U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USASA Offer Opportunity
PARK CITY, Utah - Those involved in the freeski and snowboard communities probably know that U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) have been working together closely for years. What many do not know is the significant contribution to athletes, coaches, and judges that results from the cooperation between these two organizations.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USASA have been working together to support snowboarding for more than 20 years. Most recently USASA has also been the number one contributor to the regional freeski event market and is entering its 30th year as an integral piece of the event and development pipeline for both sports. One hundred percent of the regional snowboard events and 82 percent of the regional freeski events are produced by USASA. USASA produces more than 500 events at 120 resorts through their 32 unique series that engage the culture and community of both sports. In addition to the hosting of events, USASA also provides an education structure for the development of coaches, officials and judges in the U.S. hosted through in-person clinics and social outreach.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USASA both play an important part in the development of sport at every level. The U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams have had quite the track record over the last decade. In the past two Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. Freeski slopestyle and halfpipe athletes have earned 10 Olympic medals. Similarly, the U.S. Snowboard Team has amassed 31 Olympic medals dating back to the 1998 Olympics. It is easy to see why in 2012 Bill Marolt awarded the USASA the Russell Wilder Award stating, "without USASA, the U.S would not be able to dominate in the sport of snowboarding as we do today".
USASA not only provides opportunities for athletes to compete but also introduces a professional competition structure. As an illustration, USASA provides in excess of $50,000 each year in prize money at the USASA National Championships. Entering into its 30th year, it is the largest competition of its kind in the world. The USASA Nationals are part of a robust pipeline that carries athletes from the USASA Regional events all the way to Olympic level competition.
Athletes get started in one of two ways, by finding a coach or by competing in a USASA regional event. To move up the pipeline, athletes compete in regional USASA events where they vie for the opportunity to qualify for USASA Nationals every April. Athletes looking to continue to progress through the pipeline strive to place at the top of their age group or open class. Every year athletes who place at the top of their competitive group at USASA Nationals are invited to participate in Project Gold (an invite-only camp for the nation's top talent), the Revolution Tour and NorAm-level Elite Revolution Tour events (halfpipe and slopestyle), Holeshot Tour (skicross and snowboardcross), and Race to the Cup (alpine snowboard). Athletes who finish at the top of these events may qualify to attend the FIS Junior World Championships, the Youth Olympic Games, Grand Prix, and World Cup events. Olympic selections take place exclusively from World Cup events in Olympic qualifying years. In addition, Olympic team selection may also include results from World Cup events that are included in the selection criteria at the highest level of competition!
Not only does the organization provide athletic opportunity for advancement, but also education. The USASA foundation contributes $20,000 to 30,000 a year in direct scholarships and grants to USASA athletes. Furthermore, USASA’s contribution does not stop with athletes, they also support coaches to ensure a bright future for the sports of freeskiing and snowboarding - hosting numerous level 100 and 200 coaching clinics across the country annually.
“The USASA and U.S. Ski & Snowboard partnership is critical to our collective future success in snowboarding and freeskiing on the international stage,” said U.S. Snowboard and Freeski Director Jeremy Forster. “It’s important to highlight that USASA is the competitive starting point for almost every snowboard and freeski athlete. Our organizations are working collaboratively to ensure the sport development pathway is well coordinated and communicated to all stakeholders.”
Visit USASA.org for more information.
The United States Snowboard and Freeski Association is the first step in the Olympic pipeline. USASA is represented by 32 regional series and made up of over 5000 athlete members, 1000 + coaches, officials, and judges and hosts over 500 snowboard and freeski events annually at over 120 resorts nationwide. The USASA National Championships are held annually at Copper Mountain, Colorado and span twelve days with over 1,800 participants making it the largest snowboard and freeskiing event in the world and is entering its 30th year. USASA aims to facilitate fun and fair events for all ages across the country, to attract snowboarders and freeskiers, promote their development, provide member education, and influence the future of our sports.
About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body for ski and snowboard sports in the USA. One of the oldest and most established sports organizations worldwide, directly tracing its roots back to 1905, the organization, based in Park City, UT, provides leadership and direction for elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide and for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders in the USA, encouraging and supporting all its athletes in achieving excellence wherever they train and compete. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund athletic programs that directly assist athletes in reaching their dreams and achieving the shared goal of being Best In The World.