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Do top Austrian snowboard qualifications get equivalence in France / Italy?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is a follow up to a post last week, if some details seem familiar to anyone.
This winter I’m planning to get entry level instructing qualifications in snowboarding / skiing (20 and 8 weeks experience respectively). Of the qualification systems that seem to be most heavily advertised (CSIA/BASI/NZSIA/Austrian), the Austrian system appeals to me most, partly because it’s closer to home and doesn’t require a visa process, partly because I’d like to keep open the option of teaching in France or Italy later on if I enjoy instructing and want to make a career out of it (obviously if I hate it, I just won’t continue doing it), and it was my understanding that instructors with the top qualification from any of the "Big 4" alpine countries could get equivalence in the others.
However, in response to a post of mine earlier this week, someone made what sounded like quite valid points about potential issues of the Austrian system, like the lack of advanced snowboard training provided by Austrian ski schools; there was also some debate over whether the top Austrian cert is accepted in France, and a point was raised that snowboard equivalencies are just murkier across Europe in general, which seems to be true. I messaged a couple of regional awarding groups (Wien, Salzenburger and Tirol), which to their credit all replied very quickly and in excellent English, but were all evasive on the topic of comparisons with ISIA levels and whether or not other countries generally accepted Austrian certs, all giving some variation of "that’s up to them, we deal with Austria." This is understandable, but a tad unhelpful.
I also had a long chat with a guy from SIA Austria, who stated that the Austrian level 3 snowboarding is probably easier than the skiing, as it isn't split into separate parts, but didn't really give any info about the details of the level 4, just saying that an Austrian level 4 makes a similar living to a French instructor so there's no need to move there anyway. He’s obviously selling a course, but I was curious if there was any truth in either claim.
This was all a bit rambling, but any insight would be welcomed. In summary, I want to know if the Austrian level 4 will let me work elsewhere in Europe (and if additional race experience or something is needed, what form would that take? Is there a eurotest for boarders, or do I need to compete in FIS competitions?); I’d also really like to know how practical it’ll be to reach the higher Austrian certs, as in will ski schools support me getting there or do they just want lots of Anwärters, and would the process be significantly slower / harder than it would be through BASI? And would a school in a well-known boarding destination like Mayrhofen or St Anton be more likely to provide snowboarding training?

Some side notes:
I’m planning to get both certified in both sports, but for higher levels the focus of this question is really on boarding. Realistically, I don't see myself passing a skiing eurotest just to teach boarding in France.
I do have an EU passport, so that’ll never be an issue.
I have done non-instructing resort jobs before and might do again, but for now it’s instructing I’m looking at, so please no "just go work in a bar" responses, that may not be the wrong route but it’s not the one I’ researching atm.
I know German is required for the Austrian cert, I was learning it anyway and apparently the level for the Anwärter isn't especially high. I assume I’d improve rapidly on a season.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You'll need to be good at German to progress through, and don't assume that you'll progress rapidly, especially if you go and teach somewhere like Mayrhofen or St Anton, there's so many multinationals that you'll probably end up teaching mostly in English, probably better off in a resort that isn't as popular with the Brits. There is a snowboard only school in Obertauern (Blue Tomato), so that could be worth a shout, especially as the clientele are mostly German, Dutch and Austrian, in my season there (not with Blue Tomato), bar the three weeks I had English schools on trips, I can count the number of English speaking clients on my fingers. Whilst the Anwaerter and Landes (should add, that depending on where you do it, the skiing Landes isn't always split in 2, but the snowboard Landed is always just one, plus the Alpin Kurs) are done at a state level, e.g. Tirol, Salzburg, the Staatlich is done nationally.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
If you speak French (or use Google translate) here is some information about working in France as a snowboarder

https://nomadsnowboard.com/moniteur-snowboard-suisse/

doesn't talk about Austrian qualifs but why don't you ask the guy from nomad, he seems pretty open to questions.

