How do I ask questions?

Reach out to one of the series directors or any of the officials at a USASA event and ask.  We are a friendly bunch.

What if something here conflicts with the rule book?

The USASA Rule book is the official source of information.  Anything provided here is for informational purposes only.  Please also let one of the series directors know, so the website can be updated.

What are the events I can compete in?


Slopestyle is a judged event where riders take two judged runs through a terrain course. Best single run score counts towards final result. The course consists of 4-5 “feature” pads usually splt evenly between jumps and rails.. Each pad consists of 2-3 options for different ability levels. Skiers and Riders compete within age groups.

Rail Jam:

Rail Jam is a judged free form jam format event through a series of rails. The course consists of several feature pads of rails. Each pad consists of 2-3 options for different ability levels. The Riders and Skiers “jam” within age groups usually for 30-45 minutes, with a “finals” jam at the end of the day. Competitors are ranked within the age group based on the duration of the session.


BX/SX is head to head heat racing through a gated terrain course with the top skiers and riders advancing to the next round. The events consist of, first, a one run timed run. The timed run seeds the riders within their age groups. The competitors then race 4 at a time with the top two finishers advancing in a “round robin” tournament elimination style.


Halfpipe is a judged event with each rider or skier taking two runs through the u-shaped tube. The competititors are judged overall impression on amplitude, difficulty, variety, and overall flow. Best single run score counts for overall ranking.

Giant Slalom:

A traditional timed racing event for riders only. Riders negotiate a medium/large radius gated course, racing against the clock. Two timed runs combined establishes overall ranking. Riders must complete both runs without a “fault” to receive overall ranking. Unlike other events, there is no practice session, but riders do have a period to “inspect” the setting of the course to devise a “line” strategy.


Same format as GS,  however the gates are closer together 12-20 meter vertical spacing.

Who are these events for….

Slopestyle, Halfpipe, Boarder/skiercross and Rail Jams are open to both snowboarders and skiers. Slalom and Giant Slalom are Snowboard specific events.  We encourage all ages, adaptive action sports athletes, wounded warriors, all abilities.

What do you need to do to make it to nationals?

You must be a series champion, or have enough points to rank in the top group for the class in which you compete.

Are there Scholarships available?

There are scholarships available through the national office for qualified competitors.  For more information go here:  https://www.usasa.org/natschamp/nationals/scholarshipassistance/foundation-annual-grants-programs.html

How do I join?

Go to http://www.usasa.org and join with the Grand Canyon Series as your home region.  You need to be older than five years of age.

What are the competition brackets for Snowboarders, Skiers and Adaptive?

Please note, the USASA Grand Canyon Series will not be competing in all events such as Halfpipe.

Snowboarders (Slopestyle, Halfpipe, Slalom, GS and BoarderCross)

  • Ruggie (7 under)
  • Grommet (8-9)
  • Menehune (10-11)
  • Breaker (12-13)
  • Youth (14-15)
  • Junior (16-17)
  • Jams (18-22)
  • Senior (23-29)
  • Master (30-39)
  • Legend (40-49)
  • Kahuna (50-59)
  • Methuselah (60 & over)
  • Open Class (No age limit, Pro Class)
  • Adaptive (Individuals with permanent physical disabilities)

Snowboarders (Rail Jam)

  • 9 & Under
  • 10-13
  • 14 & Over
  • Open Class (No age limit, Pro Class)

Snowboarders (Banked Slalom)

  • 9 & Under
  • 10-13
  • 14 & Over
  • Open Class (No age limit, Pro Class)

Skiers (Slopestyle, Halfpipe and SkierCross)

  • Skier 9 and Under
  • Skier 10-12
  • Skier 13-15
  • Skier 16-18
  • Skier 19 to 29
  • Skier 30 & Over
  • Open Class Skier (No age limit, Pro Class)

Skiers (Rail Jam)

  • 9 & Under
  • 10-13
  • 14 & Over
  • Open Class (No age limit, Pro Class)

How much does it cost and is there an equipment checklist?

