Race Rules


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 USSA Alpine Masters Competition Guide, published annually by USSA and available online on the Masters Rules page of the ussa.org web site .

Eligibility and Race Registration

  • Competitors must have a USSA alpine masters competition license. Alternatively, you may obtain a short-term membership license for each race day; short-term 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, or submitted online through SkIRaceReg. A separate check should be written for each race when entry is mailed (see torn-check policy). Online registration through SkiRaceReg.com/fw 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 after the published early registration deadline (Sunday prior to the start of the event) will be subject to a $5/race late fee. Registration closes at the published entry deadline for the event; entries received after the entry deadline are considered late entries and will only be accepted at the discretion of the race organizer. Day-of-race signups will generally NOT be accepted; you must be on the start list prepared the day prior to the race to be able to compete.
  • Cancellation: (torn check policy) You may cancel a race entry without penalty up until the published entry deadline for the event (listed on the Season Schedule page as well as on SkiRaceReg for all race events). The entry deadline is usually set to allow at least a one-day setback from the start of the event so the race organizer can prepare for the event (e.g. typically you must cancel by end-of-day on Thursday for a weekend race starting on Saturday) . At the organizer's discretion, an earlier entry deadline may be set. It is the competitor's responsibility to contact the race organizer if they wish to withdraw from the competition after the entry deadline; entry fees will be charged for all entries received as of the entry deadline unless the organizer grants a refund (e.g. for injury or illness). No entry fees are charged if the competition is cancelled (e.g., due to adverse weather conditions). The cancellation policy applies equally to both online and mailed race entries.
  • About the race entry process About the race entry process  (printable description of race entry process)

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
  • 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.
  • Competitors may elect to be scored in the overall Open class for the season or by event; Open class competitors race within their age group in the start order but are scored for race awards based on the overall ranking of Open class participants
  • 2017 Season Scoring and Open Class 2017 Season Scoring and Open Class  *** you must declare for Open class BEFORE the race!! ***

Race Rules

  • 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.
  • Helmets certified for ski racing are required for all disciplines. Helmets must provide full coverage of the head; soft ear covers are allowed only for SL-specific helmets. No attachments or edges that stick out are permitted (e.g. no helmet cams), with the exception of protective features integral to the discipline (e.g. a SL chin guard may used in SL). This is a safety and liability concern; please consult the official USSA Alpine Competition Rules for details.
  • USSA Masters helmet rules USSA Masters helmet rules  *** FIS cert RECOMMENDED for GS/SG/DH in 2017***
  • With the exception of forearm protection as well as shin protection used in SL, body protection must be worn under the suit. Knee and leg braces must be worn under one's speed suit/ski pants or be otherwise covered.
  • 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.
  • New in 2014 You may NOT hike if you have come to a complete stop in DH, SG, or GS event.
  • If you miss a gate and hike back (SL only), you must give way if in so doing you will interfere with the next racer. Be fair to your fellow competitors! If you are overtaken you are disqualified and may not continue.
  • 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!

Awards

  • 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.
  • 2017 Season Scoring and Open Class 2017 Season Scoring and Open Class

You must have a current membership in Far West Masters to be eligible for season awards.