2014/2015 National Points and Rankings

We are proud to announce the new 2014/2015 National points and rankings system!  This will be the points system that will be used for the upcoming year, and has some important changes from the system used last year.  Most significantly, you must have a USSMA license to accumulate points.  If you have not yet read our last blog post, please do so and send the application form in (We updated the form to be editable, and the license is FREE).  

Please take a moment to read over the points and ranking document, and understand the points system.  Briefly, racers will score points at USSMA events based on their finish place, the category of the event, and the strength of the field.  Strength of field is a criteria based on finish times relative to the winner, and helps us adjust the points awarded based on how competitive an event is.  For full points to be awarded in an event, a certain number (8 males/4 females) must finish within a percentage of the winners overall time (118%, or a time points value of >85).  We have made every effort to describe this system as easily as possible, but as always, if you have questions please feel free to email us.

We are also extremely happy to announce that through the effort of Jerimy Arnold, the way that points are published will also be changed.  This season points will be published in real time (within a few days of each event) on the USSMA points page, so you can follow your season as it progresses and see how each race effects your points.  A huge thank you to Jerimy, who developed the program to make this all possible!!!

In the coming week or two we will also be posting on the criteria for worlds team selection, and a big announcement on a new USSMA Series Cup- so stay tuned and check back regularly!!

The points document is published at http://www.ussma.org/2015-ussma-points





USSMA Licenses

By now I hope you have read about some of the changes in the works at the USSMA from our blog post.  We have had a flurry of responses to our call for volunteers to help, something we cannot thank you enough for.  The USSMA is still a young organization, and we would not be here without your support, so THANK YOU!


We are excited to announce that this season we will be implementing a racer licensing system, something that we have been working on for quite a while.  This new system will consist of two tiers: an international license, and a national license.  The international license will provide the racer with both a national USSMA license as well as an ISMF license.   If you plan to race in Europe this winter, this is the option for you.  If you plan to only race in the US, the national license is your choice.  All racers who participate in the race category will be required to have a USSMA license, and the license is required to accumulate points in the national series as well as for the national rankings determined by USSMA sanctioned races.


For the 2014/2015 season, the USSMA license is FREE.  For the international (ISMF license), the cost of the license is $90, which goes to the ISMF.  For the 2015/2016 season, we will be charging $30 for the USSMA license, but for this year, we have made the decision to make the license without charge.  We feel that taking a year to implement the system without payment is the most reasonable thing to do, to test the updated points system (a blog post on this will be coming soon!) and begin creating a racer registry that we will use in the coming seasons.  So, please see the form at the bottom of this page.  Just fill it out and send it back to [email protected] and we will get a license out to you as soon as we can.  Again, if you plan to take part in the race category in any of the USSMA races, please fill out the license application so we can get a license to you.


The why we are implementing the license system is simple - to make the national points and ranking list more accurate and easier to maintain.  Once you register for a license, you will be issued a license number that you will include on your registration for all USSMA events.  When results are submitted, we will calculate points and rankings using your license number, greatly simplifying the process of calculating points.  In the past, errors such as a misspelling of your name would make tracking your results through the year very difficult. With this new system we will be able to more easily calculate points and avoid mistakes. 


We at the USSMA are also working hard to evolve and grow the sport in the US.  Skimo has seen explosive growth in this country, and in the coming years we see the sport continuing to grow.  We are working very hard to bring a World Cup event back to America in 2015/2016 as part of a two stop North American series in partnership with our Canadian counterparts.  We also will once again hold three ISMF calendar races this year, Irwin Guides/Griggs Orthopedics Ski Mountaineering Race, Wasatch Powder Keg, and GORE-TEX US National Ski Mountaineering Race. I am sure you are all aware that this year is a World Championship year, and we will be sending our fastest men and women to Verbier, Switzerland.



I hope your training is coming along well, and lets hope for a big winter!!


See you all at the races.



Skimo Season Kickoff

The start of the skimo season is less than 3 weeks away.  The season kicks off on 22 November with the Wolf Creek Race.  This is followed by the first Wasatch Ski Mountaineering Race on 28 November and the  Irwin Guides/Griggs Orthopedics Ski Mountaineering Race on 06 December.  Check the race calendar and start planning your winter of racing.


Big Changes at the USSMA!

Big changes are afoot at the USSMA!  The 2014/2015 is shaping up to be a big one for the world of Ski Mountaineering in the US, both for the exciting race season ahead and for the changes at the USSMA.  Most significantly, Pete Swenson, who has led the organization for as long as we can all remember, has stepped down as president of the USSMA.  Pete has been a leader and fixture in the world of Ski Mountaineering, and through his efforts has played a pivotal role in developing and nurturing the sport in the US as well as often being one of the top American athletes.  Though he will no longer be the president of the USSMA, Pete has changed hats and will now serve as the head of the newly created board of directors. We can’t thank Pete enough for all that he has done and we are excited that he will be remaining part of the organization going forward.

In his place, we are excited to announce that Nicholas Francis will take the helm as president.  Nicholas has been a part of the Wasatch Powder Keg race committee for three years, and since starting racing 5 years ago has grown to love the sport and is dedicated to the advancement of skimo in the US.  Nicholas is joined by another Wasatch Skimo member, Chad Brackelsberg, who has been active with USSMA for the past 3 years and will join Pete on the board.

In the coming years we are aggressively pursuing the growth of skimo in the US through adding new events, integrating more US events into the ISMF calendar, and plans to bring two World Cup events to North America in the 2015/16 race season (1 in Canada and 1 in the US).  We are also working hard to implement a junior training program to introduce younger athletes to the sport; strengthening our relationship with the American Alpine Club, our Canadian counterparts, and the ISMF; and working to expand the use of ski resorts for training and racing facilities.  We have a lot of work to do, but we truly believe that the growth we have seen in the last five years will pale in comparison to the next five years. 

As part of the changes at the USSMA, several roles remain that need to be filled.  We are seeking excited individuals that would like to be a part of the USSMA to fill the roles of assistant director, marketing, sponsorship/fundraising, results/points coordinator, and social media/website.  The next few years will see big changes in the USSMA and the state of skimo racing in the US, and we need excited and dedicated people who can be a part of this growth.  If you are interested, please email Nick at [email protected] for more information. 

And, stayed tuned for another big blog post coming up detailing the new racer license system that will be implemented this season.  We will now have a domestic license for racers, as well as the option to purchase an ISMF license for those of us who race internationally or who want to collect ISMF points at the several North American ISMF races.

The race calendar is getting filled up quickly so check out all of the races currently on the schedule at www.ussma.org/events.  In addition to the USSMA Sanctioned Races, there will also be a US National Race Series this year.  Watch our blog for details about the series and look for our ad in the December issue of Backcountry Magazine.



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