There is a Eurotest for snowboarding in France. The French office who issues carte pro insists on it for all non-French qualifications. However they have no right to insist on it unless they can prove that your foreign qualification doesn't come up to the French standard (hard for them to prove that as French teachers get limited snowboard training). However if they don't offer you equivalence the sole recourse is to either submit to their tests or sue them and then you are in the French justice system and expect a 3 to 5 year delay to get a court hearing.

The idea of a capacity test was written into EU legislation to stop people with very poor levels of training say working as a brain surgeon - the French have cleverly used it as a restraint of trade but as various court hearings including snowboarders have show this to be illegal
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@Sitter, Thanks! I suppose the other side of having mostly German speaking clientele is that schools would probably expect a higher proficiency than I’m likely to get by this winter, but that might be a good option for follow-up seasons.
Is there much practical impact of the Staatlich being a national course? I assume the only big thing would be training occurring in one location?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:
Let us also note when in a judgment of April 22, 2004, the Grenoble Court of Appeal had released a German snowboard instructor who, not having passed the alpine skiing aptitude tests to which he was subjected, had been prosecuted for default qualifying. The Court had considered that "snowboarding cannot be qualified as a derivative of skiing", that the fact that there is no French teaching diploma in snowboarding cannot be blamed on the respondent, that "the position adopted by the French administration led to depriving snowboard instructors who did not know how to ski to exercise their activity ”.


-- from Google translate referring to German qualifications

and

Quote:
Article A212-183 Modified by Decree of October 31, 2014

The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to nationals of a Member State of the European Community or of another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area who wish to supervise, organize, teaching and training of snowboard exclusively and are subject to the provisions of title XII of the decree of April 11, 2012 modified relating to the specific training of the state diploma of ski-instructor national of alpine ski.

and

https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000025776445#LEGISCTA000036154546

For the supervision of snowboarding, the substantial difference, within the meaning of article R. 212-90-1 of the sport code, likely to exist between the professional qualification of the declarant responding to one of the four situations defined by the same article and the professional qualification required on the national territory is appreciated with reference to the training of the State diploma of ski-national instructor of alpine ski, insofar as it integrates the knowledge and competences relating to snowboard acquired throughout training from the preparatory cycle until graduation and more particularly:

-specific technical security skills;

-the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in matters of security.

In the event that the prefect considers, after consulting the permanent section of alpine skiing of the training and employment commission of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports, forwarded to the national pole of the professions of ski and snow management mountaineering, that there is no substantial difference, it delivers to the declarant a certificate of free establishment and a professional sports instructor card which mentions the following conditions of exercise:

Supervision, animation, teaching and training of snowboarding at all levels of practice, on and off piste, with snowboard equipment exclusively, whether it is the instructor or its practitioners and excluding:

-any other activity;

- unmarked glacial zones and terrain whose use calls on mountaineering techniques.

In the event that the prefect considers, after consulting the permanent section of alpine skiing of the training and employment commission of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports, forwarded to the national pole of the professions of ski and snow management 'mountaineering, that there is a substantial difference not entirely covered by the professional experience of the declarant, he / she contacts the commission for the recognition of qualifications mentioned in article R. 212-84 of the sports code, by attaching to the file the opinion of the permanent section of alpine skiing of the commission for training and employment of the Superior Council of mountain sports, transmitted to the national pole of the professions of the supervision of skiing and mountaineering. After deciding on the existence of a substantial difference, the qualification recognition committee proposes, if necessary, to the prefect to submit the declarant to the aptitude test provided for in article R. 212-90 -1 of the sport code, the content of which is defined in appendix XII. Depending on the substantial difference observed and the knowledge he has acquired during his professional experience, the declarant is tested on all or part of the aptitude test.

The prefect's decision is brought to the attention of the declarant within the deadlines provided for in article R. 212-90-2 of the sports code. This decision is reasoned and contains all the information necessary for the completion of the aptitude test.

The prefect issues to the declarant who has successfully passed the aptitude test the certificate of free establishment and the professional sports instructor card mentioned in this article.

