"Skijoring originated in Scandinavia about 700 years ago, when it was a means of transport during the winter months," said Sandpoint organizer Matt Smart. "It arrived in North America as a recreational pastime in the 1950s, and it's now a specialized competitive sport, practiced in at least five different states and several countries." Today, the North American Ski Joring Association (NASJA) has set forth basic guidelines to help event organizers keep a challenging and safe course for its competitors. All jumps must remain 150 feet apart, and be twice as wide as tall. "Our jumps at Sandpoint are 8 feet wide and 4 feet high," Smart said. "The gates are 18 inches high, and skiers will have to manipulate or go around them while traveling the course. If they miss the gate they will be penalized a few seconds off their overall time."