TTR: World Snowboarding Championships Update

The TTR World Tour have announced qualification criteria for their latest venture The World Snowboarding Championships. The official line seems to be keeping it loose to attract as many of the world’s best as possible.

TTR Pro Snowboarding and the World Snowboard Federation together announce the official qualification criteria for the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships set to take place February 11-19, 2012 in Oslo, Norway at the Tryvann Vinterpark resort arena. The World Snowboarding Championships will be held every four years and will host halfpipe and slopestyle competitions that will crown world champions for men and women in each discipline. Athletes will qualify for the World Snowboarding Championships through the Swatch TTR World Rankings and WSF National Quota.

The whole thing sounds rad, but there are still a couple of questions that niggle a bit. No matter how loose they keep their qualification requirements, you can’t help wondering if some pros are always going seek the wider recognition that competing in the Olympics will bring – where even their nans will we watching. Not to mention that for many athletes there are few honours greater than representing one’s country.

The World Snowboarding Championships in theory are a great idea and have the potential to be the best event on the snowboarding calendar but it will be an uphill struggle to match the size and influence of the Olympic Games. Also with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) now looking at including Slopestyle into the next games it’s possible that even more riders will be lured away from the TTR every four years.

It might be obvious to snowboarders that the best option would be for the IOC to team up with the TTR and allow them to control Olympic Snowboarding – but old friendships die hard so we may see the FIS in control for a few years yet.

Below is a complete breakdown of how riders will be able to qualify for the inaugural 2012 World Snowboarding Championships beginning with competitor field size, moving on to minimum requirements for all riders and specific criteria, which will guarantee riders a spot to compete.

Rider Field Sizes at the World Snowboarding Championships
The World Snowboarding Championships will have a maximum of 240 spots available for male and female athletes to compete across both slopestyle and halfpipe disciplines. The estimated field sizes will be 90 riders for men in each discipline and 70 riders for women in each discipline.

Minimum Requirements to Qualify
The TTR and WSF have developed a per discipline world ranking where riders are ranked in a Halfpipe World Ranking and in a Slopestyle World Ranking. In order to participate in the World Snowboarding Championships, riders will need to fulfill the minimum requirement of being ranked in the TTR Top 500 for men and in the TTR Top 250 for women in each respective discipline ranking. The Halfpipe World Ranking will include all halfpipe and quarterpipe competitions and will rank riders who have competed at least once in one of the formats. The Slopestyle World Ranking will include all slopestyle and big air competitions and, as above, will rank riders who have competed at least once in the formats. A rider’s position on each world ranking list will be determined by the average of his/her best three results for the Halfpipe Ranking and best four results for the Slopestyle Ranking over a rolling 52 week period.

Below are the four different ways in which riders can guarantee a spot to compete in the World Snowboarding Championships after meeting the minimum requirements outlined above.

* TTR World Ranking Quota

Male riders ranked 50 or higher, and female riders ranked 30 or higher, on the TTR Halfpipe World Ranking or Slopestyle World Ranking will be automatically eligible to compete in the respective discipline they qualify for. The cut-off date for qualification into the 2012 event will be Monday, January 16th, 2012.

* WSF Nations Quota

Each WSF member Nation is entitled to qualify one rider for both men and women in each discipline. Therefore, each nation is entitled to a maximum of 4 spots and will need to use a national event, such as a national championships event, or a national criteria approved by the WSF Event Committee, to qualify riders. All national quota spots for the 2012 event need to be announced by the National Snowboard Associations no later than Monday, January 16th, 2012. If one or several riders are already eligible to compete through one of the other qualification criteria, the open spot falls to the best national rider not yet qualified based on the defined national qualification criteria.

* TTR World Champions and 6Star Title Winners

All TTR World Tour Champions from the last three years (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11) are eligible to compete in all disciplines at the World Snowboarding Championships. And, all TTR 6Star title winners from the last 53 weeks prior to Monday, January 16th, 2012, are eligible to compete in the discipline in which they won the title for.

* Wild Cards

The organizing committee of the World Snowboarding Championships is entitled to qualify two additional competitors in each discipline for men and women (eight total wild cards) which all need to be approved by TTR/WSF.

Registration Process
Registration for and entry into the World Snowboarding Championships is free to all riders who qualify. All qualified riders are required to confirm their attendance no more than seven days after the qualified riders have been announced. The exact date of this deadline will be communicated at least four weeks before the cut-off date for qualification, which is Monday, January 16th, 2012. If a rider fails to confirm his/her attendance by the deadline, the rider will lose the right to compete at the event and the open spot will fall back to the organizing committee of the event, who have the right to re-assign the spot as a wild card or define additional qualification criteria.

Titles, Awards and Prize Money at the World Snowboarding Championships
Riders will be competing for male and female Halfpipe World Champion and Slopestyle World Champion titles at the World Snowboarding Championships. These World Champion titles will be awarded to the winning male and female rider in each discipline. In addition, all top three finishers in each discipline (first, second and third place finishers) will receive recognition in the form of a medal/trophy along with prize money.

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