Wouldn’t it be rad if all of the Whitelines Rail Jams, FBBB events, Go Big or Go Homes, Westbeach comps and all the other grassroots UK freestyle events were able to offer ranking points that would culminate in the crowning of an overall British champion at the end of the season? Well by the looks of things, that could very well be about to happen…
Over the past few years, a national rankings system has been in place for freestyle snowboard events in the UK which has combined the results from the National Championships (British Slopestyle Champs, British Big Air Champions), Scottish Series and Southern Series, into an overall British Snow Tour (BST) rider ranking. The BST has always looked to incorporate other key UK events into the tour but hasn’t really been able to do so in a structured way as of yet.
However, Snowsport Scotland, the National governing body responsible for skiing and snowboarding in Scotland, has just put in place a new system, with the backing of British Ski & Snowboard and Snowsport England. The updated British Snow Tour will be opened up to other UK competitions and combine all of their results into one simple ranking with the overall aim of increasing the number and quality of British snowsports events. Essentially, rather than having a series of events organised by one party, the new British Snow Tour ranking system will include other UK events – including smaller grassroots and local events such as our Whitelines Rail Jams for example, provided of course that they apply to be included and meet the relevant criteria. Pretty neat huh?
The updated tour is to be closely based around the ‘World Snowboard Tour’ format, with each event being given a star rating based on a variety of criteria, such as total prize money, number of judges, number of competitors etc. (see below). High profile BST events will also carry some weight in the World Snowboard Tour and will reward riders with WST points. The formats that will be included are slopestyle, big air, rail jam and halfpipe and the top 100 riders (per sport and sex) from each event will be given a score based on their position and the star rating attached to the event, with the best four results from the year being averaged to give a ranking. There are no age categories as all the events use their own systems, but it will be possible to work out the results for younger athletes should the need arise.
Riders competing in BST affiliated events will be awarded the following points based on their placing and the star rating of the event:
The organisers are encouraging local entry level competitions to get involved with the tour as well by allowing them to submit up to two sets of results for 1 Star events at no cost, with further results only costing £10 per event. On top of that, to help get things going for the 2012/13 season (which runs from 1st May to the 3oth April each year), any events which have already taken place (until the 31st Dec) can be included on the rankings for a nominal fee of £10; and events until the end of the season for half price.
All in all this definitely sounds like a step in the right direction for the British Snow Tour. As the system in place for the TTR/World Snowboard Tour has proved over the years, such ranking systems work very well to increase the number of events on a national level and give riders unified and consistent rewards in the form of ranking points.
For more information on the new tour and for further information on how to register an event onto the tour, contact [email protected]