U.S. Snowboarding will introduce a nationwide multi-level elite snowboard
tour this season, with the American Snowboard Tour,to all riders. The
American Snowboard Tour (AST), formerly the American Pro Snowboard Series
(APSS), will be a cooperative effort between APSS creator CE Sports, Inc.,
a California based sports promotion company and U.S. Snowboarding, which
represents Olympic snowboard interests in the USA. The series will be scored
for both U.S. and international athlete ranking systems.
"This is a very important addition to our snowboard programs," said U.S.
Snowboard Director Sharon Harned. "This is a great competitive opportunity
for national riders who may or may not compete on the World Cup tour and
who would like additional opportunies to attain world or national ranking
The AST will complement the top-level U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix circuit recently
announced by U.S. Snowboarding by providing a broadbased national competition
program. The circuit will be especially helpful for aspiring riders who are
making their way up the competition ladder from regional events. The tour
will be scored on both U.S. Snowboarding and International Ski Federation
(FIS) overall snowboard points lists, allowing riders to move towards minimum
Olympic qualifying standards required by the International Olympic Committee.
Actual Olympic team selection criteria will be announced this winter.
The 1996-97 AST will begin Dec. 13-15 at Hunter Mountain, N.Y. and conclude
Mar. 14-16 at Mount Snow, Vt. with the North American Championships. The
tour will offer $155,000 in total prize money and will be televised on ESPN
and ESPN2 for a total of five hours.
Top competitors at the Hunter Mountainr will receive automatic positions
into the finals of the inaugural U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix the following
weekend at Sugarloaf, Me. Top ranked riders in the overall AST series this
year, will also receive start berths into the 1997-98 U.S. Snowboard Grand
Prix events, which will be crucial for Olympic selection.
CE Sports, Inc., is recognized worldwide for its contribution and commitment
to competitive snowboarding as the previous promoters and producers of the
American Pro Snowboard Series (APSS) for the past four years. "CE Sports
is very excited about becoming part of U.S. Snowboarding's program to develop
world-class snowboarders," said CE Sports' President Craig Elledge. "Our
involvement with U.S. Snowboarding creates an opportunity for national riders
to consistently compete on an elite level in the United States."
The AST isto all riders and will consist of the two Olympic disciplines,
giant slalom and halfpipe, and will also include other competitions such
as parallel slaloms and super G. Entry information is available from CE Sports