated learning opportunity for your young athlete right here in the greater Boston area. We are committed to offering a team environment, which generates pride in participation.
Whether just beginning as a new racer or aspiring toward a faraway dream, we will strive to meet your needs. We want your athlete to be excited, motivated and looking forward to their next day of skiing. You have our commitment. We’re glad to have you with us!
Our Staff Mission
“The WMRT staff will provide each athlete the opportunity to excel in and enjoy alpine skiing and racing in a fun, safe and honest environment. We recognize that each young athlete is unique. We will teach, not judge.
The athletes, parents, volunteers, other staff members and all individuals we contact are our customers. We will strive to exceed their expectations and share the joy of our activities.”
Who We Are
· The Wachusett Mountain Race Team is a not for profit educational organization, dedicated to providing alpine race training opportunities at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA.
· WMRT is an organization operated by race team parents in cooperation with Wachusett Mountain. Empowered by our volunteer Board of Directors, WMRT hires a professional staff, to meet the needs of our enthusiastic participants. Our annual budget insures the purchase and maintenance of up to date training and racing supplies.
· We are actively involved on committees relevant to our mission.
· We conduct sanctioned races at Wachusett Mountain, for our respective age groups, which conform to all current rules and policies of our national governing body, USSA. We host an in-house race series for our younger age groups, for learning, camaraderie and fun.
· Our fundraising efforts continue to afford reasonable program fees for you, as well as developing community awareness of our program.
· As a member of WMRT, we look forward to your support. Please give your time as a volunteer when asked. It’s fun. Be involved.
Please note that across the country all USSA programs have adopted the new age group categories. The J1, ect…nomenclature are no longer used. The new naming scheme conforms to the standards used by the international community. “U” refers to “under” and the number is the athletes age. For example, U21 includes athletes under the age of 21. Therefore, athletes aged 20, 19, and 18 are included in this group. Please see the chart below to determine where your athlete falls in the new scheme.
Introductory Program U8, U10 Saturdays Approx. 18 sessions*
Weekend Program U21, U18, U16, U14, U12, U10, U8 Saturdays and Sundays Approx. 35 sessions*
Performance Program U21, U18, U16, U14, U12 Sat & Sun, & Tue or Thu Approx. 48 sessions*
Elite Program U21, U18, U16, U14, U12 Sat, Sun, Tues and Thurs Approx. 61 sessions*
* Additional sessions may be included throughout the season, to utilize the holiday school breaks and for specific race preparations, staff availability permitting. Sessions may also be cancelled due to weather conditions.
Determine your age as of December 31, 2018:
Class: Year of Birth (age)
U8 2011 and later (6, 7)
U10 2009 - 2010 (8, 9)
U12 2007 – 2008 (10, 11)
U14 2005 – 2006 (12, 13)
U16 2003 – 2004 (14, 15)
U19 2000 – 2002 (16, 17, 18)
U21 1998 – 1999 (19, 20)
Dry-Land Training begins in late October, Sunday mornings from 8:00 - 11:30/12:00 typically.
On Snow Program Dates: Late November, conditions permitting, through mid-March.
Each weekend day, on snow sessions begin at 8:00am and will end at either 12:30 or 2:30pm, depending on age/program. Our day begins early, to take advantage of the lighter early morning crowds. During very busy times, and to compliment pre-race preparations, we may schedule our program to begin at 7:00am for specific age groups.
We meet each session at the “Gate Box”, located slope side, in between the bases of the Polar Express and Minuteman Express chairlifts. All athletes should be at the Gate Box, ready to ski, 10 minutes prior to the beginning of each session. Please be on time.
A small break is taken mid-session for warming, snack and hydration.
Our professional paid coaches are designated to a respective age group. These coaches will work together within that age group to create appropriate sub classes. Class splits will allow athletes to ski and train with other coaches and athletes within their age group. Opportunities will be provided for training across age group boundaries, when sharing common training goals. Attendance is taken daily, to track the athlete’s involvement.
