2023 Ski-O Nationals – Empire State Games
Competitor Conduct & Safety
While many competitors at this year’s Nationals come from an orienteering background they may not have much cross country skiing experience … and vice versa. To minimize misunderstandings and rule violations a few important Ski-O policies and procedures are listed below.
- the OUSA Rules for Ski Orienteering, as well as IOF Anti-Doping rules, will be in effect for this event;
- the use of fluoro waxes by all participants is prohibited. This applies to kick and glide wax as well as top coats. Be sure to check your wax before applying as many retailers are still selling fluoro waxes!
- the Start procedure is different from foot-o meets so be sure to familiarize yourself with it before the event;
- the maps will not be in plastic sleeves. Many ski-o racers use specialized map holders, which are available from most orienteering equipment retailers. There will be a few spare map holders available to rent for $5 per event. These must be reserved before the event – email the Meet Director if interested. There will be plastic sleeves available at the start line but racers – not officials – are responsible for inserting their maps into them;
- competitors may take off their skis and travel on foot during the race but must carry all their equipment with them at all times. This means that if you think negotiating a steep or narrow snowshoe trail on foot would be quicker than skiing around on the trails to reach the control, you’re welcome to use it but you must carry your skis and poles with you at all times;
- participants can apply wax to their skis and/or repair equipment while on course, but may not accept help in doing so;
- participants can leave broken equipment beside the trail and do not need to carry it to the finish;
- participants may change undamaged equipment during their race, but only at predesignated locations where their alternate equipment will be stored. They may not received assistance during the equipment change;
- complaints must be made in writing to the Meet Director within an hour of the course closure; there is no fee to lodge a complaint.
We are expecting close to 90 racers for this event, and as there will be other recreational skiers out as well, the trails will be very crowded at times. Please observe the following guidelines in order to minimize accidents and hard feelings:
- if you need to stop to read your map, don’t stop in the middle of the trail, at the bottom of a hill or at an intersection – pull over to the side and stay out of the way of other skiers;
- if being overtaken by another skier you must yield to them if requested;
- always stay right for oncoming traffic even if that means double poling in the classic track;
- don’t yell at oncoming skiers to get out of the way;
- it is normal practice when overtaking other skiers going in the same direction to call out “track” so they know to step aside. When overtaking slower skiers it is often better to not track them but to simply say “passing on your right” (or left) as asking them to move or break their rhythm could cause them to fall and really get in your way;
- when skating on narrower trails with classic tracks, please take every effort not to skate over the tracks – this will keep the classic skiers as well as the groomers happy!
In other words, be patient, use common sense and smile as often as you can!
Covid and the flu are still with us, and while many participants are prepared to accept the risks of infection, others are still exercising great caution, especially when indoors and when close to other people. No matter what degree of individual risk you are willing to accept, we ask that you respect your fellow competitors and officials, especially those who are working indoors and are seeking to limit their exposure.
If you are experiencing covid or flu symptoms, or have recently been exposed to somebody who is suffering from covid or flu, please do not attend the competition! We will work out some sort of fee refund for you.
Very cold temperatures are forecast for the event, especially on Friday and Saturday. Please read tips for cold weather racing here. Race officials will be monitoring all participants for frostbite; if they notice any symptoms you will be asked to stop racing immediately and go inside to warm up. Please abide by their decision – they have your well being in mind!
Please observe the course time limit – it’s there for your safety! And remember to check in at the finish whether you cross the finish line or not so you can be accounted for.
If you suffer an injury while on course try to inform another competitor. If you can’t make it back to the finish, each venue has a rescue sled that will be sent to pick you up.
The closest health facility is the Adirondack Medical Center, 2233 State Route 86, Saranac Lake. The Emergency Department is open 24 hours and the phone no. is 518-891-4141.
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