SSA gratefully acknowledges Guy Byars for his invaluable effort on the WinScore program. The link below is displayed for the soaring community’s benefit.

WinScore, available at: www.gfbyars.com/winscore.

All data and information produced by these programs are provided without guarantee by the SSA as to their completeness or correctness. Any conclusions drawn from the data and information produced by these programs are the sole responsibility of the user.

John Leibacher maintains an unofficial (and very useful) database of turnpoints at soaringweb.org/TP.

These have come from a variety of sources. Most have not been ground-verified, and they are provided “as is”. Prudent pilots will, of course, check with contest organizers for updates and will always keep their eyes outside the cockpit. Files to facilitate loading of GPS receivers and flight computers are also provided; not all of these have been tested with the various manufacturers’ hardware.

All data and information contained in any of the data files are provided without guarantee as to their completeness or correctness. Any conclusions drawn from these data and information are the sole responsibility of the user.

Caveats aside, we hope that this collection will help your flying, and invite you to send suggestions, corrections, and new sources of waypoints to John Leibacher john.leibacher@gmail.com.

The 2009 SSA Pilot Ranking list is available at soaringweb.org/PRL. Shown is each pilot’s ranking score and the year and contest in which it was achieved. Here is how the list is compiled:

In every official contest sanctioned by the SSA, a pilot whose final score is greater than zero receives a Pilot Ranking score:
Pilot Ranking Score = (Contest Weighting Factor) * (Pilot’s final score) / (Winner’s final score)

The Contest Weighting Factor depends on the competition type and class:

  • FAI-class National competitions: 100.0
  • Sport-class National competitions: 100.0
  • Regional FAI-class and Senior competitions: 92.0
  • Regional sport-class competitions: 92.0

At the beginning of each year, the SSA publishes an annual Pilot Ranking list. A pilot’s score on this list is the best Pilot Ranking score achieved in any sanctioned contest within the previous three years.

Scores from this list are used for determining contest entry qualification and preferential entry into contests that may be oversubscribed. These scores are not used for US Team Selection – that is done based on results from National competitions over more than a single year.


The SSA offers any qualified US Junior pilot a rebate of 90% of their contest fees for sanctioned Regional or National contests. The rebate can be claimed for as many contests as you fly. It also applies to any SSA sanctioned Junior Racing Camp.


Step 1. Read our Contest ID Policy below.

Step 2. Check with the SSA Office to determine if the contest ID that you would like is available.

Step 3. Register for assignment of the contest ID using the button below.

If the ID that you want is currently assigned you may choose to go on the waiting list for that ID my sending an e-mail to contests@ssa.org.

  1. Contest IDs are assigned by the Soaring Society of America for the purpose of identifying sailplanes entered in SSA-sanctioned soaring competitions. If two entrants wish to use the same ID, preference goes to the one using an SSA-assigned ID.
  2. Contest ID rules:
    • Each Contest IDs consists of one, two or three characters. Eligible characters are the uppercase letters A through Z and the digits 0 through 9.
    • Any contest ID which contains a zero or an “O” must be all numeric or alphabetic. For example, 01,02 will be zero-1, zero2: OA will be Oscar Alpha, Oscar Bravo.
    • The 3-digit Contest IDs 001-700 will be assigned only to owners of Schweizer 1-26 sailplanes with the matching serial number.
    • The SSA reserves the right not to assign any Contest ID that could, in the SSA’s sole judgment, be considered offensive or inappropriate.
  3. Eligibility for a Contest ID requires that a person be a member of the SSA and the owner of a sailplane. The SSA member must:
    • request an ID not currently assigned
    • provide proof of ownership (including make, model and registration number) of a sailplane to which the Contest ID will be assigned
    • pay the Contest ID fee of $25
  4. Restrictions:
    • No more than one Contest ID per sailplane owned will be assigned. (A single ID may be used on more than one owned sailplane.)
    • For a sailplane with more than one owner, a Contest ID is assigned to one co-owner. Other co-owners are considered to be on the waiting list (see below) for that sailplane’s Contest ID, effective from the date of co-ownership.
    • Contest IDs cannot be reserved toward future purchases – proof of current ownership is required.
  5. Renewal:
    • Contest IDs are initially assigned for three years. Payment of another Contest ID fee renews the assignment for a further three years; this may be continued as long as the owner of the Contest ID remains eligible.
    • Contest IDs are also considered to be renewed when used during entry in an SSA-sanctioned soaring contest. In order to qualify, the entry must be by a sailplane bearing the Contest ID and owned by the owner of the Contest ID, and a sanction fee must be paid by the contest entrant and received by the SSA. The period of renewal is three years from the end of the soaring contest.
    • A pilot who wins 3 or more SSA-sanctioned National soaring contests will have the renewal fee waived for as long as eligibility is retained.
  6. Reassignment:
    • A lapse in SSA membership may result in reassignment of a Contest ID. (But in the event of an SSA member’s death, an assigned Contest ID will not be reassigned for a period of one year.)
    • SSA members may request (in writing) to be put on a waiting list for up to three specific Contest IDs that are currently assigned but may become available. If a requested ID becomes available, it will be reassigned to the eligible SSA member who first requested it, upon satisfaction of the requirements of paragraph 3 (above).
    • Provided a Contest ID is not subject to a waiting list, the owner of a Contest ID may reassign it to any eligible SSA member by written notification to the SSA. The new owner must comply with all requirements of paragraph 3 (above).
  1. Permanence: SSA is only concerned with legibility during competitions. The numbers may be made permanent at the option of the owner(s).
  2. Placement and orientation:
    • On under side of right wing.
    • All numbers shall be same height, and in line.
    • Top of numbers, viewed from below, shall be toward the leading edge of the wing.
    • Numbers shall be as large as possible consistent with form C position and clearance requirements.
    • The center of the numbers shall be located 1/4 to 1/3 distance to the wing tip from the centerline of the fuselage. Position numbers giving maximum size, contrast and visibility.
    • Clearance from leading and trailing edges shall be equal or nearly so; minimum clearance should be the width of the stroke forming numbers.
    • On both sides of vertical tail surface.
    • Numbers shall be of equal height, in line horizontally, and as large as possible consistent with form C requirements and clearance of at least the stroke width from the nearest edge.
    • Numbers should be placed as high as possible on the vertical surface.
  3. Shape, Stroke Width, Spacing of Numbers:
    • Shape – Each digit or letter shall be two-thirds as wide as it is high, except that the number “1” shall be one-sixth as wide as it is high and M and W shall be as wide as they are high.
    • Stroke, Width or Thickness – Digits or letters shall be formed by solid lines of a thickness equal to one-sixth of the height.
    • Spacing – The space between digits shall be not less than one-fourth of the width of a single digit.
    • Design – SIMPLE BLOCK NUMERALS AND LETTERS ONLY, such as those used for FAA identification.
  4. Contrast: Maximum color contrast. Number should be applied against a uniform background, with adequate margins if a color change is adjacent. Black letters on white background are strongly recommended.