For the supervision of snowboarding, the substantial difference within the meaning of article R. 212-93 (3 °) of the sports code, which may exist between the professional qualification of the declarant and the qualification required on the national territory is assessed. with reference to the training for the State diploma of ski-national alpine ski instructor as it integrates the knowledge and skills relating to snowboard acquired throughout the training from the preparatory cycle and until obtaining the diploma and more particularly:



-specific technical security skills;

-the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in matters of security.



In the event that the prefect considers, after consulting the permanent section of alpine skiing of the training and employment commission of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports, forwarded to the national pole of the professions of ski and snow management mountaineering, that there is no substantial difference, it delivers to the declarant a receipt of declaration of provision of services which allows him to ensure, on the national territory, the supervision, the animation, the teaching and snowboard training at all levels of practice, on and off the piste, with exclusively snowboard equipment, whether it is the instructor or its practitioners and excluding:



-any other activity;

- unmarked glacial zones and terrain whose use calls on mountaineering techniques.



This delivery takes place in the month following the filing of the file declared admissible.

In the event that the prefect considers, after consulting the permanent section of alpine skiing of the training and employment commission of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports, forwarded to the national pole of the professions of ski and snow management 'mountaineering, that there is a substantial difference not fully covered by the professional experience of the declarant, he may decide to submit the latter to the aptitude test provided for in article R. 212-93 of the sport code, the content of which is defined in Annex XII. Depending on the substantial difference observed and the knowledge he has acquired during his professional experience, the declarant is tested on all or part of the aptitude test.

The prefect's decision is brought to the attention of the declarant within the time limits provided for in article R. 212-93 of the sports code. This decision is reasoned and contains all the information necessary for the completion of the aptitude test.

The prefect issues to the declarant who has successfully passed the aptitude test the receipt for the declaration of provision of services mentioned in this article.

The provision of services must be able to take place within three months of receipt of the file declared admissible.

The technical security test mentioned in a of article 29-4 to which the declarant can be subjected, when there is a substantial difference between his professional qualification and the qualification required on the national territory, is a test aiming at evaluating his capacity to evolve effectively in a snowy mountain environment. It consists of a snowboard performance test which validates the technical ability and takes place under the conditions specified in Annex XII.

The technical safety test is organized at the national level under the responsibility of the National Mountain Sports School, site of the National Ski and Mountaineering School in conjunction with the regional directors of youth, sports and of social cohesion concerned, at the places and dates fixed annually by the permanent section of alpine skiing of the commission for training and employment of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports.

Are declared to have the capacity to mobilize the technical skills of safety the declarants having obtained a classification equal or higher than sixty points for men and seventy-five points for women on the scale fixed by the International Ski Federation corresponding to the disciplines of following snowboards: giant parallel slalom, snowboardcross or halfpipe. They are exempt from the technical safety test. The declarants who have not obtained such a classification are only subjected to the technical security test if there exists, between their professional qualification and the qualification required on the national territory, a substantial difference not entirely covered by their professional experience.

This classification, certified by the president of the national federation of the declarant or his representative, must have been acquired in the five years preceding the declaration.


Snowboard "Eurotest" test


I. - The technical security test

The technical safety test aims to check the candidate's ability to progress in safety at a sustained speed over a certain distance, while mastering the trajectories.

1. Conditions of conduct.

The technical safety test is made up of a technical course of the giant slalom type. It has two sleeves. Candidates who have failed in the first round may appear in the second round. The order of starts is then reversed.

2. Approval of sites.

The technical safety test takes place on a track approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS), allowing the organization of a giant slalom event. This track is designated by the director of the National School of Skiing and Mountaineering on a list of stadiums which he establishes annually, on the proposal of the permanent section of alpine skiing of the commission for training and employment of the High mountain sports council, based on criteria defined by the FIS.

3. The layout.

The elevation and the number of gates of the route are determined from the giant snowboard slalom standards set by the FIS regulations.

