2008-09 USBSF Men’s & Women’s Bobsled Criteria
The desire to field the most competitive teams for international competition are the guiding principles and will determine the administration of these selection criteria.
1. EFFECTIVE DATES
1.1. These selection criteria first take effect for the fall 2008 U.S. National Team Trials, and extend through the 2008/2009 season with tentative information on the fall 2009 U.S. National Team Trials.
2. USBSF ATHLETE PARTICIPANT ELIGIBILITY
In order to participate on the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation ("USBSF") National Team, an athlete:
2.1. Must be a member in good standing with the USBSF
2.2. Must abide by the USADA, FIBT, and WADA Anti-doping requirements;
2.3. Must meet all USOC, FIBT and USBSF eligibility requirements for representing the USA in international competition; and,
2.4. Must sign and return the USBSF Code of Conduct, which is subject to USOC approval, to the national office of the USBSF.
2.5. Must have current official USBSF Combine test results, held at various locations (announcements regarding test events and dates will be made via email). The only exceptions to testing include verified illness, injury (verified by the USBSF approved physician), or emergency (approved by the head coach and/or the CEO). All athletes who have qualified for the US National Team Trials must pass the USBSF combine test prior to the first team trials race in order to be eligible to receive USOC funding for the 2008-2009 season (unless a waiver is granted due to extreme extenuating circumstances). Funding may include OTC housing, USBSF/ORDA/UOP track fees, and any available USBSF funding for international races.
3. USBSF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE
3.1. There will be a Judicial Committee to oversee any grievances of these criteria. The USBSF Board of Directors will appoint members of the committee. Grievances must be sent via email to; the Judicial Committee chairperson ( ) [Committee is to be determined].
4. USBSF BOBSLED QUALIFICATION AND COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS
4.1. Drivers -
4.1.1. National Team (World Cup Team) Driver Selection -
188.8.131.52. One male and one female driver can receive a "bye" onto the 2008-2009 National Team, regardless of overall finish at National Team Trials, provided they maintain their preparation and training commitment as required by the head coaches (to be evaluated by the head coach) and meet one of the following criteria: Place third or better in overall rank for the 2007-2008 on the FIBT World Ranking List or, Place in the top three at 2008 World Championships If more than one driver meets this criteria, then priority will be given to the driver with the highest finish at World Championships. If a bye is earned for the 2008-2009 season, no waivers (section 184.108.40.206) onto the National Team will be considered.
220.127.116.11. The top ranked driver from US National Team Trials, combined 2-man and 4-man (Men) and 2-man (Women), (by the Swiss point scoring system) will be named to the National (World Cup) Team at the completion of the National Team Trials
18.104.22.168. If a bye is not earned, the second ranked driver from US National Team Trials, combined 2-man and 4-man (Men) and 2-man (Women), (by the Swiss point scoring system) will be named to the National (World Cup) Team at the completion of the National Team Trials
22.214.171.124. If another team is to be nominated to the National Team (World Cup Team), the next driver(s) will be a discretionary decision by the Head Coaches, verified by the CEO and in consultation with an athlete representative not in contention for the National Team, based on section 4.3.
126.96.36.199. Waivers: If no driver has earned a bye (section 188.8.131.52) and if there is a driver who has medalled in the current quadrennial (2006-2010) or has achieved one of the following; from the previous season, top (3) World Cup result, top (6) World Cup ranking or top (6) Olympic Games/World Championship (whichever is most recent) result in a discipline, for whom unusual circumstances such as injury, illness, or equipment problems occurred that affected start times, driving ability or equipment performance at trials, he/she will be considered for discretionary placement on the National Team (World Cup Team) provided he/she is the top ranked US driver from the previous season and has demonstrated readiness to compete in top form. In that case, the Head Coach, along with the CEO and one athlete representative may choose this other driver regardless of National Team Trials ranking. This discretionary placement may only happen for, at most, one driver per gender.
184.108.40.206. "Emerging Elite Driver" eligible athletes will be selected for international racing opportunities by the Head Coaches, along with the CEO and one athlete representative in conjunction with section 4.3 using the following:
An athlete must have: The ability to compete and develop over a span of several upcoming Olympic Games
Athletic ability- this standard will be evaluated based on the USBSF Combine that will match those of Olympic team caliber push athletes. Commitment to driving and pushing, Leadership skills considerable driving aptitude.
