Junior Olympics & Arctic Winter Games Team Selection

Jun 15, 2024

Athletes may qualify to participate in Junior Olympics in three ways:
1. Through performance in the Junior World Championships Trials held at Senior Nationals races in early Jan,
2. Through performance in regional NCAA qualification races, or
3. Through performance within a division, based on scheduled selection races. In Alaska these races are the Besh Cup Series.

Qualification for Participation in Junior Olympics Through National Competition

On a national basis, skiers may qualify in one of these ways. The rules below are quoted from the USSA Junior Olympic Rules.

  • 070.1.2 Skiers ranked in the first 20 men or the first 20 women on the final ranking list at the Junior World Championships team trials are automatically qualified to enter JOC as part of the team from their home division, but are not counted against their Division's or District's quota specified in rule 074.
  • 070.1.3 Skiers who qualify for and attend the J1 Scandinavian Cup with the US Ski Team are automatically qualified to enter JOC as a part of the team from their home division, but are not counted against there Divisions or Districts quota specified in rule 074.
  • 070.1.4 The top-5 US juniors on the final NCAA East, NCAA Central, or NCAA West ranking lists are automatically qualified to enter JOC, but are not counted against their Division's or District's quota specified in rule 074.
  • 070.1.5 Members of the World Junior Championship Team in Biathlon are automatically qualified to enter JOC as a part of the team from their home division, but are not counted against their Division's or District's quota specified in rule 074.

Qualification For Junior Olympics From Besh Cup Races


The quota for the Alaska Team to the USSA Junior Olympic National Cross Country Ski Championships is 21 males and 21 females. Within each class, a maximum of 12 skiers may be entered by a single division. The quota and the maximum number per class are established by the US National Junior Cross Country Committee.

The Alaska Team selections are made based on points scored in the Besh Cup Series of races. Skiers who qualify by either of the first two methods (US Nationals or NCAA performances) DO NOT COUNT against the quota of 21 males and 21 females, nor do they count against the limit of 12 entries of one sex in one age class. CCAK will select a full team of 21 males and 21 females based on the Besh Cup series.

Within each sex, the selection procedure followed (in the order listed below) to select 21 skiers for the Alaska Team to the Junior Olympics will be:

  1. Select the 6 highest-ranked Junior 2 skiers on the final J2 ranking list.
  2. Select the 15 highest-ranked Junior 1 or Older Junior skiers on the final J1/OJ combined ranking list.

Not more than 12 Older Juniors may be selected from the combined ranking list. Although there is no limit to the number of Junior 1 skiers selected, Junior 1's selected in excess of 12 may participate at JOs in the Older Junior class.

The selection process may continue down the selection ranking list past position 6 or 15 until the team is filled if: a) any of the top six Junior 2 skiers or the top 15 Junior 1 / Older Junior skiers are pre-qualified for the Alaska Team by their results at Junior World Championships Team Trials or from the NCAA Regional selection list, or b) an individual declines to join the Alaska Team competing at Junior Olympics.


Only J2,J1, and OJ age class skiers with a valid USSA competition license will score Junior Olympic Qualifying points in Besh Cup races. Points are scored using the World Cup Points schedule: 1st place is 100 points, 2nd 80, 3rd 60, 4th thru 30th receives 50, 45, 40, 36, 32, 29, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 15, 14, …, 1, respectively. In the case of a tie, both skiers receive the points of the higher place (i.e. if two skiers tie for 3rd place, both will receive 60 points, no skier will score 4th place points, and 5th place will receive 45 points).

Ranking lists will be calculated as soon as possible after each Besh Cup weekend. Lists will be published and posted to the Cross Country Alaska web site within 48 hours after each of race weekend. The final list will be presented at the final team selection announcement in Fairbanks following Besh Cup Race #6.


Separate ranking lists will be maintained for:

  1. Junior 3 Boys (for AWG),
  2. Junior 3 Girls (for AWG),
  3. Junior 2 Boys,
  4. Junior 2 Girls,
  5. Junior 1 / Older Junior Boys, and
  6. Junior 1 / Older Junior Girls.

Selection points awarded in Besh Cup events may not be modified after the fact except in case of error occurring in the calculation of results or when points have been incorrectly awarded due to human error.


