Do we want to limit races or do we want to increase participation?  I have no idea the magic bullet but I do think that somehow limiting the arms race of parental spending would be a start to increasing participation.  It is hard when you have kids who will never be five camp a year kids racing against summer camp, indoor training, jet set FIS point chasers.  Is there a spot somewhere between USSS and FIS that we can develop? Is there a DEVO FIS world where points cutoffs are worked from the top down as opposed to the bottom up? What about mandatory training days in youth programs?  Ways to eliminate the points race and get back to trying to increase participation programs.  It is daunting but I think that for this conversation to get real, we are going to have to start involving post participation parents (survey kids and parents who have attrition’d out) as well as examine the outcome goals.  When the end of the road is an NCAA team that only has one or two slots for freshman who are 24 or 25, are on the second or third PG year (and yes, we might want to look at how many slots don’t go to American kids, but I know thats a difficult mine-field to navigate) something might be broken.

— Coll Anderson

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This letter was in response to a recent story about the Health of Sport task force. Have some thoughts on this? Send a letter to the editor. We’ll publish it.