An athlete is only eligible to be an "Emerging Elite Driver" for up to three years following being a junior age national team push athlete.
4.1.2. World Championships Driver Selection-
Per FIBT rules, World Championships Drivers qualify quota spots at the World Championships by nation, based on the FIBT Discipline Ranking List prior to the World Championships. The method of qualification can be found at www.bobsleigh.com (FIBT Rules 4.2). Push athletes will be selected to the World Championships Team based on the criteria in Section 4.3 of this document.
Race Entry 1: The top-ranked combined 2-man and 4-man (Men) and 2-man (Women) US driver on the FIBT World Ranking list by the World Championship entry deadline will attend World Championships,
Race Entry 2: The second-ranked combined 2-man and 4-man (Men) and 2-man (Women) US driver on the FIBT World Ranking list by the World Championship entry deadline will attend World Championships. In extreme circumstances, a waiver into the second spot on the World Championship Team could be granted. Waivers could only be considered for athletes who: Have medalled in World Championships or in at least one World Cup during the current quadrennial (2006-2010), and Whose performance is negatively affected due to extreme extenuating circumstances
Race Entry 3: Providing the US has earned a third starting position, the third spot at World Championships will be awarded to the highest-ranking eligible 2-man US driver (men and women) and 4-man US driver (men) at National Championships/World Team Trials who had not yet received a nomination.
4.1.3. Europa Cup and America's Cup Driver Selection-
Opportunities to compete in Europa Cup events and America's Cup events will be based on coaches discretion with verification from the CEO, and in consultation with an athlete representative not in contention for the team, using criteria as outlined in Section 4.3. The coaching staff may alternate opportunities between the Europa and America's Cup events based on continuing performances over the season. If a team declines a spot in an event that spot will be offered to the next available team based on the criteria listed in this section.
4.1.4. Junior World Championships--
Teams (driver push combinations) will be selected by being the highest ranked U.S. Junior Teams on the FIBT World Ranking List prior to the Junior World Championships. Quotas and eligibility rules for the Junior World Championships are allotted based on FIBT rules (www.bobsleigh.com).
4.2. Push Athletes -
4.2.1. Before National Team Trials: The drivers will select their push athletes prior to the National Team Trials races, using the push athlete criteria listed in section 4.3. Drivers may use input from the Coaching Staff as needed. Drivers must have the possibility to compete with the same team in all FIBT Events.
4.2.2. After National Team Trials/During the Season - The Head Coaches will make all decisions regarding driver / push athlete combinations in international competition using the criteria listed in section 4.3. The United States Bobsled & Skeleton Federation's goal is to produce the best performing teams in World Cup, Olympic and World Championship competitions. Therefore, the Head Coaches may modify driver and push athlete combinations at any time during the international season.
4.2.3. Additionally, the Head Coaches will also reserve the right to pair drivers with push athletes from another team in efforts to produce the best performing teams in international competition.
4.2.4. National Team Push Athlete Selection
220.127.116.11. The Head Coaches, with verification from the CEO and in consultation with an athlete representative, will nominate driver and push athlete combinations to the National Team for the fall World Cup Tour.
18.104.22.168. The push athletes will be selected to the National Team (World Cup Team) by the push athlete criteria listed in section 4.3 and by the National Team Trials results of the driver that they push (section 4.3).
22.214.171.124. A group of National Team alternates will be identified by the Head Coaches after US National Team Trials. If necessary, only these athletes will be selected to participate in World Cup competition during the season in conjunction with section 4.3.
4.2.5. National Championship/World Team Trials
126.96.36.199. Push athletes for USA I and II will be selected by the head coaches. All other drivers will select their push athletes prior to the races, using the push athlete criteria listed in section 4.3.
4.3. Discretion -
4.3.1. Drivers: The following criteria, not listed in any priority order, will be applied to determine how any discretionary decisions will be made for team and race allocations, unless otherwise noted: current National Team Trials results international results over the previous season by competing drivers testing results future potential of "Elite Driver" eligible athletes (see below) for the 2010-2014 Olympic Games.
