Youth Ski League Plus Program

The Youth Ski League Plus 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.

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

YSL Program Comparison

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.

Participation in competitions is expected. Athletes who wish to participate in sanctioned ski races must be a member of the USSA. (If you would prefer your child not compete, please consider Big Sky Resort’s Youth Local Programs.)  USSA membership, race fees, lift tickets, lodging, and transportation costs related to races are not covered by the program fee.

A Volunteer Deposit is required per the terms of the BSSEF Handbook and will be automatically added to your cart. Multi-program purchase discounts applied at checkout.

Volunteer Deposit Information

BSSEF Handbook

Included in the base program fee: training on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; rental of a team jacket for the season; NASTAR season pass; and the Christmas Camp.

2017-18 program dates: December 16, 2017 – March 3, 2018

Training Schedule

Saturday9:00 AM3:00 PM
Wednesday and Friday1:00 PM4:00 PM

This will also add the following products to your cart:

  • Volunteer Deposit


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. However, in addition to its relative emphasis on racing, the YSL program includes a multi-day training option.
  • 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 2017-18 ski season are as follows:

Age ClassAges as of 12/31/17Birth Year
U87 and younger2010 and later
U108 and 92008 or 2009
U1210 and 112006 or 2007
U1412 and 132004 or 2005
U1614 and 152002 or 2003
U1916 - 181999, 2000 or 2001
U2119 and 201997 or 1998
SR21 and older1996 or earlier

The head coaches of each program are responsible for posting and updating training schedules on the calendar.

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. Backpacks should be stored in the Mammoth Room on the second floor of the Mountain Mall. All skis should be placed in the racks by the Summit Hotel. Kids and their equipment are not allowed by the Race Shack at the base of the Ramcharger lift. That area gets congested quite easily, and it’s unsafe for lots of kids to be milling about.

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.