The Nordic Combined Committee wrapped up its session at the autumn meetings in Zürich and decided to give the green light for two big novelties for the upcoming season. All decisions are still subject to the approval of the FIS Council at their next meeting.
Season starts with a bang: the Ruka / Lillehammer tour
An opening tour of three competition events, planned for the weekend in Ruka in this season and in Lillehammer for the following year, will start the season on a high note and give a first tour winner the chance to celebrate early in the winter. Unlike the TRIPLE, in which the athletes take their competition results with them from day to day and which features an elimination of the weaker athletes, the Ruka Tour will be driven by World Cup points only. All athletes are allowed to start on all three days and the athlete with the highest amount of World Cup points on the third day wins the tour.
To rise the stakes, prize money at each of the three single events will go to the Top 3 athletes only and the rest of the money will be distributed among the Top 20 athletes of the overall standings at the end of the Ruka tour.
Special bibs for best jumper and skier
As a second big novelty, the Committee was in favour of introducing the blue bib for the best ski jumper and the red bib for the best cross-country skier on the World Cup level. After a successful test in the Summer Grand Prix, the athletes collect points for their respective jumping and skiing rankings and the athletes with the most points get to wear the special blue and red bibs. The best jumper and the best skier of the season will each have 7.000 CHF of prize money of waiting for them at the season finals.
Ladies Nordic Combined continues to grow
On the topic of Ladies’ Nordic Combined, the Committee was very pleased with the speed and quality of the development so far. At the next Committee meeting during the Congress in Costa Navarino (GRE), each Committee member will be tasked with giving a short update of the status quo in their country.
To give more girls the chance to experience the Junior World Championship atmosphere and as the planned Nordic Combined competition is only a test event without medals on the small HS 75 in Kandersteg (SUI), the Committee decided to also include athletes born in 2003 to the eligible age groups.