4.3.2. Push Athletes: The following criteria, not listed in any priority order, will be applied to determine how decisions will be made for team selections: Driver input, Test results (i.e. push championship results, physical testing, and push camp participation), Driver results at US National Team trials, size and weight, proven international experience (i.e. the athlete's ability to push and ride on specific track grades, push/load from different positions and ride well in sled), International push times, push athlete's ability to compete under the pressure of competition, team cohesion (Team works well together.), attitude and work ethic. history/results of teams pushing well together.4.3.3. All discretionary decisions will be made by the bobsled coaching staff, the CEO, and one athlete representative. For the 2008-2009 season, The coaching staff will consist of Brian Shimer, Sepp Plozza, and Bill Tavares. The athlete representative is Kevin Ellis.
5. USBSF SLED/RUNNER ALLOCATIONS
5.1. The Bo-Dyn equipment will be allocated based on Head Coaches discretion (who will use information from current international ranking, past season's results, current physical testing results, experience and the ability to care for equipment in making his decision). Bo-Dyn equipment will not be allocated to drivers who fail to possess the requisite skills to use the equipment, which will be evaluated by the Head Coaches. Prior to each year's National Team Trials races the Head Coaches will allocate sleds and runners based upon the following objective criteria/conditions:
5.1.1. All Bo-Dyn equipment must be accompanied by an official U.S.B.S.F. or Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project sled technician or coach.
5.1.2. At any given time, other allocations may occur if the Head Coaches decide it will improve one or all of the following: international results, sled testing, runner testing. If a sled is irreparably damaged, the Head Coaches will reallocate sleds guided by the system above unless it determines a better solution that will avoid or cause the least disruption to the teams and also provide the best opportunity for international success.
5.1.3. After the trials, the Head Coaches will reallocate equipment, depending on ranking.
5.1.4. The Head Coaches may withhold equipment from a driver if, in their judgment, that driver has a history of poorly maintaining equipment or does not yet have the requisite driving skills to preserve the equipment in a reasonable manner.
5.1.5. Runners which are property of the USBSF will be allocated by the Head Coaches; however the Head Coach may re-allocate runners if international results differ among the team. The goal is to give the best runners to the driver best able to produce top results with those runners at a given competition.
5.1.6. Equipment will only be provided to athletes that support USBSF sponsors with sponsor marks on the sleds and equipment / apparel used at the competition venue, and/or as directed by the USBSF. In addition:
5.1.7. Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project /USBSF sleds and runners may not be altered by an athlete without written permission from authorized USBSF personnel (USBSF CEO or their assigned proxy)
5.1.8. Only the USBSF authorized staff may authorize inspections of the equipment by others.
5.1.9. Athletes sharing Bo-Dyn/USBSF technology, directly or indirectly, with anyone will lose privileges to use Bo-Dyn and/or USBSF equipment.
5.1.10. Allocated equipment can only be re-allocated by the head coaches.
5.1.11. Athletes wishing to use Bo-Dyn equipment must sign the USBSF/Bo-Dyn Non-disclosure Agreement.6. NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS RACES
6.1 2008 U.S. NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS (October/November 2008, Lake Placid/Park City)
6.1.1 Purpose - The 2008 U.S. National Team Trials will provide results for the driver ranking for theNational Team (World Cup Team), America's Cup Teams and Emerging Elite Teams.
6.1.2 Drivers - The following athletes will be selected to participate in the 2008 U.S. National Team Trials based on the 2007-2008 selection criteria, provided they meet all requirements in section 2:
188.8.131.52 All drivers listed on the 2007 -2008 FIBT Combined World Ranking List,
184.108.40.206 Additional athletes that may be added through the waiver process (section 9.3)
6.1.3 Race Protocol - There will be one US National Team Trials race series:
220.127.116.11 National Team Trials - Semi-Finals: Prior to the finals in Lake Placid, a semi-final race will be held. At minimum, the top two (2) drivers who will also compete in 4-man (men only) will qualify to compete in the National Team Trials Finals in Lake Placid. Semi-Finals are required for athletes who are the 6th ranked US driver or below on the FIBT World Ranking List and those drivers who have not passed the USBSF Combine. Drivers must complete at least two successful training runs prior to the race in order to participate. Male athletes only competing in 2-man may race in the semi-finals race for a national ranking.
