After two years of development to address rapid series growth and our community’s need for evolution, the new IFSA Junior Series Structure will debut July 1, 2023.
There are a couple of significant developments that are important for all members of our Junior community to understand. Please review the updates below. If there are questions, consult with your coach and program director to understand how the new Junior Series Structure will impact your junior athlete. Your coach may also connect with your Regional Delegate with further questions. The evolution of Freeride is serious business and we’ve worked tirelessly to carefully understand the dynamics and needs of our exceptionally diverse geographic regions. Read on below for a summary of updates to our upcoming 2023-24 Junior Series.
(1) 52-WEEK SEED LIST DICTATES EVENT REGISTRATION
Our 52-Week Seeding Lists are what the Freeride World Tour (FWT) and our IFSA Adult Qualifier communities have been using for registration for over a decade. Simply put, the 52-Week Seeding List compiles an athlete’s three best (highest point earning) results from the previous 52 weeks. Once 52 weeks have elapsed from a competition date, that result will expire and no longer be included in an athlete’s Seed List Ranking.
When registration closes for a competition, all registered athletes vying for an invitation to the competition will be ranked in descending order by their position on the 52-Week Seeding List. All categories in a competition are then filled from the highest seeded athlete to lowest seeded athlete, until all available spots are taken. THE ORDER IN WHICH A SEEDED RIDER REGISTERS DOES NOT MATTER. It is their Seed List Ranking which dictates the likelihood of earning a place on the competition roster.
(2) PRE-QUALIFIED & TEAM QUOTA REGISTRATION WILL NOT BE USED FOR 3* NATIONAL EVENTS
The 52-Week Seeding List will be implemented in event registration, as defined above. Athletes with no competition results in the previous 52-weeks are considered unseeded. Unseeded athletes will be invited to a competition after all seeded athletes have been invited. THE ORDER IN WHICH AN UNSEEDED RIDER REGISTERS WILL DETERMINE THE ORDER IN WHICH THEIR INVITATION IS ISSUED. It will benefit riders with no competition history to register sooner rather than later as registration timestamps will dictate the priority of being added to the competition roster.
(3) IFSA JUNIOR SERIES RANKING
New for 2023-24, an Athlete’s IFSA Junior Series Ranking will consist of their best three finishes (highest point earning) from their first four events, regardless of * value.
IFSA Junior Athletes are allowed to compete in up to three 3* (National) events per season. Once an athlete has competed in four ranked competitions during the competition year, any further results will not be considered for the Athlete’s IFSA Junior Series Ranking. Athletes may be able to register for additional events beyond the 4-event maximum if there are remaining spots available in 2* Regional events. These parameters may vary between regions and your Regional Series Director will establish these policies.
EXCEPTION FOR 2023 ONLY: North American athletes traveling to Freeride Sudamerica competitions in July-September 2023 will have the option to register as friendly competitors or ranked riders. If athletes do not wish to use one of their allotted starts this summer, registering as a friendly competitor in South American Series events means their finish will not count toward their ranking, seeding, or maximum allowed events for this upcoming winter.
(4) THE NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP (NORAM) IS NOW CALLED THE JUNIOR FREERIDE CHAMPIONSHIP (JFC)
This event, hosted in April of each year, is the largest gathering of competitive free riders in the world. The IFSA Junior Series includes Freeriders in Chile and Argentina, driving the need for a rebranding of our capstone championship. New for 2024, eight junior athletes from Freeride Sudamerica will be invited to The Junior Freeride Championship. These eight athletes will be the top finishers from each junior Age Category (12-14, 15-18), each gender (Boys and Girls) and each discipline (Ski and Snowboard).
(5) LIVEHEATS, THE NEW IFSA x FWT ONLINE PLATFORM DROPS IN SOON!
The IFSA, in conjunction with the Freeride World Tour, debuts a new partnership with the LiveHeats platform to globally unify our membership, event registration, and scorekeeping. For the first time ever, IFSA juniors and adults will utilize the same membership platform, joining all members of global Freeride family on LiveHeats. Previous IFSA members will receive an email from LiveHeats with login information to access your account, no need to create a new one. Get ready to purchase your memberships on July 1st!
(6) “OUT-OF-REGION” COMPETITION RESTRICTIONS REMOVED FOR 2* EVENTS
Moving forward, there will no longer be a restriction on athletes participating in only one “out-of-region” 2* Regional competition. An athlete may participate in 2* Regional events in any geographic region.
Several geographic regions will opt to set a priority registration window for in-region athletes only, followed by registration to the remainder to the community for their 2* events.