Weeknight program times run from 7:00pm to 9:00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning in January
Proper coaching support will be provided at all Tri State Qualifier and USSA Championship Events as well as other local events supported by the team. Parent/guardian involvement during these events helps to keep our operating expenses on track. Please volunteer to assist during race day.
WMRT Online Registration:
Please provide us with all requested information on the form and submit by the deadlines shown. Athlete information is used to track our participants and allow the board to properly staff the team. We maintain a complete, confidential contact roster to help keep you well informed.
Determine which program you are enrolling in. Select the desired program. Payment methods of credit card or online check are available.
A late fee has been incorporated in the fee schedule solely to incentivize on time registration so that the team can be properly staffed. Too many coaches leads to excessive expense. Too few coaches and we are scrambling to adjust.
All WMRT Enrollment Fees provide staffing and training supplies for our program.
All WMRT enrollment fees are non refundable. Fees must be received in full prior to participation.
Fees NOT Included:
Wachusett Mountain lift ticket/season pass. MUST HAVE PASS ON ATHLETE AT ALL TIMES DURING TRAINING!
All athletes enrolled with WMRT will need a Wachusett Mountain season pass or daily lift ticket to participate. Substantial pre season discounts are available. Contact 978-464-2300 or go to www.wachusett.com to purchase the pass that best suits your skiing needs. Group discounts may be available through GPS club office.
United States Ski and Snowboard Competitor Membership required for all age classes
Register on line https://my.ussa.org/
Main USSA Website www.ussa.org
Tri-State Alpine Ski Racing Association Membership is REQUIRED for all age classes. For ease of registration and tracking purposes, registration for Tri-State is automatically performs when registering or renewal of the USSA Competitor Membership.
Main Tr-State Website www.tristateskiracing.org
Athlete Ski Equipment.
We work very closely with Wachusett Mountainside Ski Shop. Substantial discounts and great support for our team members are made available throughout the season.
Race Entry Fees.
Fees vary from event to event. Once established, please see the race schedules on the website for more details. These will be updated at the start of the season.
Transportation, Food or Lodging.
All personal travel expenses and travel arrangements are the racer’s responsibility. Car-pooling is encouraged.
All enrolled WMRT athletes must become a USSA member:
The United States Ski Association is the national governing body for alpine, nordic, freestyle, and snowboarding competitions. They also fund and maintain the US Ski Team.
USSA sanctions snow sport events at the local, state, regional, national and international levels. Our athletes participate in USSA sanctioned competitions. WMRT is a member club of USSA.
Race results for athletes 15 and older will be scored to the USSA Alpine Classification List. This scoring of ‘points’ provides a method for seeding athletes at scored events. The system allows for fair ability comparison rankings of athletes across the country.
All enrolled WMRT athletes must become a Tri-State member
Tri-State is a league of racing teams within the Eastern Region of USSA, one of three geographical regions of USSA. Tri-State provides qualifying procedures and an event ladder of alpine competitions for the designated age group tiers in the Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island area.
WMRT is a member club of Tri-State.
For complete scheduling, rules, policies, standings, selections and updates, please see: www.tristateskiracing.org
With our goal to provide a healthy, safe environment for all participants, we encourage an atmosphere of honesty, trust and respect. By joining the Wachusett Mountain Race Team, each participant makes a commitment to themselves and their teammates to:
Follow the skier’s code and all ski area rules, at Wachusett Mt and away.
Be courteous and respectful with all those they contact.
Cooperate with others. Help others whenever possible.
Support and encourage their teammates.
Act with good sportsmanship, dignity and decorum when in public as a representative of the Wachusett Mountain Race Team.
Accept responsibility for their actions.
Pay attention and make every effort to improve.
Be organized and prepared for all training sessions.
Be punctual. To be on time for all activities, training sessions and events.
Maintain their ski equipment in race ready condition.
Support our team rules.
Work hard. Work smart.
Cooperate together to make WMRT the best it can be.
Follow the direction, instruction and guidance of their coaches.
Respect their coaches, teammates and other athletes.
Each WMRT athletes agrees NOT to:
Treat others disrespectfully, or to tease or ridicule others.
