FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This page will be updated last! Please excuse this page's incompleteness while it's updated.
This list of questions and answers was created by the Booster Club's Board to help share information to help new and returning parents navigate the sport of Nordic Skiing.
This is a living document and will continue to evolve. Please check back for updates!
The sport of Nordic skiing is one that is inherent with uncertainty due to constantly changing weather conditions. It is not a matter of if, but when something will change from originally intended. It is critical that you stay informed.
All important information will be available through the TeamSnap app.
The schedule for the upcoming week is typically posted on the website by 7:00pm on Sunday evening by Coach Abery.
It is critical that Coach Abery has this information.
The team enrollment form contains a question regarding medical conditions.
To provide additional information, please email Coach Abery before the start of the season.
Please see the information provided on Clothing.
There is a banquet at the end of the season. This is on hold for the 2020-21 season at this time. If cancelled we will celebrate the season virtually.The date & cost per person will be on the website as soon as plans are made. Parents and skiers are welcome to attend. There will be a dinner and awards / recognitions. If there are any dietary restrictions, please provide them so accommodations can be made. Any rental equipment and all uniforms will be turned in at the banquet. All wax must be removed from rental skis before turning them in at the end of the season.
Practice will be held even if there is not snow! Practice starts on Monday 11/30/20 – regardless of if there is snow. Practices will typically run Monday thru Friday from 3:15 - 5:00 PM for varsity and JV skiers with shorter practices scheduled on the days prior to competitions (due to waxing) and during the time of the year when it gets dark earlier. Please pick up your skier no later than 5:00 or dark (whichever is earlier). Check website for most recent information. Please be respectful of our busy coaching staff and be on time to pick up your skier. Coaches have to stay until every skier is picked up. Optional on-snow practices will be scheduled on some Saturdays as time permits to assist skiers who would like additional technique work. Varsity skiers should expect to attend Saturday practices.
Our main practice location for on-snow training is Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley. Lebanon Hills Park (Holland Lake and Schultz Lake Trailheads) are used prior to adequate snow for dryland training. Other locations in the metro area (e.g., Hyland Hills Recreation Area in Bloomington) will also be used in case of inadequate natural snow. Check the website and watch for email and texts regarding practice location, which may change depending on conditions.
YES. Practice is held over school breaks. A relatively short season of 14-weeks means that some years have only 8-10 weeks on snow. Therefore, when there is snow available...we ski. Coach asks to please plan on your family being in town for the time immediately surrounding holidays. He understands that skiers have family obligations but like other athletic teams we do not allow 1 ½ to 2- week breaks in the middle of the season. When athletes are not able to take part in practice for such an extended period of time, they require additional coaching when they return with the absence thereby affecting not just them but their teammates as well. An optional (but encouraged) trip is usually planned for 3 days/2 nights over the winter break. This trip has an additional cost associated with it that is not covered by team fees. However, the Booster Club works hard to insure that the trip is affordable for everyone. Skiers who do not attend the trip will be expected to attend practices in the local area during this time period. Unfortunately the winter trip has been cancelled for the 2020-21 season.
Email Coach Abery when unable to attend practice, giving as much advance notice as possible. Excused absences include illness, injury and family commitments. Unexcused absences include poor planning when completing homework and preparing for tests. Three or more unexcused absences from practice will cause the skier to be dismissed from the team.
Note: High school students practice 5 days a week and varsity level skiers often practice 6 days. Middle school athletes have the option to practice at a lower frequency for a lower cost.
No. Please connect with others from your school – older skiers who drive or parents of other skiers from your school are good options for carpooling. Parents and skiers can use the Message Board on the Shutterfly website to set up carpools. Per school district policy, the coaching staff and booster club is not able to assist with this process but we can provide team contact info.
The most recent meet schedule can be found on the website. Typical meet locations include Valleywood, Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington, Kenwood Trails in Lakeville, and Murphy Hanrehan Park in Savage as well as various other locations.
