U12 and U10 FAQ’s

Here is a listing of some basic U12/10 info that is always asked about every year.  I will continue to add to it from time to time:

Read below and also click the following link for lots of helpful info: u12-10-101-2016-17-edition

1) Daily Training Schedule:  U12s and U10s meet on both Saturday and Sundays.  We train from 8:30-10:30 am and then again from 12-2 pm.  We meet at the top of the AB Quad at both 8:30 and 12.  The children are dismissed at the end of each session from wherever they happen to be at the time – we do not reconvene at a central place at the end of each session.  Please plan accordingly with your child.  Please note, that throughout the season there may be changes to this daily schedule to accommodate hill space on Wardance.  I will always let you know by email of any changes.
2) What kind of helmet does my child need?  Your child should be wearing a full shell helmet (no soft ears) as this is what is required by USSA for participation in USSA sanctioned events.  U10s and U12s do not need a slalom chin guard.  However, U12s may want a chin guard (and other SL armor) for some optional full gate training, but should not ski with one for free-skiing or GS training.  Also, no visors or moto-cross style helmets.

3) USSA and VARA memberships:

USSA – The United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is the governing body of ski racing in the United States.  USSA also oversees cross country, disabled alpine and cross country, freestyle, ski jumping and nordic combined, and snowboarding.  USSA develops rules and regulations for ski racing, sanctions events, provides education for coaches, and supports coaches and athletes. Your child must become a member of USSA as a Competitor U10 or Competitor U12 (depending on their age group) in the Eastern Division with Okemo Mountain Ski Club as their club in order to participate in U12 or U10 races.  Only choose Okemo Mountain School as your club affiliation if your child is actually attending OMS.  DO NOT choose “General Member” – this membership type is not valid for competition.  This can be done at www.ussa.org by clicking on the “My USSA” box at the top of the page and following the instructions that follow.

VARA – The Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA) is the governing body of ski racing within the state of Vermont.  VARA develops rules and procedures specific to competitions within Vermont.  They also provide support to coaches and athletes by providing opportunities for coach education and awarding scholarships to athletes.  Your child must become a member of VARA in the appropriate age division with Okemo as their club – not OMS (unless they are enrolled at OMS) or OMARA.  This can be done online at www.vara.org by choosing the new or returning member link under the “Membership Lists and Services” heading on the homepage.
4) Winter Break Schedule:  We will train during winter break. The tentative days for 2015/2016 training are as follows:  December 26 – 29 and December 31st.    December 30th is the End of the Year Open Race in which 2nd year (+) U12s can participate.  We will staff this race, but not have other training this day.  We will train according to our normal daily schedule during this time, unless you are notified otherwise. If your child can’t make it every day, it is not a big deal – I know many of you work and can’t be here the whole time, that school breaks differ, and that you have holiday obligations.

5) End of the Year Open:  There is an open race for U14, and U12s at Okemo on December 30th.  You must enter your child yourself unlike the rest of the normal season races.  You can do so at alpinereg.com.  From the home page, go to VARA (you will need to scroll over in the little window until you see the icon), and then Okemo, and then you will see the race listed.  You can enter and pay the entry fee all on this website.  We will have coaches available to accompany any athletes that sign up.  Your child must be current with USSA and VARA to enter.  Please be aware that if your child is still a U10 (7, 8, or 9 years old by Dec 31) they are not eligible.  I also ask that you do not register your child if this is their first year in U12 – this race will be very intimidating for them and not a good intro to the year!

6) Does my child need a GS suit?  No, but most U12s and U10s wear one for races.

7) Some basic race day info:

a) For any regular season U12 and U10 race (on the schedule in U12/10 101), I do all of the entries.   All you have to do on a race day, is show up to registration and check your child in, pay the entry fee (which this year is $30), and get your child’s bib.  Have them put their bib on immediately.  On top of their GS Suit and under all their other clothes.  MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT LOSE OR MISPLACE THIS!

b) U10 races are run in bib order for the first run, with the second run in reverse order.  U10 girls will go first, then U10 boys.  Please help your child plan accordingly to make it to the start in plenty of time for their run (about 40-50 bib numbers ahead of time is good).  First and second runs usually run pretty much back to back since we don’t re-set for the second run for U10s.  U12 races are run in bib order, with the second run in reverse bib order.  The course may be re-set for second run for U12s.  In either age group all athletes get a second run even if they fall or get disqualified on their first run.

c) Parents are not allowed on course during inspection or near the starting gate, but are welcome up at the top of the course.  Any parents who are skiing are asked to help in the portage of clothing to the bottom.

d) PANTS UN-ZIP FROM THE BOTTOM UP! : )

f) Skis should always be tuned and race ready!

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