Key decisions of the Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski Committee at 51st FIS Congress
Costa Navarino (GRE) - The Committee for Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski convened at the 2018 FIS Congress in Costa Navarino (GRE) on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, with much to discuss following a highly successful 2017/18 season and with an important 2018/19 season ready to get underway in just a few short months.
Remaining at the forefront of discussions was the continued efforts towards harmonization of the ‘shared’ freestyle/freeski, and snowboard events - halfpipe, slopestyle, big air and cross - and how to further improve all facets of competitions within what is still a relatively new governing structure. As well, the approval of some significant rule changes in moguls and aerials skiing promise to bring fresh excitement to the vanguard freestyle events, while alpine snowboarding looks forward to capitalizing on the excellent exposure received by parallel giant slalom at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
- Continue the strong work done in the ongoing harmonisation between ski & snowboard, maintaining the positive momentum gained in halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air, and building a shared vision for the future of cross events
- Implementation of a new International Competition Rules rulebook combined for FS, FK & SB instead of two separate books as previously, with a new structure to make the rulebook more user-friendly
- Work to include new discipline in the Olympic program such as aerials mixed team event, freeski big air or snowboard mixed team parallel event and snowboard cross team event
Ski and snowboard cross:
- Formation of a shared cross advisory group to develop common principles for both SX and SBX
- An adaptation of the ski cross “Look & Feel” via significant relaxing of the suit specification rules; measurement rules have been significantly relaxed for the 2018/19 season
Moguls and aerials:
- Revision in degree-of-difficulty scoring for moguls skiing introducing a category of jumps with grabs, implemented the intention of exhibiting a larger variety of tricks
- Revision in degree-of-difficulty scoring for ladies’ aerials with increased reward for triple flips, implemented with the intention of exhibiting a larger variety of jumps
- New aerials competition format for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games - two rounds of 12 athletes - best of two rounds - seeding 6 athletes into the super final with one round of jumps.
Freeski and snowboard park & pipe:
- Harmonisation of rules with freeski will see qualification results now able to count as final results in the case of a finals cancellation.
- Process of reducing the quota for the freeski and snowboard events in order to limit field sizes and increase quality of events.
- No major changes
Beyond the upcoming changes on the sport side of things listed above, FIS Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski looks forward to an enhanced look and feel to be unveiled for the 2018/19 season, particularly in television presentation and online. This, along with staff changes such as the recently-announced appointment of JP Barrolo as the Cross Race Director, several new World Cup venues and organisers ready to show their best to the snowsports world, and the Park City 2019 Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships ready to thrill at one of the USA’s premier ski resorts in February, should give ski and snowboard fans worldwide plenty to look forward to next season.