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Northern Michigan Ski Academy

Northern Michigan Ski Academy

Through Northern Michigan Ski Academy (NMSA), young skiers (ages 5 and up) will be introduced to the fundamentals of ski racing and gate training. This program focuses on developing racing skills, technical skills and improving overall ski techniques. Wednesday night training sessions occur at The Highlands. On Sundays during the season slalom and/or giant slalom races are held, with medals awarded in each age group, and racers earn points to qualify for the Welborn Cup, Northern Michigan's Junior Ski Club Championship, held on March 5. Participants must be at ease skiing most of our trails and be able to load, ride, and unload the chairlift independently. Skiers are grouped by age and are led by qualified trained coaches.

What's new for the 2022/23 season?

  • Northern Michigan Ski Academy is home to all race training at The Highlands.
  • To Join Northern Michigan Ski Academy, the membership fee will be $199, with additional opportunities as add-ons to your membership.
  • NMSA and the Highlands Alpine Team have merged, to create a ONE team concept, promoting friendship, fun, and development across all race programs.  
  • Friday night training sessions will not be offered in the upcoming season.

Pricing & Details

Start your experience of race training at The Highlands by joining Northern Michigan Ski Academy. This will include the Wednesday night session and the Sunday Club Racing. Add to your racer's participation by looking at our other offerings; starting with the December Mini and Holiday Camps, then moving into the seasonal Saturday training sessions. These selections can be mixed and matched in several different combinations for your racer's needs. 

  • The NMSA seasonal membership price is $199 and includes program membership, Wednesday night training sessions (8 weeks in duration), and Sunday morning races. Open to ages 5 and older, all ability levels. Lift tickets/season passes are not included in the registration price.

  • This additional training block will be held Saturday mornings from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and includes coaching on fundamentals and gate training. This session is geared toward athletes with more experience. This is a 9 week on-snow program. Open to ages 5 and older.

  • This additional training block will be held Saturday afternoon from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM and includes coaching on fundamentals, race tactics, gate training, and movement analysis. This session is focused on athletes who wish to compete at higher USSS levels of competition. This is a 9-week on-snow program. Open to ages 9 and older. 

  • The December Mini Camp is a four-day, 18-hour training component to kick start the race season. These focused training sessions offer additional on-snow time for athletes with long-term goals for competition. Each training session will mix fundamentals, race tactics, health/nutrition, and gate training, and movement analysis.  Mini Camp is offered December 10/11 and 17/18, 2022. For athletes ages 9 and over

  • The December Holiday Camp is a three-day, 18-hour training component. The dates are December 27 - 29, 2022. Training sessions are 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 4:00 PM each day. Holiday Camp includes coaching on fundamentals, race tactics, gate training, and movement analysis. Open to ages 5 and older.


What will remain the same for the 2022/23 season?

  • Sunday racing on North Tournament for all members of the Northern Michigan Ski Academy.
  • Wednesday training sessions will begin and end outdoors.
  • Northern Michigan Ski Academy will be following the US Ski & Snowboard, Alpine Training System, for age-specific training.
  • All Sunday races will start at 10:00 AM.

Training Information

  • Wednesday night training 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
  • All racers wear helmets
  • All racers to have their own skis, boots and poles
  • Racers will be split into ability groups for training

Racer Information

  • Age groups 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13 & over.
  • American Training System Phases 2,3 & 4- this is age-specific guidelines for skier training and development.
  • The ATS also provides direction to parents for time spent away from NMSA, Equipment needs, Off hill learning, and training.

Racer Attendance

  • It is important that your racer attend both the Wednesday night training and the Sunday race days.
  • Participation in the Sunday race day earns points toward the Club Championship.

Welborn Cup – March 5th, 2023

  • An all day race event with teams from around northern Michigan – 50 of the top racers from each club. Racing takes place on North & South Challenger ski runs.
  • Qualify for the team by attending and scoring well at the Sunday races.

NMSA Points System & Ski Club Championship Team Selection

For each of the eight medal races in the season:

  • Combined times of two runs will be used to determine the order of finish and points earned.
  • Points are awarded based on the published table next page

NMSA Race Points 

For each of the eight medal races in the season:

  • Combined times of two runs will be used to determine the order of finish and points earned.

Points are awarded based on the following: 

  • First Place = 1 Point
  • Second Place = 2 Points
  • Third Place = 3 Points
  • Fourth Place = 4 Points
  • Fifth Place = 5 Points
  • Sixth Place & Up = 6 Points
  • DNF, DQ = 7 Points
  • DNS (Did not start) = 10 Points

Club Championship Team Scoring

For the Club Championship Team Selection:

  • Of the eight medal races ( 4 slalom and 4 GS), the racer's best results in 2 slalom and 3 giant slalom races will be used to accumulate points for qualifying for the Club Championship Team.
  • Team selection is based on the lowest point accumulation in each class.
  • Five racers and an alternate are named for each division.
  • Race attendance records will be used as the first tie-breaker for qualifying.
  • The fastest combined times of all four runs at the “ All Day Race” will be used as the second tie-breaker.
  • The fastest time in the last run of the day at the “All Day Race” will be used as the third tie-breaker.
  • Open spots in an age group will be filled from the pool of racers in the next youngest age group first taken in the order of season finish. 

NMSA Concussion Policy

  • If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, they will be removed from the event/training session and NMSA recommends that the athlete see a licensed physician prior to participating in future events.
  • Current Concussion Reference Information
Questions? Contact the SnowSports Academy