The 9/23 CCSAA Round Table Zoom Call was centered around Events in the COVID world. 

Please remember that his is a very fluid situation and that we are discussing solutions for the situation we believe we will be in as winter nears.

We understand that every Nordic center presents its own set of parameters and limitations, and that there will not be a one solution that fits all Nordic centers.  We also are concerned with any reduction of capacity and are looking at how to create new systems that do not rely on cutting our existing skier capacity or any revenue stream.

Call Audio: 

Below are simple take a ways from the call:

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  • Christie Hicks – Executive Director, Crested Butte Nordic
  • Justin Beckwith – Competitive Program Director, NENSA
  • Adam St. Pierre – XC Sport Coordinator, US Ski & Snowboard
  • Richard Hodges – Nordic Director, White Pine, UT

Notes from the panel discussions follows:

Christie Hicks

  • Recently ran a trail run and mt bike race with over 300 competitors
    • Race was changed from a point to point to a loop
  • CO has a 250 person max for outdoor gatherings
  • Race had two separate start locations to spread competitors out
  • Seeded by fastest to slowest to reduce on course passing
  • Considered individual starts and may go that route in the future
  • Masks required in start pen until shortly before the start
  • Mask required at aid stations and aid station offerings were far simpler and all individual packaging
  • Competitors were given meal tickets redeemable at local restaurants
  • The event was profitable
  • Did need to permit through County Public Health Department, a long process as the event was the first to go through that process.

Justin Beckwith

  • Ran one of the first cross country type events after the lock down
  • The App Gap roller ski race happened in late August
    • Competitors raced with their training group only, not other competitors were there are the same time.
    • Format was individual start with racers distancing before the start
    • All athletes, coaches and any support staff required to complete health screening the morning of the event.
  • Winter plans are still be worked out but may include smaller fields and limited travel.
    • One issue could be VT travel restrictions from certain zip codes
    • Athletes will purchase a race bib and chip for the season to avoid the need for registration. Racers will not run in bib order, but events will be seeded
  • NENSA does run two other types of events:
    • NENSA Women’s Day – generally attracts approximately 200 attendees to one location. Considering running it regionally to reduce interstate travel and reduce numbers at any one event
    • NENSA BKL Festival – generally attracts around 600 racers, parents and support staff. Considering running it as a regional event
  • It was noted that many clubs around the country are not permitting clubs to drive vans full of athletes. They are requesting parents handle transportation.

Adam St Pierre

  • Adam shares the modifications made to the National Calendar
    • No US Nationals
    • No Super Tour
    • All events this season will be regional
      • This is because many of the cross country events attract 200-400 competitors, far more than many of the other discipline attendance.
    • Regions are encouraged to run events as they see fit. They must conform to the guidance of US Ski and the regional association, but each race logistics are up to the organizer.
    • Adam had not heard how European WC and FIS races were being run on the ground, again, those are up to the local organizers.

Richard Hodges

  • Richard is scheduled to run a four race local series that covers three different countries, all with different COVID rules
  • Planning on racers keeping the same bib for all races to avoid that touch point
  • Considering interval start to help racers distance and reduce clusters on the trail
  • Still working with the municipalities to get permits, etc.

Much of the coming season is still to be determined and the event landscape is part of that.  It appears events will run this season, but they will look different than they have.  They also will be controlled regionally and state by state, meaning one set of parameters will not fit all.

We will revisit this again before the season begins.

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