Interfere with the learning opportunities of others.
Blame others for things that are their or no one’s responsibility.
Use swear words or bad language.
Have any physical contact with team members.
Engage in threatening verbal or physical behavior.
Steal from others or use their belongings without permission.
Use tobacco, drugs or alcohol.
Tamper with, deface or destroy property of their own or others.
Break the law or WMRT team rules.
Cheat or break USSA or Tri State rules.
Skier Responsibility Code
KNOW THE CODE. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
This is a partial list. Be safety conscious. Officially endorsed by: NATIONAL SKI AREAS ASSOCIATION.
Parent Support Commitments
As a key member of our team, we would like to ask you to assist us in the following ways:
Please allow the coaches to make decisions about the appropriate placement of your children. Groups may change regularly for a variety of reasons beyond age and ability.
Remember the coaches have the best interests of your children in mind. They are also there for other athletes. A disproportionate amount of attention on anyone is detrimental to other team members.
Let the coaches advise your kids while training and at races. Unless you are part of the hired staff, please assist as support crew, not with coaching.
Please support the coaches and their decisions. It is important that the youngsters understand their coach is in charge of all matters during organized training and racing.
Be respectful of the coaches, athletes, other parents and your children. A quiet, helpful approach is encouraged.
Volunteer to help, at home, away, with events or when asked. Teamwork is the cornerstone of WMRT, and a great place for the kids to learn is through your support. We do ask that all parents volunteer for some activity during races held at Wachusett.
Be polite and gracious to volunteers at all races. They are doing their best. In challenging situations, ask for the coaches to assist.
Teach your youngsters the value of good sportsmanship by how you may respond in a potentially adverse situation.
Support your child’s learning. Provide encouragement. Look for the good. Help us build each athlete’s motivation and desire to learn. We want the athletes to be willing to make mistakes.
Review the Athlete Commitments with your child. They deserve a big hug for their personal commitment.
Support all athlete’s performances, every child from every organization should be acknowledged for their efforts. Do not be afraid to cheer for all of the kids!
Parent Rep – Roll and Responsibilities
The roll of the parent rep is a full season position, supporting the needs of the age group teams. Parent representatives must have a child in the group and be available to all parents in their group for input. Parent Representative must also choose a secondary/backup rep to fill in if there is a scheduled conflict, that secondary rep would preferably have a child of the opposite gender.
The Duties of the Parent Rep are as follows
Communication with Parents:
1. Via Email:
a. Introduction/welcome email at the beginning of the season
b. Volunteer emails fencing, race days, BBQ’s, etc.
c. Various information throughout the season regarding race information, hotel stay information, club event information
d. Any other Important age group related info.
2. In Person:
a. Be The face of the age group: approachable, visible, unbiased
b. Be someone to go to if there is an issue with kids, coaches or other parents. Can advise what to do with such issues.
c. Be present during age group events.
3. To the Board:
a. Attend meetings before, during and after the season.
b. Bring to the board thoughts, feelings, issues, etc. from your group
c. Work with the board to improve the club and its policies and procedures.
Communication to and from Coaches
1. At the beginning of the season reach out to the lead coach of the age group you are a rep for, so they know who you are and that you are the point of contact for relevant communication for the families within your age group.
2. If there are things that need to be brought to the attention of either coach or Parents be the person that the coaches can go to. Make sure the coaches know that you are the contact when needed.
Call for volunteers within your group when requested
3. Other Team Events
Introduction, exploration, refinement and eventual mastery of key fundamental skills in alpine skiing is a long-term process. At each stage of development, a methodological approach is necessary. Through freeskiing, directed freeskiing, skill drills, racing drills, and race simulation - active learning, awareness and understanding is stimulated.
As race coaches, our task is to encourage the athletes to feel how to make the skis go fast, and correspondingly, to learn to eliminate the braking forces of turning skis. A ski instructor teaches someone to ski better. A race coach teaches someone to ski better with emphasis on skiing faster.
Training content can be simplified under two broad terms: technique and tactics. Technique is what and how, tactics are the where and when. As our skill refinement improves (technique), additional challenge is introduced, or specifically, situations are created where to apply the skills (tactic). Skills first, application second.