4. The openers and the tracer.

The openers, at least two and the tracer, are designated by the director general of the National School of Mountain Sports, director of the National School of Ski and Mountaineering (director of the ENSA) among those appearing on a list which it establishes annually, on the proposal of the permanent section of alpine skiing of the commission for training and employment of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports. The openers are calibrated annually and must have a minimum performance level equivalent to 120 FIS points corresponding to the following snowboard disciplines: parallel giant slalom or snowboardcross.

The openers and the tracer must hold one of the following five diplomas:


- the French ski instructor diploma;

- the State ski certificate, second degree “alpine skiing” option;
aptitude
- the state certificate of first level sports educator, option “alpine skiing”;

- the State certificate of second level sports educator, option “alpine skiing”;

- the state diploma of ski-national instructor of alpine skiing.


5. The evaluation.

Each opener is authorized to make a new start if he has not been able to complete his course normally.

The evaluation is carried out with reference to a basic time thus determined:


- is retained, the best compensated time of the openers having completed the course before the departure of the first candidate of the round;

- is retained, the best compensated time of the openers, having completed the course after the departure of the last candidate of the round;

- the average of these two best compensated times is then taken.


An individual coefficient is assigned to each opener by the director of the ENSA, after consulting the permanent section of alpine skiing of the training and employment commission of the Higher Council for Mountain Sports. During the season, if the technical level of the opener changes, the director of the ENSA may, in the interests of fairness, recalibrate this level, under the same conditions as for his attribution.

This coefficient is brought to the attention of the candidates before the start of the test.

6. Methods of calculating the basic time and the maximum time for admission.

The base time is calculated from the best compensated time of the openers according to the following formula:

TB = [(TR O start × CC O) + (TR O end × CC O)] / 2

The maximum admission time is determined as follows:


- for boys: TA G = TB × 1.18;

- for girls: TA F = TB × 1.24.


TB = base time, TR O = real opener time, CC O = opener correction coefficient, TA G = boys admission time, TA F = girls admission time.

7. Composition of the race commission.

The race commission, responsible for verifying the course of the test and its compliance with technical rules, is made up of:


- a referee, technical adviser to the president of the jury for the aptitude test;arrowArticle A212-183 Modifié par Arrêté du 31 octobre 2014

Les dispositions du présent paragraphe ne s’appliquent pas aux ressortissants d’un Etat membre de la Communauté européenne ou d’un autre Etat partie à l’accord sur l’Espace économique européen qui souhaitent assurer l’encadrement, l’animation, l’enseignement et l’entraînement du snowboard exclusivement et sont soumis aux dispositions du titre XII de l’arrêté du 11 avril 2012 modifié relatif à la formation spécifique du diplôme d’Etat de ski-moniteur national de ski alpin.

- a test director;

- a track manager;

- a judge at the start;

- a judge on arrival.


II. - The verification test of theoretical and practical knowledge and security skills

The verification test of theoretical and practical knowledge and safety skills is organized by the National School of Mountain Sports, site of the National School of Ski and Mountaineering.

This test takes place in the winter period over a period of two to five days. It includes three tests to verify, in the following chronological order, that the candidate is able, based on a professional situation on the ground:


I. - The verification test of theoretical and practical knowledge and security skills

The verification test of theoretical and practical knowledge and safety skills is organized by the National School of Mountain Sports, site of the National School of Ski and Mountaineering.

This test takes place in the winter period over a period of two to five days. It includes three tests to verify, in the following chronological order, that the candidate is able, based on a professional situation on the ground:

1 ° To carry out a multi-victim avalanche search in a limited time;

2 ° To analyze and interpret various information likely to enable him to prevent the risk, to implement safety conditions to progress in snowboarding on and off the slopes and to manage the situation in the event of an accident;

3 ° To ensure the safety in snowboarding of a group of snowboarders in safety, off-piste, over two days minimum.

1. First test: multi-victim avalanche research.

The test consists of detecting and probing to find successfully two avalanche victim detectors (AVDs) each placed in a sea bag with an insulation of about 60 cm wide, buried without superimposing a signal about 1 m deep , and successfully clear one of the two devices. The research area is 50 m × 50 m. The location of the two DVAs and the release of one of them must take place within a maximum of 8 minutes.

