FAQ about High Plains

High Plains Skiers Page

FAQ’s for 2016/2017 Race Season


What does High Plains Nordic do?

We are the recognized group for the High Plains Division of USSA skiing. We represent the Division at USSA meetings and bring a team to the USSA Junior National event.  We provide training events and camps.  We search for monies to provide equipment for youth programs. Our goal is to give every skier in our division, whether they are in a High School program or a Club program, the opportunity to be as successful as possible in cross country skiing and racing.


Why get a USSA membership?

Wyoming skiers have 2 race options: USSA sanctioned races (Laramie & Casper, for example) or non-sanctioned races (Cody, for example).  Both types of races are included in the High School schedule. Wyoming skiers can participate in both types and accrue points towards possible selection for the High Plains Junior National Team.

USSA membership and USSA points accrual are critical for any skier looking to compete in regional and national level USSA events.  Points determine start order in races, are used for selection to USSA regional and national level training camps, and selection to national and international teams.  USSA races are a harder test of technique, fitness, and race strategy, BUT, they will make you a better and faster skier.

There are 2 levels of USSA membership for racers:

USSA General membership is designed for young athletes who are training with a club program and may be competing in both USSA and non-USSA competitions.  While cheaper, this membership level does not allow a skier to be included in national ranking lists.  The practical effect of this is your seed will be at the back of the pack at any future USSA race event that you might attend and you will not be included for consideration for any USSA regional and national level training camps, and selection to national and international teams.  You will be considered for the High Plains JN Team using HP points earned at High School races.

USSA Competitor membership is required for any skier looking to be included in national ranking lists.  It also provides access to all levels of USSA scored and non-scored competitions at the local, divisional, regional, and national level.  A USSA Competitor membership is required for participation in the Junior National’s.

Your team/club coach can direct individual skiers to the most appropriate membership level.

Why is there a $10 “Head Tax” at the Casper & Laramie races?

Casper and Laramie are each hosting 2 day, USSA sanctioned National Ranking List (NRL) races.  NRL race results assign points that are used in the USSA National Ranking List. U14 & U16 skiers who hold USSA Competitor memberships are included in the rankings.  A skier’s overall rank is based on a racer’s 4 best results from the past 12 months.   Please refer to the USSA 17Nordic Competition Guide for a more complete explanation of the points scoring system.

This level of USSA sanctioned racing requires the presence of USSA Officials (Technical Director and Asst. Technical Director) to ensure correct timing and scoring, course setup to FIS/USSA standards, and application of FIS/USSA rules to all participants.  There is also a USSA sanctioning fee and reimbursement of travel, lodging, and meals for USSA officials.  A $10 fee is assessed on all skiers to help offset some of these costs. 

High Plains is making every effort to maintain a low and reasonable cost for all Wyoming skiers.  For example, 6 Wyoming residents traveled to Park City this fall, at their own expense, for a multi-day officials training event.  Next year, High Plains will have its own pool of officials to use at our sanctioned races. We will no longer have to pay travel expenses for out of state officials.  We depend, and will continue to depend, on volunteers to make any Wyoming ski event a safe and successful event for every skier and their families.  There is a “cost of doing business”, but we will always strive to make cross country skiing as affordable as possible for everyone in Wyoming.


What races will count for membership on the High Plains Junior National Team?

Races marked as JNQ on the Wyoming High School schedule will count towards JN Team selection.  In addition, those racers choosing to obtain a USSA Competitor membership will have their USSA points count towards the High Plains JN Team selection.    All points must be accumulated during the current race season.  No points can be “carried over” from the past year.  Skiers not holding a USSA Competitor membership will have HP points calculated based on a minimum of 3 High School races (Skate/Classic/best other).

It should be obvious that it is in a racer’s best interest to race as frequently as possible.  The more racing you do, the more experienced, smarter, fitter, and better you will become.  USSA sanctioned races offer these opportunities.  Skiers should work with their coaches to develop a race schedule.