What is up in the world of snowboarding this week? Not one but two snowboarding leagues have been announced in the last week featuring Scotty James and Shaun White.

As if the FIS World Cup, the FIS World Championships, the X Games, the Dew Tour, the Freeride World Tour and Natural Selection weren’t enough. Now there’s halfpipe league events designed for team competition and offering bigger prize money and a claimed “clearer career path.” Good news for the top of the ladder, for sure.

It started last week with X Games announcing a “bold, new global, team based format in 2026” called X Games League, with X Games Strategic Advisor Scotty James stating “for the first time, we will be able to focus on performance while benefiting from a stable and sustainable career path in action sports.”

James is joined by fellow investors two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and seven-time X-Games Gold Medalist Chloe Kim, Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, and gaming superstar Ninja. They’re not stupid as X Games has already seen significant audience growth under MSP leadership in the past 12 months, including 113% growth in streaming audiences and 1.6 million new social followers.

“In essence, we’ve used Formula One as a model for this new X Games League,” said Jeff Moorad, Executive Chairman of X Games and Principal of MSP Sports Capital.

Teams will be composed of athletes from multiple disciplines who will compete for individual and team points to earn both individual and team prize purses with both a Summer XGL and a Winter XGL. The competition schedules will include X Games signature events as well as strategic collaborations with existing competitions.

A winter XGL team would consist of both snowboarders and skiers, men and women. A summer team with men and women, in bmx and skateboarding.

Then yesterday, Shaun White’s Winter Sports League was launched at the Cannes Lions Festival in France with a flashy press event and a press release featuring X Games League investor, Chloe Kim.

The Snow League launch. Photo credit: Jennifer Gardner

White says “After all my years competing in many different formats in the snowboarding space, I’ve come to realize that snowboarding and freeskiing athletes deserve a legit professional league. Beginning next year, The Snow League will give riders, freeskiers, and sports fans all over the world a destination for what I believe is the most exciting athletic competition in all of sports. Now is the moment to elevate the next generation of winter athletes who are pushing the limits of competition.”

The first season will feature men’s and women’s snowboard halfpipe competitions then the league plans to introduce freeskiing midway through the first season. Athletes will accumulate points based on their results from each event to be tallied together at the end of the season to crown a world champion.

The first of five halfpipe events for the Winter Sports League will be held in the US in March 2025 and end in the winter of 2026 following the Winter Games in Milan.

The Snow League’s snowboarding field will be made up of the top 20 men and 16 women in the world. Riders will be chosen using a modified ranking from the World Snowboard Points List.

20 men and 16 women will be seeded into four qualifying heats, each with a best of two run format. The top qualifier from each heat will advance to championship day. The next two best scores from each heat will also earn a chance to compete for the last four championship spots in another heat using an additional best of two run format.

Then eight men and eight women move on to championship day which features a head-to-head bracket format, seeded from qualifying day with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals rounds. A rider must win two of three runs to advance to the next round in the bracket.

The total prize purse for the first season will be at least $1.5 million, representing the richest prize purse in the sport to date.

Serving as CEO of The Snow League is Omer Atesmen, who worked with White previously developing educational sports content at The Skills. Ian Warda, former VP of Global Integrated Marketing at Burton, joins as COO. Sandy Macdonald, Olympic judge and competition director for countless world class competitions, joins as the league’s Head of Competition.

With competition being held throughout the year, one can only assume Saas Fee in Switzerland (home to Charles Beckinsale designed summer park) and Cardrona will be approached as the only official Olympic sized halfpipe in the Southern Hemisphere. Let’s see how this all plays out.

Still confused? Watch this space as more information is released about both new snowboard leagues.

Thredbo's getting a 22 foot Olympic style halfpipe with new ambassador Scotty James