From March 23rd – 27th, Vars will be causing a stir in the world of freestyle skiing. The Vars Tournament is not your average ski competition, and might almost be better described as a ‘battle’ in a modern day Western, with skiiers set to knock off their oponents to get their share of the massive 10000 Euros prize pot.
The head-to-head clash, which will be played in the format of a ‘game of skate’, will bring together an impressive group of invited riders, who will never have met in circumstances like this before. The six confirmed skiers are Sam Favret, Gus Kenworthy, Phil Casabon, Samm Carlson, Henrik Harlaut and Torin Yater-Wallace. Alongside them will be two others who are yet to qualify. This qualification day will take place on Saturday 23rd March and will see the likes of Jules Bonnaire (FRA), Simon Ericsson (SWE), Laurent Favre (FRA), Gaillaume Shrava (FRA), Nico Vuignier (SUI), Antti Ollila (FIN), Oystein Braten (NOR) and David Bonneville (FRA) try and battle their way through to the quarter finals.
Before you read the rules it might help to know what the game of Skate or O.U.T (as it’s referred to here) actually involves:
O.U.T. is a specific competition format where riders go head-to-head. a game of « shi-Fu-mi » (we know it simply as ‘rock, paper, scissors’), is used to decide who has the turn and sets a trick for his opponent to land.
If the 2 skiers land the trick, skier 1 keeps his ‘hand’ and sets another trick and another place.
If skier 2 doesn’t manage to land skier 1’s trick, he gets a letter of the word V.A.R.S, it’s still skier 1’s turn and he gets to set another trick and another place.
If skier 1 doesn’t land his trick and skier 2 manages, he passes his ‘hand’ to his adversary who will set a
trick and a place.
The first skier to make his opponent write the word v.a.r.s wins the round.
Here’s how it’s going to roll:
- After the eight riders have been confirmed there will be a lucky draw to see who will go up against who.
- Each match will be one against one
- 3 rounds of rock paper scissors will be played. The winner will begin the battle and set the the 1st trick to land.
- In order to be valid, the trick must be copied exactly
- Only marked out features in each ring can be used
- It is obligatory that the rider whose turn it is makes his opponent write a letter in each ring
- Tricks set can not replicated = it’s the other rider’s « hand »
- The rider who only has one letter left (s) has 2 attempts for « match point »
- Starting with the semi-final, a combination of 2 tricks is needed for the last letter
- The combat lasts as long as it needs to for a winner to be decided
- Hand makes contact, or accessory lost when landing = invalid trick
- The winner of the battle is the person who makes their adversary write all 4 letters of the word V.a.r.s. (he gets his opponent out of the game by winning 4 rounds when it’s his round which is where the expression o.u.t. comes from).
Saturday 23 March: Ski qualifiers
Announcement of the 2 riders qualified & the lucky draw for the quarter final duels
Sunday 24 March: Quarter finals
Monday 25 March: Semi-final
Tuesday 26 March: Final and fourth-place play-off
Wednesday 27 March: Weather day