Wild Rumpus Sports

World Cup Selection Criteria 2018-19

Dear Cross Country Ski Racing Community,

We’ve just posted the World Cup Selection Criteria for 2018-19, and it can be found here:


These criteria were created by a working group that included 8 senior club coaches, the Chair of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Committee, a non-active U.S. Ski & Snowboard Athlete Representative, and 4 of the U.S. Ski Team coaches, including myself.

Here are some of the main ways in which this year’s selection criteria differs from past criteria:

• We’ve changed the standard by which men advance from one World Cup period to the next from top-30 to top-40 to reflect the greater depth in the men’s WC field.
• We’ve added SuperTour leaders as guaranteed starts to the Tour de Ski.
• We’ve added language to the past criteria for selecting a World Cup Finals squad in Quebec City, including:

o    Top-30 individual performance at the Seefeld World Champs (the previous standard was top-25).
o    Created a best 11 of 14 SuperTour results selection to round-out the WC Finals team, to encourage athletes to continue to race in Europe mid-season, rather than feeling the need to attend every SuperTour competition.

• We’ve created a discretionary selection review group that includes an athlete rep to evaluate and approve our discretionary World Cup nominations.

We are excited for these changes. We feel these criteria do a better job than ever before of selecting the right athletes to represent the USA in World Cup competition.

If you are an athlete or a coach that is impacted by these criteria, and you have any questions or concerns about it, please feel free to contact me directly. My contact info is below.

This same working group is also currently working on an updated selection criteria for the 2019 Seefeld World Championships, and we will have that posted this summer.


Chris Grover

Team Nomination Discussion

As a U.S. Ski Team staff, we’ve noticed the recent scrutiny of the 2017-18 Cross Country Team Nominations. I’d like to share a couple of thoughts in response to some of the criticism. First, as with any criteria or policy or nomination, the USST staff welcomes constructive criticism when it is fair and unbiased. We take criticism seriously, discuss is thoroughly, and if warranted, use that feedback to help guide future decision-making. We are not opposed to hearing new viewpoints and we welcome a healthy discussion. We are imperfect humans who have made mistakes in the past and will make mistakes in the future. Like everyone, we learn and improve as we move forward. As I mentioned in the FasterSkier interview at the time of the team nomination, this year’s nomination was a very challenging one, and we spent many hours discussing the make-up of the team. In the end,…

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…

Summer Racing and National Team Exposure

I recently encountered Marty Hall’s comments following an article in SkiTrax about the Climb to the Castle that were misinformed in several important ways, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some thoughts with the community, and hopefully clear up some of these misconceptions. The comments can be found here: http://skitrax.com/85688/?c The first comment had to do with summer racing: A real shame that the national team passed up the hill climb—it would have been a fitting effort after the week of intensity focus they had just completed. Biathlon had just finished a 3 week intensity block and fit the hill climb into their final workout. One of the things that has been evident over the past few years is that the Euros race a lot more in the summer (on RS) then the NAs do—way more, which keeps them closer to their top fitness then the NAs…

2015-16 Canadian World Cup Selection Criteria

Dear Athletes and Coaches,   The World Cup selection criteria for this season, including the Canadian World Cup Tour, is now posted, and can be found here:   http://nordic.usskiteam.com/cross-country-programs/coaches/criteria/world-cup   A working group of 12 senior club coaches, along with the U.S. Ski Team staff, collaborated to create the Selection Criteria.   Here is a summary of start spots allotted to the USA for the Canadian Tour:   Women National World Cup Tour Quota for 2015-16: 7 SuperTour Overall Leader: 1 Nation’s Group: 5 Total: 13 women   Men National World Cup Tour Quota for 2015-16: 5 SuperTour Overall Leader: 1 Nation’s Group: 5 Total: 11 men   In addition to the usual World Cup quotas, which are determined by results from the previous World Cup season, the overall leaders of the SuperTour on February 7, 2016 (one man and one woman) will be selected to the Canadian Tour. As…

Development: Part 1

All sorts of comments are springing up on my blog about development, so it’s a good time to share some thoughts. As someone suggested, the topic of development is broad, and makes it hard to know where to begin, much less to structure the discussion in a meaningful way. But let’s dive in. The U.S. XC program is currently not investing enough on Development. We are being greatly outspent by some of our competitors. As an athletic staff, we know this. We talk about this all the time. We have development strategies created that detail how we would spend additional funds if we were to have them, specifically in the area of infrastructure. We recognize that there is much more we could be doing. The U.S. XC program is also not investing enough in the elite side. Some of our competitors have resources that are on scale far beyond our…

Cross Country Skill Development

When skill development is discussed in cross-country ski racing, the concepts of technique, aerobic capacity, and general strength soon follow, and rightly so, but they are not the only areas worth including in the discussion. An elite cross-country ski racer boasts a cadre of advanced skills. Here are several additional difference-makers that come to mind after witnessing the World Cup races in Davos this December.   Balance   Because of the thin snow in Davos, and being limited to man-made snow, we often had icy training and racing days there. Sometimes extremely icy conditions. If you’ve watched the video from the races, you can readily see the difference between the athletes who felt comfortable skiing fast in those conditions, and those who didn’t. Skiers who were comfortable looked relatively balanced, stable, relaxed, and fast; able to correct easily in the event that their ski failed to edge on the ice…

Falun 2015 World Championship Selection Dates

As we approach the close of the Falun WSC selection period, here are a few dates for coaches and athletes to keep in mind: Sunday January 11 Tour de Ski Final Climb.  Last World Cup distance race in the selection period. Saturday January 17 Otepää Sprint C.  Last World Cup sprint race in the selection period. Monday January 19 The close of the USSA National Ranking List #4. Friday January 23 USSA National Ranking List #4 becomes valid. Monday January 26 Team Announcement (tentative). The full selection criteria can be viewed here: http://nordic.usskiteam.com/cross-country-programs/officials/criteria/world-championships

The Power of the Team

First of all, a big thanks to the editorial staff at FasterSkier for agreeing to host this blog.  I was looking for an outlet for sharing insights and observations with the greater cross-country skiing community and recognized that FS has the most reach of any Nordic media outlet in the U.S.  It was the first place I went, and I appreciate their willingness to give me a platform.  I’d also like to thank FasterSkier for helping to advance U.S. XC ski racing over the years.  In a country where it’s often impossible to view a World Cup ski race on TV, FasterSkier has been instrumental in telling the story.  The Internet has been where young American cross-country skiers learn about their sport, and FasterSkier is often the website they visit first. My intention with the blog is to share occasional thoughts from the road.  The FS staff does an excellent…