Age Groups for Team Afton
Below are detailed descriptions of Team Afton’s  programs.


The “U” designation refers to an age grouping. Example: U12 is an athlete who is 10 or 11 as of 12/31. For the upcoming season U12s will be born in 2011 or 2012. 

The age-specific programs appear under programs, or in the drop-down menu when you register. 

Program fees do not include season pass. Please visit Vail / Epic to purchase your pass for the season. An Afton Alps or Epic Local pass is a good option for our athletes.

All participants also need to visit USSS to signup for an Alpine Competitors License (Race Teams) or a General Membership (Training and High School Teams). Our program fees do not include race fees or lift tickets.

TEAM AFTON Pandemic/COVID-19 statement:

Team Afton is committed to making every ski season work amidst the circumstances brought on by the Coronavirus and COVID-19 and any other challenges that arise. Our 2020-2021 season was one of our best ever even with many restrictions and adjustments. We engage with local, regional, and national authorities, as well as National and International governing bodies of our sport and will deliver a program that considers the safety of society, our participants, and our staff. 

We are hopeful that the 2022-2023 season will be unaffected by Covid restrictions, but we do require that all program participants comply with our team rules and the rules of Afton Alps and our governing bodies.

Selecting Your Program

NOTE: Monday night High School program is Sunday Night training + one week night with Monday being the recommended night.

See below for details on all programs. All programs can be purchased via an installment plan.

US TeamAfton Combo2

Race Team (U8 – U21)

Our signature training and racing program.

Team Afton Race Team is our most popular program and is the right program for athletes wanting to achieve their full potential this season and beyond.

We maximize training and racing opportunities during the season while also providing the flexibility needed so our athletes can balance competitive ski racing with other activities.

This flexible program competes in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association race circuit in Minnesota and across the Central (Midwest) division with some athletes traveling to Colorado and other mountain states to compete. Races are available most weekends and some weekdays throughout the season.

Program for U8-U21 (YOB 2002-2016)

What to Expect

  • Our full training and race program tailored to athletes by individual and age level
  • 5-day Holiday Camp (approx. 3-8pm daily at Afton Alps from December 27 – 31)
  • Training up to four nights per week (Monday – Thursday) typically 6:30 – 8:30pm with training starting as soon as snow conditions allow (typically mid-December) and continuing into March
  • 1 day of weekend training a minimum of 6 weekends offered Sunday afternoon / evening from 3-7pm or 4-7pm at Afton, and occasionally on Saturdays at other ski areas.
  • Approximately 120-160 hours of on-snow training / racing per season.
  • Racing in the season long, Minnesota Planet Cup (visit www.skifast.com to learn more), and other regional races (coaching included; lift tickets, entry, and racing association fees are extra)
  • Opportunities to qualify in and compete in regional championships in the Central Division and the Junior Championships in Colorado for U14 athletes and older
  • A positive, supportive, team environment with focused input from expert coaches
  • Dryland training begins October and runs through mid-November. Additional fees apply for certain optional dryland programs.

Ages: 6 – 20

Skill Level: Strong intermediate or above skiers able to ski comfortably and in control on all hills at Afton Alps. Previous experience with gate training is recommended.

Maturity Level: Our coaches love to help, but our younger athletes must be able to board chairlift and manage their own equipment and personal breaks (or be accompanied by an adult to practice). We do not have a check-in system to monitor our young athletes coming and going from practice. 6 year olds must be accompanied by an adult to ride the chairlift.

Race Team Pricing (unchanged from last year) by Age Group 2022-2023:

  • U8-U10-U12 (YOB 2011 and younger) $1,895.00   REGISTER
  • U14 (YOB 2009-2010)  $2,350.00  REGISTER
  • U16 (YOB 2007-2008)  $2,800.00 REGISTER
  • U18 (YOB 2005-2006)  $2,800.00 REGISTER
  • U21 (YOB 2002-2004)  $2,800.00 REGISTER

Note: For U18+ athletes, pricing includes access to our FIS program; there are no additional fees to compete with Team Afton at the FIS level though there may be additional fees for coach travel to events outside of Minnesota. A FIS license is required.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard competition membership is required and must be purchased separately at https://my.usskiandsnowboard.org

Team Afton will recommend a race schedule for each group of athletes once the U.S.  Ski & Snowboard Association race schedule is announced in our region (Region 1) at www.skifast.com. Participants will also need a Region 1 membership.

