Historically, the NASTAR program had its roots in France where ski instructors were rated by the percentage they lagged behind the time recorded by the fastest French ski instructor. This provided a standardized system so that instructors from Chamonix could compare themselves to instructors at Val d'Isere or other resorts.
John Fry, former editor-in-chief of SKI Magazine, believed the program would be applicable to recreational ski racing in the United States and adopted this universal handicap scoring system. He called it the National Standard Race. The program, later given the acronym NASTAR, was introduced in 1968 as a means to measure the performance of recreational ski racers at resorts across the United States. Similar to golf's handicap system, ski racers of all ages and abilities could now compare their times and compete with one another regardless of where and when they raced.
With SKI Magazine’s support, NASTAR became the recreational race program at resorts across the country as competitors were eager to measure their skiing ability with one another based on a national standard established each year by the fastest member of the U.S. Ski Team. Prodded and promoted by former U.S. Ski Team coach and TV commentator Bob Beattie, the program grew to over 100 resorts attracting close to one million ski racers. In fact, since 1968, more than 6 million NASTAR racer days have been completed.
Today NASTAR continues to generate the necessary enthusiasm and excitement to provide participants of all ages and abilities an enjoyable ski and snowboard racing experience.