2023-11-05 17:38

Vasaloppet lowers age limits in several races

Vasaloppet's management has decided to change the minimum age requirement for participation in five of its ski races during Vasaloppet's Winter Week. This comes after the Swedish Ski Association made changes to age regulations for the 2023/24 season and beyond. Here is all the information on the new age limits.

The new competition rules set by the Swedish Ski Association are the basis for these changes. The issue was raised last winter, in part due to 17-year-old Alvar Myhlback’s participation in Vasaloppet; he was allowed to participate on a special dispensation from the Swedish Ski Association and finished in eighth place.

The discussion revolved around whether younger juniors (girls/boys 17–18) should be allowed to compete without restrictions on the distance. According to the existing rules, this age category was limited to a maximum of 50 km in competition classes, which meant they could only participate in Vasaloppet from the calendar year they turned 19.

After conducting an analysis of the current skiing landscape, holding several internal discussions, and consulting with the cross-country skiing committee, the Swedish Ski Association decided to remove the distance restrictions for younger juniors.

Now there’s ”no upper limit” in the distance table when an athlete reaches junior age and is eligible to obtain an FIS code for international competition, and they can thereby compete in senior classes with unlimited distances.

The Swedish Ski Association also decided, this spring, to change the distance limits for youths participating in recreational races. This means that girls/boys aged 13–16 are now allowed to ski 45 km (previously 40 km).

In summary, these changes have the following impact on age limits in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week:
– Vasaloppet’s age limit has been lowered from 19 years to 17 years (the year they turn 17)
– In Tjejvasan’s recreational class, the age limit has been lowered from 17 years to 11 years (the year they turn 11)
– Öppet Spår Monday 45, Vasaloppet 45, and Nattvasan 45 have been lowered from 17 years to 13 years (the year they turn 13)

Tommy Höglund, Vasaloppet’s Sport Manager, comments:
”We are following the recommendations made by the Ski Association, which means that 17-year-olds can now compete in unlimited distances, including Vasaloppet. Older youths can also ski longer distances in recreational races; 11 and 12-year-olds can ski 30 km, as they did before, but 13-year-olds can now ski 45 km. In Tjejvasan, we still have the competition class for 17–20-year-olds, but participants can join the recreational class of Tjejvasan from the year they turn 11.”

So this winter, Vasaloppet will welcome younger participants.
”Yes, we view this positively, and I believe it will encourage more families to ski together. We don’t see any danger of 11-year-olds suddenly skiing alone on the track; it will happen in the company of an adult.”

In the historic 100th Vasaloppet, those who turn 17 in 2024 (born in 2007 or earlier) can participate.
”Last winter, we had maybe 100 participants who were 17–18 years old in Öppet Spår. So those in that age group can now switch to Vasaloppet if they want, assuming they can secure a spot,” suggests Tommy Höglund.

FACTS/ You can now participate from the year you turn …

Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2024 – Skiing
Vasaloppet 30 (30 km) – 11 years
Tjejvasan (30 km) – competition 17 years, recreational 11 years
Öppet Spår Sunday (90 km) – 17 years
Ungdomsvasan (9 and 19 km) – 11 years
Öppet Spår Monday 90 (90 km) – 17 years
Öppet Spår Monday 45 (43 km) – 13 years
Öppet Spår Monday 30 (28 km) – 11 years
Vasaloppet 45 (45 km) – 13 years
Stafettvasan (9–24 km) – 11 years
Nattvasan 30 (30 km) – 11 years
Nattvasan 45 (45 km) – 13 years
Nattvasan 90 (90 km) – 17 years
Vasaloppet 10 (9 km) – 8 years
Vasaloppet (90 km) – 17 years

Vasaloppet upcoming events

Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2024 – cross country skiing

Register for winter 2024 now >

Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2024 – biking and running

Register for summer 2024 now >

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