The FIS Council held its Autumn Meeting online and dealt with a full agenda. The primary agenda items comprised addressing the challenges faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic on organisational aspects, including providing financial contributions to the Organisers of the FIS World Cup events and World Championships.
The FIS Technical Committees submitted proposals for adaptions to some rules and regulations, in addition to the appointment of technical officials, with the FIS World Championship and Olympic Winter Games Organsing Committees providing reports on their preparations and activities.
Full details will be published in the Summary of the Council Meeting on Monday 12th October
The FIS 2020-21 competition calendars were already approved at the Council meeting on 3rd October, when the FIS Council also appointed Trondheim (NOR) and Saalbach (AUT) as the hosts of the FIS World Ski Championships 2025.
Key decisions of today’s Council Meeting include the following:
FIS World Championships
The Council received written reports from all future FIS World Championship 2021, 2023 and the recently elected 2025 hosts whose preparations are well on track and approved by the national health authorities.
Namely, Cortina (ITA) – Alpine Skiing, Oberstdorf (GER) – Nordic disciplines: Cross-County, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Zhangjiakou/Genting Resort (CHN) – Freestyle Skiing, Snowboard, Freeski are all on schedule and final inspections on-site will take place from mid-November.
Candidates for Future FIS World Championships
Ski Flying 2024
Applications for the FIS Ski Flying World Championship in 2024 will remain open until 1st April 2021, following the withdrawal of Harrachov due to the lack of a guarantee for the required construction.
Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski 2025
The decision on the submission of candidacies is postponed until after the Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled on the eligibility of Russia to bid for major events in view of the candidacy of Krasnoyarsk (RUS), latest 1st April 2021.
Appointment of other FIS World Championships:
The organisation of FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships 2021 in Zakopane (POL) was rescheduled to 2022. In view of the special circumstances, the Council divided the Championships and appointed Organisers per discipline which will be finalised in the few weeks.
Lachtal (AUT) as Organiser of the FIS Junior World Championships Snowboard Alpine parallel competitions was rescheduled to December 2020 after the cancellation in March.
The Canadian Snowsports Association with Whistler was appointed to host the FIS Nordic Junior and U23 Cross-Country World Championships 2023.
Financial Support to 2020-21 World Cup Organisers and National Ski Associations
It is of fundamental importance for the sport and the athletes, along with the financing of the National Ski Associations, Organisers and FIS, that the FIS World Cup series are carried out to the greatest extent possible. The financial challenges Organisers are currently facing are related mainly to reduced spectators and the costs related to implementing Covid-19 measures.
In order to act proactively, and within the means of the FIS finances, a financial contribution to support the costs and loss of income of the respective World Cup Organisers / National Ski Associations was approved.
FIS will contribute, towards the additional health measures to be implemented, the value of 20% of the respective discipline prize money amount per World Cup competition carried out. Based on the approved 2020-21 World Cup Calendars, the maximum total of the contribution would be approximately 4.4 million Swiss Francs. The support is conditional on the Organisers paying the defined minimum prize money.
Fluorinated Ski Wax Ban
The Council decided in November 2019 that the use of fluorinated ski wax will be banned for all FIS disciplines from the 2020-21 season which have been shown scientifically to have a negative environmental and health impact. Regulations have been established which impact the manufacturing of these products.
FIS strongly supports the ban on Fluorinated waxes and its appointed Working Group has worked tirelessly in the last months to develop a testing device and implement testing and sanctioning protocols across all disciplines in time for the start of the 2020-21 season.
However, due to unforeseen delays in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, the FIS Working Group concluded that the testing device will not be ready to be implemented by the start of the upcoming season. FIS remains dedicated to upholding the ban, and the Council approved having all systems in place for implementation by Summer 2021.
President Gian Franco Kasper provided the Council with a report of the various IOC activities since the last council meeting including IOC Executive Board meetings on 10th June 2020, 15th July, 22nd July, 9th September, 7th October and the 136th IOC Session on 17th July 2020.
Of note for the Council was the update on the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (CHN). The only international sports events that are taking place in China in 2020 are the official Beijing 2022 Test Events. The IF Technical Officials inspection will take place in November 2020 with main focus on the Beijing 2022 Test Events during the 2020-21 winter season.