The Junior Olympic Team Selections is based on the first 6 races of the Besh Cup series. Normally all 6 races are conducted, however, due to weather or other problems, it is possible that less than 6 races will be held. The number of a skier's performances which will be counted toward selection will follow the specifications listed here:

  • If 6 races are held, a skier's best 4 of 6 results will be counted.
  • If 5 races are held, a skier's best 3 of 5 results will be counted
  • If 4 races are held, a skiers best 3 of 4 results will be counted
  • If 3 races are held, a skier's best 2 of 3 results will be counted
  • If 2 races are held, a skier's best 2 of 2 results will be counted

It is not necessary to ski in more than one race to be considered for selection to the Alaska Team to Junior Olympics. A skier can qualify based upon results in any number less the maximum of results to be counted.


Skiers living outside the highway system in Alaska who are able to attend only one race weekend due to the difficulty and expense of travel, may double their points from those two races for purposes of ranking on the JOQ/AWG ranking list.

Skiers attending college outside of Alaska and who are able to make only 2 races in the Besh Cup Series may qualify for the Alaska Team based on their results in those 2 races. Their points will not be doubled. These skiers may also qualify for the Alaska Team by finishing among the top 20 males or top 20 females at the JWC team trials, or they may qualify based upon their ranking within their NCAA regions.


An athlete who is unable to qualify through the Besh Cup selection races due to illness, injury or other forces, may petition the Cross Country Alaska Completion Committee to be selected based upon other considerations. This petition must be submitted to the Cross Country Alaska's Competition Committee for their consideration prior to January 25 of the competition year. In the petition, the petitioner must include:

  • Reason that he/she was unable to qualify through the Besh Cup. Medical or other pertinent documentation would be helpful.
  • Summary of other competitive race results during the season or during the prior season, and
  • Any other pertinent and helpful information.

The Cross Country Alaska Competition Committee will decide on the petition at its final meeting prior to the final weekend of Besh Cup racing. The decision of the Cross Country Alaska Competition Committee is final and may not be reconsidered.


A team is picked every even-numbered year for competition at Arctic Winter Games. Cross Country Alaska aids in the selection process by using the Junior Olympic/AWG points list. All team rules, travel arrangements, and costs for Arctic Winter Games are set by Team Alaska (State of Alaska) and not CCAK. Skiers become part of the larger Team Alaska that is organized by Alaska’s AWG Committee.

The team consists of 24 skiers; 4 J1 male, 4 J1 female, 4 J2 male, 4 J2 female, 4 J3 male, and 4 J3 female. No OJ may participate in Arctic Winter Games. The Junior Olympic Team is named first. The AWG team is then named. The AWG team consists of the next highest skiers in each age class, after the JO skiers, as sequentially ranked on the JO/AWG points list. Any skier may decline the JO team and chose the AWG team.

The Arctic Winter Games is a unique and worthwhile event that every skier should experience. Two positions on the AWG team are reserved for the top male and top female skier from Western Alaska Championships held the previous March. Depending on the age class of these athletes, the next 3, instead of 4, positions will be selected from the corresponding list.

Tie-Breaking Procedures

In the case of a tie, the higher place will be awarded using these steps, in the order listed below.

  1. Best finish place in all races
  2. Better 2nd-best finish place
  3. Better 3rd-best finish place
  4. Better 4th-best finish place
  5. Better won-lost record in head-to-head competition in four best races
  6. Better 5th-best finis
  7. Better 6th-best finish
  8. Better won-lost record in head to head competition in all races

Moving Up In Age Class

The Cross Country Alaska Competition committee strongly believes that each athlete should ski in their proper age class and should not "move up" to a higher age class. Longer races and more severe competition can be detrimental to optimal performance considering longer-term athlete development and goals. Skiers who desire to move up to an older age class must petition the CCAK board for permission to move up. In principle, only J3's who are in 9th grade will be considered for moving up into the J2 class. Other petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Besh Cup Trophy

The Besh Cup trophy is the most prestigious award of the Besh Cup race series. The award is given to the male and female skiers who earn the most Junior Olympic qualifying points in the J1/OJ age group in ALL SIX races.

Note that it is calculated using JO points, not Besh Cup points. The Besh Cup trophy competition is for J1 & OJs combined, and since the Besh Cup points are awarded to J1 & OJ separately, those points don't work for determining the overall Besh Cup trophy winner. Instead, we use the Junior Olympic points, in which J1 & OJs compete head to head.