The FIS Council held its’ Autumn Meeting at the FIS Headquarters in Oberhofen (SUI) on Friday 16th November and dealt with a full agenda relating to the current season, as well as future activities. The main subject areas comprised sport organisational aspects including competition calendars, proposals from the FIS Technical Committees with updates to various regulations and competition rules, appointment of technical officials and reports on the upcoming FIS World Championships.
In addition, various important areas of the Governance of FIS were addressed, including a review of FIS financial matters. The main decisions of the Council Meeting in Oberhofen include the following:
FIS World Cup Calendars 2018/2019 to 2022/2023
The final versions of the FIS World Cup Calendars for the 2018/2019 season that include minor modifications proposed by the respective Technical Committees were approved and are available on the FIS website. The draft calendars for future seasons up to 2022/2023 were also acknowledged.
FIS World Championships Reports
Reports from all the future FIS World Championship hosts from 2019 to 2023 indicate that preparations are going according to schedule with this upcoming season’s major events in Are (SWE) - Alpine Events, Seefeld (AUT) - Nordic Disciplines, and Park City (USA) Freestyle Skiing, Freeski & Snowboard all having staged successful Final Inspections recently.
Additionally the competition programmes for the FIS Alpine World Championships, Cortina 2021 (subject to the decision regarding the alpine combined) and FIS Nordic World Championships, Oberstdorf 2021 were confirmed. The programme for the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, Zhangjiakou 2021 will be submitted in spring 2019.
The allocation of media and commercial rights fees for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships taking place in 2023 and 2025 for distribution to the National Ski Associations’ Organising Committees was confirmed, following the decision of the FIS Council in May 2018 to award the media and commercial rights for the FIS World Championships 2023 and 2025 to Infront.
Appointment of FIS Junior World Championship Organisers:
The following hosts of FIS Junior World Championship Organisers were appointed
FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Junior World Championships in 2019:
Kläppen (SWE) - Freeski and Snowboard slopestyle and big air events
Chiesa in Valmalenco (ITA) - Freestyle Skiing aerials and moguls
Rogla (SLO) - Snowboard alpine
FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships
Panorama (CAN) in 2022
Hinterstoder (AUT) in 2023
The Council received an extensive update from the next Olympic Winter Games, Beijing 2022 and a report from the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. Of note was the candidature process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 with the two Candidates: Milan/Cortina (ITA) and Stockholm (SWE).
FIS fully endorses the IOC Athletes’ Rights & Responsibilities Declaration that was compiled by the input of the athletes and endorsed by the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October.
FIS Technical Committees
A number of proposals from the Technical Committees to amend rules and sport organisational aspects were accepted. Of note are the following:
Vikersund (NOR) has been included in the FIS World Cup Ski Jumping calendar in 2019 and as part of the Raw Air Tour following the inspection by the Sub-Committee for Jumping Hills and agreement to issue a temporary hill certificate valid for the upcoming season, after works have been undertaken to adapt the outrun to conform to safety requirements.
Nordic Combined Ladies’ will be in the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships from 2019.
The decision will be taken at the Council Gathering in February 2019 whether to replace the alpine combined with the individual parallel event at the World Championships and Olympic Winter Games.
From the season 2020/2021 the Council supported the concept of including an additional event the weekend after the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Opening in Soelden, for the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup “Parallel and Parallel Team Opening”.
Governance of FIS
The Gender Equity Working Group proposals with a five-year roadmap was confirmed by the Council including FIS Congress representation, FIS Committee membership, international technical officials at major events, competition activities balance, communications and seminars.
The Governance Working Group will convene with the Council at its Gathering in February 2019 and deal with governance and ethics as the main agenda item.
FIS National Associations
The provisional membership application from the United Arab Emirates as associate member was accepted, subject to the approval of the FIS Congress in 2020. The National Association may register UAE national athletes to participate in FIS competitions forthwith and may organise FIS calendar competitions.
An update to the FIS Anti-Doping Rules 2019 was adopted to reduce quota spots due to repeated anti-doping rule violations, following the recommendation by the IOC to this effect. It underlines the “FIS no-tolerance policy” to doping and serves as another preventative tool against doping.
Since the previous Meeting of the Council in Costa Navarino 2018, no new doping case has been recorded at international level. The Council was provided with an update on the latest activity in regard to the Russian doping cases notably the status following the WADA Executive Board decision to declare RUSADA compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code subject to stringent criteria.
This decision does not affect the existing situation whereby a number of Russian cross-country skiers remain subject to potential doping cases. Three athletes remain provisionally suspended: Julia Ivanova, Yulia Chekaleva and Anastasia Dotsenko, whilst the provisional suspensions of eight athletes were lifted following the decision of CAS against the IOC in February 2018 that the cases did not meet the threshold for the necessary level of evidence.
FIS Digital Activities
The FIS Website was re-launched at the end of October to share technologies and synergies with the FIS App using one provider Omnigon. The wider development of FIS digital activities was also a key focus with the three year roadmap focusing on data, content, technology and monetisation. The development of the FIS eSports World Cup Ski Racing mobile game is progressing for launch in the 2019/2020 season.
FIS Athletes Commission
The procedures and regulations for the election of members to the FIS Athletes Commission for the 2019 to 2021 period were confirmed. The athletes will undertake the elections during the respective FIS World Championships this season in Park City, USA - Freestyle Ski and Snowboard, Åre, SWE - Alpine Skiing, Seefeld, AUT - Nordic disciplines: Cross-Country, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined
FIS Development Programme and FIS Solidarity support
The activities and budget for the FIS Development Programme 2019, which consists of 41 FIS member National Ski Associations, were agreed. Applications for FIS Solidarity financial support for 13 special projects were approved.
The first FIS Development Programme partner was welcomed. Apex 2100 International Ski Academy based in Tignes, France will provide seminars/courses, scholarships and special rates for FIS Development Programme nations.
Bring Children to Snow Campaign - FIS World Snow Day
The FIS Bring Snow to the Snow Campaign enters its tenth year and the eighth FIS World Snow Day will take place on 20th January 2019 following the successful developments since the inaugural edition in 2012. During the past decade more than three million participants have participated at nearly 6’500 officially registered Bring Snow to the Snow events in 53 countries.
FIS “Care of the Mountain Population” Forum
The FIS Care of the Mountain Population Forum on the subject of the environment in the mountains, the impact of climate change and snow activities is taking shape. This important high-level academic seminar is being developed by Bocconi University on the Environment and has been scheduled for 20th to 22nd November 2019 on the Island of Mainau.
New Official FIS Ski Museum” for Wintersport-Museum Bad Ragaz (SUI)
The Wintersport-Museum Bad Ragaz (SUI) was approved as an official FIS Ski Museum, bringing the total number of museums to 34 in 12 nations: AUT, CAN, CZE, EST, FIN, GER, JPN, NOR, SUI, SVK, SWE, USA.