Rules and Safety

In order to successfully sponsor races Open League maintains Rules (see below) and safety procedures. It also takes many workers and volunteers to successfully run a ski / snowboard race. Jobs filled by the Open League Race Committee include Chief of Race, Chief of Course, Timing and Scoring, Head Gatekeeper and Safety Officer. Jobs filled by racers on the day of a race include Sign-In/Registration, Course Starter, Scoreboard Recorder and Gatekeeper (Gate Judge). In preparation to be a knowledgeable Gatekeeper, please watch the following two videos before coming to a race. If after watching these videos you still have some questions, please contact your race director for more detailed instruction. As a new racer for Open League, we also recommend reading our Tips for Rookies Racers (see below), and thank you for helping to make Open League the best race league in Far West Ski Association.

These videos are from the United States Ski and Snowboard Association They show how Gate Judges (Gatekeepers) function at the National or Regional level. There are 3 main differences between what is shown on the video and the duties of a gatekeeper in the Open League.

  1. A gatekeeper in a national race may have to watch only 3 to 5 gates. While we strive to place our Gatekeepers so that they can easily watch the racers on the course, sometimes a Gatekeeper may be asked to watch 6 to 8 gates. Because of this, we only ask you to make a diagram when a racer faults.

  2. Open League Gatekeepers are not responsible for setting or replacing gates or flags. The resort supplies course workers that set and maintain the gates.

  3. The last difference is that Open League does not use Dye Spots to mark the location of poles or gates. Occasionally the resort will mark some gates with dye spots during course inspection.

There are some important rules to keep in mind when racing with Open League.

  • You must always have your race bib clearly visible on front and back when inside the race arena. This includes inspecting the course or helping another racer inspect their course. You do not need to wear your bib if you are working as a gatekeeper, starter or scoreboard time recorder. You may order a second bib to be worn on the outside of your ski jacket if you also wear a race suit. Otherwise, you will need to keep your jacket open while inspecting the course.

  • Wearing a helmet is REQUIRED for all Open League races. Helmets are advised for free-skiing and free-riding.

    • Helmets must conform to recognized and appropriate standards such as CEH.Din 1077, ASTM F2040, SNELL S98 or RS 98.

    • Helmets must cover the head and ears (hard sides for Giant Slalom, soft sides are OK for Slalom).

    • Helmets with spoilers or edges that stick out are not permitted. Protective features integral to the event being contested, such as chin guards on Slalom helmets are permitted. Soft ear protection is only permitted for helmets used in Slalom.

    • Helmet mounted cameras are not allowed on helmets in official training or competition.

    • Caution: Age and use affect the protective qualities of all safety helmets. Some older helmets and any helmets that have been damaged either in a racing fall or from other impact may no longer provide sufficient protection – even if there are no visible indications of damage.

  • Connecting more than 3 turns is considered free-skiing/riding and is NOT allowed inside the race arena. Side-slipping and snow-plowing are recommended while previewing a course.

  • Avoid skiing/riding in the race line and NEVER ski/ride through the finish line while previewing a course.

Be safe, Have fun and Respect others