MACC Ability Classes

MACC racers in are organized into classes based on ability, gender, and sometimes age. A handicap system is used to place men and women in appropriate classes, and to determine when racers should upgrade or downgrade to different classes.

As with NASTAR and golf, a high handicap indicates a racer tends to have longer times (slow); a low handicap indicates shorter times (fast). The table here shows the MACC classes, each defined by a range of handicaps.

Upgrade and downgrade handicap (HC) limits.
Classes Upgrade HC Downgrade HC
EM -- 18
EW -- 28
E1M, VE1M, SVE1M 15 28
E1W, E2M, VE2M, SVE2M 25 38
E2W, AM, VAM, SVAM 35 48
AW, VAW, BM, VBM, SVBM 45 64
BW, CM, SVCM 60 80
CW 75 96
DM 75 --
DW 90 --

For slalom, an average is taken of the best 6 results of the most recent 9 finishes. For racers who have not yet made 9 runs, the best 2/3 are used. For giant slalom, the best 6 of the last 8 finishes are used. For racers without 8 finishes, the best 3/4 are used. Runs are used for the current season and previous two seasons; older result are never included in the calculations.

You might notice that the classes overlap. For example, if an A man gets an average HC under 35, he is moved into a faster class (Elite-2 or Vet-Elite-2, depending on age). But if he slows down, he can't leave Elite-2 until the handicap rises to 38. This is done to keep racers from bouncing between classes.

A reference technical memo covers the details of the MACC handicap: The MACC Handicap System.

Here's the short summary of how racers are placed into classes.

  1. Each racer in MACC has an average handicap in slalom and a separate handicap in giant slalom. Your class is determined by the lower of your two handicaps. For example, if a racer has a slalom HC of 58 and a GS HC of 67, the slalom HC is used to define the racer's class.
  2. The official average handicaps are posted on this web site after each race weekend. Details for computing the averages are provided in the next two pages in this section (start with Handicap Introduction).
  3. If your handicap drops below the lower limit for your class, then you will be upgraded to a faster class. The upgrade is mandatory (you can no longer compete in a class once your handicap drops below the lower limit for the class).
  4. If your lower HC rises above the upper limit defined for your class, you have the option of downgrading to a slower class. This is not mandatory and it is not automatic. You must request the change from your team rep, who will in turn bring it to the MACC for approval. You are NOT allowed to downgrade unless your lower handicap rises above the limit shown in the table.
  5. Upgrades are not required during a race weekend. They are always posted after a race weekend in the results section of this web site. (Racers who wish to upgrade between Saturday and Sunday races are free to do so. However, this is never required.)
  6. New handicaps calculated after a race weekend are "final" and official after they are approved at the next MACC Board of Directors meeting. Until that time, it's possible that changes will be made if errors are found in the results.

MACC Handicaps

A handicap system is used to place MACC racers in appropriate ability classes, and to determine when racers should upgrade or downgrade to different classes.

MACC Class definitions
Handicap Calculations (pt 1)
Handicap Calculations (pt 2)

Handicap Theory (PDF)


The handicaps are determined largely by past histories of most of the racers competing on a course. Pacesetters provide quality control, and influence the handicaps of racers who are much faster or much slower than the average racer for the course.

Calculating and Reporting Handicaps

Handicaps are computed for all race times. However, the handicaps shown in the results on a race day are subject to adjusment and are not considered "final" until after the first MACC meeting that follows the race.

Handicaps are calculated using different equations for the first and second run, in order to compensate for differing course conditions. Therefore, identical times on the first and second runs can result in different handicaps.