Good Morning everyone, thanks for your questions. First off, here is a "quick look" at the overall landscape for 2014/15. This covers a lot, but maybe not everything people need to know. However, it's a good start for anyone interested in competing this year.
Secondly, if you have additional questions that I don't cover this morning or if you need any assistance or advice or help later on in the season, don't hesitate to contact me directly and I'll do what I can to help. PM me here, or (because I'm not here that often) message me via Facebook and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.
2014/15 FWQ/IFSA Quick Look
In the 2015 season, athletes from both sides of the Atlantic will be able to gain points for ranking in the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ), Freeride Junior Tour (FJT), and the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) thanks to an agreement between the IFSA and the Freeride World Tour (FWT). With more than 60 IFSA adult and junior events, this IFSA/FWQ alliance delivers a worldwide competition system for athletes. The IFSA Junior Series will operate as it has in recent years and will add more competitions. The IFSA/FWQ Adult Series will provide new competitive opportunities for adult athletes across North America, and will allow athletes can earn qualifying points for the FWT. Finally, with the addition of the Ski The East Freeride Tour, both the junior and adult tours now cover North America from coast to coast.
What is the IFSA?
The International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) was established in 1996 by Shane McConkey. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the IFSA’s mission is to operate as an international sanctioning body for big mountain freeriding. With input from its members, the IFSA sets sanctioning guidelines for event execution and judging to ensure consistent competitions. Another important mission is to represent the needs, interests, and safety of freeride competitors. The IFSA pursues every opportunity to help athletes compete, learn, train, have fun, and achieve their freeriding goals.
Who is the FWT & FWQ?
The “Freeride World Tour” (FWT), “Freeride World Qualifier” (FWQ), and other junior athlete oriented tours are the top tier international freeride ski and snowboard competitions in Europe, North-America and Asia.
What is the relationship between the IFSA and FWT?
The IFSA and FWT entered into an alliance this year to more effectively execute a global freeride event series. The IFSA will serve as the sanctioning body of Freeride ski and snowboard events for grassroots development in Region 2 (North America and South America). The FWT will serve as the sanctioning body of Freeride ski and snowboard events in Region 1 (Europe, Oceania, and Asia). The sanctioning bodies will cover both junior and adult FWQ events. FWT will be the sanctioning body for all FWT events.
What is the FWQ/IFSA Series?
Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) in Region 2 is an event series composed of independently organized events ranked from 1 to 4 stars. These events enable riders to score points in the FWQ ranking system and to qualify for Freeride World Tour (FWT). All FWQ events in Region 2 will be sanctioned by IFSA. The IFSA-sanctioned adult series will also serve as part of a new North American FWQ series that will further advance adult athletes through the FWQ/FWT qualification system. All adult events within North America that shall be considered a qualifying event for the purposes of FWT ranking shall be sanctioned by the IFSA.
When will registration begin for IFSA/FWQ events?
Registration for IFSA/FWQ events will begin in late November and continue through the season.
Are all of the events for the 2015 season already on the schedule?
No. Currently there are eleven 2- and 4-star events announced, but additional events will be added to the schedule throughout October.
How do I keep up with changes to the IFSA/FWQ Region 2 schedule?
You can check the IFSA’s website at http://www.freeskiers.org
or the IFSA’s facebook page. All schedule updates will be emailed to all 2015 FWQ license holders.
Do I need a FWQ License?
Yes, all riders desiring an FWQ ranking must have an IFSA/FWQ membership.
What are my License fees used for?
Membership fees collected from IFSA/FWQ athletes will be allocated specifically to the support of IFSA/FWQ events and for the fulfillment of the IFSA mission. The IFSA operates as a volunteer driven organization at this time and reasonable membership fees will be used for series expansion, insurance and other sanctioning or event-related support.
When and where can I purchase an IFSA/FWQ Region 2 License for the 2015 season?
The 2015 IFSA/FAQ adult license are now available on Member Pro. You can access the license page as well as learning about how registration works by going here: http://www.freerideworldtour.com/registration.html
Will the Licensing process be similar to last year’s?
Yes, since most FWQ riders are familiar with the Member Pro system, we will use the platform for both licensing and some event registrations.
Where will Registration take place?
