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First Day: YSL Long Program
December 14 All day
Youth Ski League Long Program is for athletes ages 7 to 12 (as of December 31st). Participants must be able to do the following:
- Put on their own boots and skis
- Ski with poles
- Easily navigate blue (intermediate) terrain, and
- Load and unload from the chairlift without assistance.
The focus of instruction is on developing well-rounded skiing skills and a lifelong appreciation of the sport. Coaching techniques incorporate free-skiing, obstacle courses, games, drills, and gate training.
BSSEF’s programs – Alpine and Freeride – incorporate sanctioned competitions; Big Sky Resort’s youth programs do not. The resort offers several instructional programs for area athletes aged 7 to 15. For purposes of comparison, the most relevant of the resort’s Youth Local Programs are Wolverines and Big Sky Rippers:
- The Wolverines program (ages 7-14) is similar to BSSEF’s Youth Ski League programs.
- The resort’s Rippers program is most comparable to BSSEF’s Buddy Werner or Freeride programs and emphasizes advanced terrain.
The age classifications for the 2019-20 ski season are as follows:
|Age Class||Ages as of 12/31/19||Birth Year|
|U8||7 and younger||2012 and later|
|U10||8 and 9||2010 or 2011|
|U12||10 and 11||2008 or 2009|
|U14||12 and 13||2006 or 2007|
|U16||14 and 15||2004 or 2005|
|U19||16 – 18||2001, 2002 or 2003|
|U21||19 and 20||1999 or 2000|
|SR||21 and older||1998 or earlier|
The head coaches of each program are responsible for posting and updating training schedules to each program’s respective TeamReach group.
The team’s meeting place is directly below the Summit Hotel clock tower. Athletes should be ready to go at 8:45 AM in order to board the lift promptly at 9:00 AM.
A hard-ear race helmet, a pair of four-buckle boots that fit well and aren’t too stiff, and a single pair of multi-event race skis are initially sufficient. Is a speed suit a necessity for your 8-year-old? Not really…but she will probably want one after she competes in her first few races. The bad news is that kids grow out of speed suits almost instantly. The good news is that there is, as a consequence, a thriving second-hand market. See the equipment page for more information.
No. Out-of-town races are time-consuming, expensive, and can distract from school and other commitments. You should not feel as if your athlete and family need to commit to every competition on the schedule. Even for highly engaged athletes, it’s possible to place too much emphasis on competitions.
That said, competitions are an integral part of the BSSEF experience, and they are a lot of fun. Not only does the experience of traveling to, and participating in, out-of-town races foster friendships among the kids, it does so for parents, too.