Youth Ski League Program

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for additional program and scholarship information.

Youth Ski League 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.

All participants are required to wear a helmet at all times.

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.

Small groups (8 or fewer) will work with the same coach during the course of the ski day including breaks and lunch. However, participants will have the opportunity to work with several coaches over the course of the season. Groups are arranged by U.S. Ski & Snowboard age class (see FAQs below) and ability.

Included in the base program fee:  Training on Saturdays, team jacket lease for the season

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This will also add the following products to your cart:

  • Volunteer Deposit

December 10, 2022 through March 4, 2023

Participation in competitions is expected. Athletes who wish to participate in sanctioned ski races must be a member of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. U.S. Ski & Snowboard membership, race fees, lift tickets, lodging, and transportation costs related to races are not covered by the program fee.

If you would prefer that your child not compete, please consider Big Sky Resort’s Youth Local Programs.

As BSSEF has become active year-round, we’ve been compelled to push the Early Season pricing deadline earlier in the year for planning and cash flow purposes. However, we recognize that taking advantage of Early Season pricing might cause a cash crunch for some families. So, we offer installment payment options on a limited basis.

Here’s how installment plans work:

  • Choose the Partial.ly Payment Plan option at check out (currently available for single order values of more than $1,000).
  • Select your down payment amount.
  • Select your payment frequency.
  • Your scheduled payments will be calculated based on the final due date of February 15, 2023.
  • Select your payment method (credit card, debit card, or bank account ACH).
  • Read the terms carefully.
  • “Sign” the payment contract electronically.
  • Click Process Down Payment.

Installment payment terms are subject to change.

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.

Race registration for nearly all Northern Division races utilizes the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Online Athlete Registration system. The team will send you a bill for your share of coaching fees (for out-of-town races).

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.

The race organizing committee for each ski race must submit a race announcement to U.S. Ski & Snowboard several weeks before the event. The race announcement contains basic information such as location, schedule, and cost. When they are made available, the Northern Division will usually post them on its website.

There are a number of resources related to Alpine and Freeride competitions:

  • Start with the events calendar. We do our best to keep information on the event pages up-to-date, relevant, and complete.
  • The definitive source of information for Northern Division Alpine races is the Northern Division website. The race calendar there includes links to race announcements and results.
  • The IFSA website includes information regarding Junior Freeskiing competitions.
  • During the course of a competition, coaches will send updates and communicate with parents and athletes via the TeamReach mobile app.
  • Check the hotel reservation page for information about accommodations for out-of-area races.
  • Subscribe to email notifications.
  • “Like” the team’s Facebook page.

All athletes who wish to compete in a U.S. Ski & Snowboard-sanctioned Alpine ski race must be an active member. At this time, Freeride competitions are organized by a different sanctioning body (IFSA).

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. It is the parent organization of the U.S. Ski Team. BSSEF is a member of the Northern Division, which, in turn, is part of the Western Region. The Alpine ski races in which our athletes participate are sanctioned by and organized under the rules of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

With appropriate clothing, kids can ski and train in below zero weather. Sometimes, however, the start of training will be delayed in order to allow the temperature to rise a bit. In all cases, coaches will bring kids into the lodge for warm-ups as necessary. As always, check the TeamReach app for the latest updates regarding training.

The team typically eats lunch between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Timing can be a bit flexible, depending on conditions and the day’s training agenda. Coaches accompany the athletes, but athletes are responsible for getting their own lunches. Athletes will have lunch in the BSSEF Team Room.

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.

The head coaches of each program are responsible for posting and updating training schedules to each program’s respective TeamReach group.

We feel your pain. We’re helped immensely by our sponsors, and we do our best to keep our overhead low in order to keep program prices in check. Nevertheless, program fees, equipment, and travel conspire to make skiing and ski racing expensive.

To make it less so, take advantage of early season program pricing and multi-program purchase discounts. Installment payment plans may be available on certain transactions.

Purchase used equipment via Montana Ski Racing Classified on Facebook and area ski swaps. (Bridger Ski Foundation hosts a great swap every Fall in Bozeman.) Last but not least, apply for a scholarship!

The age classifications for the 2021-22 ski season are as follows:

Age ClassAges as of 12/31/22Birth Year
U87 and younger2015 and later
U108 and 92013 or 2014
U1210 and 112011 or 2012
U1412 and 132009 or 2010
U1614 and 152007 or 2008
U1916 - 182004, 2005 or 2006
U2119 and 202002 or 2003
SR21 and older2001 or earlier

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 program. The resort’s Rippers program (ages 10-17) is most comparable to BSSEF’s Buddy Werner or Freeride programs and emphasizes advanced terrain.