Likely – YES! Depending on snow conditions, meets may need to be moved to different days, different locations or cancelled if necessary. We will post information to the website and also text as soon as we find out about changes. In low snow conditions, meets are typically moved to Hyland (where they make snow). Locations can change up to 11:00 a.m. on race day. Stay connected to your phone for email, texts or updates on the website on race days!
Busses are typically provided for away meets in Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Paul, or that are at more distant locations. Per district policy, buses are not provided for meets within the district. Watch the website / texts for information about timing and location of busing. As our team covers the entire school district, buses are generally set up to depart from the high school with the most skiers. In recent years this has typically been either Eagan or Eastview High School. Skiers will need to get to that location ‘on their own’. Varsity busses usually leave earlier due to earlier varsity race times. A second bus for JV leaves later. This will generally require players to be dismissed from school early on race days. 7th hour Winter Tri study hall is a great option for Varsity skiers, if their schedule permits.
The typical format is that the Varsity team races are scheduled first and JV races after those are done. The top 10 girls from Rosemount HS and the top 10 girls from Eagan/Eastview may race first. Then the top 10 boys from Eagan HS and the top 10 boys from the remaining ISD 196 schools race second. All the remaining girls will race next at the JV level. Then all the remaining boys will race at JV. Other teams at the meets in 2020-21 will be conference teams - Lakeville North/South, Prior Lake, Burnsville, Northfield and Farmington. Some races are one style of skiing, either classic or skate. There are a few competitions where classic ski races are in the morning and skate races are in the afternoon of the same day.
How long are races?
Most races are 5K and occasionally we race “sprints” which are shorter. Varsity 5K races take about 15 – 20 minutes and JV 5K races last about 30 minutes .
Parents need to contact Coach Abery via email 24 hours prior to the race for skiers not riding the bus home after the meet.
All new skiers are required to attend a hands-on waxing education session given by the coaches at the beginning of the season (with skis!) at Blackhawk Middle School on (add date and time here).
At this session, skiers will learn how to appropriately care for their skis and wax them to suit different snow conditions.
See Ski Waxing for more information.
Wax and waxing equipment is provided by the team. Skiers are responsible for
- Bringing clean skis to waxing
- Waxing their own skis.
The team members will wax their skis in pods, typically the day before a race. Be aware that practice schedules are typically adjusted on waxing days (to stagger the timing of waxing), and waxing can go into the early evening.
All skiers should purchase
- A wax kit from the Nordic Ski Board (add link).
- A plastic scraper, ski wax remover, and several Scotch Brite or similar cleaning pads prior to the beginning of the season, so that they can clean their skis prior to waxing.
All wax must be removed from rental skis before turning them in at the end of the season.
See Ski Waxing for more information.
Booster Club & Volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to support your skier, meet other parents, and get more involved in the ISD 196 Nordic Ski community. It takes a lot of volunteers to help support a Nordic Ski team.
The Nordic Ski Team is supported by
- A five-member Booster Club Board
- Various committees, generally with leads and assistants. Descriptions are on the website.
- Volunteers, who support Valleywood trail maintenance, race-day needs, banquet, and other various needs.
Please consider volunteering to help make the season a success! If interested,
- Contact a Board member
- Watch for requests for volunteers via TeamSnap
Sign up Genius has been used for volunteer tracking in the past. It may still be or volunteer management may switch to TeamSnap. More info on that soon!
The Booster Club raises funds to help provide critical resources for the operation of the team as coaches, trail maintenance, a snowmobile, uniforms, etc. are not provided by the district.
We recommend each skier contribute to the funding of the Booster Club at the following minimum level based on their grade and number of practices attended per week:
Restaurant fundraisers additionally help to support the team. Information will be provided via TeamSnap and on the website.
The Booster Club organizes fundraising opportunities such as grocery store bagging events. These events are optional, but a great way for skiers to earn money which is in turn applied to their skier account.
Information regarding fundraising will be communicated through TeamSnap with Sign up Genius used for fundraising tracking. Links will be available for sign-up.
ISD 196 Nordic Ski Booster Club