USSA Announces 2016-17 National Performance Series
USSA's National Performance Series exposes young athletes to their national peers on a regular basis to stimulate long-term growth and to accelerate development toward international competition.
PARK CITY, UT (Oct. 13, 2016) – The best U19 and U16 racers in the country will have the opportunity to compete in a head-to-head training and racing environment as part of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s (USSA) National Performance Series (NPS). The USSA will host three events across the country for U19s and two events for U16s, focusing on fundamental skills in slalom, giant slalom and super G.
The USSA’s Alpine Development Department has worked over the past few seasons to strengthen and broaden the national junior pipeline. The NPS is a part of this effort, exposing young athletes to their national peers on a regular basis to stimulate long-term growth and to accelerate development toward international competition.
“The NPS is a unique format where we bring our best young athletes from across the country together throughout the season to feed off one another and push each other forward,” said USSA Alpine Development Director Chip Knight. “As an athlete, competing against the best makes you better in the long-run, regardless of the immediate result. This series is a chance to make a long-standing positive impact for the next generation of U.S. athletes.”
After a successful 2015-16 season, the U19 NPS will host three projects for male racers in Vail, CO, Waterville Valley, NH and Aspen, CO. Women will also be invited to the Aspen project to provide increased opportunity for both genders to develop fundamental skills in speed. Top male performers at the U19 NPS will be eligible to meet U.S. Ski Team Development Team and National Training Group criteria for the 2017-18 season.
The U16 NPS, new for the 2016-17 season, is designed for both genders and will consist of projects in Beaver Creek, CO and Burke, VT. The Beaver Creek project will take place in conjunction with the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup, providing the athletes a first-hand experience on a World Cup venue. Results from the U16 NPS will determine a team of 12 athletes to compete in the Seven Nations Cup in Austria in February. Those same 12 athletes will also be invited to participate in a March training project, held in conjunction with the women’s World Cup in Squaw Valley, CA, and they will automatically qualify for the U16 National Championships.
“We are tremendously appreciative of the clubs and resorts who have stepped up and agreed to host NPS events this year,” said Knight. “It’s not easy to provide training for 45 to 50 athletes and to host a bunch of races in a row – sometimes even two in one day. But these resorts have worked with us to keep costs down and still provide a top-notch experience for our athletes.
The USSA will host a National Performance series for both U19 and U16 athletes throughout the 2016-17 season.
The U19 NPS includes three projects for male athletes in Vail, CO, Waterville Valley, NH and Aspen, CO.
Women are also invited to the U19 NPS in Aspen, CO to develop fundamental skills in speed.
The U16 NPS will host projects in Beaver Creek, CO and Burke, VT.
Results from the first two U16 NPS projects will determine a team of 12 athletes to compete at the Seven Nations Cup, attend a third project in Squaw Valley, CA and automatically qualify for the U16 National Championships.
Training projects in Beaver Creek, CO and Squaw Valley, CA will be held in conjunction with the Audi FIS Ski World Cup stops at these locations.