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Michigan Cup Committee set rules for 2016-2017 season

Tue, Oct  11, 2016 - By Mike Muha

The Michigan Cup Committee made a number of decisions at it's annual meeting this past Sunday for the upcoming 2016-2017 ski season. The Committee is composed of the representatives from each of the Michigan Cup ski teams. Each team gets a single vote on Michigan Cup issues. Attending were:

TeamName (Michigan Cup officer position)
Cross Country Ski Headquarters Bob Frye, Lynn Frye, Mariah Frye-Colie, Frank Rynalski
Grand Rapids Nordics Ski Team Ernie Brumbaugh (chair), Carol Mueller-Brumbaugh (treasurer)
Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop Justin Andrea, Ann Wagar
Team NordicSkiRacer Mike Muha (web master), Ken Dawson (points keeper)
Straits Striders Not represented
Vasa Ski Club Glenn Goodman

A wide range of topics were discussed and voted on!


The Michigan Cup is on fine financial standing, with inflows roughly approximating outflows. Some money is saved for a warm winter day, and any additional money is used to promote skiing, such as subsidizing junior ski programs. Your team captain can provide details about the budget if you are interested.

The 2016 clinic had a slight increase in the number of skier, from 525 skiers in 2015 to 532 skiers in 2016. Overall, the current decade has seen some of the biggest participation numbers:

Michigan Cup skiers by year, from 1998 through 2016

Number of registered Michigan Cup racers since 1998.

The Michigan Cup fee for skiers remain the same at $6 per skier.

Subsidize PSIA Ski Clinic

The Committee discussed a proposal by Amy Powell to subsidize a two day and one evening PSIA Ski Clinic this winter. The plan is to fly in a high-powered PSIA Nordic Specialist instructor (Greg Rose) for separate Junior and Masters ski clinics, plus a presentation one or two evenings. Powell wanted to offset the cost for junior skiers. The Committee voted to donate $10 per registered Michigan Cup skier (junior or master) who attends, up to $500, but provide a minimum of $200 regardless of the number of skiers who register.

Junior Funding

The Michigan Cup Committee voted to continue providing monetary support toward junior skiing, specifically providing supplemental funding for the Christmas Junior Ski Camp and Junior National travel expenses.

University Team Funding

Last year the Committee provided partial funding to the University of Michigan Ski Club to attend United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA) Nationals and we waived the $6 Michigan Cup fee for each skier. The Committee decided it would waive the Michigan Cup fee for any university skier belonging to a registered college team. (A registered college team is any college that that submits it's roster to the Michigan Cup Committee at the time all other teams submit their rosters).

Digitizing Michigan Cup Scoring

Glenn Goodman proposed contracting with someone to develop an online system to track Michigan Cup race standings. The thought was this might make it easier and faster to get individual team results posted. The discussion brought up a number of issues:

  • A tracking system would best work with each racer being assigned an ID number so we could link skiers more easily and not depend on matching names. But would race directors add a spot for racer ID on their entry forms?
  • Because each race has their own way of presenting results, we would still have to manually scrub the results into a format that could be imported into the system. Alternatively, we could ask race directors for a standard format for us, independent of how they normal present results.
  • The cost of building the system using contractors is probably cost prohibitive.

In the end, Mike Muha was tasked to to see if there were intern or class projects at the University of Michigan that could be leveraged to build such a system.

FIS 83% and Double Pole Rules

The Committee discussed the two new FIS rules:

  1. Classic ski poles can only be a maximum of 83% of the racer's height (while wearing ski boots), where the pole is measured from the tip to where the strap enters the ski pole.
  2. Race directors are allowed to mark areas of the course a "No Double Pole Zones" to force skiers to use kick wax.

Since the Michigan Cup Committee does not put on races, it would have no way to enforce these rules. The Committee recommends racers check with the individual race rules to see if there are any restrictions on pole length or if there are "no double pole zones". If such rules are in force and a racer is disqualified from the race for breaking the rules, the Michigan Cup Committee has decided to enforce the historical rule: "If you're disqualified by the race director, you are disqualified from getting Michigan Cup points for that race, regardless of reason".

Recommend age classes for races?

Another proposal was to ask race directors to standardize age classes so racers could more easily compare their results across races. Members of the committee who direct races spoke our strongly against the proposal:

  • It may be practical to have narrow age classes in a race with a thousand skiers (like every 5 years), but in small races, many of the categories would have no skiers or a single skier.
  • It would be price-prohibitive for small races because the race would have to spend more money on awards but not have enough income to cover the cost.
  • Large races want more people to have awards, and can afford to pay from awards for narrow age classes. They would not want to be forced to change age classes to the 10-year groupings used by the Michigan Cup.

The proposal was withdrawn.

Tentative Michigan Cup Schedule

A tentative schedule is below, as well as discussions around particular races or race weekends.

Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic weekend

Before the meeting, Mike Muha proposed swapping the Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic weekend in January with the Boyne Grinder weekend in February. One of the goals of the Frosty/Krazy weekend is to provide classes for new skiers and new ski racers. The organizers have struggled with getting classes organized around the holidays since instructors and students are busy with holiday preparations or travel. Moving the race later would allow classes to be held after the holiday season.

Just prior to the meeting, the race organizers determined that 30% of the Frosty Freestyle participants raced the Birkie, and having the race on Grinder weekend - which is also the Birkie weekend - would substantially decrease race participation. Separating the races between two weekends was deemed no viable because we wanted to minimize the travel for up-north skiers and the timing and race preparations work better on a single weekend.

