Masters ski racing is the premier adult ski racing series in the country.
Masters racing is governed by the United States Ski Association (USSA),
the sanctioning body for all organized ski racing in the US from local junior races
all the way up to international and Olympic competition.
The Far West Masters organize a yearly schedule of competitions
consisting of Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Giant Slalom, and Downhill races.
Masters competitions in the Far West are governed by the official
USSA Masters Alpine Competition rules, which provide the basis for high-quality age group competition
governed by standard rules, along with a few adjustments unique to our division.
The principle modifications adopted by the Far West masters are
the provision for a special Open class and the use of reverse-first-run-order (slowest to fastest)
for second run start order in technical events.
A brief summary of the basic competition rules follows.
For complete details, refer to the
USSA Alpine Masters Competition Guide,
published annually by USSA and available online from the
Masters section of the ussa.org web site,
and the official Far West Masters Rules, Regulations, and Race Criteria, available in the
FWM Organization Documents section of this web site.
Eligibility and Race Registration
- Competitors must have a USSA alpine masters competition license. Alternatively, you may obtain a weekend license for at most one weekend; weekend license fees will be credited towards the masters competitor license.
- Entries and fees must be sent to the race organizer, as listed on the Season Schedule page.
A separate check should be written for each race (see torn-check policy).
Online registration through SkiRaceReg.com is strongly encouraged!!
- Entries should be sent so that they are received at least 5 days prior to the event (allows organizers to properly plan and staff the event). Entries received
less than 5 days prior to the event and day-of-race signups are considered late entries. Late entries may or may not be accepted, according to the policy determined by each race organizer, and in some cases may be subject to a late fee.
- (torn check policy) You may cancel a race entry without penalty up until the day before the race
(e.g. you must cancel by end-of-day on Thursday for a weekend race starting on Saturday)
or if the competition is cancelled (e.g., due to adverse weather conditions).
The cancellation policy applies equally to both online and mailed race entries.
Classes and Start Order
- Age classes span
5-year ranges according to the USSA Masters Competition Guide.
Class start order is generally oldest to youngest, women before men, with all 70+ classes starting before all others.
Complete details are in the
FWM Age Classes Summary.
- Your age class for the duration of a competition season (Nov-Jun) is determined by your age on Dec. 31 of the competition season
- a separate Open class is formed for the second run in technical events from the top-10 men and top-5 women finishers in the first run.
Open class starts between the 50's and 40's classes (between class 6 and 5).
(Any competitor who has qualified for the Open class may "opt out" and remain in their age class for the second run.
- Open class in 1-run DH/SG speed events must be elected by competitors when they register for the event and starts at the end of all other men/women's classes respectively.
OP class election for speed events MUST be submitted by the day PRIOR to the race;
no race-day class changes will be permitted
- First run start order is by random draw within age class
- Second run start order is by reverse first-run-finish time, i.e., slowest to fastest within class. First run DNF/DSQ's may run at the end of their age class, subject to the race jury assessment that course conditions will not be adversely affected for qualified competitors.
- Course setting follows the standard USSA masters rules for each discipline.
The general guideline is that courses should be set for the typical, good, 45 year-old racer, and be such that a 70 year-old racer can negotiate it safely.
- If you lose a ski, you may not continue. If you miss a gate (and don't hike back), you are disqualified and may not continue to ski the course.
- If you miss a gate and hike back, you must give way if in so doing you will interfere with the next racer. Be fair to your fellow competitors! This is especially critical for safety reasons in speed events.
- Disqualifications are posted on the finish board at the completion of each run. Although our masters competitors serviing as race officials will attempt to notify you to ensure you know that have been disqualified, it is
your responsibility to check the DQ list!
You have a 15 minute period following the posting of the DQ list if you wish to file a protest.
- In general, course inspection should be from outside the course. At the discretion of the race jury, course inspection may be permitted by slow side slipping beside the course.
- Shadowing or high speed inspection through the course is not allowed and cause for disqualification, for reasons of both fairness and safety.
- Free skiing on the race hill is not allowed and should be discouraged by the organizers, the officials, and the members. Find an adjacent slope for your warmups and save the race hill for our course!
- Race awards are given to the top 3 competitors in each age class.
- Season awards are given to the top 3 competitors in each age class in the overall season scoring.
You must have a current membership in Far West Masters to be eligible for season awards.