Registration Deadline:  7 days prior to the start of the program; must be enrolled to participate in Dryland training. 

If you have any questions please email  info@teamafton.com or call Program Director Tony Olin: 612-819-0186


We will help you determine how best to navigate the available races and how to pursue the right level of competition athletically before the season kicks off and as it progresses. Skiing is a sport where there are great racing opportunities at every level and where you can always find a new level of competition.

Participation in the US Ski & Snowboard – Racing Program requires membership in:

  • USSS – National (includes Central Division and Minnesota Region 1 fees)
  • USSS – Local: Team Afton/Afton Alps (on the Team Afton website)

Team Afton’s racers compete as part of Region One, one of 4 regions comprising US Ski & Snowboard’s Central Division. While the majority of information about US Ski & Snowboard races is available through Team Afton’s website, it is helpful to become familiar with:

Racers register for the races they plan to attend on the My USSA website: https://my.ussa.org/ . Detailed information about race registration is distributed to parents and athletes at the beginning of the season.

For every race, athletes should bring 1) race bib; 2) water, Gatorade or other sports drink, and 3) keep granola bars, energy bars, or other snacks in their jacket pocket for extra energy and protein on the hill. 

Planet Cup Series

U14, U12, U10, and U8 racers compete in Region One’s Planet Cup Series. This series includes US Ski & Snowboard racers from Team Afton, Buck Hill, Team Duluth, Team Gilboa, FAST, and BWT. Information, standings, and announcements are posted on the Planet Cup website http://www.skifast.com/nonscored. You’ll also find a link to the Planet Cup on Region One’s site as well as Team Afton’s site.  Race registration fees, lift tickets and lodging (as necessary) at each race venue are the responsibility of each athlete.

Planet Cup races are “non-scored” races, meaning that while the athlete’s races are timed, they are not scored by US Ski & Snowboard’s national point system. There is an excellent explanation of US Ski & Snowboard’s youth and competitor membership on Central Division’s website Rocky/Central Website

Planet Cup races are scheduled for Saturday and / or Sunday at different ski areas within Region One. Racers do not have to race on both days; they can race on Saturday or Sunday.  However, the more races an athlete attends, the better his/her chances are for collecting points in the Planet Cup Series. The racer who wins a race is awarded 100 points, the second-place finisher receives 90 points, third place 80 points, and so on.

At the end of the season, a competitor’s best results in SL (Slalom) races and GS (Giant Slalom) will determine the season-long standings.  The Overall Planet Cup winner will be determined by the athlete’s best finishes, regardless of discipline. The reason for using the best results is to give younger racers the opportunity to be flexible throughout the season and not penalize them if they miss races. Complete scoring and awards are described on the Planet Cup website at http://www.skifast.com/nonscored

U14 Regional Championships in Central and U14 Rocky/Central Junior Championships in Colorado

The Central U14 Regional Championships take place over 3 days in February (this year will be 2/23-2/26 in Michigan) and offer an opportunity for our U14 and U16 athletes to compete against the top racers from across the Midwest. From the Regional Championships, a portion of our team typically qualifies for the U14 Rocky/Central Junior Championships which will be held in mid-March (3/12 – 3/16) in Vail. Competition takes place over 4 – 5 days, usually beginning with Super G, Giant Slalom and ending with Slalom and Parallel Slalom.. There is training for the Super G the day before the Super G competition and athletes are required to participate in this training day to ensure the safety of the racers. While athletes don’t need Super G skis for any races during the Planet Cup series, they will need Super G skis for the Junior Championships. Rather than buying skis for one event, parents can talk to Tony Olin about borrowing Super G skis.