This test is eliminatory.

2. Second test: analysis and interpretation of information likely to prevent the risk, to implement safety conditions to progress in snowboarding on and off the slopes.

In the context of a professional situation, the candidate must be able to:

a) Analyze a weather report and an avalanche risk report written in French;

b) To be located on a map of the resort's slopes and on a topographic map

The test is oral and takes place on the ski area. It consists, for the candidate, in analyzing the avalanche risk assessment bulletin as well as the daily weather bulletin in French and comparing them with the meteorological and snow conditions observed. The candidate must know how to locate himself using the piste map of the station as well as a 1/25,000 IGN topographic map.

This capacity is acquired or not acquired. If the candidate does not master one of the two situations a or b, he is eliminated.

3. Third test: group driving.

The candidate must be able:

a) To implement the safety conditions to progress exclusively in snowboarding on and off the slopes and to manage the group in any situation;

b) Manage an accident: avoid an accident and manage the group;

c) Alert the emergency services by issuing an alert message in French.

The event takes place on the ski area in off-piste sectors. It consists, for the candidate to lead an educational session while evolving downhill. The session takes place from the top of a ski lift and exclusively in snowboard. The jury determines the sector in which the candidate evolves and the latter chooses his itinerary in this sector.

The candidate must demonstrate to the jury, depending on the situation encountered, that he is able to:


- to choose and adapt a route according to the snow, meteorological and human parameters and the specificity of the machine;

- detect, analyze and reduce the objective and subjective risks linked to the context of his practice:

- ensure the safety of practitioners and third parties and prevent risky behavior;

- to ensure that the supervised public has equipment adapted to the practice environment.


During this test, the candidate must issue an alert message in French;

In the event that the candidate does not validate any of the three abilities a, b or c, he is eliminated.

The verification test of theoretical and practical knowledge and security skills must be validated in full. If any of the three tests that make it up fail, the candidate retakes the test in its entirety.




http://youtube.com/v/nBFU7FA5PVY

of course the idea is to make it as difficult as possible for non French qualified snowboarders to pass while satifying the EU/EEA

I would have thought that Landes level 3 snowboard would be ok to teach in France with Eurosecurity

https://f5394cd8-6e55-4f6a-ac62-7d2eb08c9820.filesusr.com/ugd/cc568a_aa5c3c9657f342daa0584fdaa289377d.pdf
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@davidof, the nomad site looks brilliant, I’ve dropped a message off to Joel. I also love that the Swiss system allows an almost literal trial by combat lmao.
Shocking that it took a court case to reveal that boarding "isn't a derivative of skiing"; I’ve always thought the protectionist French system for skiers seems to get more abuse than deserved and is a sensible way of keeping wages high, but the snowboarding system is just flat out backwards.
Do you have any links for the snowboarding eurotest btw, or know if it’s roughly similar in difficulty in time and effort to the skiing (as in lots of race clinics required)? I’m fine with the idea of training for it but can't find any info online
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Sorry, just saw the rest of your post! I suspect it’d be the next level up though in Austrian qualifications, the staatlich / diplomskilehrer - as you point out, the goal is to make it as hard as possible to get in
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cailian wrote:
Sorry, just saw the rest of your post! I suspect it’d be the next level up though in Austrian qualifications, the staatlich / diplomskilehrer - as you point out, the goal is to make it as hard as possible to get in


Did you look at the German system? Their top level snowboard qualification is enough to teach in France. How does it compare with the Austrian level?

The Snowboard eurotest seems a pretty ad-hoc affair to me. Again not something the French can legally force on other nations unless they can prove your level is not sufficient. However they seem to be both judge and jury in these matters.
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@davidof the final levels in both seem quite similar, though it looks like the staatlich assessment is a bit longer in Austria - the main difference seems to be that the German system is part of the ISIA and has 3 state-organised levels plus the national one, whereas the Austrian L1 and L2 span the German L1-3.
The stats I’m seeing for the German system seem to have a shockingly highbratio of top-level ski instructors to snowboarding ones - it’s about 3:1 for level 1 instructors, 5:1 for level 3 instructors, and 20:1 for the final level. It makes sense that the ratio would widen, as snowboarders are less likely to take advanced lessons I’d be willing to bet, but that huge leap at staatlich level seems a bit odd (https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Skilehrerverband). Would love to see the Austrian stats.
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@cailian good to see you are doing lots of research, hope you get it all figured out.

