Alpine officials ensure that U.S. Ski & Snowboard competitions run efficiently and fairly by the rules. They are responsible for the safe conduct of the event and the accurate timing, judging, and scoring. They also play a key role in ensuring that the spirit of the sport and competition is maintained.
In the end, officials are responsible for providing the best possible experience for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes.
A comprehensive certification program has been developed by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Officials Working Group and is in place on a nationwide basis. The program recognizes officials at six different levels and in a variety of categories or specialty areas.
The program is handled on a divisional basis according to nationally established guidelines, with certification at Level 4 based on divisional nomination and national AO Working Group approval. FIS technical delegates are certified only by FIS after national federation nomination and successful completion of the FIS examination and training program.
New officials, without certification credentials, but with U.S. Ski & Snowboard AO membership, will appear on the roster with no designation.
A U.S. Ski & Snowboard alpine official membership does not assume certification. Rosters of officials are available through the alpine department at U.S. Ski & Snowboard and at usskiandsnowboard.org. Rosters are managed by Divisional Chairs and submitted to U.S. Ski & Snowboard for an update in the database.
The Alpine Officials Working Group has reviewed and modified the criteria for Alpine Officials advancement. The Certification Matrix outlines the steps necessary to advance as an Alpine Official. The criteria is competency based and can be found below.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Officials who are certified as Technical Delegate, Referee, Jury Adviser, Chief of Race, Chief of Course, Race Administration and Timing and Calculations are required to attend an update/clinic at least every two years to maintain certification.
- If an official has missed an update for two years, he or she may be reinstated to the previous level by attending a recognized update.
- If an official has missed an update for three or more years, he or she may be reinstated by passing the appropriate examination, i.e. Level 1 or 2 must pass the Level 1 exam, Level 3 or 4 must pass the level 3 exam.
- An official may not violate the update rule for the second time and maintain certification.
Officials are recognized in eight specialty areas, reflecting different responsibilities, abilities, and experience:
- Technical Delegate - TD
- Referee - RF
- Chief of Race - CR
- Chief of Course - CC
- Chief of Timing and Calculations - TC
- Race Administrator - RA
- Jury Advisor - JA (for Start and Finish Referees)
- Competition Official - CO
A complete description of each of these specialty areas can be found in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Competition Regulations (ACR) and the FIS ICR. Study Guides for each of these areas can be found in the 'Alpine Officials Education Resources'.
Some divisions may not recognize all categories at all levels, according to their own needs and circumstances. All officials should attend annual refresher clinic and work at least four days per year at U.S. Ski & Snowboard sanctioned events.
A variety of clinics for alpine officials are held annually in each geographic division of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Clinics range from those designed as a mandatory refresher for FIS-certified technical delegates and other senior officials to introductory sessions for those officials with little or no experience. Topics may include timing and calculation, rules, gate judging, course preparation, paperwork and the race secretariat, press relations and data management. There is an emphasis on fairness, competitor protection and respect for the rules in all courses. Attendance at recognized clinics may be required for certification and for maintaining certification. Certification exams are offered at many clinics, according to divisional needs; exams are generally ‘open-book’ but must be taken at a clinic. Retesting of a failed Alpine Officials exam may only occur after a revision of the applicable exam become available. Exams shall be revised annually.
Clinics are held every Fall before the season begins. For the most current official's clinic information, please see the divisional links below.
- Alaska Division
- Far West Division
- Intermountain Division
- Northern Division
- Pacific Northwest Division
- Maine Alpine Racing Association (MARA)
- New Hampshire Alpine Racing Association (NHARA)
- New Jersey Ski Racing Association (NJSRA)
- New York Ski Racing Association (NYSSRA)
- Pennsylvania Alpine Racing Association (PARA)
- Southern Alpine Racing Association (SARA)
- Tri-State Alpine Racing Association (MA, CT, RI)
- Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA)
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Officials' levels are tracked by a dedicated group of volunteers around the country. Those volunteers then forward the information on each individual's levels to the national office for uploading into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard database. If you have questions on your levels, you should contact these volunteers and they will then contact U.S. Ski & Snowboard if a change needs to be made.