D-Team | Freestyle Handbook


This is a reference that will help answer questions regarding the freestyle D-team program. Please review the information in this packet. Any further questions contact the D-team Administrator or speak with the coaching staff.

JOHN ROMBERG | Director of Alpine Services


The Development Team (D-Team) is designed to introduce young athletes to the joy of riding and skiing. Our primary focus is to develop strong snowboarding and skiing skills while providing a fun experience for all. Our coaches work with each athlete to develop their primary skills, set strategies for competitions and work on goal setting for the season.


  • Kato Kid participants looking for more challenges
  • Skiers & Snowboarders that love to ski and ride and want to learn the discipline of Freestyle
  • Experienced Freestylers who want to dial their skills in the park

It’s the priority of the coaching staff to remain flexible and to make sure all our participants have the opportunity to work on their skills in a fun and safe environment. Everyone learns new skills in different ways and at different rates. Our coaching staff takes this into consideration.



Question: What are the different age groups? And what is the cutoff date?

Answer: Participants practice in groups based on age and experience. Competitions utilize age group designations. The age cutoff date is September 1st

Example: We’ll use a snowboarder who turned 10 on September 2nd as an example.

For registration this rider would be eligible to compete as a 9-year-old since their birthday fell after September 1st. An athlete can elect to move up and compete in the next age class. Once they elect to move up, they may not move back down.


Ages 9 and under Ages 10 and under
Ages 10Ages 11 and 12
Ages 11 and 12Ages 13 and 14
Ages 13 and 14Ages 15-18 (must be in high school)
Ages 15-18 (must be in high school)


Question: What time should my child be ready for practice?

Answer: Our participants start promptly at 12:30 PM. For participants to get the most of this program they must be at practice and ready to go on time. Age groups will meet at the Chalet for stretching and warm up before going on the snow.

Question: What if my child is late for practice?

Answer: Practice starts at 12:30. Late team members please go to the Learning Center Desk for further directions. Again, please strive to be on site and ready to go at 12:30 PM.

Question: How are practices run at Mount Kato?

Answer: Practice is broken down into three segments: Slopestyle, Big Air and Snowcross. Slopestyle and Big Air segments of practice will usually take place in the terrain park. Snowcross will use different hills utilizing brush gates, snowboard gates etc. The coaches will utilize entire ski area and its terrain to develop well rounded skiers and snowboarders.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT: Helmets & Other Considerations

Question:  Does my child need to wear a helmet during practice/competitions?

Answer: Helmets are highly recommended for all practices and competitions. Concussions are a growing concern in all youth sports. Helmets significantly reduce that risk. 

Question: How should I maintain and prepare my child’s equipment for this program?

Answer: Having properly set up and maintain equipment is important for the safety, enjoyment and performance of all participants. All skis and snowboards need periodic base and edge maintenance. Both ski and snowboard bindings should be checked at the start of the season. Bindings should also be checked throughout the season for proper performance and functions. Check with our local Service Center or Ski/Snowboard shops for details. 


Question: What happens if we experience unusually odd weather?

Answer: Practices and competitions are never cancelled for any weather-related circumstances. On extremely cold days, if wind chill is a concern, practice may be modified or cancelled. Make sure your child comes prepared with appropriate clothing for all conditions, including a facemask etc.


Question: What is expected of each student athlete when it comes to conduct?

Answer: As a member of the Mount Kato Freestyle Development Team you are representing not only yourself, but your Coaches and Mount Kato. Athletes are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner at all times. We all need to understand the public’s right to enjoy the same hills on which we train. Respect gets respect from lift lines through the terrain park. Mount Kato’s Development Team is expected to display good sportsmanship at all times.


Question: When do we register for competitions and what is the schedule for the day?

Answer: Competition days are exciting for everyone however they can be long. It is important that everyone gets a chance to warm up, inspect the park and features without feeling rushed. Try to arrive at the ski area with plenty time for your child to do all these things. We suggest that you arrive at the area no later than 8:30 AM. Understand the added stress involved for new participants. Also try to provide your child with a good night’s, sleep before, a healthy breakfast and healthy foods throughout the day.


Question: What happens at registration and where do we register?

Answer: You need to find the registration table in the Chalet. There are generally separate stations for each age group. Here you will receive a bib number. Your bib number must be displayed throughout the day while competing. While registering take note of where your bib number lies in the running order. This will let you know when to be on top of the hill for your runs. Competitors who show up late for their run will run at the end of their age group.


Question: Is the course available prior to the competition?

Answer: Course inspection is a very vital part of every competition. All experienced and successful freestylers inspect, study and memorize layout and features of the park. It is a skill that must be learned and practiced. All competitors should inspect every training and competition course prior to running it. Work with your coaches to learn what to look for and how to inspect on your own too. Course inspection should become part of all athletes, “pre-game” routine and be used to start focusing on the competition and this is best accomplished alone. We provide group inspection for younger athletes (12 and under) as a learning tool. On competition days Coaches will always be available for inspections and to answer any questions.


Question: How is a competition judged?

Answer: All competitors will compete in three events, Big Air, Slopestyle and Skier/Boarder Cross. The competition schedule for each season will include 2 Big Air/Slopestyle events. 1 Skier/Boarder Cross event and 1 season Championship event of Big Air/Slopestyle (no cross event.)

  • Big Air – One trick preformed over a man-made jump
  • Slopestyle – Multiple tricks preformed during a single run over several jumps & features
  • Skier/Boarder Cross – Multi-competitors, race on a terrain course

Participants will be guaranteed at least two contest runs at each event.


Question: How are the “Team Points” calculated?

Answer: Team points are calculated as follows

1st Place           5 Points

2nd Place           4 Points

3rd Place           3 Points

The total “Team Score” for each area are calculated by adding up the individual scores of all of their team members.


Question: Will all competitors receive awards?

Answer: Individual awards will be given up to 8 places. If total number of racers in an age group exceeds 30, award will be given to the top 15 places in that age group.


Question: What can I do to help with a home competition?

Answer: While it is always fun to have a competition on your home hill, it is also a lot of work for the host hill to organize and run a D-Team Freestyle event. Successful events require cooperation between the area, the coaches, and the parents. There are far too many responsibilities for these events to be run safely by only the Mount Kato staff and coaches. In seasons to come we will be encouraging D-Team parents to volunteer at one of our future competitions.

(Note: First year teams cannot host a competition. Attending events with your student athlete will give you more insight to what is needed.) 

We hope this handbook is helpful in familiarizing you with our D-Team program. We strive to keep our Team members and parents informed though this handbook and periodic updates. If you have any further questions that were not answered in this handbook, please feel free to talk to a coach or contact the Learning Center Desk at Mount Kato.



Sun.      12th      12:30-3:30        Practice 4:00-5:00 Parent, athlete meeting in the Chalet
Sun.      19nd 12:30-3:30        Practice


Sun.      9th        12:30-3:30        Competition Day at Buck Hill
Sun.      16th      12:30-3:30        Practice
Sun.      23rd      8:30                  Competition Day at Wild Mountain
Sun.      30th      12:30-3:30        Practice           


Sun.      6th        8:30                  Competition Day at Trollhaugen
Sun.      13th      12:30- 3:30       Practice
Sun.      20th      12:30-3:30        Practice
Sun.      27th      12:30-3:30        Practice


Sun.      6th        12:30-3:30        Practice