Below is not an exhaustive list of everything needed to compete, but rather is a minimum with a budgetary price for each item.

Item New Price Used Price Description
Snow Sports Helmet $40 and up Not recommended This is required for all events.  Athletes must have a snow sport helmet or they will not be allowed to compete.
Ski pants or bib $50 and up $25 and up Waterproof pants to keep snow and cold out
Ski Jacket $75 and up $25 and up Must be warm, breathable and waterproof
Goggles $40 and up $25 and up Should be clear of scratches and will keep snow out of the eyes and prevent sun blindness
Snow equipment (Snowboard/skis, bindngs, boots) $500 and up $200 and up Can find bundles for beginners, with high end racing rigs in the thousands
Warm clothing $100 and up $50 and up Be sure to have warm breathable clothing such as long underwear, socks, etc. especially for the younger athletes
USASA Membership $85 or $100 Save $15 dollars by registering before November 1
Lift Ticket Prices $40 to $75 Check our hosting resorts for lift tickets or season passes:


What are the benefits of getting a USASA Membership?

  • A welcome packet that includes a Membership Card, USASA Stickers and other cool swag
  • USASA membership year is from September 1 until August 31 of the following year
  • A Free subscription to Transworld Snowboard Magazine for Snowboarders * One Subsription Per Household
  • A Free subscription to FREESKIER Magazine.  Each USASA Freeski member will receive a card in their packet to complete and send in to activate their magazine subscription, which is Valid for 6 issues total.
  • 50% discount off of the One Hit Wonder Session at Woodward at Copper
  • The chance to compete all season long for fun, prizes and your chance for a spot at the 2015 USASA National Championship @ Copper Mountain!

Who can join?

The United State of America Snowboard and FreeSki Association (USASA) supports three primary kinds of equipment, snowboards, ski’s and adaptive.  Below is a table with the kinds of equipment you can have for each event.

Event Event Type Snowboard Ski Adaptive Offered by GC Series
Slalom (SL) Alpine Racing X X X
Giant Slalom (GS) Alpine Racing X X X
Boarder/Skier Cross (BX/SX) Racing X X X  X
Half Pipe (HP) Freestyle X X X
Rail Jam (RJ) Freestyle X X X X
Slope Style (SS) Freestyle X X X X
Banked Slalom Racing X

The youngest ages are from five with the oldest being in the 80’s.

What are the rules?

There are many rules depending on the event that you are competing in.  For a full set of rules go to this link for the official rules:


How do I find a coach?

If you want a USASA certified coach you can go to the USASA website and search for coaches in your region.  Currently there are XX many who may be willing to work with you.  If you are younger than 18 and in Flagstaff, look at the Grand Canyon Freeride Team <link here to the GCFT>

How do I become a coach?

To become a coach you must attend a USASA coaches clinic and pass a background check.  For more information please review things here:  https://www.usasa.org/members/officials/coaches.html

Are there training events?

Many series have training events.  For the USASA Grand Canyon Series, we will be trying to conduct a training day prior to every race or event weekend.  Please look at the calendar to see what training events have been scheduled.  These are open to any USASA member with a current membership.

Is there a team to join?

There are no official USASA teams, however in the Grand Canyon Series there are some groups you can join that will help prepare you for events that include USASA certified coaches.  The organizations below are not a part of the USASA and are not sanctioned by them and listed only for convenience. They are listed here:

  1. Grand Canyon Freeride Team located in Flagstaff, AZ.  They work with youth from 5 to 18 years of age of all skill levels.  The team has qualified four youth athletes for the USASA nationals as part of the USASA Southwest Freeride region in the last three years.   To join refer to their website for more details however in short, athletes need to be able to negotiate the lift and have all the equipment.
  2. If you have an organization that would like to be listed here, then please contact a director.

Will we have fun?