Event registration will take place on Member Pro for all 3- and 4-star events. 1- and 2-star events may take place on Member Pro or other registration sites as determined by the event host. The EVENTS tab on the IFSA website will always have the most current event information and links to all registration sites.
Will there be a 2015 seeding list for Region 2 athletes?
Yes, just as in previous years, athletes will appear on the world wide seeding list. The seeding list consists of the 3 best results of each athlete during the last 52 weeks. The seeding list is ranking riders as follow: 1. Actual FWT riders. 2. Past year FWT riders not qualified for FWT anymore, 3. FWQ riders with 3 best results of last 52 weeks and 4. Frozen points riders are inserted accordingly. The initial seeding list will be available in late October.
Who can register for events?
All events will have an open registration component to them. Consistent with last year’s process, 3- and 4-star events will give preference to seeded athletes with open registration to follow as available. The Collegiate Freeride Series (a new series of 2-star events) will have both a quota registration component and an open registration component. All other 2-star events will have open registration.
If I competed as an IFSA Junior in the 2014 season, will I carry points forward into the FWQ 2015 season?
Yes! All events in the 2014 IFSA North American Junior Series will be assigned a star attribution. All graduating athletes will be notified of their FWQ Ranking in late October.
When will I know I am accepted to an IFSA/FWQ event?
Immediately for 1- and 2-star events, and upon processing of the seeding list for 3- and 4-star events.
Who is handling the IFSA/FWQ registration and ranking process?
The IFSA will manage registration and results of IFSA/FWQ events on the Member Pro system. This includes: creating events, opening and closing registration windows, providing start lists, collecting results, and uploading results from event organizers. While event registration may take place on different platforms, all event results will tabulate within the Member Pro system and be handled by IFSA staff.
What events are eligible for IFSA/FWQ ranking?
All Region 2 events meeting the IFSA/FWQ sanctioning guidelines are eligible IFSA/FWQ events.
Is the 2015 Subaru Freeride Series part of the IFSA/FWQ Region 2 Series?
At this time the Subaru Freeride Series is not part of the IFSA/FWQ Region 2 Series.
Will the IFSA run the North American FWT events?
No. The IFSA manages the FWQ event series in North America but will not manage any FWT events at this time. The IFSA and FWT may expand the scope of collaboration in upcoming years.
Will there be a Region 2 IFSA/FWQ Athlete Board?
The IFSA currently has a multitude of individuals participating on various advisory boards. The IFSA relies upon athlete input when making decisions, which may entail athlete advisors, boards, surveys and the like. If you are interested in joining an Advisory Board, please contact the IFSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What document covers Competition Rules and Judging?
The 2015 IFSA Handbook will govern rules and practices of all events. The rules encompass event inspections and all practices related to IFSA/FWQ sanctioned events and activities. The IFSA will be responsible for identifying and training judges for all IFSA/FWQ competitions in North America.
Will prize money continue to be offered at IFSA/FWQ Region 2 events?
Yes, prize money and other event promotion activities will be determined by hosting resorts and their sponsoring partners.
What are the goals of the IFSA and FWT alliance?
IFSA and FWTM will work together to expand the number of competitive freeride events available to freeskiers and snowboarders in Region 2. They will cooperate on judging standards, sponsors, event logistics, event series rankings, general communications, and strategic planning which will guide future collaboration and related activities.
Who owns and who operates the IFSA/FWQ events?
The IFSA operates primarily as a judging, ranking and sanctioning organization and while it organizes, promotes and operates a North American Adult Series, the actual events belong to its partner resorts.
How is the IFSA/FWQ series different than in years past?
While the overall series structure will remain the same, the nature and number of events will change. The IFSA is partnering with resorts and third-party event companies interested in executing sanctioned events with the intent of rapidly increasing the number of competitive 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-star FWQ events across North America.
Is there a long term Strategic Plan for the IFSA /FWT Alliance?
Yes. The organizations are developing a strategic plan that will include a vision statement, a governance model for collaboration between IFSA and FWT, and tactical plans associated with sanctioning, athlete advocacy, and event management.
Where can I find more information about the IFSA and FWT?
At the IFSA's website, http://www.freeskiers.org
you can find information about our mission, our events and our history. To learn more about the FWT, you can check http://www.freerideworldtour.com.