Racers register on the first day of the Junior Championships and receive a bib, information packet, banquet tickets, racer credentials, prizes, and their Junior Championships jacket.

Each athlete’s family is responsible for the athlete’s registration fees as well as travel, lodging, lift tickets, and food expenses for the event. In addition, Team Afton charges every racer attending a Junior Championship competition a  $75/day (for a minimum of 6 days) prior to the event. This covers the cost of coaching time plus the coach’s travel, food, and lodging expenses.

US Ski & Snowboard Race Series

US Ski & Snowboard races for U16, U18, and U21 athletes are “scored” races, meaning that an athlete’s race results are part of the national point system. U16, U18, and U21 racers aim at reducing their points which are calculated on a national scoring system and can be looked up on the My USSA website. Region One race results are posted on Region One’s website http://www.skifast.com. An excellent description of USSA competitions is on Central Division’s website: Rocky/Central Website.  Racers compete in Region One’s US Ski & Snowboard Series which includes all U16, U18, and U21 racers from Team Afton, Buck Hill, Team Duluth, Team Gilboa, Mt. LaCrosse Ski Team, FAST, and BWP.

Racers may compete in any Central Division race in Regions One, Two, Three or Four (“in division” races). Racers register for the racers they will attend. Racers do not have to race on both days; they can race on Saturday and/or on Sunday Details about race registration are distributed to Team Afton athletes at the beginning of the ski season. Race registration fees, lift tickets and lodging (as necessary) at each race venue are the responsibility of each athlete. 

Regional Championships and U16 Rocky/Central Junior Championships in Colorado

The U16 Regional Championships take place over 2-3 days in March typically in Michigan and offer an opportunity for our athletes to compete against the top racers from across the Midwest. From the Regional Championships, a portion of our team typically qualifies for the U16 Rocky/Central Junior Championships which are held in mid-March..

The U16 Junior Championships are held in mid-March. Competition takes place over 7 days, usually beginning with 2 days of Downhill training which is required to ensure the athlete’s safety, followed by a separate day for the Downhill race, the Super G, the Women’s Giant Slalom, the Men’s Giant Slalom and finally the Slalom. Central Division athletes do not need Super G and Downhill skis for the regular US Ski & Snowboard season, however they will need skis for the Super G and Downhill events at the U16 Junior Championships. Parents should talk to Tony Olin about borrowing skis for these races.

Racers register on the first day of the Junior Championships and receive a bib, information packet, banquet tickets, racer credentials, prizes, and their Junior Championships jacket. The U16 Junior Championships culminates in a big banquet on Saturday evening for racers, coaches and families that includes a buffet dinner, presentation of the top 10 finishers in each event, highlights of the competition days, and opportunity to win some fun prizes!

Each athlete’s family is responsible for the athlete’s registration fees and travel, lodging, lift tickets, and food expenses for the event. In addition, Team Afton charges every racer attending a Junior Championship competition a $75/day rate (with a 6 day minimum) prior to the event. This covers the cost of coaching time plus the coach’s travel, food, and lodging expenses.

FIS Program

Once athletes become a U19 (3 year span – ages 16-17-18), they are eligible to compete in International Ski Federation (FIS) races with results based on an international scoring system. FIS points and information relating to FIS racing is available on the FIS website.  There are very specific rules about ski length for FIS athletes. Racers should talk to Tony Olin well in advance of the beginning of the race season about ski equipment.

Team Afton’s FIS racers compete in Mid-America (MidAm) and Canadian-America (CanAm) race series with other FIS racers from the Central Division, as well as other FIS racers whose points qualify them to compete and are invited to these races. Information about FIS races can be found on the Central Division website at Rocky/Central Website.

There are usually 4 race series that comprise the MidAm Series, each of which are typically 3 day events at venues such as Nubs Nob, Boyne Mountain, Spirit, Lutsen, or Mt Lacrosse. The MidAm races serve as the qualifying competitions to determine eligibility to compete at the National U19 Junior Championship competition. MidAm standings are posted on the Selections page of the Central Division website. The MidAm season concludes with MidAm Championships, 4 days of racing at Lutsen.

