Board of Directors Meeting Recap - May 2016

USSA Board of Directors Meeting Recap – May 2016

Following is a recap of key reports and decisions of the Sunday, May 15, 2016 meeting of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Board of Directors. Formal minutes from the meeting will be published in June. This is only a summary of key points and not to be viewed as minutes.

New Board Members
The USSA welcomed eight new members to the USSA Board of Directors at its annual meeting. Liz Arky, (Washington, DC), Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT), Warner Nickerson (Tilton, NH), Dylan Omlin (Truckee, CA), Bill Shiebler (Park City, UT), Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA), Andy Wirth (Squaw Valley, CA) and Tom Yaps (Brooklyn, NY) join the group of knowledgeable individuals responsible for leading the organization. A list of new board member bios can be found here.

Olympic Selection Criteria
The Olympic selection criteria for freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding was approved by the board. Selection criteria is required to be presented at least six months prior to the first selection events. The USSA worked closely with the International Ski Federation (FIS) the maximum allowable team size from 26 to 30 in freestyle/freesking. The snowboarding maximum team size also expanded by two spots.

An Olympic qualification event for slopestyle snowboarding and freeskiing and halfpipe freeskiing is currently scheduled for the 2017 season. There is a possibility of additional events being added to the 2016-17 season. Pending final approval from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), qualification events and criteria will be posted on by July 1, 2016. Selection criteria for alpine, cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping will be finalized in Spring 2017.

Bylaw Amendments
The bylaws were amended to reflect best practices in non profit governance. Term limits have been reduced to eight years with the exception of the board chairman.

Rule 40
Grete Eliassen, USSA’s representative on the USOC Athletes’ Advisory Council, stressed the importance of the changes that were made to Rule 40 (athlete sponsor advertising rules) this past year. Rule 40 was adapted to allow non-Olympic sponsors to run ads with their athletes during the Olympics. The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be the first games where this new policy is in place. For more information, visit



Alpine Sport Committee
Equipment rules for the 2016-17 season have been revised to more closely align with the FIS rules at the U14, U16, and U19 age groups. The revised rules can be found here.

Following through on the recommendations from the 2013 McKinsey Report, new operating procedures for the Alpine Sport Committee were passed by the board of directors. These new procedures will streamline the subcommittees and working groups and allow for a more effective reporting structure. Membership and term limits will also be more clearly defined, which will help with overall organizational representation and transparency. The new procedures can be found here.

Cross Country Sport Committee
Two new working groups were developed, one centered on divisions and another on junior nationals qualification criteria. It was also proposed that the sport committee expand to 19 members.

Freeskiing Sport Committee

As its own separate entity, the freeskiing sport committee was able to host successful and productive meetings during USSA Congress. A new committee structure was established and can be viewed here.

The freeskiing and snowboarding sport committees are coming together to support and raise funds for a slopestyle air bag project at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, UT. The project will not only benefit elite teams but also local youth.

Freestyle Sport Committee
Since the inception of freeskiing on the Olympic program in 2011, the sports of freestyle and freeskiing have shared a sport committee. Coming in to Congress this year, the two sports split and freeskiing established its own sport committee. The new committee split when very smoothly and made for very productive meetings during Congress. As an individual entity, the freestyle sport committee has been reduced to 12 members.

The USSA points list calendar year has been extended through June 30. A List 6 will be added and points will carry over into the fall to be used through List 3. All rules and additions will be updated in the 2016-17 USSA comp guide that will be released in August-September.

After 27 years of service, Jay Simson will retire as the FIS Freestyle representative. The USSA would like to thank Jay for his dedication and service to freestyle.

Jumping/Nordic Combined Sport Committee
The USSA continues to work closely with USA Nordic Sports to promote and develop the nordic disciplines of ski jumping and nordic combined. U.S. Ski Team alum and Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong was recently named executive director of the organization while Jon Schafer will take on the role of high performance director.

Snowboarding Sport Committee
The snowboarding sport committee welcomed Dylan Omlin as its new committee chairman. Omlin has been involved with the sport as a competitor and coach for over 20 years.

The snowboarding sport committee, in conjunction with freeskiing, is working to raise funds for a slopestyle air bag project at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, UT. The project will not only benefit elite teams but also local youth. 


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