let’s talk about the upcoming ski season. At least some of you are thinking winter as we have several who have already renewed their USSA registrations. By now, anyone who was a USSA member last year should have received a notice to renew. Most important thing for renewing members is that you must renew by October 15, 2011 to avoid a late fee.
Congratulations to Ben Hunter as he graduates from high school with plans to join the US Air Force in September. Stacey and Doug Hunter have a party planned for Ben (see attached), for which they want to extend an invitation to the HVRC family. On a more serious note, John Denard (U16) is scheduled to have surgery within the next month to correct some long standing structural issues. HVRC extends its thoughts and prayers to John for a full recovery and to Deb and Marcel for the patience and support that they will need while they help John through the process.
If you are joining the club this year, your racer must obtain a USSA card. Please remember that HVRC membership requires USSA membership. HVRC club is a USSA club and so we are covered from a liability standpoint. Part of your USSA dues helps pay for this coverage. Part of the renewal requires medical insurance that you carry. The membership application will not be processed without medical coverage. Hopefully all of last year’s racers are in the process of renewing their USSA membership. Renewing members must complete their renewal by October 15th. If your racer is a first time USSA member and has not signed up, this can be done anytime between now and January. Note that the late fee for registering after Oct 15 is waived for first time members only. There are several membership levels depending on what your racer will be doing. For HVRC, there are only two levels that matter; Competitor and Youth Competitor. Competitor is for racers that are age 12 and older prior to the cutoff date. This would includeU21, U18, U16, and U14(old J1 thru J4. This is a change from last year! Youth Competitor (U12 and U10 (old J5-J6) is for racers under age 12 prior to the cutoff date. The cutoff date for age groups is December 31 regardless of birthdate. For example, if you turned age 13 on February 8th, 2012, you are considered age 13 (U14) for the entire 2012-2013 race season even though you will turn 14 in the middle of the season.
This year HVRC is recommending that all racers go through concussion baseline testing prior to the race season. Baseline testing is quickly becoming a requirement for sports activity and in the event of a potential concussion event, makes diagnosis and clearance to return a much more accurate process. Consult your primary physician or look online for facilities that handle baseline testing. The cost is supposed to be quite reasonable. One that we have been advised of is http://www.impacttest.com/pdf/First_Provide_Baseline_Recreational.pdf . When you submit for USSA membership, part of the process is to read and sign off on the USSA Concussion Policy. You should also be aware that as coaches, we are responsible for ensuring the policy is followed to the letter. What this means is that if we witness or hear of a racer exhibiting concussion symptoms, we are required to remove the racer from practice/race activities until a qualified physician has examined and released the racer for physical activity. We are also required to report the event to USSA and submit a copy of the physician’s release when it is issued before the racer can participate in USSA/HVRC activities. Many of our racers are quite active on the slopes after practice and falls do occur. If you notice concussion symptoms at home, we encourage a proactive stance that has the racer evaluated as soon as possible.
Please be reminded that per the USSA rules, a helmet with hard sides covering the ears is required for USSA races. It is also HVRC policy for the racers to use helmets during all practices. It is best if the helmet has a removable chin guard. USSA rules forbid a Slalom chin guard to be used for GS races due to safety issues.
HVRC’s schedule for 2012-2013 needs to be reviewed by the board. The board has met with Hidden Valley Operations and we are status quo for the coming winter season. This means we will continue holding practices and Open Cup Races as in the past. Given the calendar, there will be practices prior to Christmas week. Obviously, we’re hoping the weather cooperates. We should be able to send out the schedule within a month or so.
Special note to J3 racers; the Vector double race is Saturday, December 29th! This day is very important to J3 racers who have aspirations of qualifying for State Derby. One of the derby requirements is that the racer must have finished 50% +1 of the available runs (not races) for the year. The Vector races account for almost 1/3 of those runs. This is not a day to miss!
As many of you are aware, USSA will be changing the age groups for next season. Effectively, all age groups will be held back one year. For example, a 2nd year J4 at 12 years old will be a 2nd year U-14 (J4) next season. There are no changes planned for qualification for the J4/5 (now U12/U14) State Derby; however, U10 (J6) will no longer be able to elect to race as U12 (J5) to attempt to make this derby. There may be a state derby for U10 in the future, but no plans have been formalized. The U16 (J3) group has the most change as 2nd year racers will be able to run the PA Cup Series and still qualify for the J3 (now U16) State Derby.