FIS racers are required to register and pay a registration fee for each race event, in addition to covering the costs of travel, lift tickets, lodging and food. While we do not charge extra for our FIS racers as many programs do, for races outside of Minnesota, Team Afton may charge a coaching fee of $75 per day per athlete to cover coaches travel and expenses.

National Junior Championships

At the U16 and U18 level, the top athletes in the country can qualify for a national championship competition. Team Afton has had many athletes qualify over the years for this level of competition including 2 in the 2021-2022 season. 

US National Championships

An athlete’s international ranking (FIS points) determine eligibility to compete in the US National Championships. Over the years, Team Afton has sent many athletes to compete in this exciting competition. 

Regional Championship Competitions

Athletes who do not attend the U16 Rocky/Central Junior Championships, U18 Junior National Championships, or US National Championships are invited to compete in regional championship races held in early and mid-March. Information about these championship series will be posted on Region One’s web site and Central Division’s website. These races require a separate registration and race fee, plus travel, lodging and lift tickets at the race venue.

 Out-of-Division Races and Development Projects

U14, U16, U19, and U21 racers on the Team Afton Race Team who are seeking opportunities for additional training and race experiences may choose to participate in out-of division races and projects. Information, calendars, registration forms and liability waivers for Out-of-Division projects and races are coordinated with the Program Director – please contact Tony Olin.

Tony Olin works with each athlete to create a racer development plan and may suggest participation in NorAms, SYNC races, Colorado Cup races, Eastern Cup races, FIS-U races, technical development camps, speed development camps, or other Out-of-Division events.

Team Afton athletes attending the same Out-of-Division event will each be responsible for all individual athlete expenses (registration fee, transportation, lift tickets, lodging, food). In addition, the coach’s expenses (transportation, lodging, food, and, if applicable, daily per diem) will be equally divided among the athletes participating in the same event.  Costs vary, but typically, this translates to a $75/day rate prior to the event. Team Afton reserves the right to cover part of these expenses on a case-by-case basis depending on the level of competition as it relates to development advancement.


Bode Rising Star SCP

Rising Stars Race Team & Rising Stars Training Team

An entry level program for those just starting out in ski racing.

New this year. Our Development Team will be called the “Rising Stars Training Team” and will take part in our full Rising Stars programming with the exception of races. This will include our popular holiday camp which is a great way for young skiers to get used to gate training and being part of the team.

Rising Stars Race Team is a unique program for emerging racers who want to train regularly and race a limited schedule of 4 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association races during the year. This is the right bridge for a younger skier ready to step-up from the ARC program run by the Afton Alps ski school, but not yet ready to commit to the full race program.

We recommend this program for no more than 2 years prior to transitioning to the race team and many young athletes will want to consider the Race Team sooner if they are seeking more training and competition.

What to Expect

  • Program includes 5-day Holiday Camp and up to two nights per week (including our Rising Stars designated night of Wednesday)
  • Approximately 90-110 hours of on-snow training / racing per season.
  • For the Rising Stars Race Team:
    4 US Ski & Snowboard race weekends (5-8 days) consisting of  GS and SL racing. (coaching included; lift tickets and entry fees are extra).
  • A positive, supportive, team environment with focused input from expert coaches.
  • Dryland training begins October and runs through mid-November. Additional fees may apply.

Ages: 6 to 11 (age as of December 31, 2022; born 2011-2016 for next season

Skill Level: Strong intermediate or above skiers able to ski comfortably and in control on all hills at Afton Alps. No previous racing experience required.

Maturity Level: Our coaches love to help, but our younger athletes must be able to board the chairlift and manage their own equipment and personal breaks (or be accompanied by an adult to practice). We do not have a check-in system to monitor our young athletes coming and going from practice. 6 year olds (and younger) must be accompanied by an adult to ride the chairlift.

