Alpine Canada Alpin and the Canadian Alpine Ski Team are taking a new approach to selecting athletes for the national development team.
Rather than choose athletes based on FIS points, athletes will be selected based on their performance in races scheduled around North America.
"One of the goals is to get away from chasing lots of races to get better FIS points," said Max Gartner, ACA vice-president of athletic development. "This system should allow the coaches to more closely align their competition schedule with the AIM (Alpine Integration Model) development model, allow the athletes more time for training during the race season, and ultimately reduce the cost of alpine skiing. By knowing in advance what races count, athletes will be able to prepare for these races accordingly, giving all athletes the same opportunity."
The selection races were chosen in part to allow provincial team and club athletes a chance to compete head-to-head with Canadian Alpine Ski Team members.
The ranking system will take into account the age and experience of skiers when determining how athletes will be selected to advance to the development team.
The new selection guidelines will also give more discretion to national team coaches in selecting athletes, allowing them to grade athletes on attitude, commitment, and athletic potential in their evaluations.
Development team coaches will also play a larger role, with provincial coaches nominating candidates during a meeting at the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships in March.
The qualifying races for the 2003-2004 season are:
Men: Lake Louise Nor Am, Sunday River Nor Am, Big Mountain Nor Am, Mt. Tremblant Nor Am, and Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships.
Women: Lake Louise Nor Am, Mt. Ste. Anne Nor Am, Big Mountain Nor Am, Collingwood Nor Am, Panorama Nor Am, and Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships.