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The alpine competitions that are contested in the FIS World Cup series, FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and at the Olympic Winter Games consist of ten events: five for ladies and five for men. Additional formats such as the Parallel Slalom and (Knock-Out) Slalom and Giant Slalom are carried out as variations of the alpine events. The rules are the same for men and ladies, but the courses differ. In all cases, time is measured to .01 seconds and ties are permitted.
The Alpine events are:
The downhill features the longest course and the highest speeds in Alpine skiing. It includes challenging turns, jumps and gliding phases. Each skier makes a single run down a single course and the fastest time determines the winner.
Super-G stands for super giant slalom, an event that combines the speed of downhill with the more precise turns of giant slalom. The course is shorter than downhill but longer than a giant slalom course, and also includes high speed turns, jumps and gliding phases. Each skier makes one run down a single course and the fastest time determines the winner.
Also known as the GS. It is a similar version to the slalom, with fewer turns and wider, smoother turns. Each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day, usually with the first run held in the morning and the second run in the afternoon. The times are added, and the fastest total time determines the winner.
The slalom features the shortest course and the quickest turns. As in the giant slalom, each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day. The times are added and the fastest total time determines the winner.
The combined event consists of one downhill and two slalom runs. The times are added together and the fastest total time determines the winner. The combined downhill and the combined slalom are contested independently of the regular downhill and slalom events, and the combined courses are shorter than the regular versions. Usually the entire combined event is held on a single day at the same venue.
The complete rules and regulations for Alpine Skiing can be found in the Rules and Publications section
List of Events
Reinforced plastic boots are specific to the competition discipline. Raising of the boot sole is permitted to increase the ability to pressurise the ski. The maximum distance between boot sole and foot is regulated, presently at 45mm for men and for ladies.
Made of leather or synthetic material. Slalom gloves often have a plastic forearm guard for protection when skiing through the gates
Ski goggles protect the eyes against weather, glare and the effects of speed on the eyes. Goggles can be worn with a variety of lens colours to maximise contrast and visibility.
A helmet is compulsory for downhill and super-G and is often worn in slalom and giant slalom. Some skiers choose to attach a chin guard.
In the downhill and super-G, poles are curved to fit around the body to reduce air resistance. In the slalom events, poles are straight and often have plastic guards covering the knuckles to help skiers knock the slalom poles out of their path.
Skis are generally made of various material (wood, composite fibres) specially adapted to the wear and tear they undergo during a race. Their "performance" on the snow depends also on their length, width and shape which vary, depending on the discipline. Ski length, height and radius must conform to clear rules. Metal edges on the skis are sharpened for every race to make the ski hold during the turn on the icy surface.
Skin-tight racing suits are worn to reduce air resistance and suits must meet minimum requirements for air permeability. Padding may be worn under the ski suit, and a plastic back protector is usually worn in downhill. In slalom events, pads are worn on the arms, knees and shins.
Bindings are the link to attach the boots to the skis. Safety bindings will release when the torsion or impact is strong enough. The maximum height (distance between the bottom of the running surface of the ski and the ski boot sole) is regulated at 55mm.
The following regulations for the starting order and draw are valid specifically for the FIS World Cup, FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the Olympic Winter Games:
Starting order for Downhill
If more than one training run is held, the thirty (30) fastest competitors start in the reversed order of their times achieved in the last training. Thereafter the starting order is made according to FIS points.
If only one training run can be held, the starting list is established the same way as for Super G.
Starting list for Super G
The best thirty (30) present competitors start in the reversed order of the SG WCSL (World Cup Starting List) points, thereafter the starting order is made according to FIS points.
Draw 1st group (1-15) - Giant Slalom / Slalom
The first seven ranked competitors will be drawn between start numbers 1-7 and the remaining competitors between 8-15.
An equipment controller checks skis, bindings and ski boots to verify that the race equipment conforms to the rules.
FIS points are used as the seeding system and are calculated from each international FIS race. The calculation system is based on a number of factors including the standard of the race based on the FIS points ranking of the participants who start and finish the race, its’ running time, and the different race categories.
Gatekeepers control that the gates are passed correctly.
Time of competitor at an intermediate point of the course, it is of the interest to those following the event but has no effect on the result.
The jury is tasked with the correct running of the competitions. The Jury is responsible for ensuring that competitions are run safely and in accordance with the rules.
The racer must start between 5 seconds before or 5 seconds after the official start signal.
The timing clock is activated when a skier passes through a pivoting, knee-high wand to begin his or her run.
The task of video controller is the same as the gatekeepers. The video controller will control that the gates are passed correctly.
World Cup Starting List (WCSL)
The points system used for the seeding of the top 30 competitors. Points are scored by the top 30 finishers in World Cup, FIS World Championship and the Olympic Winter Games.