18.104.22.168 National Team Trials - Finals: Two races for the women and one 2-man race and one 4-man race for the men will be held in Lake Placid (Dates TBD). Two races for the women and two 2-man races and two 4-man races will be held in Park City in conjunction with the Park City America's Cup (dates TBD). The Lake Placid races will be open to athletes who are ranked in the top five (5) in the US on the FIBT World Ranking List who have passed the USBSF Combine and at least the top two (2) sleds from the Semi-Finals, to a maximum of seven (7) sleds. The top four (4) combined pilots from the Lake Placid Races will qualify to earn international points in the Park City America's Cup. Additional drivers may be added to the Park City field if permitted by the FIBT, but may not receive FIBT points. Athletes will be ranked by a total of the combined points from the US point scoring system (see Appendix A). Men will be ranked based off of the combined point totals of both two-man and four-man competition.
22.214.171.124 If unforeseen circumstances occur (i.e. crash, runner damage, sled damage, brakeman falls) an extra run may be given by the Head Coaches with Jury's (acting FIBT approved officials, Track Officials) input to substitute for a previous run. Ties will be broken with the single fastest heat. If there is still a tie, the fastest push time will break the tie. Drivers will be ranked in each discipline by combining points from both races in that discipline using the US points system (appendix A). Men's team drivers will be ranked overall by combining the points earned from each discipline.
126.96.36.199 FIBT steel (runners) must be used in all National Team Selection races and National Championships. Any FIBT steel runners that are used in National Team selection races must be available to that driver for all the World Cup and World Championship races. Teams choosing not to use FIBT steel (runners) will be entered into a guest class for the race and will not be considered for the National Team. National Titles and National Ranking can only be achieved by using FIBT steel (runners).
7. 2009 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP/WORLD TEAM TRIALS (JANUARY 2009, LAKE PLACID)
7.1. Purpose - The 2008-2009 Bobsled National Championship/World Team Trials will be used to determine:
7.1.1. The US National Champion;
7.1.2. An athlete's National Championship rank;
7.1.3. The third driver at the 2009 World Championships
7.2. Participants - Invitation to the National Championship will be determined by:
7.2.1. Athletes who have finished in the top ten (10) at US National Team Trials,
7.2.2. Additional athletes that may be added through the waiver process (section 9.3).
7.3. Race Protocol - The 2008-2009 National Championship will consist of one 2-man race and one 4-man (men only) race to be held in Lake Placid. Results will be based on the total time of four heats for each race. Ties will be broken with the single fastest heat. If there is still a tie, the fastest push time will break the tie. Men's team drivers will be ranked overall by combining the points earned from each discipline. FIBT steel (runners) must be used.
7.4. Ranking/Results - All athletes who participate at the National Championship shall receive a "National Championship Rank". In addition, providing the US has earned a third starting position, the third spot on the second half of World Cup and World Championships in each discipline will be awarded to the highest ranking US driver in each discipline at National Championships/World Team Trials who had not yet received a nomination.
8. REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
8.1. Purpose - There shall be separate Regional Championships in Park City and Lake Placid as late in the season as practical. These races provide an opportunity for qualified athletes to earn an opportunity to qualify for the 2009 US National Team Trials.
8.2. Participants -
8.2.1. Drivers who have taken the USBSF Combine
8.2.2. Drivers who have finished below the top five (5) US sleds on FIBT World Points List.
8.2.3. USBSF Domestic Program and Coaching Staff and or their designees, may, at their discretion, add additional racers to the field of the Regional Championships. They will consider new athletes who exhibit superior athleticism, but who, in the judgment of staff, need more sliding time to be competitive. The number of sliders added will be limited by the available track time at both Park City and Lake Placid for both training and competition.
8.3. Race Protocol - Athletes may only enter Regional Championships at one track. There shall be two or three regional championship races at each track, depending on scheduling. Athletes will be ranked by a total of the combined points using the USBSF point scoring system (see Appendix A).
8.4. Ranking/Results - All athletes competing at the Regional Championships shall receive a "Regional Ranking". In order to create national rankings, ties in regional rankings between athletes in eastern regional championships and western regional championships will be broken by athlete rankings from the 2008-2009 FIBT World Ranking List and 2008 National Championships, in that order.
