The 2012 edition of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) spring congress starts this Wednesday in Park City, Utah. Coaches, officials and various constituents from around the country will gather to discuss rules, formats, junior development and the coming race calendar (among many other things).
Last May, notable developments to come out of these meetings included format changes for certain events on the SuperTour and at Junior Nationals. The decision to legalize mid-50 k ski changes ended up not factoring into distance nationals in Craftsbury (possibly because of the 33-lap thing and a general lack of enough surface area for an exchange zone), and the new sprint relay proposed for JNs will have to wait for its trial run — though the 3 x 3 k at Soldier Hollow was still the most exciting day of racing of the entire week this March.
To get you ready for the four-day series of meetings, listed below are a few topics on the cross-country agendas according to the new Nordic Program Manager Joey Caterinichio. Some discussions may produce differences between last season and the next, while others are more about getting everyone in attendance on the same page.
- A season recap of the U.S. Ski Team’s (USST) past season and discussion of its plans for 2013. Head coach Chris Grover said on Tuesday that the team nominations will be announced in the next few days.
- The drafted 2012-2013 domestic race calendar. The current version suggests the possibility of a full sprint in West Yellowstone, which would eliminate one of the long-debated qualifiers. The calendar also works around the two December World Cups in Canada, lists Soldier Hollow as the host of 2013 US Nationals, and a “TBD” for the whereabouts of Spring Series.
- A new suggested format for 2013 Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska: a Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule (as opposed to Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday), with the relay as the second race of the week instead of the very last.
- A working group report on homologation by the officials’ subcommittee.
- A review of the major championship hosts from the past season: Rumford, Maine; Soldier Hollow, Utah; Craftsbury, Vermont.
- Preliminary information regarding several major international championships coming up this season: World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy is the big one, and World Junior/U23 Championships is place in late January in Liberec, Czech Republic.
Stay tuned for the outcomes of the congress following its conclusion on Saturday.
Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.