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The support of parents is essential to the success of each racer. Obviously, parents need to support their racers' desire to ski, encourage their progress, and work with them to cover the costs and responsibilities of participation. In general, parents have several types of opportunities to support the team:

  • Help transport skiers to the mountain for practice and race days.

  • Volunteer during races. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

  • Help gain sponsorships and raise funds for ESL and Teams

  • Become part of the team's parent cheer squad rooting on racers as they come down the course.

Skiing has a long history of exuberant participants AND spectators. We want to encourage all families to come enjoy our mountain environments and cheer your racers on. Your presence on the hill means the world to your kids. The more you know, the more prepared you will be. The following page provides information to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of our ski races.


High school ski racing is a united effort combining the skill and knowledge of the Coaches, Race Officials, and Parent Volunteers. The leagues are run by the coaches with input from parent representatives. The coaches vote on all league decisions. Some schools operate as a club while others are interscholastic sports teams. Sometimes a coach is shared by more than one high school team. Generally your first point of contact for questions or information is your Coach or Parent Rep. This is the person that will convey team information to the parents and racers. 

  • The first race of the season is usually a fun race. This is held the first Saturday after New Year.

  • Our League races begin the next weekend. All League races are held on Wednesdays or Saturdays at either Hoodoo or Willamette Pass and last most of the day.

  • A Season's schedule will include six League races spanning January and February.

  • Two make-up races are scheduled in case there is a weather issue or a technical problem and a race must be canceled. These days will only be used to make up a missed race.

  • Each racer receives two runs down the course. The order of runs is usually Girls Varsity, Girls JV, Boys Varsity, and Boys JV. Once everyone has run, there is usually a short break for lunch, then the second run begins.

  • Racers place both individually and as a Team.

  • A Varsity team is comprised of at least three individual racers and not more than six. Team rankings are determined by taking the three fastest times from the first run and the three fastest times from the second run, arriving at a total run time for each team. (The fastest times may come from any of the team members for each run.)

  • In most cases, the race results will be posted as the race is happening on Live Timing, so spectators can follow along online as the race is happening. Then, official results will be posted to the website within a few days.

  • The team Coach determines each team's individual starting order. There is a team rotation each week which will also affect the racer's starting order.

  • The League's top individual racers and teams qualify to compete at the OISRA State Championships generally held beginning the first Wednesday of March with the actual races on Thursday & Friday.


High school ski racing uses two types of ski races. One is called a Slalom (SL) and the other is called a Giant Slalom (GS). These two disciplines differ in a number of ways: Giant slalom gates are two poles connected with a fabric banner on top. Turns are wider and set farther apart, and the course is longer than in the slalom. Generally, the speed in GS is faster than in slalom. Slalom races are shorter, more rapid turns around single poles and racers tend to wear more protective equipment, such as pole and shin guards as the skier's line is much closer through the pole. The distances between each turning pole are determined by course setting rules, terrain, and discretion of the course setter. There are certain requirements for types of gate sets such as delays, flushes, and hairpins. This also depends on the type of race, Slalom or Giant Slalom.

Our league races are comprised of 3 Giant Slalom and 3 Slalom events.

On all types of courses, pole color is alternated between red and blue for each turn. Each racer must complete the course with correct passage around all gates and combinations in order to finish the run and have their time count. Each racer gets two runs each race, regardless of the outcome of their first run.






First, it is important to understand how much preparation is done during the week preceding race day! From ensuring all the Race Official’s positions are filled, filling all the volunteer positions, creating start lists, and making arrangements to have all the race gear and timing equipment arrive on time. The Coaches, Race Officials, Timing crew, and volunteers arrive and are on the hill before the mountain opens to the public. All the gear is hauled to the top of the race course and the setup crew begins to set the course and the race arena, ensuring the course is safely set and closed off to keep racers and other skiers on the mountain safe. A Start area and Finish arena are set up and all timing equipment is set up and tested. 

  • Coaches set the courses. All setting coaches have extensive experience and training to create a course that is safe and fun for all the athletes. They must take into account snow conditions, weather, terrain, and requirements to set a good course.

  • Race Officials on the Jury must inspect and approve the course to ensure it meets Alpine Competition Regulations. They count the number of gates and combinations.

  • Once approved, the course is open to competitor inspection. This gives the racers time to look at the course ahead of the race. There is a set window of time for racers to be in the race arena. Only racers and Coaches may inspect the course and they must slowly sideslip or ski in or alongside the course. 

  • Gate Judge volunteers and Race Officials take their places on the course and signal they are ready to start the race.

  • The race begins with a number of non-competing racers, called Forerunners, who ski the course ahead of the competitors. This allows testing of the timing equipment and the course. Once the last Forerunner crosses the finish line, the official race starts with the first Girls Varsity racer.

