With the FIS Council approving all proposals of the Cross-Country Committee, the FIS Cross-Country staff invited all head coaches from the National Ski Associations to the first online coaches meeting of the season, to give updates on the major changes which will affect the upcoming winter season 2021/22.
Find here the most important matters on calendar, formats, ICR and World Cup rules that were presented to the coaches:
With FIS remaining committed to introduce the full fluor ban, the Cross-Country coaches were officially informed that the implementation of a Fluorine Tracker that will instantly detect the presence of fluorine wax on skis, has been postponed until the season 2022/23. The device and the implementation process will be tested throughout the upcoming season without penalization.
The approved calendar 2021/22 was presented which includes ten World Cup events – of which five events will be with three competitions. Ruka will not be held as a mini Tour but as individual competitions. The Tour de Ski will have 6 competitions only per gender. Oslo’s distance competitions will be held as a mass start due to available TV slots. FIS, LOC and the National Ski Federation of Norway are committed to bring back interval distance World Cup competitions to Holmenkollen in the future.
Also the approved calendar frame for the future was presented which defines the principles, upon which the calendar for the upcoming seasons will be established.
An expert working group was established to review specifically the wording and definition of the “Overtaking” rule. Within this group, various athletes are represented. The exact wording will be defined by the FIS Autumn meetings.
Relay DSQ substitution
Further, a possible 3 minute time penalty for Team events was introduced. Thereof, in a stage event, Teamsprint and now also in Relay competitions, the jury can decide to substitute a DSQ with a 3 min. time penalty.
World Cup rules
Teamsprints saw a modification in the qualification system from semifinals to finals. As of next season, the top-4 teams will qualify directly (instead of 2) as well as two lucky looser teams of each semi final.
Sprint qualification race
In order to increase the value of the Sprint qualification race, the top-10 qualifiers will receive World Cup points counting for the Sprint World Cup and the Overall World Cup standing. The amount of points are distributed according to the World Cup rules point 22.214.171.124. The athlete must finish his/her race in order to have the World Cup points from the qualification awarded.
The start list for the Sprint qualification race will be created out of three groups, seeded group, then the 30 best athletes according to FIS Sprint points after the seeded group and all remaining entered athletes. The coaches will choose the start position for the athletes of the seeded group.
Mixed events in Falun
Details for the two mixed Team events in Falun will be discussed in the working group throughout summer and published after the FIS Autumn meetings. The two events will not give any World Cup points for the athletes.
Prize money increase
As defined two years ago, the athletes prize money increase takes place in three steps within three years. After the last years adaption, the second stage of the increase is established for the upcoming season. The basic prize money for the upcoming season is CHF 45’500 to be distributed per race and divided between positions 1-20 according to the chart. For Relay and Teamsprint races, the prize money of CHF 35’500 per event is divided between teams 1-6 according to the chart.
In general, the World Cup rules concerning the organization around the World Cup event see adaptions to make the event more simple, more sustainable and more cost efficient. Therefore, the deadlines for the booking process for teams regarding entries and cancellations has been adapted to support LOC’s in their planning. There remains a flexibility in case of a Covid-19 outbreak in a team shortly before travelling to the event – in order to keep the field of play save but also not have a major impact on the costs for the team. Also the possibilities to book rooms out of FIS terms in order to simplify the process for smaller nations has been adapted.
Ongoing discussions concerning the World Cup rules remain the staff quota, a possible limitation of equipment as far as further organizational matters.
OWG Beijing update
Pierre Mignerey, FIS Cross-Country race director gave an update on the status for the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (CHN). The quota for the OWG are available on the FIS website (direct link).
All teams were directed to a cloud containing GPS data, maps, schedules, weather report etc.
Michal Lamplot, Assistant FIS Cross-Country race director gave an update on the Junior and U23 World Ski Championships 2022 which will take place from 28th February to 6th March in Zakopane (POL).