FAQ questions for parents and racers:
The items below are intended for the parents that are new to ski racing, but we’re hoping there are pieces of information that can be found useful by everyone. Most importantly we learned that the best folks to go to are the BMR coaches and staff. They will be able to answer all your questions or point you in the direction of someone who can.
Where do I find information during the season?
Check the BMR website often for type of training, announcements, used gear sales, and lots of other great information and updates:
We also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Mountain-Racing
When does training happen?
PARA EXTENDED TRAINING:
Blue Mountain offers additional Alpine training days every Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 4:30 PM. We will end at 7:00 PM. This program will start January and end in February. Extended training will better prepare our racers for the demands of competition. This program is limited to those racers who are presently enrolled in our Junior Racing Program and are competing in PARA at the U12 to U21 level.
Training discipline will be posted on BMR website each day.
Extended training runs January through February.
CROSS EXTENDED TRAINING:
Blue Mountain offers additional Snowboard Cross and Ski Cross training session(s) every Tuesday and Thursday.
January to February . Wednesday nights are for Elite only.
Training time is 6:00-8:00pm. Extended training will better prepare our athletes for the demands of competition.
This program is limited to participants who are presently enrolled in our Snowboard Cross and Ski Cross training.
Skiers or riders who cannot make two days per week may register for the day of the week that they wish to train.
PARA and Cross training at 8:00am - 1:00pm.
Mountaineer training is from 9:00am - 1:00pm. Racers should meet their coaches outside.
Holiday Competition Camp at Sunday River, Maine for PARA U14 through U21.
Blue Mountain Holiday Camp for U10- U14 and Mountaineers.
What do the racers do during a regular training day?
Racers will meet their coaches in the SUMMIT area. Once gate training starts, our training trail is ONLY for racers and coaches. Nobody else is allowed on the trail until the trail is opened to the public by Ski Patrol. This is for everybody's safety!
Make sure your child visits the bathroom BEFORE they get all bundled up and you have to undress them again!!!
How should I dress my child?
Dress your child in layers - It may feel "warm" to your child when they first get out on the mountain in the morning. But the north side of the mountain (where they gate train on Razor's Edge) is very cold until the sun comes up later in the day. Your child can always take off a layer if they get warm while training, but when they are cold, they'll have to go all the way back to the lodge to get more clothing.
Once the kids leave for training they are the coaches' responsibility. Parents should get out and get some runs in early! The trails are freshly groomed, there are no lift lines and you can get a lot of runs in quickly
Do the racers get a break?
Break time for the kids is usually between 10 and 11am (PARA racers/ Ski Cross) and 10:30 - 11:30am for Mountaineers.
Depending upon the training schedule for that day, times and locations for breaks will vary.
There is no need for PARA parents to meet their kids for breaks.
What do racers need when it's break time?
Break Time is usually about a half hour.
Please either give your child money for snacks or give them a gift card that they may use.
Pack them a snack they can carry in their jacket pocket.
Break time IS NOT LUNCH TIME, so be sure your child eats a good breakfast, racers will be on the hill until 1pm.
Once PARA begins gate training on Razor's Edge, they will usually take their breaks outside the Valley Lodge
Should I label my child's clothing and equipment?
MAKE SURE THAT EVERY ITEM OF YOUR CHILD'S CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT IS CLEARLY LABELED.
Identify your equipment. Use a sharpie and label everything. All race gear looks alike.
Skis and poles look the same, especially when you have 150 kids with virtually the same type of clothing and equipment. Please label EVERYTHING! (Duct tape on the inside of the jacket and pants with a name on it works nicely, or use a permanent Sharpie and write the name on the labels.)
Racers will leave jackets and pants at the top of the course when they take their race run. Make sure your child knows how to identify theirs.
What kind of equipment does my child need?
True Blue Sports is a great ski shop to get your racer the equipment they need. The staff has many years of experience to help get the right equipment.
Skis - Make sure you have the right type of skis. Most U14 and older PARA racers will have both a SL and GS pair. Most racers should be on JR. skis not adult.
Boots - You can't grow into them... they need to fit correctly. Also the race stock boot may not be the best boot for your racer. They are often very STIFF and racers need to FLEX the boot to improve skiing skills.
Ski poles - Poles should also fit correctly. Make sure they are not too short or too long. If you're not sure, ask your child's coach.
Ski pants with full side zippers are recommended, especially for PARA racers. The racers can wear their pants over their speed suits on race day to stay warm and easily remove them when they are lining up for their run.
Jackets - My child forgot their jacket today!! Don't panic. The ski shop rents jackets and pants for just this reason.
Helmets for PARA racers must have full head coverage. Soft ear flaps are not allowed and racers will be disqualified in the start if they are wearing a helmet with soft ears. Face guards are allowed in SLALOM races only and must be removed for GS, Super G and downhill race events.