The Contest Site Selection and Development Committee is tasked with finding and developing new contest locations across the USA and the selection of contest sites for the National Championships.

FAI & Sports Class National Contests

The following are among the criteria that will be considered by the SSA National Contest Site Selection and Development Committee when evaluating bids for hosting National Soaring Contests. Bids should indicate which apply and explain where applicable.

  • Rotation of National Contests among different sites within a zone
  • Soaring conditions that meet National tasking requirements
  • Match to the next World Championships weather and topography

Conditions of Use

  • Exclusive use of the airport for the contest
  • Manageable conflict with power traffic
  • Local rules that affect glider operations (explain)
  • Supportive airport management
  • Auto towing of gliders to grid acceptable

Glider/Trailer Tiedowns

  • Sufficient area
  • Marked (stakes or other)
  • Handy to grid


  • Adequate length and width considering conditions and weakest towplanes
  • Runway lights removed or not a factor
  • Adequate relight capability
  • Towplane landing and taxi capability
  • Room for vehicles near grid
  • Crosswind runway available
  • Adequate rope break options

Operating Considerations

  • Water Ballast capability (at least four outlets and hoses, adequate pressure and capacity)
  • Start/Finish Gate location (handy, sufficient shade)
  • Start window location (not looking into sun)
  • Oxygen charging facility (if required) (reasonable cost)
  • Battery charging outlets available
  • Food service (esp. lunch) available on airport
  • Indoor Pilot Meeting space
  • Photo developing capability
  • Office Space (CD, scorer, retrieve office)
  • Phone lines (at least two)
  • Computer(s) for scoring, GPS verification and weather
  • Air conditioned office for computers if hot weather
  • Copier
  • Enough to launch the fleet in one hour every day (typically one towplane per 6.5 gliders, take into account need to tow higher than 2000′ if required)
  • All towplanes capable of towing gliders with full legal ballast
  • Backup plan in case of towplane problem
  • Sufficient new towropes (one per towplane plus two spares)
  • Towplane fuel available
  • Aero retrieve arrangements
  • Off field landing options
  • Airspace restrictions not excessive or confusing
  • Ease of trailer retrieves
  • Cellular phone coverage
  • Specify if soaring conditions may go above 18000′ (barographs required)
  • Past contest experience and reputation
  • Adequate staffing
  • Cooperation from local aviation authorities and groups
  • Task area map and turnpoint list available
  • Turnpoint books per the rules and of good quality
  • Number of local soaring pilots
  • Sufficient area, sheltered (shaded and grass desirable)
  • Two showers minimum
  • Toilets/Porta-potties
  • RV hookups
  • RV dump capability within reasonable distance
  • Sufficient motel availability at reasonable cost
  • Restaurant availability with reasonable cost and variety
  • Recreation options
  • Ease of access by Interstate or commercial airline
  • Off airport campgrounds


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).

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. U.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.

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.

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.
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.
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.