Quality, quantity and variety must be considered. A high level of attention in learning is only sustainable in short periods. High focus, high quality. The ability to be repetitive and spontaneous in our movements and reactions comes with quantity. Keeping it fun, stimulating and playful requires variety.
An optimal balance of these concepts necessitates creativity and effective time use in our schemes. Always keeping the upcoming race schedule in mind, skill and ability appropriate learning opportunities are initiated. Providing the optimum challenges at the proper time insures success.
The training content for each age group at the WMRT is really quite similar. The major differences are the amounts of time and levels of expectation, spent within a focus, in relation to their current level of development and awareness. In essence, skiers of disparate abilities may be working on the same skill.
For youngsters very passionate about their sport, provide them with as much on snow time as possible.
Alpine Ski Racing
Skiing for an elapsed time, down a slope, through a series of poles (gates). Four primary disciplines of alpine racing are recognized:
Slalom (SL) Shortest, ‘quickest’ gate configuration. Disciplined. Not acrobatic.
Total time combined for runs on two separate courses. Inspection Only.
Giant Slalom (GS) Smooth, longer turn type gate configuration. Rhythmical.
Total time combined for runs on two separate courses. Inspection Only.
Downhill (DH) Gliding, full mountain set to the slope type gate configurations. Fast.
Each racer takes one timed race run on the course. Training runs are required.
Super G (SG) The gliding of DH, the dynamic arcs of GS. Varied long turns.
Each racer takes one timed race run on the course. Training runs are not allowed.
Complete descriptions are on page 18 of the 2019 USSA Alpine Competition Regulations:
In our Tri State region, only Giant Slalom and Slalom events are currently calendared.
Three key officials oversee each competition. They are the ‘Jury’. The jury insures the event conforms to all rules and regulations for that level of competition. The organizers insure all jury requests are followed, particularly safety considerations
The jury decides on any rules infractions according to the current competition regulations.
Requirements for gate distances, number of gates and vertical drop of slope must be met and maintained for each discipline at each race site. Also adhered to in our training.
Timing systems must meet stringent testing and be verified, with backup capabilities at each race. Scored races require primary, secondary and backup timing systems - all running simultaneously and recording independently for each racer.
The snow surface is monitored closely and maintained regularly, in an effort to provide a consistent track for the entire racing field. This is challenging depending on snow type, weather and temperatures.
Start orders, results and scoring are all computerized.
Giant Slalom size turns are the primary focus for us at the U10 level, with some introduction to the shorter turns type of Slalom. Introduction to the speed elements of Super G is at the U12 level, and the opportunity to compete in all four disciplines is at the U16-U18 level.
Entering a Race
Registration for races are the responsibility of the athlete, parent/guardian. Many, if not all of races held in Tri-State and other divisions such as NHARA (New Hampshire Alpine Race Association), offer online registration through www.adminskiracing.com or other online registration media. WMRT staff will announce registration methods available for every race we recommend participation in.
Registering for a race using adminskiracing.com
Go to www.adminskiracing.com
Select “RACE LIST” (top tab on home page)
Select race from list of available races
Follow registration instructions
Some race venues may still offer manual race registration process. Fill out a race entry card completely, or provide the following information. You can download a copy of the race entry card from the WMRT website. Manual registrations must include the registration fee.
Last Name / First Name: As it appears on your USSA Membership Card.
Gender: M / F
Club: WMRT (Wachusett Mountain Race Team)
Year of Birth: XXXX
Age Class: U21, U18, U16, U14, U12, U10, U8
Address: Your Home Mailing Address
USSA#: As it appears on your USSA Membership Card.
Name of Race: As listed on the attached Race Schedule
Location: Ski Area name where you are going
Date of Race: Be sure this is accurate. Areas run many events each year.
Manual registrations must be sent directly to the respective host teams (race team hosting the race). Contact information is provided on the race schedule. If unclear please ask your parent rep or WMRT staff member or coach.
