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So, what exactly is NASTAR?

NASTAR, an acronym which stands for National Standard Race, got its start in France where ski instructors were rated by their speed relative to each other.Thus instructors at different resorts would be rated by the percentage they lagged behind the time of the fastest instructor. In 1968, John Fry, former Editor-In Chief of Ski Magazine, adapted this handicap system to allow recreational skiers at resorts all over the United States to compare their performance.As in golf’s handicap system, this allowed ski racers of all ages and ability levels to compare their race times regardless of when and where they raced.With the support of SKI Magazine, NASTAR was adopted as the recreational racing program all over the country and was eventually adopted by over 100 resorts.

Since its inception, over 4.6 million skiers have participated in NASTAR races.In 1999, Octagon, the sports marketing division of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) assumed management of the NASTAR program and has worked with SKI Magazine to rejuvenate the program.More recently NASTAR has picked up the Jeep Division of Daimler Chrysler as a sponsor.

So what does NASTAR have to do with the Texas Ski Council (TSC)?

Early in its history the TSC started sponsoring interclub racing.To encourage skiing and racing at all ages and skill levels, the NASTAR handicap system was adopted and has been used ever since - - most US ski resorts are official NASTAR participants and even those that aren’t can usually run races using the same format.

So how does the NASTAR system work?

  • The first step is establishing your handicap.At the beginning of the club races on a TSC sponsored trip, a member of the resort’s race staff runs the course to establish a “par time”.This par time will be used throughout the race to measure each participant’s performance on a relative basis.

EX: If par time is 20 seconds and your time is 32 seconds, then your time was 160% of the par time and your handicap is 60(32/20=160%-100%=60%).

  • The second step is to convert each person’s handicap into points, and to do this the standardized NASTAR points system is used.Depending on the racer’s age and gender, your handicap is converted to points.

Ex: A male racer between the ages of 45-49 and with a handicap on the race of 43-57 would get 36 points.A male between the ages of 50-54 can get the same 36 points with a handicap of between 46-60.In other words, the older racer can earn the same number of points with a slower relative time (handicap).

  • At the end of the race the total number of points earned by each club is totaled to determine the winning club in each division.


Please visit the NASTAR website ( for more information.