USSA / FIS Program U16s and U19+

Berkshire East Ski Team

Racing for U16 / U19

This program is designed for kids who, as they mature physically and mentally, have an interest in continuing to develop their skills and competing through their high school years, and sometimes into their college years. While there is an emphasis on course tactics and gates, fundamental technique remains the primary focus. Training includes freeskiing in variable snow conditions on mixed terrain, drills to isolate and improve specific skills, and SL and GS gates. Physical conditioning and mental training also become increasingly important factors to achieve competitive success.


Some USSA or High School race experience before, either as younger members of the Berkshire East Ski Team or as members of another program at another mountain. 


Training: Training for this program is primarily on weekends, typically beginning approximately mid-December. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, we typically offer additional training opportunities to team members. We also typically offer additional training opportunities during the Massachusetts public school holiday period in February.

A typical training day begins at 8:30am. Athletes are expected to help coaches set up and take down courses (only as directed). Athletes are also expected to perform routine stretching and warm-up activities before running a course. Practice usually wraps up at 3:00pm.

Athletes and coaches work together to develop mutual trust and respect. Athletes are expected to ask questions when they don’t understand or need clarification. Athletes are expected to keep coaches informed of any issues that may impact training or racing performance (e.g. homework, injury, lack of sleep, appointments and other obligations, etc.). It is the combined responsibility of coaches and athletes to make the most of each day out on the hill.

Training does not necessarily imply gates

Training activity may involve gates, fitness, video review, focused freeskiing, drills, powder skiing, glades, etc., at the discretion of the coaches.


Most athletes in this program compete in regular season USSA races in the Tri-state region. Most of these races are Slalom (SL) or Giant Slalom (GS). Please consult the coaching staff when considering participation in Super G (SG) or Downhill (DH) events or training.

U19+ athletes will generally compete in the U19+ series races in Tri-state during the regular season. There may be a few races outside of Tri-state. These should be selected in collaboration with the coaches.

U16 athletes will generally compete in the U16 series races in Tri-state during the regular season. There may be some U19+ series races (open to U16s) which the coaches recommend. There may be a few races outside of Tri-state. These should be selected in collaboration with the coaches.

Families are responsible for registering their athletes for competitions.

When possible and appropriate, Berkshire East will support athlete participation in FIS events. Berkshire East has a long history of producing elite-level ski racers, and our program is designed to make such ski racing career paths possible.

Athletes have the opportunity to qualify for post-season events to represent the Berkshire East Ski Team and Tri-state at Eastern Regional and National Championships. More information about these events and the qualification methods is available on the Tri-state website and on the USSA Eastern Regional website.


USSA and Tri-State: The appropriate membership(s) need not be purchased before registering for the Berkshire East Program, but they must be purchased before participating in sanctioned events.

When registering with USSA, the athlete must designate Berkshire East Ski Team (BEST) as their program. Tri-state Membership will be processed automatically as a part of the USSA registration process.

After November 1 $1050

*All Early Season Discounts will be applied at checkout
**Lift passes are not included in the program fee

Race Support

A conditionally refundable deposit of $100 per family is required. If a family supports Berkshire East hosted events at least three times during the season, the deposit is refundable. This support may take the form of gatekeeping, back-up timing, writing times on the scoreboard, registration support, etc. Berkshire East typically offers incentives to parents who volunteer, such as lift ticket vouchers, mountain coaster tokens, etc.


Parents Association

All U16 & U19+ parents are required to join the Parents Association, whose mission is to support the events and activities of the Berkshire East Ski Team in ways agreed upon with the director of the racing program. Active involvement among the parents helps build a strong culture within our community. The participation of veteran parents provides newer families the opportunity to gain knowledge about our sport, and it helps them learn how best to support their child’s ski racing activity.


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