Just to add to your numbers, In BASI about 30 - 40 pass L4 skiing each year, and about 3 pass L4 snowboarding.

At the school I work for we sell 10 - 12 times as many ski lessons each week as we do snowboard lessons which happens to be about the same ratio.

As you probably know in the BASI system you dont do a seperate snowboard Eurotest, you go and do some FIS boardercross races and the French accept this. So if you did a German or Austrian qualification and there was no race element, possibly you could do some FIS stuff and the French would accept that.
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@snowrider, thanks for those figures.
Out of curiosity, is achieving FIS points normally considered an easier route than the eurotest?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
There is a race element at Landes for the snowboard (at least with the Vienna association) where you have to get through within a certain percentage of the average time of 2 examiners (some of whom are ex snowboard slalom racers), not sure about Staatlich or how it compares to any other systems. Not too sure how the absolute numbers of people passing helps, depending on what you are looking at, as there are more people taking the higher ski levels than there are snowboard (e.g. when I sat my snowboard landes there were 2 groups of six, there were ski LS1 and LS2 going on at the same time, and there were probably about 4 times the number of people across those 2 courses than on the SB Landes).
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@cailian no experience of a snowboard eurotest as it is not part of the French or British system. I know the French ran a test event a few years ago to see how times and points might work (possibly the video above) but not aware they have actually made anyone sit a test.
The problem with the FIS points route is the French have not said you need to get X number of points, they have just said get some points and apply and we will consider it on a case by case basis. So if you do a few events and get some points you do not know if it is enough, so you can apply and wait a few months for a reply and then the season is over. At least with a Eurotest you know on the day if you have passed or not! Saying that I dont think they have not passed any of the Brits who have applied and some of them only got 4 or 5 FIS points.
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You know it makes sense.
snowrider wrote:
not aware they have actually made anyone sit a test.


They have

snowrider wrote:

The problem with the FIS points route is the French have not said you need to get X number of points,


In the French legislation, which I posted above wrt to snowboarding, they say then want 60 points for men to be exempted from the test. However this only applies if there is a substantial difference in the levels of training (this is EU law). I doubt there is any substantial difference between says a Landes 3 or Basi 4 snowboard instructor and his French equivalent. The French have backed down with the Swiss qualifications without going to court as they didn't want another Simon Butler type debacle.

As the Simon Butler trials have shown the French cannot insist on a "security test" if the training is of a similar level (which they have to prove it isn't).

for the OP here are the ISIA equivalence (note Austria and France are not in the ISIA system)

https://isia.ski/UP1/wp-content/uploads/ISIA_Qualifications_Status_2018-19_1.0.pdf

anyone with an ISIA stamp would be able to work in France but to get the stamp you are back to the FIS points (for BASI) or "Eurotest" https://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Snowboard/Snowboard_level_4_ISTD/BASI/Site_mock_ups/Snowboard/Snowboard_level_4_ISTD/Snowboard_level_4_ISTD.aspx?hkey=a6420d74-2257-4e9d-bee3-09fd2ed521f1
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I know people have been granted Carte Pros more recently than 2014 that got no where near 60 points, most were in single digits. As it says on the link:
"Please Note: It is usually acceptable to attend a minimum of two FIS Boarder cross races and generate FIS points from both races however as there is no set level of FIS points as such, each application will be on a case by case basis."
So you just have to not finish in the last 10% of the field to get some points at a couple of events.
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I know absolutely nothing whatsoever about the FIS scoring system but are there minimum qualifying standards for entry or expensive fees? Because if not, wouldn't you be able you just ask a crew of mates to join a race with you so you don't finish at the very bottom?
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