It's official. The 2008 USASA National Championships will be at Copper Mountain in Colorado March 29th through April 5th. We have some pretty big changes, so please keep reading to find out everything we have to tell you at this time. It is only November so we are still working on a lot of details, but the following information is already set at this time.
The first big news is that the Nationals is now 6 Days of competition instead of 5 Days. We have expanded some of our groups, explained further down, and created 6 competitions groups which will be competing in 5 venues. So how does this work? Each competition group has a "day off". If a rider is qualified for all 5 disciplines they will have a day off somewhere during the week. A day to practice, watch the other venues, hand out with family, or may be even REST! Open Class has become its' own competition group and so have the skiers. This will accomodate some more spots in both of these groups and also free up some room in the other age groups as well in some cases.
What's that? You already booked your trip based on a 5 day schedule? What wereyou thinking?! I hope you were pre-qualified from last Nationals! Well, actually it should really change much for you because our schedule is relatively the same as it was before. The only real difference is that instead of Saturday being early bird registration and Sunday being the practice day and registration day, we now start competing ON Sunday. We still end on Friday the 4th with the 5th being held as a weather day. But what about practice? It is on Saturday. But when do we check in and register? We have that covered as well. We will open registration on Friday and keep it open until MIDNIGHT on Friday night for those arriving on Friday. You will be able to come in and grab your bib and credentials when you arrive lat Friday night so that on Saturday you are ready to get on the hill instead of standing in line registering during your practice time. Just like last year, registration for Nationals will be done 100% online and closed a few days before the event. All start lists will be finalized and posted online before the event and the qualification process will be as totally transparent to everyone. More about the National Ranking system ,and changes to it for this season, will be posted very soon as well.
The competition groups will be shifting around a bit, to insure that similar ability level and ages are grouped together. This will help with course design from day to day, as we can get the BoarderCross course set up for the little guys and change it for the big kids the next day, etc. The actual groups are still be worked out but we are pretty close to finalizing that as well.
Another big deal for Nationals is that the Open Class Halfpipe and Slopestyle events are now 3 Star TTR ranked events, part of the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour. The TTR is the Ticket To Ride, an international ranking system. The point system is used to rank snowboarders on an international level and includes event like the Revolution Tour (2 Star events) the Grand Prix events (4 Stars) and the Burton Global Open Series. This should motivate the Open Class riders across the country to compete at their local events to make sure they qualify for the Nationals this year! There are not many events in this country that you can qualify for and earn TTR points, this is a prettyy big deal!
March 28: Registration/Check In (12 noon to 12 midnight)
March 29: Practice and Registration/Check In
March 30-April 4: Competition Days
April 5: Weather Day
Competition Groups/Days still being finalized and will be posted as soon as possible!
I hope everyone is excited about the changes so far. If you haven't already joined the USASA, what are you waiting for?!