Animal Groupings

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ANIMAL GROUPS

Skiers will be placed in ability groups for free skiing, training and races. Placement will be commensurate with ability, which will be determined by initial free skiing, training sessions, grouping races, Skills Quest Drills and age. These groups allow children to compete more equitably with those of similar skills instead of competing only within age groups. The ability groups, ranked in ascending order of ability, are as follows:

Ages 7–9:  Chipmunks, Otters, Beavers, Lynx, Tigers
Ages 10–13:  Cougars, Rams, Wildcats, Jr. Hopefuls

Children will race throughout the season in the ability group to which they are assigned following the grouping race. Adjustments in ability groups will only be made with coaches’ input up to the first pointed race. After this, all races count toward Season Awards and children will to remain in their ability groups to compete for the end-of-year awards.

MOVING UP GROUPS

1. Coach observes mastery of fundamentals and free skiing ability.
2. Skier finishes a race with a time in the midrange of the next highest group.
3. Skier does well in Skills Quest Drills.
4. At age 10 by December 31 of the ski season, unless already a Jr. Hopeful, the racer becomes a Cougar.

Note: Ability Groups may be adjusted to ensure appropriate numbers within each group to allow for appropriate coaching levels.
Upward mobility in Mighty Mite ability groups is based on the mastery of ski fundamentals in free skiing, Skills Quest drills, gate training and race results. The first race of the season is a combination GS and slalom grouping race. After this race and Coaching review, movement of Mighty Mites into new groups will be done conservatively. The following Sunday coaches will further assess free skiing ability and make recommendations on final grouping movements. If a child misses the grouping race, then group placement will be based on coach’s recommendation. Parents with concerns on grouping can discuss this with their child’s coach prior to the first Pointed Race. Once Pointed Races begin, no movements between ability groups are allowed as this will render the child ineligible for Season Awards.