Make every effort register for races early. This is even more important for manual registrations Recommendation is 21 days in advance or sooner. Late entries may not be accepted or may be subject to a late fee. Some races have large field sizes and do fill to capacity.
We strongly recommend enclosing a self-addressed stamped postcard indicating the race organizer has received your entry voucher and your child is entered into the race. Provide a place for the organizer to sign the postcard. This becomes your written receipt.
In many cases the website www.live-timing.com will show the athletes that have registered for a particular race. It takes a few days for registrations to show up here, less for registrations made on-line. It is a good idea to check with the race venue to make sure they have received and processed your registration. Only takes a quick email or phone call to check.
If you are unable to attend an entered race, contact the organizer no later than 4-5 days prior to the event or within 1 day of any deadline date. In most cases you will be refunded (or with manual registrations, the check will not be deposited and will be destroyed. If you do not contact them they will deposit your check even if you do not attend the event.
A Parent’s Day at the Races
Preparing to go off to the races requires simple pre planning and organization.
21 days prior to the event, send in your entry and fees.
Ski preparation and maintenance should not change drastically just before a race. Skis should always be in race ready condition during training. Large modifications to sharpness or flatness changes the way the ski feels. No new equipment at a race.
Check all ski gear early in the week to be sure it’s ready. Realizing you’ve lost a basket or a boot buckle or need a new goggle lens the night before a race can be harrowing. Check straps, zippers, etc.
No big schedule or routine changes prior to a race. Maintain daily habits and rhythms and foods. Race like you train. Train like you race.
Plenty of rest and water hydration. Everyday.
SKIS - BOOTS - POLES - HELMET - GLOVES - GOGGLES - USSA CARD - WARMUPS - PARKA - XTRA SOCKS - INCLEMENT WEATHER GEAR - LUNCH.
Pack the night before.
Relax. It’s fun. If you’re wired, the kids can tell.
Plan the trip as an adventure. Make the trip fun.
Be sure you have directions to the ski area and anticipated driving times.
Check your checklist before driving away. Packing it doesn’t mean you brought it.
Once at the event site, take in the scenery. If you’ve planned properly, you’ll have plenty of time. Remember, IF YOU CAN’T BE ON TIME, BE EARLY!
Find the race registration desk. Check the start list or an alpha list for your name and your corresponding bib number. The volunteers are there to help you. Tell them you’re entered.
Get a bib. They will ask for your USSA card, and use it as a bib deposit.
If you can get a start order, you will be very popular with those who couldn’t – ask for one when you get the bib.
A race information sheet will also be provided with pertinent info. This is important. Share with your youngster.
Plug your youngster in with the WMRT coaches.
Say “see ya later! You’re gonna do great!” Let them go to be part of the team.
Go volunteer to help with the race. It distracts your anxious glare on your child.
During the race, not much to do unless you have volunteered to help; (running jackets, coral racers or whatever the attending coaches need help with). The kids will be off doing their thing. Coaches will be sure to keep them organized. Remember, to them this is PLAY, you know, sports.
Cheer for all the kids. WMRT and others.
Meet other people.
Try and refrain from constantly checking the scoreboard. It's really hard to do given the excitement of race day, but by doing so helps reinforce to the athlete the concept that ranking is not the true indicator of a race well run in the junior alpine ski racing world.
Posted times are unofficial. If a gross error seems evident, speak to your coach immediately AFTER the run is over.
IMPORTANT: Parents/Guardians have zero authority addressing or challenging race officials on issues relating to disqualifications or other anomalies. The coach(s) assigned to the race have the responsibility to address these issues formally within the stated time frame following the run. If a situation arises that you believe the coach is not aware of, the proper procedure is to bring the matter to your athletes' coach. He/she will take the appropriate actions.
Race bibs are collected by race officials immediately following the athletes final run at the finish coral. Results / Awards usually take from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours or more following the last competitors run to finalize and prepare. Athletes make use of this time free skiing or hanging out in the lodge telling war stories, or breaking down the course. Parents and volunteers may be asked to help break down fencing, scoreboards and the finish coral. Everyone, whether expecting an podium spot or not, is expected to attend the awards ceremony, cheering on your teammates and all who participated. Great sportsmanship has been one of WMRT's greatest strengths according to feedback received from other ski racing club officials over the years.