  • Generally, the racers leave the start at about 45-60 second intervals. This means there are multiple racers on the course at the same time.

  • Once the last Girls racer completes the course, there is a brief pause to switch over to the Boy's field in the timing software.

  • After the last Boys racer finishes the first run, the course is closed. Coaches then reset the course for the second run, repeating course inspection, forerunners, and all competitors race the course for a second time.

  • After the last racer finishes the second run, the race is ended. Jury officials compile faults and disqualifications, posting an official list of racers who have marked faults.

  • Once the race is finished and the course is called closed, take-down begins. The racers, coaches, and parents are responsible to bring all the gates and equipment down to the finish area for bundling and cleanup. If everyone helps this process goes amazingly fast but does take a combined effort. Please remember to allow extra time after the race for take-down. It is mandatory that all athletes help out.


The Start at the top of the race course includes a corral area for the racers to organize and stage as they get ready to race. The racers are given a verbal countdown by the starter. A racer's start time is triggered when they leave the starting pad, tripping a timing wand with their shins. This electronic start equipment is hooked to a set of wires or wireless transmitters that runs all the way down to the bottom of the race course.

  • You may watch from any designed safe area along the course. Please stay behind any netting and avoid standing in unsafe areas such as the outside of a turn. Move up or down the hill from the obvious extension of space if a racer were to crash.

  • Remember you are on a ski run and there may be persons skiing down the outside of the course too. Position yourself in a safe area.

  • As a spectator, you should never ski on the race course or in the race venue. 

  • Never confront a race official, volunteer, or athlete. Speak to your Team Coach or Parent Rep if there is an issue or you witness a problem.

  • You are always welcome to encourage your team or an athlete vocally. Please avoid yelling instructions to any racer if he/she should fall or commit a fault. Let the race officials give the commands. While you are trying to help, this is creating confusion and an unsafe situation.


The Finish at the bottom of the race course includes a large fenced corral area for the racers to cross the finish line and come to a stop after the race. The timing crew will set up the electronic sensors to capture the finish times for each racer. Both the start & finish sensors connect to equipment located inside the timing booth by wiring. No one is allowed in the timing booth while a race is running. Usually located within view of the finish area is a results board where a volunteer will post an unofficial race time for each racer's run. The Chief of Timing runs the timing equipment and software capturing each racer's run, and uploads times so unofficial results are instantly sent to where the live results of the race can be viewed from your phone.

In many cases, the finish area is usually easily accessible by walking. This area is a great vantage point to view the race.


In addition to skiing the course and logging time, there are a few additional rules to Alpine Skiing Competition the athletes need to know and understand.

  • Your Team Coach is the best source for understanding the race rules.

  • All racers must wear their race bib while inspecting the course or racing. The number must be visible front and back. 

  • If a racer loses both skis during the race run he/she is immediately disqualified and should quickly gather their gear and ski off the course. Do not cross the finish line. A racer may lose one ski, one time, and not be disqualified. The racer may put the ski back on and continue on the course, so long as they are not overtaken or interfere with another racer on the course.

  • If a racer misses a gate in a Slalom, they may hike back up and make a proper correction as long as they don’t interfere with an oncoming racer. If a Race Official makes a judgment that the racer is going to interfere they will ask the racer to leave the course.

  • If a racer misses a gate in Giant Slalom they are immediately disqualified, NO hiking in GS!

  • Racers are given proper and equal start intervals. The Starter makes every effort to space racers as-needed to give each the best chance of completing the course without interference. If a racer is struggling and will cause interference with an oncoming racer they will be asked to leave the course.

  • If a racer faults on a gate and does not pass through the gate with correct passage, such as a straddle, they will be disqualified.

  • If a racer uses obscene language or unsportsmanlike conduct anywhere on the course or in the finish area they may be disqualified.

  • In certain no-fault cases, racers will be granted a provisional re-run. 

  • There will be a board (usually located near the timing booth or on the results board) where all DNS, DNF or DSQ are posted. The list will be posted immediately following each race run. The coaches and racers should always check this board for the postings, even if they are positive they had a clean run. An incorrect bib number might have been posted! Should a racer be listed on the posting and there is a dispute, there is a method for protest and the coach should be immediately informed. The athlete should hurry, there is a short time deadline for disputes.

Common Acronyms to know:

  • DNS – Racer “Did Not Start” this bib number is not showing a start (or finish) time.

  • DNF – Racer “Did Not Finish” this bib number did not cross the finish line, which is usually due to a fall, lost ski or missed gate.

  • DSQ – Racer is “Disqualified” for that run. They have been marked as committing fault or an infraction of the rules, which is usually a missed gate or straddled gate.

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