Speed suits - Many of the U10-U14 racers do have them, but they are not required and can be pricey. Ask around and often you can find older racers that have outgrown suits. They are not required and honestly they may provide more of a mental edge than any real race time edge. If you do purchase a race suit, the kids can wear them on cold training days under their pants and jacket, as this will help them get used to the feel of them as well.
Hand and Toe Warmers - Hand and toe warmers in the gloves and boots can really help a lot on cold days. You can also put hand warmers in the pockets of pants to help keep feet warm, as they warm up the blood traveling down to the feet. Look for good deals and buy them in bulk. You'll go through a lot of them over the winter. You can also purchase them in the mountain retail shop.
Lockers - Blue Mountain rents outside lockers to store your skis/poles. They are large and can hold ~5 pairs of skis. They really come in handy for storing you and your child's skis and then you don't have to always haul up skis each morning.
Lock - Make sure your equipment is locked up.
How do I take care of the ski equipment?
Would you drive your car with bald tires? Then make sure you take care of your skis.
"Tuning" means waxing and sharpening the edges of the skis. It's important to keep the skis tuned. Try to keep them tuned up for training sessions also. If you wait until race day to tune the skis they will feel quite a bit different to the kids than what they have been training on.
There is a WORLD CLASS tuning machine (AND SKI TECHS) at Blue and they can take care of skis for you. Be sure to tell them the edge and base degrees to use.
There will be a point in time when you need to purchase tuning equipment. There are kits available that will have all the basics for you, along with videos that can come with the kits to help you learn. There are also very helpful tuning videos on YouTube and always ask the coaches. They will have lots of tips. Owning tuning equipment not only helps keep costs down in the long run, but will also allow you to tune the skis while on the road at other race sites. Tuning is something that you can learn with your kids and it will also be helpful for them to learn and maintain their own skis.
What happens on Race Day?
"Hurry up and wait, in chaos"
- Arrive at the lodge no later than 7:30am. The earlier, the better and the less rushed you and the kids will feel. When going to races realize most often the cafeterias at the different resorts are not open as early as we arrive so make sure your child has something to eat for breakfast.
-You must pre-register for races online. Use https://adminskiracing.com Coaches will specify a location to receive bibs for the beginning of the race. Make sure you hang onto your racers' bibs and do not alter them in any way. Some mountains use "disposable" bibs and then you won't have to return the bib. But if it's a cloth bib, you will have to turn it in at the end of the race (as is the case at most other ski area races). IN ANY CASE, you may not write on it or tape it or alter it in any way. To do so may disqualify your child from the race.
- Find the line to purchase lift passes (racers do need one). The best place to put a lift ticket on race day is on the strap of the goggles. Sometimes a racer won't have his/her coat or pants if they take them off for their race run. So don't put them on their clothing. You can also purchase lift passes for yourself at a discount (both lines are usually near each other).
Make sure your child gets a good night's sleep, eats a good breakfast, and is dressed warmly enough in layers both underneath and over their speed suits.
Rough timing of Race events:
8am - Coaches meeting. Parents will not attend this, but if you hear the announcement for the coaches meeting, it means that the racers should be just about ready to head out onto the hill for course inspection.
After the coaches meeting, U10-U14 racers will gather all the BM Racers and head out for course inspection (usually by 8:30am, but it could be earlier/later). U21 - U16 should go warm up and meet their coaches
Other than parent volunteers who help get the racers ready and run coats, the start area is a PARENT-FREE ZONE. Please respect the coaches' job and knowledge in getting each racer ready for their run without distractions. THANKS!
8:15 - 8:30am - Course Inspection - Racers will meet their coaches and inspect the course. Racers must have their bibs for course inspection.
9 - 9:15am - First run starts. Following inspection, the girls will line up for their first run. The boys may do warm-up runs on other slopes or head into the lodge for some breakfast or to warm-up. It is the racer's responsibility to make sure that they get to the race course in time for their run. All the coaches will be on the race hill, so they are not able to gather the boys when it's time for their run.
Racers run in bib order number. Girls go first, followed by the boys. Make sure the kids bring in their pants/jackets after their run. After the racer completes the first run and makes sure that his or her run is "official," he or she is free until they head out for second run course inspection. The first run will be torn down and re-set for the second run.
VERY IMPORTANT FOR PARENTS OF BOYS - The girls will run first, followed by the boys. The first run is a random draw, so any boy might run at the end of the pack in the first run. Once the first run is over, it may just be 20-30 minutes before the course is open for second run course inspection. So, many of the boys will not have time to wait in a long cafeteria line and eat lunch before the second run course inspection. Please bring something along that they can eat quickly between runs. They can return to the lodge AFTER second run course inspection to eat a good lunch.
