The American Ski Marathon Series (ASM Series) has announced that the ASM Series Champions Cup will return for the 2010 race season. The Champions Cup was last scored by the ASM Series during the 2005 marathon series. Champions Cup scoring has traditionally involved a point system revolving around the top overall men and women in a set number of Series events each season.
The ASM Series Champions (prior to 1997 known as the Great American Ski Chase) was universally recognized by elite skiers and factory groups as the premier marathon title in North American skiing for 28 years up until the 2005 season. The member events of the ASM Series decided to suspend the Champions Cup after the 2005 season due to the emergence of the FIS Marathon Cup offered by US Ski and Snowboarding. The latter offered a cash purse and ASM organizers felt it would be counter-productive to split the focus of the few U.S. elite skiers chasing marathon titles.
ASM Series Director J.D. Downing says that the return of the Champions Cup matches the Summer 2009 decision by U.S. Ski and Snowboarding to no longer offer the FIS Marathon Cup. “The ASM member events really want to see an annual marathon series offered on the elite circuit. It was no longer practical for Park City to continue funding the FIS Cup, so we are renewing the Champions Cup. Right now there will not be a cash purse for the winners, but at least we’ll still have a domestic marathon title for interested skiers. It is hoped that in the 10/11 season industry leaders will use Champions Cup winners in future marketing campaigns as a reward for the winning skiers.”
For 2010, the renewed ASM Series Champions Cup will feature a simplified scoring system that rewards both top performances as well as season-long participation. To be eligible for the final Champions Cup awards, skiers must complete at least one ASM event in each of three ASM Series regions. Skiers do not need to score points in all three regions — skiers merely need to start and finish at least one event in each region:
2010 ASM Scoring Regions and Events
— Atlantic: Craftsbury, Lake Placid, Noquemanon, NorAm Vasa.
— Mid-America: Pepsi, City of Lakes, MinnFin, Mora, Birkie.
— Pacific: Anchorage, Boulder, Yellowstone, Gold Rush.
The AXCS/ASM Office will score the top three finishers overall (male and female) in every “main event” full marathon except the American Birkebeiner. With the Birkie, the ASM will score the top six overall finishers (due to the increased depth of that event). Scoring will use a modified World Cup point system as follows: 1st — 25 pts, 2nd — 20 pts, 3rd — 15 pts (and for the Birkie only: 4th — 12 pts, 5th — 11 pts, 6th — 10 pts).
All scored ASM events in which a skier finishes in the top three overall by gender will count towards that skier’s final Cup total points. For example, if Gunde Svan finishes third in five different ASM events (with at least one race in each of the three regions), his season total will be 5 races x 15 points = 75 total points. By comparison, if Thomas Alsgaard wins three races (one each in each of the three regions), his total will also be 75 points (3 races x 25 points).
Top point earner that meets the required “one start in each of three regions” criteria are named winners of the 2010 Champions Cup.
Tiebreakers: 1st Tiebreaker: Most number of ASM events finished this season. 2nd Tiebreaker: Most 1st place results. 3rd Tiebreaker: Most 2nd place results. 4th Tiebreaker: Best Birkie finish.
In events with dual technique options in the full distance, the Champions Cup scored technique events would be as follows: Noquemanon — classic technique; City of Lakes — classic technique; NorAm Vasa — freestyle technique; Birkebeiner — freestyle technique. If in question at a given event, skiers are requested to contact the AXCS/ASM Office ahead of registration for clarification of which race technique or distance will be scored.
The AXCS/ASM Office will keep track of the points by posting the top three overall finishers for each ASM event within xcskiworld.com.
Final results of the 2010 Champions Cup will be posted on xcskiworld.com following the completion of the California Gold Rush at the end of March 2010.
For additional information please contact the AXCS/ASM Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Updates on the Champions Cup (as the non-competitive ASM Series Odyssey challenge for citizen skiers) are found on xcskiworld.com throughout the 2009/2010 season.