United States Ski and Snowboard Association
|Type||National governing body (NGB)|
|Purpose||Organize competitive skiing in the USA|
|Headquarters||Park City, UT, USA|
|Affiliations||United States Ski Team, International Ski Federation|
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding. Founded in 1905, the century-old organization provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders from over 400 member clubs who share an Olympic dream.
The USSA and its local clubs coordinate nationwide programs in seven distinctly different Olympic sports -- alpine, cross country, disabled, freestyle, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and snowboarding. It is responsible for all aspects of competitive skiing and snowboarding from grassroots programs through elite international teams, including training and fielding the annual U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding, as well as the Olympic teams in skiing and snowboarding.
The USSA is composed of over 30,000 athletes, officials and coaches, with a network of over 100,000 parents, volunteers and supporters helping create opportunities for young athletes.
The USSA is the most diverse of any Olympic Sports organization with six different athletic sport programs that account for nearly 50 percent of the Olympic Winter Games events.
The vision of the USSA is to make the United States of America the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding.
The mission of the USSA is to provide strong leadership that establishes and supports athletic excellence in accordance with USSA core values.
The USSA is governed by a 21-person board of directors and six sport committees including alpine, cross country, disabled, freestyle, jumping/Nordic combined, and snowboarding. The board and committees meet several times a year including the annual USSA Congress in May. The USSA is also supported by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation, which is represented by a board composed of athletes and American business leaders.
The USSA works under the auspices of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding in the USA. And the USSA works under the International Ski Federation (FIS) as the national association for skiing and snowboarding.
USSA Development Pipeline
Interested young boys and girls generally begin competing through one of USSA's 400 local clubs located in communities around the country, generally at ski and snowboard resorts. Clubs provide introductory education and training, as well as competition programs. USSA sanctions over 4,000 local competitions each year across all sports, with each event conducted by a USSA club.
One of the USSA's key roles is providing education to thousands of active ski and snowboard coaches who work with young athletes, and over 5,000 officials who conduct competitions according to USSA and FIS competition rules.
Each USSA sport is also organized at a regional and divisional level, with slight variances by sport. Alpine skiing, for example, is organized in three regions: Eastern, Rocky/Central and Western. Within those regions are divisions including Eastern, Southern, Central, Rocky Mountain, Intermountain, Far West and Alaska. In some areas, such as New England, there are also state-based organizations. Local organizations host USSA sanctioned competitions; for example, the Salisbury Winter Sports Association will host the USSA Junior Olympics in 2011 at their Satre Hill location in Salisbury, Connecticut.
Competition programs are held within each region or division leading up to national and international events. From these competitions, athletes earn points and are ranked nationally with the highest ranking athletes earning nominations to join the U.S. national teams, which compete at the World Cup level.
The USSA is one of the only Olympic sports in America to support a full-time standing national team in every sport. Teams are nominated each spring or summer based on results. Teams for FIS World Championships (held every odd year) and Olympic Winter Games (held every four years) are selected by specific criteria and named for those individual events.
In 1904 a meeting was held in Ishpeming, Michigan to discuss formation of a national ski association, but it wasn't until 1905 that the National Ski Association officially formed. Ishpeming Ski Club President Carl Tellefsen proposed holding a meeting after the 1905 jumping meet to found a ski association which, among other duties, would oversee jumping tournaments. In 1905, the association was formally organized during a meeting attended by officers from the Ishpeming, Minneapolis, Red Wing, Minnesota, Stillwater, Minnesota and Eau Claire, Wisconsin ski clubs. On February 21, 1905, Carl Tellefsen announced formation of the National Ski Association with himself was its first president.
In 1962, the 57-year-old National Ski Association renamed itself the U.S. Ski Association (USSA), and moved its offices to Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1976 the USSA and the U.S. Ski Team agreed to part ways. The USSA continued to control the rules and governance of the sport, as well as organizing travel programs for recreational skiers, while the U.S. Ski Team focused solely on the elite national team. In 1988 the groups merged again when USSA President and CEO Howard Peterson directed the consolidation and subsequently moved its national offices from Colorado Springs to its current location in Park City, Utah.
The USSA is located at 1 Victory Lane, Park City, Utah 84060. In May, 2009, the USSA moved into its new national training and education facility, the Center of Excellence. The facility serves as a training base for elite athletes as well as an education center providing valuable information to the USSA's 425 local clubs nationwide through Center of Excellence TV.
- Boyum, Burt and Jamie LaFreniere The Ishpeming Ski Club: Over a Century of Skiing’ (US National Ski and Hall of Fame Museum, 2003)
- U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association official site
- U.S. Ski Team official site
- U.S. Snowboarding official site
- USSA Board of Directors
- USSA Foundation Board of Trustees
- U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association historical timeline featuring history of ski competition in America from the 19th century to today
- USSA Bylaws