Home » 2024 State Championships » Summary of Race Rules

Summary of Race rules

The OISRAN Race Rules approved by the OISRAN Board in September 2023 are the governing rules for this competition. Coaches, racers, and parents should become familiar with the rules in this SUMMARY. 

Rules that changed or were added in September 2023 are in bold italics.  Coaches and racers are responsible for knowing all current race rules as posted on the website. An infraction of any of the rules, including these new rules, can result in the jury assigning a penalty to the racer.

Waxes:  Glide Waxes approved by the OISRA Nordic Steering Committee:

FastWaxHS training, Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt Plus, HSX Paste wax
STARTSG Liquid and solid; RG liquid and solid (NOT included – RG race or RG ultra)
SkiGoFFA and FFT solid and liquid
SoldaUniversal Race Liquid, Uniwax, HC 28 Hydrocarbon, Linea Super, HC1, Superglide liquid
SwixPS and HS solid and liquid
TokoBase Performance wax solid and liquid; Performance Glide solid and liquid; X-Cold Powder
VauhtiONE solid and liquid

Seeding for state meet races: Seeding is determined by the Chief of Calculations based on prior race results.

Electronic devices:  A competitor’s use of electronic devices with earphones is prohibited in the Start area and during the race.

Pole Height Rule: In classical technique (including the classic leg of the relay) competitions, the maximum pole length must not exceed 83% of the competitor’s body height.  This rule will be enforced ONLY if the jury receives a protest against a specific skier.

Bibs must be visible: Can cover the bib with a coat ONLY in the start area.  The coat is removed before starting.

Costumes: Costumes are not allowed in Varsity events. For JV relay races, the racer’s bib must be worn over all parts of a “costume” (including a cape) so that the bib number is clearly visible from all directions (front, back, and sides) at all times. 

Uniforms:  Uniforms, at a minimum t-shirt or tank top, must cover the entire midriff during competition, including relay races.

If the team provides a uniform, the racer must wear enough of the team-provided uniform so a race worker can identify the racer’s team by looking at the racer’s uniform. If a team does not provide a uniform, this rule cannot apply.

Warming up: Ski the course in race direction while warming up.

Broken equipment: Racer must complete course on at least one ski. If a racer breaks a binding or ski so that it is not functional, they may continue on the course by propelling themselves with their ski-less foot.  As soon as they can get a substitute ski they may finish the race on the replacement ski.

Point-of-contact for questions during the race:  The Chief of Race is the person to contact during the race.  Do not approach the timing crew with questions during the race.

Racers must follow the instructions of all race officials.  This includes any race official wearing an official bib and coaches.

Racers must be respectful toward citizen skiers.

Obstructing, pushing, or deliberately impeding or blocking another skier is not allowed.


The Technical Delegate will instruct coaches during the coaches meeting about any course closures (the first part of the course is usually closed 5 minutes before race start), skiing backwards on the course is not allowed, even when warming up on the course.


Mass Starts (Friday’s FREESTYLE race)

  • The commands for the start of the wave mass start race are “Racers ready,” “10 seconds,” “GO.”
  • All skiers must be motionless at their designated start point at the “10-second” command.
  • The start can happen at any time after the “10-second” call.
  • Skiers must stay in their double-pole lane until marking ends.

Interval Start Procedures (Saturday’s CLASSIC race)

  • The starter will give every competitor a 10-second warning before start with a verbal “10 seconds” before the start.  They shall count “5-4-3-2-1 and ‘GO’”
  • Any competitor who has a “false start” (defined as more than 3 seconds before the “GO” command) gets an automatic 15-second penalty.  If a skier starts between 1 and 3 seconds before the “GO” command, their start time will be changed to match their actual start time.
  • If competitor arrives late, the Start Supervisor will tell the skier when they can start without interfering with another skier’s start.  The late skier’s actual start time will be recorded in case the jury decides that the cause for the late start was beyond the skier’s control.  Otherwise, the start time on the Start Orders will be used for the skier’s start time.


  • Skier should choose a lane in the finish area and can only change if they do not obstruct another skier. 


  • Racers should tell their coach or an official when they are not finishing a race to help everyone know how many racers are on the course.
  • A technique zone in the classic race on Saturday will be on the steepest section of Easy Up, near the top, and begins near where Easy Up turns right.  It is short and will be marked with signs. Double poling (with or without a kick) is not allowed in the Technique Zone. Within the TZ skiers may use diagonal stride technique comprised of alternating diagonal movements of both arms and legs and includes diagonal stride and herringbone techniques without a gliding phase.  In the diagonal technique only one or no pole is in the ground at any time.
  • ONLY CLASSICAL techniques allowed in the classic race (Saturday and first leg of relay)
    • Skis must not be gliding when herringboning up a hill
    • Downhill corners can be skied aggressively, for example, pushing off the outside ski in a corner zone is allowed – but no active skating pushes are allowed on other terrain or after a downhill corner where classic tracks resume on the course.
    • Excessive changing of lanes (3+ in a row) may be considered skating by a technique judge.
    • Obstructing, pushing or deliberately impeding or blocking another skier is not allowed.  See overtaking rules below for more clarification.


Interval Starts – Saturday’s Classic Race

  • A competitor who is overtaken MUST give way on the first demand.  This applies in classical technique courses even when there are two tracks.
  • The request of “Track” should be acted upon at the 1st command
  • You can only request “Track” if you are gaining on the other skier and close enough to be sure to be able to pass
  • A competitor may not track another competitor in marked areas.

Mass Starts – Friday’s Skate Race

  • In a mass start race, a competitor who is being overtaken is not required to give way on the first demand, but the overtaken skier must not obstruct the skier who is overtaking them.
  • It is the passing skier’s responsibility not to cause any obstruction. (The overtaking skier’s skis must be clear of the overtaken skier before best line can be taken.)
  • On Easy Up, if you are not passing, stay on the right side of the zone.

Relay Races

  • Cannot request “Track” UNLESS you are overtaking a skier in a different colored bib.


  • A tap of the hand to any part of the next skier’s body must be done in the exchange zone. No pushing allowed!  Follow Relay Referee’s command if the tag is not correctly completed and the skier must go back and complete a correct tag.


  • Race Officials are assigned to ensure the rules are followed.
  • Infractions of race rules can be reported by Head Coaches, League Representatives, and Race Officials (course monitors, chief of course monitors, finish referee, start supervisor, Chief of Race, Technical Delegate, for example)  Assistant Coaches cannot directly report infractions. A Head Coach must report any infraction that an assistant coach wants reported.
  • A Jury is assigned to rule on any infractions and to enforce penalties.