When communicating about the race with your athlete, talk about the experience as much as the performance. In terms of their skiing, they may have done really well for themselves, but others had good days too.
Many factors go into doing well in sports:
Learning opportunities abound. Keep your expectations in perspective.
We want to establish confidence in learning throughout the training and racing process. You can be very helpful by assisting the youngsters to have a ‘can do’ spirit.
Positive self talk (affirmations)
Performance is not tied to self worth
Focus on strengths
Keep it fun
Pride in doing our best
Race Rules to Know
These rules apply to SL/GS. Please refer to the 2019 USSA Competition Regulations in the USSA Comp. Guide or:
When in the course area, each athlete must have his or her bib with him or her.
No free-skiing on the race hill before or during the event
Inspection of the course is allowed by descending slowly next to, or through the gates in a non-skiing fashion. Generally, athletes “slip” the course.
Inspection of the course is only allowed during specified times.
No “shadowing” of the course is allowed.
Altering the course or its markings in any way is strictly forbidden.
No descending the course once the race is in progress, unless exiting the area after a “DNF” or “DSQ”
Racers must wear their designated bib number in race fashion to start. It may not be altered in any way.
Athletes must be at the start in order, as listed on the official start order. A new start order will be issued for the second run.
Helmets are required for Giant Slalom. WMRT encourages them for Slalom too.
Ski poles must be planted firmly in the snow in front of the start wand to start.
The starter will say “10 seconds! 5-4-3-2-1-GO!” A racer has a 5 second window on either side of the “GO!” command to leave the start. In Slalom only, the starter will say, “Racer Ready…GO!” The skier must leave the start within about 10 seconds.
No outside physical assistance is allowed during a race run.
All gates must be negotiated (in any order) to be a valid run. Legal gate passage is “Tips and Boots”. Both ski tips and both boots must cross the imaginary line of each gate, from any direction, in any plane.
Continuing on the course after a clear disqualification (missed gate) is not allowed.
A racer being overtaken by another racer must yield to the oncoming skier. An overtaken skier is allowed to continue on the course.
If you are overtaking another skier and they fail to yield, or you are obstructed by a spectator, official, moose or other (“Interference“), stop and exit the course immediately. Report to the nearest official. A re run will be granted. Failure to stop after “interference” will negate any opportunities for a rerun.
Athletes may not continue on a course if they lose a ski. If your ski comes off, exit the course. Exception: 2 or less gates above the finish.
A racer may not cross the finish line and then go back up the slope to pass a missed gate.
Falling through the finish is legal, as long as the athlete scurries to get their feet across the line. Their time is taken when any body part stops the timekeeping.
Failure to follow the above rules may lead to a penalty, including disqualification.
Protests against a disqualification must be made in writing, within 15 minutes of official posting. (Posted at the scoreboard, after each run). A fee (up to $50.00) must accompany the protest. Protests can only be filed by officials or accredited coaches. Spectators are not allowed to protest. After a jury ruling, the fee will be kept if the protest is denied, returned if the protest is accepted. FNote: fees are applied to as a method to discourage frivolous protests.
Board of Directors:
Age Group Questions? Contact your Age Group Parents Reps – see Board of Directors page!
Current information, contacts, schedules, will also be posted on the WMRT website: www.racewmrt.com
Last minute Training Updates, Event Updates, Schedule Changes, Weather Concerns:
CHECK www.SkiWMRT.com often. Have a smartphone? Download the free app from League Athletics and subscribe to Wachusett Mountain Race Team and have a great tool to stay up on news and event information just by reaching in your pocket! As always, club information posted on our site will be automatically emailed to the address you entered when registering as a member of www.SkiWMRT.com
Volunteering for Race Events: See the volunteering section of the website for specific events and requirements. Don't forget to register as a WMRT volunteer found in the registration section of the website. Our Race Chairman is a great resource for help here.