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2018_2019 Service High Ski Team with Gus
Team Handbook
Welcome. Sit down with a cup of joe and read are soon to be an expert about the ski team!

The Service High Cross Country Ski team has become a highly successful and well respected organization. Every team member is important and each will gain a great deal from this experience both mentally and physically. Skiers will become fit and skilled in an individual sport with team spirit. Due to limited resources and concerns for safety, we need to provide a program that allows all students to enjoy the sport of skiing at their appropriate level in a safe environment. You can expect to see around 100 skiers on the team.

The coaches encourage parent participation and the communication between the parent, skier, and coach is very important. Please feel free to call or email any of the coaches with any questions or concerns you may have!

We have an incredible Booster Club with parents volunteering for various things throughout the year. Please join them in making this team an even greater experience (plus the parents are a real fun group and welcome ALL new families).

During the Parent Information Night, there was the opportunity to talk to the coaches, meet other team members, purchase team orders, sign up to volunteer. If you missed the meeting, don't worry. Please read all about it.

How the team works in a nutshell (but please fully read this handbook for more details):

  • There will be one ski team divided into squads based on the number of participants. Skiers of all skill levels are welcome will be given the opportunity to participate. However, all team members will be expected to attend practices and races.

  • All skiers race

  • Initially all skiers will be placed on a squad based on previous year's results. If you are new to skiing, you may be placed in a lower squad until the coaches can assess what your abilities are. After the first week's workouts and then on a regular basis throughout the season, members from each squad will be evaluated and may be reassigned to the most beneficial skiing squad.

  • Skiers are expected to have equipment and proper clothing on the first day of practice. 

  • If we don't have snow on the first day, we will be running with poles often, so bring your classic ski poles and running shoes. We do indoor workouts too so bring indoor workout clothes.

Skiers and parents are responsible for:

  • Reading this handbook

  • Reading about the Booster Club

  • Paying any optional Booster Club and merchandise fees

  • Checking the Cougar XC website at 9 PM nightly - essential for staying on top of the latest news.

  • Respecting coaches and teammates and working together as a team.

  • Emailing coaches for ALL excused absences.

Requirements for Being on the Ski Team

The following must be completed on or before the 1st day of practice.

  • Athletic/Activity Participation Form completed and returned to Activities Office

  • Physical exam on file, valid through the season and returned to Activities Office

  • ASD Activity fee to Activities Office

  • Signed Skier/Parents/Coaches Contract returned to coaches on the 1st day of practice.

    • email address (personal and parents) - please print clearly

    • Identified ski goal by filling out the skiers contract

    • fully read this handbook

    • Signature of skier and parent

  • All equipment must be purchased and at practice from day one. 

  • Read the ASD sport participation policy

The following are also required throughout the season:

  • Regular attendance at practice - a minimum of 75% participation - Service H.S trails Monday-Friday 2:30-4:30 pm (all skiers) - be fully waxed and dressed for skiing promptly at 2:30, late comers may be considered absent. Meet in the north loft of the gym. You must be at a minimum of 4 practices a week. If you miss a practice because of a weekly music lesson or other activity, please let your coach know ahead of time. Each coach will take daily attendance.

  • Participation at High School ski races.

  • Strong desire to ski, work hard in practice, compete in races, and have fun. Positive attitude a must.

  • If racing uniforms are not returned at the end of the season, your name is submitted to the office and a fee will be charged to you by the school.

  • Email from parents for every excused absent. 

Team Organization - Squads

The team breakdown will consist of A, B, C, D, E squads and so in depending on number of skiers and coaches. Groups are based on approximately 20 skiers to one coach. Overall ability, results of time trials, races, and the skier's attitude & participation will determine placement into groups. After placement in a squad, it is imperative that the skier practice with his/her squad because the coach of that squad will take attendance and make decisions on movement between squads.

The Service Ski Team website is essential for latest ski team news. Check it nightly (it will be updated by 9 PM) for:

  • race start times

  • results

  • email contact addresses of coaches

  • daily schedule

  • news bulletins & upcoming events

  • ski and waxing tips

  • race information including results

  • post items to sell or needing to buy

  • team handbook

  • weather

Participation Awards / Varsity Letter / State Team Selection 


Varsity Letter:

  • Finish five times in the top 30 of Region IV races or

  • Make the SHS State Team or

  • Received a Participation Award for 4 years


Discretionary Varsity Letters

These may be awarded by the coaches to skiers who have been injured or for some reason are unable to earn a letter, but are outstanding team members.


Participation Awards

These awards are given to all skiers who attend 75% of all scheduled practices and 50% of all races (excused and unexcused practices combined).


PE Waivers

Athletes may receive 1/4 PE credit through participation on the ski team.
Coaches assess eligibility for PE waivers based on attendance at practices and participation at races. The coaches will only give out waivers when the student returns their uniforms at the end of the season.


