Helmet Rule for the ’16 – ’17 Season

November 8, 2016

We want everyone to be aware of the helmet rule for the upcoming season, which is copied below. What this means for you is that any U14 athlete (a child born in 2003 or 2004) or older must wear a helmet that conforms to the new FIS standards for GS, SG and DH. fis-helmet-sticker A helmet that meets the standard will have the sticker to the right on it. If the helmet does not have the sticker, then the athlete will not be able to race.  This rule will be particularly pertinent to those athletes that are new U14 racers as this rule was in place last year. This rule applies to both Tri-State and Interclub racers. 

For U12 athletes and younger (any child born in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, etc), while they don’t have to have a FIS legal helmet, the helmets have to conform to all the other components of the rule. This means that the helmet must cover head and ears. No soft ear protection allowed for GS, SG and DH. This is applicable to Interclub and Tri-State racers. For instance, the popular POC POCito is able to be used by U12 athletes and younger but may not be used by U14 athletes. If a child needs a new helmet, USSA recommends getting a helmet that meets the new FIS standards if it fits the athlete properly.

Slalom is the only event where soft ear covers are permitted. Given the requirement for a FIS helmet for GS, only older racers who may want a second helmet specifically for SL should concern themselves with this option. 

The Full Helmet Rule

  • Equipment is the responsibility of the athlete and in the case of a minor, their parents or guardians. Equipment must be maintained and utilized in accordance with manufacturer’s instruction. In FIS competitions, international competition rules will apply. Helmets designed and manufactured for the particular event of ski racing being contested are required for all competitors and forerunners in all USSA events and official training. Helmets must bear a CE mark and conform to recognized and appropriate standards such as CEH.Din 1077, ASTM F2040, SNELL S98 or RS 98. Athletes U14 and older must use helmets that meet the new FIS standards for all USSA GS, SG and DH competitions.

    In Kombi competitions, athletes must use the helmet that meets the standards for the faster discipline being contested.

    Helmets must cover the head and ears. Helmets with spoilers or edges that stick out are not permitted. Protective features integral to the event being contested, such as chin guards on SL helmets are permitted. Soft ear protection is only permitted for helmets used in SL.

    Helmet mounted cameras are not allowed on helmets in official training or competition.

    USSA does not wish for officials to disqualify, or deny entry or starts to an athlete because the athlete has personalized his/her helmet with stickers, glitter, helmet cam mounts or other applications.

    USSA does not specify nor recommend nor make any warranties as to the fitness for use of any particular ski helmet design or brand name. USSA undertakes no responsibility, liability or duties to any competitor in connection with the requirement that helmets be utilized. It is the sole responsibility of the competitor to select an appropriate helmet for accident protection in ski racing.

    Caution: Age and use affect the protective qualities of all safety helmets. Some older helmets and any helmets that have been damaged either in a racing fall or from other impact may no longer provide sufficient protection – even if there are no visible indications of damage.

    Anyone with questions regarding their helmet should contact the manufacturer for any specific guidelines regarding its safety or use.

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