If you are a first timer in the YSL program, plan on attending at least one race, but aren't sure how committed your child is, or simply cannot (or do not want to) afford more than one pair of skis for your athlete then I suggest buying/finding/borrowing 1 pair of all mountain skis that roughly come up to your child's nose in height. 

If you are a first timer in the YSL program, plan on attending at least one race, and your kid is fairly committed to racing then I would suggest you find/purchase 1 pair of rock/free skis that should be about up to your child's nose in height. And 1 pair of "race" skis (new or used) that can be either GS (Giant Slalom) or SL (Slalom) side cut that should also come up to your kids nose in height. If you are thinking to yourself "what is GS/SL side cut?", don't worry it is just the shape of the ski and it is clearly labeled on every race ski. 

If your child is a committed athlete and plans on racing the entire YSL circuit this winter then I would suggest that you purchase 1 pair of rock/free-skis, 1 pair of SL skis that come up to their chin in height, and 1 pair of GS skis that come up to their eyes in height. It should be noted that many racing parents and athletes feel it is necessary to have 3,4 and 5 pairs of skis... that is not the case. At the YSL age, 1 or 2 pairs of WELL KEPT all around skis is all you need. If you want to spend the money then by all means feel free to purchase a pair of GS, SL and free-skis for your kids, but just know that it is not necessary to do this.  It should also be noted that the above  ski length sizes are rough estimates of the size of your athlete's ski. There is some wiggle room here, so if you already have a pair that are a few inches above or below their nose, don't worry about it. I just don't want any of our athletes skiing this year with skis up to their belly buttons!

If you are a U14 athlete or older and are planning on competing in a USSA race this year you must purchase a helmet that abides by the new 2015-16 USSA standard. Your helmet does not abide by the new 2015-16 standard unless your helmet has the following sticker: 
I repeat, all U-14's and older MUST have the new FIS approved helmet in order to compete in any USSA GS, SG, or DH. This means that the athlete's helmet MUST have the sticker that is shown on the attachment above, otherwise they cannot compete in USSA races. 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Membership

Every athlete who plans to compete in a Northern Division race this year must purchase a USSA membership. To do so, follow these steps:

1.) Go to and create an account if you don't already have one.

2.) Once you've created an account, click on the membership link and become a member. It's pretty straightforward. If you have previously purchased a membership then all you need to do is "renew membership". 

**If you are planning on competing in AT LEAST one Northern Division race you must purchase a US Ski & Snowboard "Competitors" license.  

***If you only planning on attending ONE Northern Division race you can purchase a short term membership that is a reduced cost compared to the competitors license. For the short term membership follow this link:, and click "Purchase Short Term Membership" then follow the necessary steps. 

Race Registration

If you wish to participate in a Northern Division, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sanctioned race then you must register your athlete online at least 3 days prior to the start of the race. To register for a race, please follow these steps: 

1.) Go to: and login to your account. 

2.) Click on the "Athlete Event Registration" link.

3.) Type in the specific race event details i.e. date, discipline, age, etc. and then search for the competition.

4.) Locate the race you wish to register for and "Attend" on any race you wish to participate in. 

5.) Follow remaining steps to complete registration. 

Northern Division Forms -  **U14's and older only

All U14's and older who wish to participate in a race this year must submit the following forms to the Northern Division Manager (Sherri Hale) by Nov. 15th. There are 4 forms you must complete and submit. These are:

  1.  ND Team Agreement
  2.  ND Medical Release
  3. ND Indemnity
  4. ND Financial Agreement

These forms can be found here:

And you can submit them via mail, scan and email (preferred), or fax to:

Sherri Hale
Northern Division USSA Manager
P.O. Box 217
Whitefish, MT  59937
Cell Phone (406) 871-7429
Fax:  (406) 545-2289                                                                                                                                   

Missoula Ski Education Foundation  |   (406)239-0030   |   P.O. Box 7046 Missoula, MT 59807                                                                                 MSEF on Facebook                      

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