What Is the Nations Team Event?
VAIL/BEAVER CREEK, CO (Feb. 9, 2015)—Tuesday afternoon is the nations team event—a duel paneled slalom at Vail, CO as a part of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Athletes and organizers boast that it’s the most fun race of the two weeks, but what exactly is this team event?
HOW IT WORKS
The team event is set up in bracket style, with the top 16 nations ranked similar to NCAA's March Madness, based on Nations Cup points at the end of the last World Cup race prior to the event (men’s slalom at Schladming, Austria on Jan. 27, 2015). Total team sizes are set at a max of six racers, with at least two competitors from each gender starting each heat. Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) and Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) will be competing for the U.S.
The best-ranked nation will receive bib number 1 and the lowest-ranked nation bib number 16. Ties are settled adding the top-ranked slalom skier of each gender for the teams involved. The lowest total wins.
The result of each heat between the nations is determined by points. A win will score one point for the nation. In case of a tie, both nations get one point. In case of a tie after completing the four runs (2-2), the nation with the best individual run time will win.
If both competitors fall, the first competitor to reach the finish successfully will be the winner. If both competitors do not finish, the competitor who successfully skied the furthest distance will be the winner. At the end of the day, there will be two teams gunning for victory and two teams fighting for third.
If you were around in the late 1970s/early 1980s, this head-to-head format was used for the pro racing circuits that were made popular by Bob Beattie, who also was one of the founders of the World Cup.
At the beginning of the World Champs, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach spoke in a press conference and said that he had been discussing the team event with FIS. “You may have good news in the next couple of months,” Bach hinted. “I hope very much that we can finalize these decisions before the IOC session in July.”
Tuesday’s event starts at 2:15 p.m. MST and will be televised on Universal Sports Network from 4-6:00 p.m. EST.
U.S. TEAM EVENT ATHLETES
Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO)
Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA)
Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, WA)
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT)
David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO)
Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA)
3. United States
11. Czech Republic
15. Great Britain