Training: 

  • Wednesday night dedicated Rising Stars training (arrive 5:30pm; ski with program director or another coach beginning at 6pm; gate training from 6:30-8:30pm)
  • 1 additional night per week (select from Mon., Tues., Thurs.); starting when conditions allow (typically December)
  • Training typically held 6:30-8:30pm other than Wednesday night special schedule
  • 1 day of weekend training a minimum of 6 weekends offered Sunday afternoon / evening from 3-7pm or 4-7pm at Afton, and occasionally on Saturdays at other ski areas

Pricing:

Rising Stars (YOB 2011 and younger)

  • Rising Stars Race Team $1,325.00   REGISTER
  • Rising Stars Training Team $995.   REGISTER

U.S. Ski & Snowboard competition membership is required and must be purchased separately at https://my.usskiandsnowboard.org

The Rising Stars Training Team includes no racing so athletes should signup for a separate development level program if they wish to race. The Paul Augustine Race at Afton on President’s Day weekend is the one race available to these athletes.

This program is limited to support for the designated Rising Stars races. There is an additional, per race, coaching fee of $75/day for additional races so participants wanting more racing experience should join our Full Race Team. Please call to discuss options.

Team Afton will announce the race schedule for Rising Stars once the U.S.  Ski & Snowboard Association race schedule is announced in our region (Region 1) at www.skifast.com

REGISTER

Limited Enrollment: register early

Registration Deadline:  7 days prior to the start of the program; must be enrolled to participate in Dryland training.


TEAM AFTON RISING STARS ADDITIONAL PROGRAM DETAIL

Rising Stars Race Team is an advanced alpine race program designed to provide young athletes with a successful transition into US Ski & Snowboard * racing. Rising Stars is specifically designed for athletes who are competing in the U8 through U12 age groups (age 6-11). 

Rising Stars is a season-long introductory competitive race program. We welcome younger racers into our full race team as well which includes all the benefits of Rising Stars with more access to races and additional training during the year. Younger athletes on the Race Team can join the Wednesday night Rising Stars special practice, on request.

The Rising Stars program follows the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association* guidelines for developing alpine ski racers with a balance of free skiing, focused drills and training in gates. Over the course of the season and with the assistance of our experienced coaches, these young athletes will build a solid foundation of fundamental skills. As they progress from free-skiing development to a higher percentage of gate training, they will learn appropriate race tactics and skills.

We have intentionally designed this program to limit the amount of racing that the athlete is exposed to. They will participate in four US Ski & Snowboard race days during the season as selected by the coaching staff to provide the most effective development for the athlete. The participants will race a mix of SL and GS races.  This program delivers a level of training and racing that is consistent with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Athlete Development Model for this age group and is a solid pathway to maximize the athlete’s long-term success in the sport.

Even better for young athletes – and different than most US Ski & Snowboard programs for this age group in the area – a substantial portion of the training/racing is local.

*U.S. Ski & Snowboard (USS&S) is the governing authority for alpine ski racing in the U.S. as recognized by the international federation (FIS). The primary difference between racing in a US Ski & Snowboard program and racing in a regional league such as the Midwest Snowsports Development League or MSHSL, is the higher level of challenge and race organization, and as skills grow, the ability to compete in regional, national and international races.


Training Team (U14-U21)

A training-only program recommended for high school athletes seeking the highest level of high school racing success without participating in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard association weekend race program.

New this year. Our Training Team offers full access to our training programs including our 5-day holiday camp. This is a great way to join Team Afton and get full access to our training without paying for the weekend race program.

What to Expect

  • 5-day Holiday Camp (approx. 3-8pm daily at Afton Alps from December 27 – 31)
  • Training up to four nights per week (Monday – Thursday) typically 6:30 – 8:30pm with training starting as soon as snow conditions allow (typically mid-December) and continuing into March
  • 1 day of weekend training a minimum of 6 weekends offered Sunday afternoon / evening from 3-7pm or 4-7pm at Afton, and occasionally on Saturdays at other ski areas.
  • Over 115 hours of on-snow training per season
  • A positive, supportive, team environment with focused input from expert coaches
  • Dryland training begins October and runs through mid-November. Additional fees apply for certain optional dryland programs.