9. 2009-2010 NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS -
9.1. Purpose - The 2009-2010 U.S. National Team Trials will provide results for the driver ranking for the National Team (World Cup Team), America's Cup Teams and Emerging Elite Teams.
9.2. Drivers - The following athletes will be selected to participate in the 2009-2010 U.S. National Team Trials based on the 2008-2009 selection criteria, provided they meet all requirements in section 2.
9.2.1. Prior to the 2009 World Championships, the top five (5) ranked US 2-man (men/women) /4-man drivers on the FIBT World Ranking List will advance into the 2009-2010 National Team Trials.
9.2.2. In addition, any US driver can qualify for the 2009-2010 National Team Trials, provided those athletes have completed at least two successful training runs at each track, are competing in both 2- man and 4-man (men only), have competed at a Regional Championship, and have taken the USBSF Combine (see below). All athletes who are not ranked in the top five (5) on the FIBT Combined World Ranking List from the 2008-2009 season or have not passed the USBSF Combine must compete in a Semi-Finals race. The top two (2) sleds from this race will advance into the 2009-2010 National Team Trials Finals. Male athletes only competing in 2-man may race in the Semi-Finals race for a national ranking.
10. MANDATORY PARTICIPATION/SUBJECTIVENESS/ WAIVERS
10.1. Athletes are required to participate in events for which they are qualified, are named to, and to which they commit. When an athlete does not attend a race and/or leaves a position vacant, they can negatively affect the chances for the US to qualify the maximum number of spots in an FIBT competition. Thus, any athlete who does not attend a race that they have selected will be assessed a $1000 fine which must be paid before attending the next competition. The CEO, along with the coaching staff will determine, on a caseby-case basis, if that athlete's circumstances merit re-instatement to their race opportunities or if some or all of their races are to be re-allocated to other athletes.
10.2. Failure to participate in a mandatory event and/or to follow the waiver procedures may result in a hearing regarding the athlete's participation in further events during the calendar year or to the benefits the athlete receives from the USBSF and/or the USOC, but in no way excludes rights guaranteed by the USBSF and the USOC.
10.3.1. A Waiver Committee, consisting of the CEO, Head Coach, the High Performance Director, and one athlete representative will consider all waivers as outlined in these criteria. In the event that one or more of the listed Waiver Committee members are not able to serve on the Committee, the CEO may assign appropriate substitutes.
10.3.2. Performance-based waivers may be granted to athletes by the waiver committee in cases of extreme extenuating circumstances. Extreme extenuating circumstances may include (but are not limited to), emergency, illness, or injury. All requests for waivers to participate in USBSF events must be presented to the waiver committee in writing as soon as practical. All waivers granted by the waiver committee must be in writing to be valid. Waiver requests must be submitted to the High Performance Director via hard copy or email. This position is currently occupied by (?) Following receipt, the waiver committee will review such request for approval or denial.
10.3.3. All waivers granted into the National Championship and U.S. National Team Trials will be based solely on results attained within the past 24 months. The waiver committee will make a decision and provide a written copy of the waiver or denial to the athlete as soon as possible.
10.3.4. The Bobsled Chief Medical Officer (CMO), or his designee must examine Injured/ill athletes wishing to receive a medical waiver for a USBSF sanctioned event. Dr. Eugene Byrne currently occupies this position.
10.3.5. Athletes are expected to compete in any part of the U.S. National Team Trials they are able to compete in,
10.3.6. The waiver committee will make a decision and provide a written copy of the waiver granted onto the National Team as soon after the U.S. National Team Trials as possible (this will allow all portions of the U.S. National Team Trials to be factored into consideration of the waiver),
10.4. Removal of Athletes - An athlete may be removed from any team for any of the following reasons:
10.4.1. Voluntary withdrawal. Athlete must submit a written letter to the coach or CEO (email@example.com).
10.4.2. In the event of a disabling illness or injury to an athlete, the athlete must be examined by a
USBSF-approved physician or a USOC/USBSF care-giver. Should an athlete refuse injury/illness verification by a physician or a USOC/USBSF approved care-giver, then their injury or illness will be assumed to be disabling and they will be replaced. While on the World Cup Tour if an athlete misses two World Cup events in succession that athlete must be seen by a medical doctor designated by Dr. Byrne, which could be facilitated by the USOC/USBSF athletic trainers (ATCs)
10.4.3. Medical staff at any track at which an athlete is competing can, in the interest of safety, prevent an injured athlete from competing at that event, should they deem that athlete unsafe.