State Team Selection

The criteria for placement on the state team will include the results of the races below and national and international race participation.

  • Chugiak Classic 

  • Skiathlon 

  • RegionIV-Classic 

  • RegionIV-Skate 

The skiers ranking in the above races will be summed and divided by 4. In a case where a skier is sick or does not race due to the coaches discretion (or at a national or international race), the denominator will be decreased by the number of races excused.

Placement on the team is up to the coaches discretion and skiers attitude.

Points are scored using the World Cup points: 1-100 pts. 2-80, 3-60, 4-50, 5-45, 40, 36, 32, 29, 26, 24, 22, 20, etc. The sixth team member will be chosen at the coach's discretion.

Equipment and Clothing


Mandatory Gear:

  • One pair each Classic skis, boots & poles - 
    Check out the equipment page for more information.

  • One pair each Skate skis, boots & poles
    Check out the equipment page for more information.

    Boot Note: You can get away with purchasing "Combi Boots" instead of buying both classic and skate boots but we recommend both types of boots for a better skiing experience.

  • Ski Bag (to put skis and poles in & can be purchased at most Sports shops)

  • No Combi or Waxless skis

  • Ask the experts: AMH and Trax have experts to help you buy the best fitting skis for you. Some local stores and possibly others offer team discounts if you tell them you're on a high school team. You can also ask for last year's models. Play It Again Sports is a good resource for new and used skis. However, make sure they fit your weight and height properly. Check the ski swaps but be careful to fit your skis and poles properly.

  • Classic Wax Kit (skier is responsible for bringing their own daily): plastic scraper, synthetic cork, kick waxes for practice--for temps ranging from -10 F to 35+ F. Race waxes are provided by the school. Practice wax is your deal.

  • Hat*

  • Gloves/mittens

  • Ear Muffs (light-weight Swix is a good choice) for colder races and practices

  • Jacket or Team Jacket (Team Jacket is HIGHLY recommend since this is your team uniform)*

  • Vest

  • Warm-up pants

  • Wool or synthetic socks

  • Long underwear - polyester (Coolmax) or polypropylene top & bottom. On a typical day, a skier may have on a thin top and bottom underlayer of Coolmax (or similar), then another layer of a heavier polyester on the top half and warm up pants for the bottom half, then a thin jacket. Depending on the weather, they may ski without the underlayer.

  • Circuit clothes - shorts, running shoes, t-shirt for inside workouts, also warmer workout clothes for running outside - bring these DAILY.

  • Water bottle and holster/carrier - keeping hydrated is a must!

  • Just say no to cotton - no skiing with team sweatshirts.



  • Team Jacket *

  • Neck Gaiter or Buff: crucial on cold days to cover neck

  • Windproof briefs (boys) - an essential item for practice and races to block the cold air...need we say more?

  • Eye wear - sport glasses with dark or yellow lenses to protect eyes in cold and heavy snowfall.

No Hat, No Gloves, No Practice and absolutely no cotton pants, shirts, socks, and/or jackets

Team Fee and Orders - Jackets, Hats, etc.

* Team Orders (can be purchased at the Parents/Skier Night or throughout the season)

Race Uniforms - Everyone is issued one before our first practice

  • They are provided by the school and will be distributed prior to the first race.

  • Uniforms are for races only not for practices.

  • Return washed uniforms after the Regions meet.

  • If they are not turned in, your name is submitted to the Activities Office and a fee will be charged to you by the school.



Practices / Attendance


Practice will be at Service H.S. Monday-Friday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. On waxing days, practice may go to 5:00 p.m. There is a team meeting every Monday at 2:20 in upper gym foyer and skiers must be dressed out before the meeting. It is mandatory that all skiers attend. The coaches will start their practice promptly at 2:30 PM. That means be dressed (dry-land/or skiing), and ready to go. If you are not ready when the coach goes outside, you may be marked absent for that day.

Attendance is taken daily by each coach and their team. You will need to notify your own coach as to the reason for your absence via email, note or verbal from the parent/guarding. Individual coaches have their email link on the first page of the web site. Each skier/parent should send any correspondence to their individual coach. After five (5) unexcused absences from practice (no note - written or verbal - from parents), you may be dropped from the team. Parents/guardians will be notified if there are several skipped practices.

Practices are scheduled to alternate classic and skate skiing weekly. The schedule may vary due to temperature and snow conditions. Both classic and skate equipment must be available each day.

Do not ski alone.  Grab a partner!  There are critters out there and when it is cold, it is essential that you do not ski alone for safety reasons.

Where to meet each day?

Once you are assigned a squad and coach, it is up to the coach as to where you will meet before practice daily (near the ski rooms). There is a white notice board posted outside the ski rooms that each skier is responsible for checking daily. This will describe where to meet the coaches and the schedule for the day.


