MARA is a non-profit corporation active in the State of Maine and affiliated with the alpine division of the USSA program. It is one of eight state organizations in the Eastern Region of USSA: the other seven are NHARA (New Hampshire), VARA (Vermont), Tri-State (MA, CT, RI), NYSSRA (New York), NJSRA (New Jersey), PARA (Pennsylvania), and SARA (Southern, including VA, WV, NC, SC, GA).
At the state level, alpine racing competition takes place from mid-December through early April at various ski areas in Maine. In March, post season events take place at ski areas throughout the Northeast bringing together athletes selected through qualifying procedures of the different state organizations. The qualifying procedures of MARA are described in detail in the Seeded Competition and Children’s Competition sections.
Although competition is integral to our program, MARA is committed to providing an environment both safe and congenial in which the competition will take place. Athletes, parents and coaches are asked to become familiar with the rules, regulations, and code of conduct of USSA/MARA in order that all competitors and spectators may enjoy the events.
A Brief History
[Note to reader: Please let us know if any of the following statements contain errors.] And more importantly, please share with us any facts you have in your possession regarding the history of MARA so that we may add to the Archives. We welcome information about MARA, NARA (Northeast Alpine Racing Association), and other early alpine associations or committees leading to the formation of our present alpine racing organization – MARA. Thank you.]
In the MARA archives, our earliest written information about alpine racing is found in the 1963-64 Annual Report of Maine State Alpine Committee, which described the Maine alpine racing program for that year, including the Maine final FIS standings for the ‘63-‘64 season. The six page report also included references to the Committee’s affiliation with USEASA.
Our next records date from meetings in September, October and November of 1973, as the Maine Alpine Committee evolved into an Alpine Racing Association. Since Maine statute prohibited the use of the word “Maine” in the name of a nonprofit corporation, the association incorporated as Northeast Alpine Racing Association (NARA) on November 20, 1973. NARA also acquired 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. The first officers elected were President Will Farnham, Vice-President Ned Barron, Treasurer Larry Mahaney, and Secretary Jean Luce. Unofficially the group did use the term MARA at times in promotional literature, but not on legal documents.
Annual NARA Newsletters were published from 1973-74 through 1979-1980. In the MARA archives we have copies of all except for the newsletters for 1974-75 and 1975-76. In 1977-78 NARA felt the numbers of J III-IV-V racers were too low (about 30) and launched a community, local mountain-based selection process. Small mountains held races, and the top racers from 11 different ski areas competed against one another in the qualifying races at the end of the season.
In 1980 when state law was amended to allow the use of “Maine” in nonprofit corporate names, the Maine Alpine Racing Association incorporated. We have all MARA Newsletters from 1980-81 through 1983-84. In 1982 the MARA Newsletter began to take the form of the MARA Competition Guide as it now exists.
Since the 2000-2001 season, MARA has a web site. Race results, MARA and Junior MARA Cup standings, links to USSA, and late breaking information will be available online. We welcome your suggestions.