USSA JUNIOR RACING - FAQ's AND BASIC INFORMATION
This information sheet covers CXC Junior Cup Races and Junior Nationals. If you are an advanced racer and are interested in pursuing Senior Nationals, as well as potential selection to the US Ski Team World Junior and U18 Scandanavian Cup Teams, please contact Liz Peterson at email@example.com.
What is the USSA, and what are CXC Junior cup races, and Junior Nationals (“JNs”)?
“USSA” stands for the United States Ski & Snowboard Association. It is the national governing body for skiing in the United States, and the parent organization of the US Ski Team. As part of the US Ski Team development pipeline, USSA sponsors Junior Nationals each year – a week-long competition in March with skiers from different regional teams. Each USSA region (Minnesota and Wisconsin are in the “Midwest” division) holds Junior National Qualifer races (CXC Junior Cup) to determine selections to their respective teams.
Do I have to be a top skier to participate in Junior cups?
No! Most Junior Cups are part of larger race events and not limited to “top skiers.” Even if you do not feel fast enough to qualify for Junior Nationals this year, the experience of racing Junior Cups will help you become a better ski racer!
Why should I try to qualify for Junior Nationals?
Junior National results are the primary tool used by college ski coaches to evaluate prospective college recruits. Most importantly, Junior Cup weekends are a lot of fun, a great way to ski different venues in the region, and an opportunity to meet other junior skiers outside your high school team.
How does Junior National qualifying work?
Here in the Midwest Region, the Central Cross-Country Ski Association (CXC) administers the JN qualification process. In general, skiers earn points based on Junior Cup results. The Junior National Team consists of approximately equal numbers of skiers from each age group based on results from the four Junior Cup weekends.
How can Endurance United help?
We provide coaching, waxing, and logisitical support at Junior Cup races.
When and where are the Junior National Qualifiers this season?
Houghton, MI - December 15-16 (Classic Interval Start, Freestyle Mass Start)
Madison, WI - December 22-23 (Freestyle Ski Cross, Classic Sprint)
Cable, WI - January 19-20 (Classic Mass Start, Classic Sprint)
Minneapolis, MN - February 16-17 (Classic Mass Start, Freestyle Interval Start)
How do I sign up?
If you are new to Junior Cups, please email Liz Peterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your goals, and decide which Junior Cup weekends will be best for you. Then, Junior Cup sign-up for everybody is as follows:
Click HERE to sign up with EU for all four or selected Junior Cup weekends. The fee will cover all your waxing and coaching for the weekend.
You must be a CXC “Competitive Member” ($40 annual fee) to earn points at Junior Cup races, counting toward this year’s Midwest JN Team selection. Click HERE for the CXC membership page.
Consider a USSA membership. If you qualify for the Midwest Team, and plan to attend Junior Nationals, you will need a USSA license. Early and annual USSA membership allows advantageous accumulation of USSA points. Lower USSA points based on improving results will give you better starting spots in Junior Cup and JN races (especially helpful in mass start races). USSA points are cumulative throughout an athlete’s entire ski career. In addition to JN results, college coaches do look at accumulated USSA points when evaluating prospective recruits. Click HERE to purchase a USSA license. You can purchase a CXC/NRL Competitor license (on the same page as the standard CXC registration page) at the same time, giving you the benefits of both CXC and USSA licensure in one step instead of two.
Sign up for each Junior Cup race at the web-site of the ski club hosting each Junior Cup weekend. You must individually sign yourself up for each race in which you want to ski (this is not part of the Endurance United coach/wax support fee). NOTE: DO NOT sign up for any race that says "high school." These races are for the high school racers in that area, they are not Junior Cup races. Make sure anything you sign up for says Junior Cup, USSA, or something of that nature.
For out-of-town Junior Cups, how do I get there and where do I stay?
Athletes either travel and lodge with their parents, or arrange to travel with another athlete’s family. On the Endurance United Junior Racing page you will find links to an online document for each weekend with logistical information (e.g., where to drop your skis for waxing) and shared information such as where other families are lodging, how they are getting there, etc. You are also welcome to contact the EU junior coaches for assistance in coordination with other families and athletes.