Colorado State University Hosts 2010 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Series Lumberjack Competition

Note to Reporters: Reporters are welcome to attend any of the competition events. Please contact Kimberly Sorensen for interviews with members of the CSU Logging Sports Team at (970) 491-0757 or

WHAT: Wood chips will be flying when lumberjacks and jills from 11 universities chop and saw their way through the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Western Collegiate Challenge and the 71st annual Association of Western Forestry Clubs’ Logging Conclave at Colorado State University. ESPNU will be covering the collegiate challenge as it has done for several years.

WHEN: March 17-19, 2010. ESPNU will be shooting the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Western Collegiate Challenge at 1 p.m. Friday, March 19 however there are several opportunities for media to attend different competitions as part of the logging conclave as well as a visit to the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery. See full schedule and details below.

WHERE: CSU Logging Sports Field, located on the south side of Vine Drive west of Overland Trail in Fort Collins, Colo. The logging field is part of the CSU Motorsport Engineering Research Center compound and the majority of events will be held here. The Technical Events Competition will be held at Colorado State University’s Environmental Learning Center at 2400 Ziegler Road in Fort Collins.

Click here for a Google map of the CSU Logging Sports Field.

DETAILS: In the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Western Collegiate Challenge, the most skilled collegiate lumberjacks go head-to-head in four professional lumberjack disciplines: the single buck, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop. Not only will ESPNU cameras document the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Western Challenge, but they will also showcase programs in CSU’s Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship, the CSU campus and Fort Collins in front of a national audience.

The winner will earn a $1,000 scholarship from STIHL and advance to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Championship to be held this summer at the Oregon State Fair in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Professional Series. The 2010 Collegiate Series will be televised on ESPNU later this year.

The CSU Logging Sports Team has developed an impressive reputation in lumberjack sports during the last few years with CSU philosophy student Adrian Flygt. In 2008, Flygt won the Western Collegiate Challenge and placed second in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Championship. In 2009, he placed second in the Western Collegiate Challenge, but was able to advance to the Collegiate Championship when selected as the 2009 wildcard pick. He later withdrew from the championship due to injury. Flygt returns to the lumberjack stage representing CSU in the 2010 Western Collegiate Challenge.

Full schedule:
Tuesday, March 16

8-9:30 a.m. – Competition participants will tour Colorado State Forest Service Nursery and speak with state foresters. CSFS Nursery is located at 3843 LaPorte Ave. in Fort Collins.

Wednesday, March 17
8 a.m.: Technical Events Competition – tree identification, orienteering/traverse at CSU’s Environmental Learning Center.

The remaining events are held at the CSU Logging Sports Field
12:30 p.m. – Axe Throw, Caber Toss, Pulp Toss
2 p.m. – Pole Climb 1: This is a race to see how fast competitors can climb to the top of a 50-foot pole using traditional tree climbing gear.
4 p.m. – Choker 1: This is a head-to-head race through a 100-yard long obstacle course to see who can set a log choker fastest.

Thursday, March 18
8 a.m. – Women’s Double Buck and Men’s Underhand Speed
10:30 a.m. – Obstacle Pole 1 (This event involves running around and up an inclined log with a chainsaw, cutting off a piece at the top, then racing back down the pole in the shortest amount of time), Women’s Underhand Speed, Men’s Double Buck
12:30 p.m. – Men’s Vertical Speed, Women’s Single Buck
2 p.m. – Men’s Single Buck, Women’s Vertical Speed
3:30 p.m. – Power Saw, Pole Climb 2
4:30 p.m. – Choker 2

Friday, March 19
8 a.m. – Men’s Underhand Hard-Hit, Jack and Jill Buck
10 a.m. – Women’s Underhand Hard Hit
1 p.m. – STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Western Collegiate Challenge: Single Buck, Standing Block Chop, Stock Saw and Underhand Chop
3:30 p.m. – Obstacle Pole 2, Men’s Vertical Hard-Hit, Women’s Vertical Hard-Hit

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Western Collegiate Challenge Disciplines’ Descriptions

Single buck – Competitors make one cut through 18-20 inches of white pine using a single man cross-cut saw. Time ends when the block is clearly severed. The primary challenge of this event is brute strength and stamina. The single buck used to be referred to as the “misery whip” because of the physical toll a body endures while using it. A key strategy is to keep the saw as level as possible so that it creates an even cut and the teeth don’t catch in the wood.

Standing block chop – Mimicking the felling of a tree, competitors race to chop through 12-14 inches of vertical white pine. The competitor must chop from both sides of the log and the time ends when the block is severed. Precision is a strength in succeeding in this event. Stamina is the primary challenge because this is one of the most physically exhausting events.

Stock saw – Competitors use identically-tuned Stihl MS 660 Magnum chain saws and matched logs. They begin with both hands on the log and the chain saw on the deck idling. At the signal, sawyers make two cuts through 16 inches of white pine. With only four inches of wood to work with, precision is key. If competitors saw outside of the designated four inches or fail to saw a complete cookie (term used to describe the circular piece sawed-off wood), he or she will be disqualified.

Underhand chop – The competitor stands with feet apart on a 12-14-inch log. At the signal, he begins chopping through the log. Before chopping all the way through he must turn and complete the cut from the other side. Time ends when the log is severed completely. The challenge in this event is precision as well as the location of the cuts. A proven strategy is to rotate the cuts, one lower cut, one upper on the right side and then one lower, one upper on the left side until the log has been severed. Another big challenge of the underhand chop is the danger involved. This is one of the most dangerous disciplines.