10.4.4. In the event of an excessive or serious violation of the athlete Code of Conduct, an athlete could be removed from a race series or otherwise sanctioned by the Judicial Committee.
10.4.5. An athlete who may be removed from the Team pursuant to this provision has the right to a hearing per USBSF Bylaws, or USOC Bylaws, Article 9.
10.4.6. An athlete may be removed from any team at any time for violation of IOC, WADA, FIBT, USADA and/or USOC anti-doping protocol, policies and procedures. In such instances, the adjudication process will be managed through the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
10.5. Replacement of Athletes
10.5.1. The Head Coach and the CEO will select replacement athletes from the National Team.
10.5.2. An athlete who replaces another athlete does not automatically assume the rank of the replaced athlete.
11. SAVING CLAUSE
11.1. The procedures above are based on IOC, FIBT and USOC rules and regulations as presently published.
Any change in the selection procedures caused by a change in IOC, FIBT or USOC rules and regulations will be distributed to all athletes as soon as possible. The desire to field the most competitive teams for international competition are the guiding principles and will determine the administration of the selection criteria. The National Team Selection Criteria are based on the latest information available to the USBSF. However, these criteria are always subject to unforeseen, intervening circumstances (weather, budget, war, etc.) and no doubt have not accounted for every possible contingency. In which case, the USBSF staff will administer changes with the utmost reverence for fairness, respect of athletes and for honor of the sport. If a scheduled event cannot be held or must be interrupted, USBSF will first try to re-schedule the event. Second, USBSF will try to change the venue but will not guarantee funding for travel to the new venue. Finally, if a venue change is not feasible, ranking will be based first on the portion of that event completed (at least one race) or if no portion has been completed, then ranking will be based on the most recent USBSF national rankings.
11.2. These Selection Criteria come into force as of the date of their approval by the USBSF Coaching Staff and Chief Executive Officer, and supersede all previous criteria.
11.3. The USBSF reserves the right to change the selection criteria prior to the start of each competition season based on schedules, coaching, logistics, finances, and other limiting factors.
11.4. The rules in these criteria will be interpreted by the coaching staff along with the CEO in the way in which they were intended.
12. ATHLETE'S RIGHT TO COMPETE
12.1. An athlete's right to compete is defined and protected the USOC's Bylaws. Should an athlete feel his/her right to compete has been withheld, the USBSF bylaws provides for a grievance procedure for him/her to seek a fair hearing and relief.
12.2. If you have any questions regarding your opportunity to compete that are not answered by the USBSF, you may contact the USOC Athlete Ombudsman by telephone at (888) ATHLETE, or by e-mail. This position is currently filled by John W. Ruger (firstname.lastname@example.org).
13. CRITERIA DISTRIBUTION
13.1. This document shall be available to all athletes at:
13.1.1. The USBSF main office.
13.1.2. Will be made available for viewing on the USBSF website.
13.1.3. Will be e-mailed to the current athletes.
14. U.S. BOBSLED TEAM COACHING STAFF
14.1. The U.S. Bobsled coaching staff consists of:
National Team Head Coach (Brian Shimer)
National Team Head Coach (Sepp Plozza)
National Team Assistant Coach (Bill Tavares)
In the event of an emergency or absences of the Head Coach of either gender. The Head Coach of the other gender, with verification from the CEO will assume authority and make all coaching decisions for the team.
Swiss Points Scale:
A. Points to be awarded by place of finish
1. 200 points for 1st place finish
2. 180 points for 2nd place finish
3. 160 points for 3rd place finish
4. 140 points for 4th place finish
5. 120 points for 5th place finish
6. 100 points for 6th place finish
7. 80 points for 7th place finish
8. 60 points for 8th place finish
9. 40 points for 9th place finish
10. 20 points for 10th place finish
B. Average finish times of top ten (10) finishers
C. One (1) time point for every 1/10th second faster than top ten (10) average is added to placement points.