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American Water Ski Association

New Level 10 and Rule 3.03 FAQ

BACKGROUND:  In January 2017 AWSA made modifications to rule 3.03. This rule went into effect for the 2018 ski year. The modification creates a new Level 10 rating. The Skiers Qualification Committee (SQC) determines the ratings cutoffs for L10. Previously 3.03 governed level 9 which was a level where a skier could optionally enter elite division competition (open or masters).  Level 10 creates a level of performance, that when achieved, mandates that a skier compete in their elite division for the remainder of that ski year. When the term “ski year” is used below, it means from nationals to nationals.  The ski year starts the day after one Nationals and goes through the end of the next Nationals

FIRST CRITICAL STEP, Preceding ski year (2017):

  1. From the preceding ski year (in this case: 2017) the computer will produce a list of skiers with their average score in the events/overall collected from the following pools: 
  2. M1, M2, and OM for Elite Men skiers (EM).
  3. M3, M4, and MM for Senior Men skiers (SM).
  4. W1, W2, and OW for Elite Women skiers (EW).
  5. W3, W4, and MW for Senior Women skiers (SW).

Note: No juniors are included here even if they posted a score in open.

  1. The SQC then draws a line in the listing for each event and overall using the top 3% as their guide.  From the average scores of these skiers a rating chart is produced or, in future years, updated. SEE BELOW


  1. There must be 5 skiers in each event and/or overall who met the SQC rating qualification for the skier groupings above for there to be an L10 for that group for the next ski season.
  2. If there are 4 or less L10 will not exist or be mandated and the computer will wait and look again at the end of the next ski year – 1st day after Nationals.

THIRD CRITICAL STEP, Current ski year (2018):

  1. Throughout the ski year, starting after nationals, the computer scans the adult divisions looking for skiers who have a score that equals or exceeds the ratings cutoffs DURING the current ski year – 2018. A skier who matches or exceeds the L10 ratings cutoff scores will be added to the L10 list for that event or overall and must ski in their elite division for the remaining ski year (up till Nationals)
  2. There may be only 2 or 3 early on in the ski year but the critical factor of 5 has already been established in the second step above.
  3. At 3:00 a.m. (EDT) on the first Thursday of July, you will, or will not, be in L10 for the remainder of the ski year i.e. through Regionals/Nationals.
  4. The day after Nationals the whole process starts over for the following season.

Here is the L10 Rating chart:

L10 Ratings for 2018

Event vs Elite Division*


Slalom (buoys)




EM - Open Men

114 (6@39)

6600 pts

193 feet

2956 NOPS-OM

EW - Open Women

102 (6@38)

5700 pts



SM - Masters Men

109 (1@41)

4310 pts



SW - Masters Women

97.5 (1.5@38)








*If there is no data in the cell, then there were less than 5 skiers meeting the criteria. The numbers in the cells are the ratings thresholds for L10. It’s important to note that the Overall NOPS is based on scores in Open divisions, not M1/M2.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Which event/divisions does L10 apply to in 2018?
Answer: Based on the data from 2017; Open Men Slalom, Open Men Trick, Open Men Jump, Open Men Overall, Open Women Slalom, Open Women Trick, Masters Men Slalom, Masters Men Tricks, Masters Women Slalom.

Question: If I achieve the L10 rating on July 20, 2018 do I have to ski elite division at regionals and nationals?
Answer: No, after 3:00 a.m. (EDT) on the first Thursday of July, if you are not in L10 at that point you can ski in your age division at the upcoming regionals/nationals.

Question: Does my score have to be in a record event to count towards L10?
Answer: No, all class C scores count towards L10 ratings

Question: Last July I skied 116 buoys in Men 1, do I have to ski Open in 2018?
Answer: Not until you achieve the L10 rating in the 2018 ski year.

Question: Let’s say I have 2 scores in Women 2 trick and then my 3rd scores of the season puts me into L10, will my scores remain in Women 2 rankings?
Answer: No, once you achieve L10 status, your scores go with you into your elite division

Question: What’s the difference between L9 and L10?
Answer: L9 is elite division optional and set at the top 7% of the population, L10 is mandatory elite and set at the top 3% of the population.

Question: I have heard that L10 skiers can “drop down” into age divisions to ski?
Answer: Yes, but for score only, those scores will no longer show up on age division rankings

Question: If I am in Men 4 and trick 8,000, which is higher than the L10 for Open Men, do I have to ski Open Men Trick?
Answer: No, 35 plus skiers who achieve L10 status, even if above the open L10 rating, will never be forced to ski in open, only Masters.

Question: What if I am level 10 in overall?
Answer: For 2018 only Open Men overall has a mandatory L10 rating, but if you are L10 in men’s overall you must ski Open in all 3 events

Question: What if I am L10 in 1 event, L8 in overall, and want to compete in overall?
Answer: This is a great question and another new feature in 2018. Skiers who ski Open or Masters in one event, whether L9 or L10, and do not have a L10 overall rating, can still compete for age division overall.

Question: How will that work?
Answer: If it is a non-placement tournament they will drag their scores from open to complete their overall age division score.  If it is a placement tournament, such as Regionals/Nationals, they will ski twice, once in elite for placement, and then again in age division for score only.

Question: When will that skier ski in the age division for score only?
Answer: Generally, first off the dock but ultimately at the discretion of the LOC or Appointed Officials.