Snowboarding 101: Qualification & Team USA – Action News Now

There will be up to a total of 238 snowboarders – 119 male, 119 female – competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

Each event has a maximum number of competitors that may participate. Big air and slopestyle are calculated as one event. 

  • Parallel Giant Slalom: 32 male, 32 female athletes
  • Snowboard Cross: 32 male, 32 female athletes
  • Slopestyle/Big Air: 30 male, 30 female athletes
  • Halfpipe: 25 male, 25 female athletes

Each nation can send up to 26 snowboarders, with a maximum of 14 males or 14 females. A nation may have no more than four athletes compete in any one event. All participating athletes must have been born before Jan. 1, 2007. 

The qualification period is from July 1, 2019, through Jan. 16, 2022, for halfpipe, snowboard cross, slopestyle and big air, and from July 1, 2020, through Jan. 16, 2022, for parallel giant slalom.

Olympic quota spots are awarded to countries, rather than athletes. The FIS points list from the qualification period will be the basis for determining which nations are allocated an Olympic quota spot. China, the Olympic host country, will be automatically granted one quota place in each event. 

Countries that earn quota spots may then decide which athletes to allocate those spots to. Athletes are eligible to be selected by their country’s Olympic team if they have fulfilled both of the following criteria during the qualification period: 

  • Placed in the top 30 at an FIS World Cup event or at the 2021 FIS World Championships in their respective discipline (in the case of big air, placing in the top 30 of a slopestyle contest would suffice)
  • Scored a minimum amount of FIS points (100 FIS points for snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom; 50 FIS points for halfpipe and slopestyle; and 50 FIS points in either big air or slopestyle for big air entrants)

Team USA

The U.S. snowboarding team will be announced on or before Jan. 21, 2022.

A series of selection events will be held leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics. The objective criteria differs slightly by discipline.

Big Air, Halfpipe, Slopestyle

Based on rankings from the FIS Snowboard Points Lists and athletes’ performances across the following designated tryout events:

  • HP/SS: U.S. Grand Prix, Aspen, Colo., March 18-21, 2021
  • BA: Steamboat Springs, Colo., Dec. 2 and 4, 2021
  • HP: U.S. Grand Prix, Copper Mountain, Colo., Dec. 9 and 11, 2021
  • BA/HP/SS: Dew Tour event, Copper Mountain, Colo., Dec. 16-18, 2021
  • HP/SS: U.S. Grand Prix, Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Jan. 6-8, 2022

A maximum of three athletes per gender can be nominated for the event in the following order:

  1. Up to the top two highest ranking athletes per gender from the respective FIS Points Lists on Dec. 22, 2021, provided they’re ranked top-six overall
  2. A third quota spot per gender can be allocated based on an athlete having at least one top-three result in the tryout events
  3. Any remaining spots can be filled using discretionary selection criteria, e.g., ability to produce a medal-winning result, results within last two years, etc.

Parallel Giant Slalom

Based on rankings from the FIS Snowboard Points Lists and athletes’ performances across the following designated World Cup tryout events:

  • Rogla, Slovenia, March 1, 2021
  • Bannoye, Russia, Dec. 11, 2021
  • Carezza, Italy, Dec. 16, 2021
  • Cortina, Italy, Dec. 18, 2021
  • Scuol, Switzerland, Jan. 8, 2022
  • Simonhohe, Austria, Jan. 14, 2022

A maximum of three athletes per gender can be nominated for the event in the following order:

  1. Up to the top two highest ranking athletes per gender from the FIS Parallel Points Lists on Dec. 21, 2021, provided they’re ranked top-six overall
  2. A third quota spot per gender can be allocated based on an athlete having at least one top-three result in the tryout events
  3. Any remaining spots can be filled using discretionary selection criteria, e.g., ability to produce a medal-winning result, results within last two years, etc.

Snowboard Cross

Based on rankings from the FIS Snowboard Points Lists and athletes’ performances across the following designated World Cup tryout events:

  • Veysonnaz, Switzerland, March 20, 2021
  • Secret Garden, China, Nov. 26-28, 2021
  • Montafon, Italy, Dec. 10-11, 2021
  • Cervina, Italy, Dec. 17-18, 2021
  • Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Jan. 8, 2022
  • Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Jan. 9, 2022

A maximum of three athletes per gender can be nominated for the event in the following order:

  1. Up to the top two highest ranking athletes per gender from the FIS Snowboardcross Points Lists on Dec. 22, 2021, provided they’re ranked top-six overall
  2. A third quota spot per gender can be allocated based on an athlete having at least one top-three result in the tryout events
  3. Any remaining spots can be filled using discretionary selection criteria, e.g., ability to produce a medal-winning result, results within last two years, etc.

Mixed Team Snowboard Cross

Discretionary selection criteria will be used by the U.S. snowboard cross head coach to select the athletes to represent the U.S. in the mixed team event from those already nominated for the individual events of the same discipline at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Such criteria include the ability to produce a medal-winning result, or proving future medal potential via a top-eight result at a major competition or top-20 world ranking in the last two years.

NBC Olympics Research contributed to this report