Alpine Racing

The racing program is divided into age groups as follows. Starting at the youngest group, GPSC develops our junior athletes based on the USSA Alpine Training System and Development Pipeline.


Forerunners (Ages 6 and up)

The Forerunners train during the Holiday Camp and for 8 Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  The Forerunners is our youngest and most introductory age group.  Children in this group should be able to get on and off the lift and ski with basic skills independently and proficiently.

Gatebusters (Ages 7 and up)

New for 2016/17 – The Gatebusters train for 12 Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. starting on December 10, 2016 including the Holiday Camp.  The Gatebusters develops the next step in the introduction to ski racing techniques and works to expand the skills they learned in the Forerunner program.  Everyone in these groups will have an opportunity to race in 1 to 3 fun-focused Sunday races (home and away).  At the coach’s discretion, selected racers who are ready to advance may participate in a limited number of U10 or U12 races.


U10-U21 Classifications (started 2012-2013)

Competitor age classes are determined by birth year. All ages are determined as of December 31st of the racing season. We will be revising program descriptions below as the season approaches. View a mapping of ages, years of birth to U classes (pdf)

Note: All participating GPSC U10-U19 racers must have active memberships with both the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and New York State Ski Racing Association (NYSSRA).

Training starts December 10, 2016 and continues through the 1st week of March.


U10 (Ages 8 and 9)

This group trains during the Holiday Camp and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. throughout the racing season. This group trains to learn slalom (SL) and giant slalom (GS). They have an opportunity to participate in several local SL and GS races; both home and away. During non-race weekends, they train at home on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The big end of season race is the fun-filled Kandahar Festival – a 2-day event.


U12 (Ages 10 and 11)

This group trains during the Holiday Camp and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. throughout the racing season. This group trains to learn slalom (SL) and giant slalom (GS). They have an opportunity to participate in several local SL and GS races; both home and away. During non-race weekends, they train at home on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Older U12s should use shin guards for slalom. At this level, skiers are gently introduced to Super Giant Slalom (SG), a speed event required starting at the next age group U16. The big end of season race is the fun-filled Kandahar Festival – a 2-day event. Qualifiers from the festival move on to the state-wide Kandahar Championship.


U14 (Ages 12 and 13)

This group trains during the Holiday Camp and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. throughout the racing season. At the discretion of the coaching staff, they may train prior to the Holiday Camp as conditions allowed. This group mainly focuses on basics on slalom (SL) and giant slalom (GS). They have an opportunity to participate in both disciplines; both home and away. During non-race weekends, they train at home on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. At this level, skiers progress more in Super Giant Slalom (SG), a speed event required starting at the next age group U16. Unlike U12, this group use tall poles for slalom. For safety, they are required to use chin guards, shin guards and pole protectors. This group has the opportunity to qualify for states at the end of the season. Racers that do not qualify for states race in the Kandahar Festival. Top finishers from the festival move on to the Kandahar Champs.


U16 (Ages 14 and 15)

This group is offered pre-season training prior to the Holiday Camp as conditions allow. Their normal training day is from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. They train slalom (SL), giant slalom (GS) and Super G (SG). This group’s emphasis is on fine-tuning their advanced fundamental skills and course tactics for specific races. Competition venues are more widespread throughout the Western NY region. Starting in 2016, U16 racers will participate in the same races as U19/21.


U19/U21 (Ages 16 – 20)

The athlete begins to optimize specific sport skills and fitness toward competing in the sport. Excellence in all aspects of the athlete’s specific sport must be the goal of preparation at this stage.

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