2002 Cross Country Olympic Team Selection Criteria
United States Ski & Snowboard Association
2002 Olympic Games Menās and Womenās Cross Country Team Selection Criteria

USSA policy mandates that World Championship and Olympic team selection criteria shall be principally objective (or performance-based), that coachesā discretion must be limited to no more than twenty- five percent (25%) of total team selected, and that available start rights and team spots will not necessarily be filled.

A maximum of sixteen (16) athletes (8 per gender) may represent the United States in the 2002 Olympic Games Cross Country Skiing. In order to ensure that the United States fields a representative team, minimum team size shall consist of five (5) athletes per gender.

Up to four (4) athletes may start for the United States in each event. Athletes who qualify for the team via criteria 5.A.2 will be guaranteed at least one start, the event to be determined at the discretion of the Head Coach. All other start rights will be determined by the discretion of the Head Coach. Coachesā Discretion in determining start positions shall include the following considerations:
A. Previous performances during the 2002 Olympic Games.
B. Previous performances in similar competitions during the selection period.
C. Physical fitness level and level of preparation to compete as determined by training, prior competitions, time trials and intervals, and laboratory testing.

USSA will consider for selection only those USSA members in good standing with valid U.S. passports and a valid FIS license who have met FIS minimum eligibility standards. An athlete shall be ineligible for consideration for team selection or start rights if he/she is not fit to compete at the time selections are made due to any injury or illness from which he/she is not expected to recover adequately by the time of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games as verified by USSA or USOC Medical Staff. Such determination shall be at the discretion of the USSA Vice-President of Athletics, in consultation with the USSA Sports Science and Coaching staffs, the Head Cross Country Physician, and the athleteās designated physician.

The Head Coach is responsible for applying the selection criteria set forth herein, subject to the approval of the Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Athletics of USSA. Objective selections shall be based on the results achieved by athletes in World Cup Overall, Sprint World Cup and U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup competitions held between November 15, 2001 and January 12 (tentative), 2002 (the "objective selection period"). Discretionary selections, if any, may be based on a variety of factors. Representative team selections, if any, shall be based on the USSA National Ranking List, developed from a competitorās best 4 USSA scored competitions (in which he/she competed as a USSA member) within the twelve months preceding the date of closing of the selection list on January 19, 2002 (the "representative selection period").
A. Objective Criteria.
1) One (1) athlete per gender shall be selected to the team based solely upon their competition result at the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup. The winner of the 2002 U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup (One-day Pursuit event) shall be selected to the team.
2) Additionally, up to five (5) athletes per gender shall be selected to the team based solely upon their World Cup competition results during the objective selection period. Athletes ranking in the top 30 in the World Cup Overall, or Sprint World Cup standings, at the time the team is named shall be selected to the team, unless application of this criterion would result in a total of more than six (6) objective selections per gender, in which case USSA shall use the following tie-breaking mechanisms in order:
- Most World Cup points.
- Lowest current FIS points.
B. Coachesā Discretion.
If after application of the objective criteria described in section 5 A. team positions remain open, these positions may be filled at the discretion of the coaching staff. The number of individuals selected through coachesā discretion cannot exceed 25% of the total named team. If the coaching staff fills any available spots on the team using discretion, then the staff may consider any factors including, but not limited to, the following:
1) Outstanding competition results (including any results from the 2000/01 and 2001/02 seasons).
2) Recent direction or trend in competition results (i.e., improving, flat, or declining).
3) Attitude and commitment of athletes.
4) Physical fitness level.
5) Illness or injury during the selection period.
6) Indicia of medal potential in future Olympic or World Championship competition, which would be materially enhanced by selection to team.
7) Other unanticipated failure of objective criteria to select an athlete likely to achieve competition results consistent with USSA program goals for Olympics.
All discretionary selections will be documented and appropriate forms will be available for record keeping purposes. All discretionary selections will be reviewed by a discretionary selection review group comprised of the President and CEO, the Athletic Director, and the athlete representative from that sport who is a member of the USSA Board. If USSA Board Athlete Representative is also a currently competing athlete then another athlete, who is not actively competing, will be selected by the Athletesā Council at the Fall USSA Board Meeting to be the representative in this group.
C. Representative Team Selections.
If fewer than five (5) athletes per ge nder are selected to the team based upon both the objective criteria listed above and coachesā discretion, then USSA shall ensure that it fields a representative team by selecting as many additional athletes as may be necessary to bring the total team size up to, but not limited to, five (5) athletes per gender using the USSA National Ranking List (based on results during the representative selection period). Representative team selections shall be granted to those athletes with the best ranking on the Jan. 19, 2002 updated USSA points list, in order, until a representative team is filled.

Selections to the 2002 Olympic team shall be announced on January 21, 2002 at the offices of USSA in Park City, Utah and shall be published immediately upon announcement.

In the case that an athlete that has been selected to the team becomes injured or ill prior the Olympic Winter Games and is unable to compete, no replacement athlete will be named unless it is deemed that there is sufficient time to make a replacement without disrupting the competition or preparation of other athletes and that the additional athlete would have sufficient time to properly prepare for the competition. This decision will be made by the Vice President of Athletics for USSA after consulting with the President and CEO of USSA, Head Olympic Coach, USSA Sport Science Department and USOC Staff. Should an additional athlete be considered, the procedures as outlined in Section 5.B. above will be followed to select that athlete. No athletes will be named to the team following the conclusion of mandatory training or within five days of the start of the Olympic Winter Games.

Following the selection of the 2002 OWG Team mandatory training camps may be organized in preparation for the Olympic Games. Dates, locations and organization of these training camps will be announced prior to final selection of the team.

If you have questions regarding your opportunity to compete that are not answered by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, you may contact the USOC Athlete Ombudsman, Mr. John Ruger, by telephone at (888)-Athlete (284-5383) or by e-mail at john.ruger@usoc.org.