Ages: 12 – 20

Skill Level: Strong intermediate or above skiers able to ski comfortably and in control on all hills at Afton Alps. Some previous gate training recommended. 

Pricing:

  • U14 Training Team $1,575.00      REGISTER
  • U16+ Training Team $1,775.00    REGISTER

U.S. Ski & Snowboard general membership is required and must be purchased separately from the US Ski & Snowboard Association 

U14 Training Team members are encouraged to participate in our Paul Augustine Junior Championship race on President’s Day with no additional coaching fees.

There is an additional, coaching fee of $95/day for attendance at any additional US Ski & Snowboard races so participants wanting more racing experience should join our Full Race Team. Please call to discuss options.

REGISTER

Limited Enrollment: register early

Registration Deadline:  7 days prior to the start of the program; must be enrolled to participate in Dryland training.

Monday Night High School Team (Sunday Night + One weeknight with Monday recommended)

A training-only program offering training on Sunday (6+ weekends per year) and Monday. We recommend joining Monday night for consistency, but if your schedule requires, you can choose a different designated night.

This program is designed for athletes seeking to improve their ski racing by training with Team Afton while focusing on racing (and additional training) with their High School team.

This is a drop-in program and only allows for training Sunday and one other night. It does not include our early-season holiday camp though participants can register for that separately if space is available. We encourage you to first look at our new Training Team which includes access to our early season holiday camp as well as 4 available night trainings throughout the season plus Sunday training.

Ages: 12 to 19

What to Expect

  • Ability to join Monday night training typically 6:30 – 8:30pm with training starting as soon as snow conditions allow (typically mid-December) and continuing into March. Participants can pick another designated night, if needed.
  • 1 day of weekend training a minimum of 6 weekends offered Sunday afternoon / evening from 3-7pm at Afton, and occasionally on Saturdays at other ski areas
  • Ability to join weeknight training on any day (Monday – Thursday from 6:30-8:30pm) beginning March 1, 2023
  • 50+ hours of on-snow training per season
  • A positive, supportive, team environment with focused input from expert coaches
  • Dryland training begins October and runs through mid-November. Additional fees apply for certain optional dryland programs.
  • Priority placement in our holiday camp (additional fee)

Skill Level: Intermediate or above skiers able to ski or ride comfortably and in control on all hills at Afton Alps. Some previous gate training experience recommended. 

Pricing

Highschool Monday Night Team (Sunday Night + one Weeknight) $925   REGISTER

Registration Deadline:  7 days prior to the start of the program; must be enrolled to participate in Dryland training.

 


Schedule Changes, Venue Changes, Extra Fees, and Refunds:

Team Afton is a community and our team fosters agility and flexibility as we deal with changes that our out of our control (weather, snow, venues, race schedules, staffing issues, pandemics, etc.).

Our approach is to do our best to follow the schedule laid out now and refined at the start of the season, but there will be changes. Please be flexible as these changes occur. 

Occasionally, as we seek better snow or look for open venues to train at, there will be optional training opportunities that require you to purchase a ticket to a different hill or even potentially secure overnight accommodations. This is in addition to the requirements of attending races. We do our best to focus training options at Afton Alps, when possible, but we also work to find training where we can as conditions and hill availability varies. 

We do not provide refunds of early season deposits or of any other fees, once paid. As a community, we have to invest together in staff and equipment so providing refunds is not possible except in extraordinary circumstances.

One exception is that for season ending injuries occurring before the mid-point of the season, we will provide a 50% fee credit to future programming for the family for season-ending injuries occurring before January 31.

 

If you have any questions please email clubadmin@teamafton.com or call / text Program Director Tony Olin: 612-819-0186

 

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P.O Box 309
AFTON, MN 55001 – 0309
INFO@TEAMAFTON.COM