Some dry land training or circuit training is done throughout the season. You'll need to keep a pair of shorts and gym shoes in your locker at all times. We will all do circuits/indoor workouts twice a week.

Waxing Required Gear (bring daily):

Wax kit: plastic scraper, synthetic cork, kick waxes for practice--for temps ranging from -10 F to 35 F. Race waxes are provided by the school.

Skiers are taught waxing techniques by coaches and more experienced team mates. The coaches will help wax before races. Skiers are responsible for kick waxing their own skis at practice. (For more detailed information on waxing tips check the web site). Learn more from the Wax Clinic.

Waxing at Home: We strongly recommend setting up a waxing iron and bench at home, and have parents learn to wax also. Waxing days at school are long and hectic but fun. If you do wax at school, bring your skis scraped and clean. Don't expect a ski buddy or coach to scrape your skis. All skiers should learn to wax! It really is fun. More about waxing.

Ski storage and Lockers

Where to put your skis during the week? We have one locked ski room, which is located in the upper northwest corner of the gym. Space is limited and ski bags are mandatory to keep gear together. Skiers can put their equipment in those rooms during the week. The rooms are unlocked only during weekday practice times (2:00-4:30PM).

If you would like a personal locker for your clothing, in the boys or girls locker rooms, talk with the PE teachers to acquire one.

Team Captains

Captains play a vital role in making a high quality experience for all. Team captains will be selected by a vote of the ski team. Candidates must be willing to the additional responsibilities of the position. Some of the captain responsibilities include: equipment and waxing set up leadership, team spirit building, communication, tee shirt orders, delegating clean-up crews and banquet help. Find out more details of the captain's duties.

Health and Nutrition



The Coaches will talk about nutritional guidelines. Junk food, empty calories, and carbonated drinks will slow down your performance. You'll be working hard, so eat quality foods to fuel your motor. Sport drinks like Ultra Fuel and sport bars help after races or hard practices. Carbos like pasta and bread are great. Are you taking your vitamins? Many skiers get flu shots too.



You have to get your rest! If you burn the candle at both ends, your performance will show it, and you'll be vulnerable to illness. The two nights before a race are vital. This means 8 hours + per night!


Year-round fitness: 

To be a successful Nordic skier you must train year round. There is a Norwegian expression that "great skiers are made in the summer". A variety of aerobic sports is recommended in the younger high school years, with more ski specific training as you get older. Training with friends is a fun, safe way to stay in shape over the summer. There are also a variety of good Christmas and summer programs in Anchorage. Ask your coaches, parents, and teammates about these.

We want you to have fun and enjoy this wonderful team. Work hard at practice, race to the best of your ability, and you'll have an awesome winter!


Everyone will race. Race Schedule

Start Times & Race Results

Start times and race results will be posted on the NSAA web site

Everyone should cheer on all team members as well as other teams. All skiers are required to stay for the awards ceremony after every race!


Skiers are required to take the bus to races. Skiers may go home with parents, however, they MUST stay for all award ceremonies after each race. Parents must notify or give coaches a note BEFORE A RACE if you will be picked up after a race. Skiers may NOT ride with another skier's parents, or with another skier. (ASD Rule) Bus departure times will be on the Team Bulletin Board and the web site.

Squad Placement

Placement is determined by time trials, ongoing race results and attitude. The coaches will post squad placement, and notify individuals as changes are made during the season. If a skier wants to be placed on a different squad, he/she should discuss it with their assigned coach first.

Race Uniforms - everyone is issued one

  • They are provided by the school and will be distributed prior to the first race.

  • Uniforms are for races only not for practices.

  • Return washed uniforms after the Region meet.

  • If they are not returned at the end of the season, your name will be submitted to the office and a fee will be charged to you by the school.


Required Gear (bring daily): Wax kit: plastic scraper, synthetic cork, kick waxes for practice--for temps ranging from -10 F to 35 F. When using higher end glide wax, a respirator and/or particle mask--get them at hardware or ski stores (race waxes are provided by the school and the team will only provide waxing the the day before each race).

Waxing Technique

Skiers are taught waxing techniques by coaches and more experienced team mates. The coaches will help wax before races, but you should learn all you can because it's hectic at school and you are responsible for waxing your own skis. The students are responsible for kick waxing their own skis at practice. 

Waxing Clinic Each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the team holds our main fundraiser. There will be a demonstration on how to properly wax skis and if you are new to waxing it is a great opportunity to learn from the experts and practice your wax technique. All team members are required to attend this event. Learn more about waxing.

Waxing Dangers: Fluorocarbons waxes are banned. 