Gangwon province, Organisers of the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2024, in the cities of PyeongChang and Gangneung, from 19th January to 2nd February 2024, and for the first time in Asia, submitted its first report to the FIS Council.
The first major milestone since the election of Milano Cortina as the host city for the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 was the opening of the headquarters on 9th December 2019. The IOC Delivery Partners Kick-off Meeting was held in Milan on 10th and 11th December, while the first IOC Coordination Commission Meeting took place online on 28th and 29th September.
FIS Technical Committees
A number of proposals from the Technical Committees to amend rules and sport organisational aspects were approved by the Council. Across all disciplines there will be a Covid-19 Event Task Force for each event, which will oversee all topics related directly to the pandemic and any effect it has on a given FIS World Cup competition.
- The maternity protection status was extended from nine months to a maximum of 24 months after birth.
- Athletes competing in team competitions will earn individual World Cup points according to the final team ranking. Relays will count for distance World Cup and Overall World Cup points. Team sprints will count towards the Sprint World Cup and Overall points.
- Preliminary calendars for summer 2021 and World Cup 2021/2022 were presented
- Minor changes regarding equipment control were approved
- The criteria for admittance of athletes in the Women’s World Cup were adjusted to ensure that athletes from Ski Jumping can still participate in case of Continental Cup event cancellation.
- For the 2020-21 season, if at the time of the preliminary entry deadline at least seven of the top 10 nations from the 2019-20 Nations’ Cup are allowed to travel per Covid-19 restrictions, the event will count for World Cup points. In exceptional cases the FIS Event Task Force will make the final decision.
- Additionally, various exceptional rules for this season were approved to protect athletes start list (WCSL) position who are not able to participate in World Cup competitions due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Freestyle Skiing, Snowboard, Freeski
- For Cross, Freeski and all Snowboard disciplines 70% of the nations represented by the Top 20 athletes of the World Cup Starting List must be able to participate in a World Cup for the competition to be valid, contingent on Covid-19 restrictions in place. For moguls and aerials it will be 60% of the field.
- The Ski Cross sub-committee will report to the Alpine Committee for technical matters relating to safety and appointment of officials. Ski Cross will remain a Freestyle Ski discipline in major events such as the Olympics, World Championships and World Cup and will form a Coordination Group with Snowboard Cross.
- Moguls and Aerials will add a separate Nations Cup for the 2020-21 season.
- The online judging system for Moguls and Aerials was successfully tested over the summer and will enter the next phase of development and implementation.
Alpine World Cup Sub-Committee
Walter Vogel (GER) was appointed the new Chairman of the Alpine World Cup Sub-Committee.
Governance of FIS
The results from the third edition of the assessment of all Winter and Summer Olympic Federations Governance Review for 2019-2020 were released on 1st September. FIS had its best finish, leading the seven Winter IF’s and reaching the top tier A1 Group with FIS governance scoring 170 out of a potential maximum 200 points.
FIS was the first WADA stakeholder to undergo virtual audit in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. After four, half-day audit sessions, it concluded on 6th October with the initial verbal report indicating a positive assessment of the FIS Anti-Doping Programme with some useful feedback to further improve processes.
FIS Development Programme and FIS Solidarity support
The activities and budget for 2020-21 of the FIS Development Programme were approved. Several of the planned activities from the previous season had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but are planned for the upcoming season. Additionally, applications for financial support from FIS Solidarity for six special projects were approved.
Bring Children to Snow Campaign - FIS World Snow Day
The next FIS World Snow Day will take place on 17th January 2021 following the successful developments since the inaugural edition in 2012. Additionally, together with partner Atomic Skis, two athlete ambassadors will be added to the Bring Children to the Snow programme.
FIS Congress 2021
The 52nd International Ski Congress “2020” is scheduled from 30th May to 5th June 2021 at the Grand Hotel Bernardin in Portoroz, Slovenia. The General Assembly will be on 4th June with the full Congress agenda including the election of the FIS Council and President. The Electoral Supervisory Committee (ESC) will compile directives for the respective election procedures.