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Lahti 2017 World Champs Criteria

Dear Athletes and Coaches,

You can now find the new selection criteria for the upcoming 2017 Lahti World Championships posted here:

http://nordic.usskiteam.com/cross-country-programs/athletes/criteria/world-championships

We are excited about this new criteria, which has been a work-in-progress between US Ski Team staff, top club coaches and program directors, and a USSA athlete representative for the past 2 years.

As you’ll see, the Objective and Discretionary selection procedures in this criteria are very similar to what we have used in the past. The big change, however, comes in how Additional Team Selections are made. In the past, additional selections have been made using FIS or USSA points, which are created by scoring points races on a year-round continuum. This new criteria relies on head-to-head SuperTour and U.S. Nationals racing in the fall/early winter of the season of the Lahti Championships themselves.

Here are some of the advantages of this new criteria:

Because the criteria doesn’t rely on FIS or USSA points, athletes will no longer be tempted to chase points races or to willingly manipulate the results of races. Also the potential for errors in the various points lists are negated.

This criteria rewards head-to-head competition in the season of the Championships. Athletes who skied fast in the spring of the previous season no longer have a potential advantage over those athletes skiing fast in the current season. The criteria provides a clear path for athletes to the World Championships. The athlete that is winning races is most likely going to make the Team. The guesswork of improving one’s FIS or USSA points is removed.

This criteria allows athletes to race World Cup Period 1 and still qualify for the World Championships team. It was important to us that we created a selection criteria that didn’t discourage athletes from racing World Cup. So athletes that are on the US Ski Team, SuperTour leaders racing World Cup, and invited athletes to World Cup all still have a path to the World Champs via great racing at U.S. Nationals.

Although we can clearly see that no selection criteria is perfect, especially when it comes to the last selections to any Team, we sincerely hope this new selection criteria serves our nation well. We look forward to watching the selection process unfold this winter.

If there are athletes and coaches who have remaining questions about the criteria, please don’t hesitate to contact me: cgrover@ussa.org

Sincerely, Chris

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