Youth Ski League Short Program

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

The Youth Ski League Short 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.

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

This will also add the following products to your cart:

  • Volunteer Deposit

January 8, 2022 through February 5, 2022

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 that your child not compete, please consider Big Sky Resort’s Youth Local Programs.)  U.S. Ski & Snowboard membership, race fees, lift tickets, lodging, and transportation costs related to races are not covered by the program fee.

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.

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 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, make an application for a scholarship administered by Women in Action.

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

Age ClassAges as of 12/31/21Birth Year
U87 and younger2014 and later
U108 and 92012 or 2013
U1210 and 112010 or 2011
U1412 and 132008 or 2009
U1614 and 152006 or 2007
U1916 - 182003, 2004 or 2005
U2119 and 202001 or 2002
SR21 and older2000 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 programs.
  • The resort’s Rippers program is most comparable to BSSEF’s Buddy Werner or Freeride programs and emphasizes advanced terrain.

The Covid-19 refund policy for the 2020-21 season can be found here.