The proposal to swap dates was withdrawn, even though the Boyne Grinder organizers were willing to swap.

Vasa and Gran Travers (now Vasa Classic) changes

The Vasa decided to run 27K and 48K Freestyle-only races on Saturday and 16K and 34K Classic-only races on Sunday. Any classic skiers racing on Saturday will be scored as Freestyle (Vasa has said there will be a classic track). The Michigan Cup question needed to decide if the 34 or the 16K count as the preferred classic race on Sunday, given that the 48K Freestyle is the preferred Michigan Cup race on Saturday. The Committee made the following decisions:

  • Saturday's Vasa 48K Freestyle and Sunday's 16K Classic races will count for full Michigan Cup points.
  • Saturday's 27K Freestyle and Sunday's 34K Classic races will count for partial Michigan Cup points.

The Gran Travers has also been renamed to the "Vasa Classic".

Note that the Vasa Race is also trying to bring the first Big Ten Championships into Vasa weekend.


Points Keeper Ken Dawson proposed that all Noque racers be scored for the Michigan Cup rather than just registered Michigan Cup racers. This would make it easier to score the race (he wouldn't have to figure out who was Michigan Cup vs. non-Michigan Cup, like the Vasa is scored). Unfortunately, it actually increases the number of skiers to track overall, and Committee members preferred keeping the points more Lower Peninsula focused. The Committee voted to continue scoring the Noque as we have in previous years - only scoring registered Michigan Cup racers.

Muffin Race

The Muffin race will be the week after the Relays this year and will only count for individual Junior points - not Team points. (Digression: Did you all notice that Joe Frye placed 16th at the Olympic trials for the Hammer throw this year?).

Tentative 2016-2017 Michigan Cup Race Schedule


Sat Dec 3 Straits Strider Club Season Opener & Cross Country Ski Clinic Petoskey TBD TBD All, No Points
Sun Dec 4 OPEN            
Sat Dec 10 Forbush Time Trial Forbush Corner, Frederic FS or CL All, No Points
Sun Dec 11 OPEN        
Sat Dec 17 Lakes of the North Mancelona FS 8-10K All
Sun Dec 18 Wintersonnewende Michawye, Gaylord FS / CL 17K FS / 7.5K CL Seniors / Juniors


Fri Jan 6 PSIA Clinic and/or Presentation            
Sat Jan 7 6-Hour Michigan Cup Relays Hanson Hills, Grayling CL or FS 3 Person Teams Seniors & Juniors  (Participation Points)
  PSIA Junior Clinic        
Sun Jan 8 OPEN            
   PSIA Master Clinic        
Sat Jan 14 Frosty Freestyle Huron Meadows, Brighton FS 10-15K All
Sun Jan 15 Krazy Klassic Huron Meadows, Brighton CL 12K All
Sat Jan 21 Northbound Outfitters - Cote Dame Marie Juniors Northbound Outfitters, Grayling FS 1-2K Juniors (Partial Points)
  Cote Dame Marie Hanson Hills, Grayling FS 6-13-26K All
Sun Jan 22 OPEN        
Sat Jan 28 Noquemanon Marquette CL or FS 25 & 50K Seniors
Sun Jan 29 OPEN        
Sat Feb 4 White Pine Stampede Mancelona FS or CL 20, 50K All
Sun Feb 5 OPEN        
Sat Feb 11 North American Vasa Traverse City FS 27/48K Seniors
Sun Feb 12 Vasa Classic Traverse City CL 16/34K Seniors
Fri Feb 17 Michigan High School Championships Vasa Pathway, Bunker Hill Trailhead, Traverse City TBD TBD Juniors
Sat Feb 18 Michigan High School Championships Vasa Pathway, Bunker Hill Trailhead, Traverse City TBD TBD Juniors
Sat Feb 18 Forbush Freestyle - Meijer Winter Games Forbush Corner, Frederic FS 18K Seniors
Sat Feb 18 Junior Nationals Selection Race - Black Mountain Cheboygan TBD TBD Juniors
Sun Feb 19 Hanson Hills Classic - Meijer Winter Games Hanson Hills, Grayling CL 12K Seniors
Sun Feb 19 Junior National Selection Race - Black Mountain Cheboygan TBD TBD Juniors
Sat Feb 25 Boyne Grinder Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls FS 10K All
  American Birkebeiner (Not Michigan Cup)          
Sun Feb 26 OPEN          
Sat Mar 4 Black Mountain Classic Cheboygan CL 34K Seniors
  World Masters (Not Michigan Cup)          
Sun Mar 5 Black Mountain Freestyle Cheboygan FS 10K Seniors
Sat Mar 11 Great Bear Chase (Not Michigan Cup)        
Sun Mar 12 Michigan Cup Relays Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon CL+2FS 3x8K  
Sat Mar 18 Muffin Race Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon Pursuit 8K Juniors

[Article updated 10/30/2016 at 2:00 PM ET: Gran Travers race has been renamed the Vasa Classic, and the High School Championships dates and location were updated.

Article updated 10/11/2016 at 3:15 PM ET: Ann Wagar was accidently mentioned as a representative from Straits Striders when she's actually been a loyal Hanson Hills / Cross Country Ski Shop racer for years. Sorry Ann...]