The Selection Process

The selection team is made up of individuals who are active in youth sailing. They can be race officials, coaches, judges, program directors or active sailors who know and attend youth sailing events. Chances are they will be at regattas and clinics that you are attending. The following is the procedure used by the Youth Championship Selection Committee to select participants in the U.S. Youth Championship. Each selector evaluates the sailors in their area of expertise but no one selector can see the scores of another.  There are no fixed fleet sizes – the selectors are looking for up to 200 of the best sailors.

The Selection Process

Score each applicant using a 100 point scale”using the range as listed below. Keep in mind that comments and records will only be reviewed by the Selection Committee Chairman and are STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. Decisions of the Selection Committee are final. Comments may only be released to the grievance committee if there is a challenge to the selection process by sailors themselves.

90+= Definitely accept, sailor you feel is a top ten finisher. An “A” sailor.
86-90 = Definitely accept once all the A’s are accepted.
80-85= Good Sailor, Good Potential but not quite ready. Maybe waitlisted.
>80= Declined for the Youth Champs.

The intent of the system is to accept all the 90s and above. If all the As cannot be accepted, the Selection Committee Chairman will contact the Selection Committee member before one of the 90+ is not accepted. Selectors should keep detailed records of decisions with respect to each applicant.

Rank the applications according to the criteria listed below. Use the following order of importance:

Demonstrated sail boat racing ability
Declared training program
Any other criteria

You may want to research each applicant’s ability and background by:

a. examining regatta results
b. drawing on personal knowledge
c. talking with youth sailors in your region
d. talking with junior/youth sailing organizers in your region
e. talking with instructors and coaches in your region
f. researching the relative difficulty of regattas held in your region

While ranking applicants, the Selection Committee members must keep in mind the single most common “complaint” we receive is that a sailor in a region who did not get accepted regularly beats another sailor who did get accepted. Research and knowledge should minimize this occurrence. Selection is final.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Selection Process

1. Are all of the regattas listed on the application site assigned a specific weight as part of the selection process?
Certain events have been designated early acceptance events but they are not the only events selectors look for. There are a variety of regattas that we look at, but they are not weighted and the events listed are not the only ones we look at.
  • There are many excellent regional regattas.
  • Every year some events have stronger turnouts than others. We are looking at the big picture.
  • Sailors should go to the regattas that you and your family can manage financially and logistically.

2. If you don’t do well at a particular regatta, you shouldn’t report your result.
This is not only not true, it is also a bad idea.  The selectors have the results of all of the regattas listed and will see your name listed. Not reporting your results can have the opposite effect.

3. To sail at this level requires serious financial commitment.
There is no doubt that sailing is an expensive sport, but US Sailing offers financial aid to qualified sailors to go to US Sailing events, like any of the junior championships or their eliminations, through the Sailorship Program. 

4.  There are pre-determined fleet sizes.
The selectors pick up to 200 of the best regardless of fleet. This applies to wait list order too. It’s quality that counts. They can and do pick less, but never more. You might be among the best in your fleet, but the selectors are looking at sailors across all the fleets and around the country.

5. If you are sailing with someone new, your old results will still count.
Teams will be evaluated on their performance together as well as individual results. You should show evidence that the two of you have been racing together over the past year. If you are highly experienced as a crew but are relatively new to helming, your crewing experience will not be as important as your helming experience.
If you are sailing with a new team member but in the same position on the boat, they will look at past results but will also factor in your experience as a team.

7. Can I submit a grievance if I was not accepted?
Yes and it will be reviewed by a separate committee whose decision is final.

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