The Great White Way at Mission Ridge
The ROCs of The (Other) Great White Way
As a playwright who happens to be a USSA National 4 technical delegate and Level 300 Coach,
I am convinced that a ROC (race organizing committee) is the Gibraltar, the solid foundation, of the
Broadway-quality dramatic stage play of a USSA
alpine race. Here’s an example of the 2012 Hampton Cup GS at Mission Ridge with a cast of 160
athletes and 80 backstage ROC-and-rollers (
volunteers, or “vollies”).
Before the curtain went up, the cast of athletes rehearsed its roles in training sessions of technical
and tactical skills, focus and self-talk by coaches.
The ROC was staffed in key positions with men and
women who were USSA certified in particular skills
to assure that the race would qualify as a scored
event. And the vollies had been trained in everything from gate judging to coffee and hot chocolate
barista-ing. The staging and pre-production was
seamless. Ergo, so was the show.
Of course, the athletes are the stars of the show
who, rightfully, get their names in neon and take
bows on the podium — such as two-day winners
Anna Mounsey and Alec Jones. But without a foundation of a solid ROC such as there was at Mission Ridge, a race could have the architecture of
a house of cards with, perhaps, too many jokers
I say bravo to ROCs everywhere and may the ath-
letes always have encores and rave reviews.
Dean “TD”eanski Tonkin
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