12:30pm - Second run course inspection. Racers must have their bibs for course inspection. Coaches will let the racers know where to meet them for second run course inspection. Usually, it's at the top of the course, so keep your ears open for announcements about what time the course opens for inspection.
1pm - Second run - Start order is determined by the finish time of the first run, with all girls running first, followed by the boys. The top racers in each category will be "flipped" to run backwards in their order of finish.
"What is making the flip?" Within the PARA races, the top 30 racers from the first run will flip positions. So the 30th place racer will run first, 29th will go second ... the first place racer will go 30th. The racers placing 31st through the end of the pack will then go in the order of their first run finish result. So 31st will go 31st. Any racer with a "DNF" (did not finish) or "DQ" (disqualified) in the first run, will run last in the second run.
4pm - The awards ceremony usually takes place about an hour after the second run is complete. Within PARA the racers will be given separate awards for each age group. While ski racers are given individual awards, there is usually a team award as well, so we encourage all racers and parents to stick around for awards.
5pm - Drive home while the kids sleep (and they will be asleep!)
What are seed points?
Seed Points - a numerical indicator of a competitor's individual ranking with all other competitors; used only at scored events.
NOTE: USSA Seed Points may only be corrected by USSA, FIS Points by FIS
What is the purposes of the points lists?
The list measure the relative performances of all competitors in the classification system.
They serve as a tool to seed (organzie) the start order of a race.
The provide a method of team selection.
All valid USSA youth, Student and Competitor members appear on the USSA points list. Only Competitor member are eligible for USSA points and for FIS points. An athlete is listed with 999.00 until they earn of better( lower) points. In the Eastern region, there are specific rules for younger athletes to earn points.
(This information is from the 2011-2012 comp. guide)
What are Derbies?
Derbies are the State Championships for PARA. This is an invitation-only event. This information will be updated when information is available.
Blue Mountain is in the EASTERN region of PARA. Each region has a quota for the Derbies, which is based upon how many members they have from that age group racing in the QUALIFYING races. It really helps all the racers at Blue if you have your children registered in PARA even if you are not sure if they will be racing. You could help get an extra Blue racer into the Derbies by getting everyone registered.
Derby standings/points are posted on the PARA website during the season.
Eastern - Qualification to the U12 and U14 Championship events will be based on the ranking of each athlete’s TOTAL New World Cup Points earned as a result of ALL RACE RUNS contested in the region(s). Runs resulting in a ‘Did Not Finish’ (DNF), ‘Disqualified’ (DSQ), or ‘Did Not Start’ (DNS) will be valued as a 0 for scoring purposes. The respective regional chairperson (or his/her designee) will compile the results from the qualifier races held within the respective region for posting on the PARA website.
Our Derby qualifying races include racers from mountains in the NORTHEAST and EASTERN PARA regions. Points are awarded according to how a racer finishes against only other racers in their region. So if a racer from Elk Mountain (Northeast PARA region) finishes the first run of a race first, they will earn 100 points. If a racer from Blue Mountain finishes the first run of that same race second, they will ALSO earn 100 points. You can see which mountains are in which divisions on the PARA website.
There are also "discretionary" slots available for Derbies. This means that a racer did not qualify for Derbies with enough points to make the quota for that region, but there are extenuating circumstances like illness or injury, that hindered their season. Discretionary Derby slots are requested by each PARA region and the PARA chairperson will decide if those discretionary slots are awarded.
Coaches keep a close eye on the Derby standings throughout the entire season. Derby standings are posted on the website www.paracing.org. Coaches will discuss Derby standings with parents so you know if you need to mark your calendars and make reservations for the event. Should your child qualify for Derbies, you will be given much more detail about the event and procedures at that time. There are post-season invitation-only events in New England for the top finishers at the Derbies.
Where do I sign up to be a volunteer and what do I have to do?
It takes a lot of planning and effort to put on a race and there is always a need for help at the events (including Blue). As a parent of a racer, you'll be asked to volunteer on race days. Gate keepers are always needed. If it's really cold, we'll need a parent to volunteer to stay in the lodge and send kids out as their bib numbers come up. We also need some parents to help line up racers, help them out of their jackets and pants at the start, and run coats/pants to the bottom of the race trail so racers can put their jackets on to go up the lift.
Where else can I find helpful websites and links?
BMR - check it often for type of training, announcements, used gear sales, and lots of great info:http://www.bluemtraceteam.org
BMR Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Mountain-Racing
PARA Site: http://www.paracing.org
United States Ski and Snowboard: http://www.ussa.org
Real time race results: http://live-timing.com (you can follow race results on your smart phones and computers during the actual race!)
Race gear catalogs: