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US Team Selection

To reach the pinnacle in any sport is a remarkable achievement. This is especially true for pilots who are selected to become members of the U.S. soaring team and go on to represent the United States at World Gliding Championships (WGC).

Team Selection

United States Soaring Team pilots are chosen by the Soaring Society of America (SSA) based on recent performance in US National and World-level competition. After each of the US Nationals, competitors' scores are compared to the winner's score. The winner of each US Nationals receives a score of 100, and the other contestants are ranked relative to the winner's score. The pilot's best two results from the recent 3 years of US Nationals and FAI Category 1 Contest performance are considered when selecting US Soaring Team members.

Photo #5884 | Team PhotoU.S. Soaring Team rankings can be very close with only a fraction of a point separating competitors. When U.S. pilots do well in world level contests they earn bonus points that count toward their selection to future US Soaring Teams. The number of team members who represent the United States at a World Soaring Championships is ultimately determined by the World Gliding Championship contest organizers and the SSA.

US Pilot Rankings

All of the classes (Club, Standard, 15m, 18m, Open, 20m 2-place and 13.5m) follow the same team selection guidelines, with a slight modification to use all of the nationals for the Junior and Feminine Team selections. See links to the ranking lists below. 

How It Works

The ranking of potential US Team Squad members is basically the average of the best two results from the recent 3 years of US Nationals and FAI Category 1 (such as a WGC, pre-WGC or Continental Gliding Championship contests) contests. Pilots with a ranking of 90% or more in a particular class are considered members of the US Team Squad for that competition class. The ranking is done separately for each competition class.

The next step of the selection process will have each squad member rank the other US Team Squad members based on their view of which members are most likely to achieve good scores and placings at the upcoming WGC in your class via an online survey.

Final selection of US Team Pilots is done by the US Team Committee, with close regard to pilot selection scores, performance in specific contests and team training events, and to the results obtained by evaluating the preferential surveys and associated comments. Committee members who may themselves be eligible for selection would not participate. 

See the following links for the US Team Selection documents:

Updated US Team Selection Process v1.2.3

US Team Selection Policy document v3.3.4 

Improving US Team Soaring Performance v1.0

US Junior and Feminine Soaring Teams

The ranking of potential team members in these two categories uses the same selection procedures as for the other teams but their performance in any of the US National competitions counts towards team selection. To be eligible, Junior and Feminine candidates must have achieved a score equal to at least 60% of the national winner's score in a nationals. The Junior Soaring Team is made up of pilots under age 26.

2013 Changes to Club Class Glider List

The Team Committee has extended the list of gliders that can be used to qualify for Club Class team membership. Overall guidance for defining an approved club class glider is withing the handicap ranges of 0.898 (LS6C) and 1.115 with no two seat or motorgliders elegible. The final arbiter is the SSA official handicap list (here) with a C suffix (for club). 

IGC Rankings and Team Selection

The IGC ranking system provides an official seeding list of competition glider pilots participating in FAI International contests and contests sanctioned for inclusion. The Ranking List has two components: Pilot Rating and Competition Rating.

A Pilots Rating is the result of his/her performance in IGC sanctioned competitions. The Competition Rating depends on the type of competition, the quality of the pilots competing and the number of competition days. IGC ranking has no impact on US team selection.

Photo #14193 | US Taam logo 17

USA Team Selection Points

USA Pilot Rankings

Posted: 6/1/2010


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