Most important Cross-Country decisions from the FIS Congress 2018

Last week during the 51st FIS Congress in Costa Navarino (GRE) the Cross-Country Committee and its Sub-Committees had their meetings. Here’s a summary of the most important decisions.

FIS Cross-Country World Cup
Minor adaptions of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup rules were accepted. Those include decision making process in case of extreme weather, cancellation or postponement of World Cup competitions. Additionally, a special World Cup period was introduced for the Tour de Ski to help Continental Cup skiers qualify for the World Cup.

FIS Cross-Country World Cup 2018/19

FIS Cross-Country World Cup 2018/19 had to deal with a few challenges and wishes from different National Ski Associations. The French Ski Association informed that La Clusaz will not be able to organise the World Cup weekend initially planned in December 2018. Thanks to Swiss Ski and Norwegian Ski Association the solution was found, despite numerous organisational and financial challenges. As a conclusion, Beitostølen will organise the World Cup after Lillehammer and Davos will host world’s best skiers in the originally planned La Clusaz weekend.

Additional changes were done with competition formats at some venues. For the final version of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup calendar click here.

FIS Cross-Country World Cup 2019/20

U.S. Ski & Snowboard presented its wish to organize a World Cup in Minneapolis in
2019/2020 season. The Norwegian Ski Association indicated that discussions are still
taking place with Great Britain in order to finalize the organisation of the opening
stage of the Scandinavian tour. Glasgow would be the chosen location but more
information and a final confirmation is required latest at the autumn meeting.

International Competition Rules (ICR)

Sub-Committee for Rules & Control discussed and proposed several modifications of the ICR articles.

Definition of the classical technique was precised and the minimum lap length for distance interval start competitions longer than 10 km at OWG, WSC, JWSC/U23WSC and World Cup was defined as 5 km. Clarifications of the rules that cover start procedure in the interval start, team sprint starting order and responsibilities of the competitors were accepted. In order to align the sanctions process with other FIS disciplines, the hearing of the offender may be now organised on demand of the Jury if necessary or on demand of the offender.

Cross-Country Competition formats

A long discussion on the future of Cross-Country competition formats took place and took in consideration different views and perspectives of various stakeholders (athletes, teams, coaches, TV, fans, etc.). As a conclusion following decisions were made.

Skiathlon

Skiathlon competition will stay at the World Cup, World Ski Championships and Olympic Winter Games. The Committee agreed to remove skiathlon from the JWSC and U23 programme and replace it with ladies 15 km and men’s 30 km mass starts. The technique will be the opposite than the interval start competition and both junior and U23 will cover the same distance.

Sprint

Sprint stays both in classic and free technique with ideal time length from 2:45 - 3:00 (+/- 15 sec). In coordination with the homologation experts, organisers and National Ski Associations it will be possible to implement new features on the free technique sprint courses (waves, banked curves).

Mixed gender team event

A working group has been established to define the possible format of a mixed gender event and present the proposal at the FIS Autumn Meeting in Zurich this September. National Ski Associations are requested to propose organisers who could host this new event.

Men’s relay

The committee voted yes on shortening the men’s relay at OWG and WSC from 4x10 km to 4x7.5 km. The FIS Council, however, rejected this proposal and sent it back to the Cross-Country Committee for more discussion.

Team sprint

Team sprint should evolve in a more sprint oriented competition. The proposal of the changes will be presented in Zurich during the annual FIS Autumn Meeting.