Waxing at Home: We strongly recommend setting up a waxing iron and bench at home, and have parents learn to wax also. Waxing days at school are long and hectic. If you do wax at school, bring your skis scraped and clean. Don't expect a ski buddy or coach to scrape your skis. All skiers should learn to wax! 

Coaches Wax Recommendations

Listen to the coaches' recommended waxes. Glide wax selection for a race is determined the day before by results of glide tests and weather forecasts. Kick wax selection for a race is made by going out early on race day and testing several waxes for the conditions, on several sets of skis. Through an organized process, the coaches determine the best wax and wax progression for the day. When they give you a recommendation, they are taking into account the conditions as well as your ability, weight, and skis. They know what they're doing! A calm, confident approach to waxing can save your energy for racing.


Parent Participation

Booster Club Information

The objective of the Service High Nordic Ski Booster Club is to enhance and promote the Ski Team through efforts such as fund-raising, team activities and organizations that may include pre-race meals, team program banners and advertising, communication, clinics, filming, travel planning, awards banquet, and race support. We encourage all parents to join us with their enthusiasm and support. Everyone is welcome. 

Parent Coordinator

With such a large team, we need a parent that can send out emails or make phone calls to other parents when needed. This would be helpful in also finding volunteers that can help at an event. They would be provided the team roster with phone numbers too and could set up a phone tree to get the word out.

Waxing Clinic Fund-raiser

Attend our Waxing Clinic (usually the end of November in the Service upper gym balcony). The coaches and your ski buddy will help you, but learn to be self-sufficient. Ski Team members will wax skis for the public. Donations are encouraged (even from ski members) since this is a fund-raiser for the team. We will have a speaker come and discuss how to properly wax all skis. All team members are required to come.


Parent help is vital to the success of the team! We will host the first race the year. Service High hosts the first race of the season. We will need a volunteer coordinator as well as about 8-10 parents to help. They would organize the awards ceremony, food, getting a coffee wagon to come up, work with the Nordic Ski Club out on the course and in the start/finish areas. Parents are encouraged to cheer all skiers at races and attend the race award ceremonies.


Also, consider volunteering for any race - These volunteers would need to arrive at the race venue before the team arrives to make sure the tent, heat, drinks, and snacks are ready for the team, especially on cold days.  At some of the locations the tent is the only place the team has to get out of the cold.

Snacks at Races

This always receives a warm welcome from skiers after a day of racing. 4 parents are needed for each race. Bring enough healthy snacks for 100 skiers. Some ideas are juices, bagels, fruit, snack bars, dried fruit, crackers.

Photos and videos for the website and banquet are appreciated.


Kids love to watch videos of the races, see their pictures on the web site, and exchange photos. Parents are needed to take photos or videos of racers so we can put together a photo show or video presentation for the banquet. The coaches could also use parents to video tape skiers at races for video analysis by the coaches. The quickest way to get the photos up on the site is for you to upload photos to an online service such as Google Photos. You can upload all your photos and then send us the link and we will post the album on the site.

Post-Race Spaghetti Dinners

Spaghetti dinners are held the night after the races. Parents are encouraged to sign up for these fun evenings. The dinner should end by 10-11 PM. You can expect up to 50 skiers but don't be scared away. It works really smoothly. The Ski Team will provide much of the ingredients. When the spaghetti feed is on a school night we have changed it to the night following the race instead so that there is not a homework/sleep issue for the skiers.

To make it easy for you, we have the menu, quantities and the "How To" -- Interested?

Regions BBQ

This has become a really fun end to the season. It takes place at the Regions race at Kincaid on the Regions Saturday race. We set up a Service tent, bring out 2 BBQs, purchase burgers, munchies and coolers full of drink, and cheer on all teams that run by. We start to set up before the race begins and the food is ready when the skiers finish their race. We clean up before the Awards Ceremony in the chalet that afternoon. This is for the Service High team only (but we do share). There is a good "buy" list already established from years past so no one needs to reinvent the wheel.

Awards Banquet

At the end of the season, there will be a themed awards banquet. The team captains and parents organize committees to decorate, set up, organize photo shows, gifts, and clean up. This is the time when we all get together to congratulate our skiers, issue letters and awards and celebrate a great season. There usually is a video/photo showing as well. All families are encouraged to attend this fun evening.

Special Events

  • Wax Clinic - Team Fund raiser - Usually Saturday before Thanksgiving

  • Service Hosted Ski Race - First race of season at Service

  • Regions Ski Race, Day 2 of Regions skiing

  • Costume Relay Race & Poetry Slam

  • State Meet - Weekend after Relays

  • Awards Banquet - Typically Tuesday after State Championships


Team Spirit

The skiing team is a family.  Everyone is encouraged to cheer on all skiers.  Just think of how you feel when someone cheers you on.  Let’s work together, make noise at races, and support each other to make this the most positive team. 

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