The organization grew organically from the beginning of snowboarding and is very low key and supportive.  Attend one of our events to see how well they are organized.  All events are both competitive and ways to measure your personal skill in a type of event.  You can be as competitive as you want or use it to just learn more about the sport.

Where will events be held?


What are the kinds of events?

There are seven events currently offered by the USASA. Below is a description of the kinds of events and the types of equipment that are allowed to compete.

Event Event Type Snowboard Ski Adaptive Offered by GC Series
Slalom (SL) Alpine Racing X X X
Giant Slalom (GS) Alpine Racing X X X
Boarder/Skier Cross (BX/SX) Racing X X X
Half Pipe (HP) Freestyle X X X
Rail Jam (RJ) Freestyle X X X X
Slope Style (SS) Freestyle X X X X
Banked Slalom Racing X

How to volunteer?

If you want to volunteer for an event, please contact us through the contact page.  For events we will need course setters, judges, referees, gate judges, tabulators, etc.  We need volunteers for events as well as larger commitments and would love to have your help.

What do I need to compete?

You will need a helmet, snow equipment, a USASA national membership, lift ticket and an attitude to have fun and challenge yourself.

What is the concussion policy?

All USASA athletes under the age of 18 years and who are suspected of having sustained a concussion must be removed immediately from participation in USASA sporting event (e.g. sanctioned training, practice, camps, competitions or tryouts), by the Technical Supervisor (TS) or USASA member coach overseeing such sporting event.

The minor athlete will be prohibited from further participation until evaluated and cleared in writing to resume participation in USASA sporting events by a qualified health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussive head injuries.

The health care professional must certify to USASA in the clearance letter that he/she has successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of concussive head injuries within three years of the day on which the written statement is made.

Upon removal of a minor athlete from participation for a suspected concussion/traumatic brain injury, the USASA TS or member coach making the removal must inform USASA via the injury report for said event. Athletes who have subsequently been medically cleared to resume participation must provide such medical clearance (as described above) to the USASA TS who authorized the removal from an event. The TS will then notify the USASA office that such a letter has been attained and return to competition is approved.

About Concussion

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Doctors may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.

How do I sponsor the USASA Grand Canyon Series?

Contact a series director to discuss your sponsorship goals.  They can include event banners, event naming, and links on the website to your business or charity.

How do I become series champion?

Series champion will be determined by a minimum of 2 events of the same discipline (GS, SL, BX, SX, HP, RJ, SS) with the actual number being the number of events minus 1 if greater than 2.  An example would be best 2 of 2 if there are two events and if there are 4 events it would be best 3 of 4.  The actual number will be determined at the end of the year based on the above formula.  Below is a small table communicating the numbers’s:

  • If two events then best 2 of 2
  • If three events, then best 2 of 3
  • If four events, then best 3 of 4

Note an event is classified as a single discipline ie: GS, SL, BX/SX, HP, SS, RJ, etc.

How do we break a tie for Nationals?

Each series director is responsible for establishing their series criteria for breaking ties, The USASA has no formal Tie Breaking procedure, however the Grand Canyon Series employs the following methodology:

  1. Direct Comparison of finish results  Rider A has a 1st, 2nd & 4th Rider B has a 1st, 2nd & 3rd Rider B wins tie breaker via direct comparison of finish results (3rd beats 4th)
  2. IF RIDERS ARE STILL TIED go to the Judges Sheets and get the scores for the two events that were used to calculate the rank and perform a Sum of Ranked Scores comparison.
  3. Sum of Ranked Scores  Rider A has scores of 24.6 + 20.9 = 45.5 Rider B has scores of 18.6 + 31.6 = 50.2   Rider B wins the tie breaker based upon the Sum of Ranked Scores.
  4. If still tied after the Sum of Ranked Scores, I add the next highest score from the next highest rank that was not used in the regional ranks in order to break the tie.
  5. If that fails to break the tie, a coin flip will be done with the oldest calling heads or tails.