USSA JUNIOR RACING - FAQ's AND BASIC INFORMATION
This information sheet covers Junior National Qualifier races (recently changed name to CXC Junior Cup Races), and Junior Nationals. If you are an advanced racer, and are interested in pursuing US 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 Junior National Qualifiers (“JNQs”)/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 to determine selections to their respective teams.
Do I have to be a top skier to participate in JNQs?
No! Most JNQs 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 JNQs 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, JNQ 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 JNQ results. The Junior National Team consists of approximately equal numbers of skiers from each age group based on results from the four JNQ weekends.
How can Endurance United help?
We provide coaching, waxing, and logisitical support at JNQ races. Most high school programs do not provide these services.
When and where are the Junior National Qualifiers this season?
December 16-17 - Houghton, MI (Michigan Tech University Trails)
January 20-21 - Cable, WI (Birkie Start Area)
February 17-18 - Coleraine, MN (Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Center)
March 4-11 - Junior Nationals, Midway City, UT (Soldier Hollow)
How do I sign up?
If you are new to JNQs, please email Liz Peterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your goals, and decide which JNQ weekends will be best for you. Then, JNQ sign-up for everybody is as follows:
- Click HERE to sign up with EU for all three or selected JNQ 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 JNQ 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. You can wait for this license until JN team selection in February, but if you are a serious skier, 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 JNQ 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 JNQ race at the web-site of the ski club hosting each JNQ weekend. (Links to host web-sites are on the Endurance United Junior Racing page.) 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 JNQ races. Make sure anything you sign up for says JNQ or USSA or something of that nature.
For out-of-town JNQs, 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.