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Wild Rumpus Sports

FIS Meeting Notes

Dear USA XC Community,

Here are a few notes from FIS meetings.

FIS Meeting Notes – Cavtat, CRO May 29-31, 2019

World Cup 2019-20:

Updated World Cup calendars can be found here:

The Planica, SLO individual sprint in December was changed to skate to provide technique balance in sprint events for the season and to better compliment course design.

Tour de Ski:

Dramatic change in Tour race formats for this season.

2-day pursuit in Toblach with pursuit based only on results from day before to keep competition tighter on TV and make the event more exciting. Normal overall Tour standings are not impacted by this change.

Tour de Ski Final Climb on Alpe Cermis is Mass Start (not Pursuit). This means that the first person across the line may not be the winner. TV graphics (virtual standings) will be key for telling the story of what is happening. Lots of discussion about how this will be produced and filmed. There will be a rush for athletes to get into a good position prior to the narrowing on the Marcialonga trail, and likely a sprint bonus at the end of the regular stadium area trails time-check.

We are getting rid of bonus points in stage pursuit races (updated rules coming soon).

New sprint-oriented point ranking. Sprint bonuses earlier in distance events to encourage sprinters to go for points early in race. Possible green sprinters bib like Tour de France? FIS staff is working on a plan over the summer to present in Zurich.

Lots of discussion about how to keep people from dropping out of Tour. Early sprint bonuses designed to keep sprinters in Tour longer, as well as placing 2nd sprint later in the Tour.

Modified course in Dresden. 2 laps of 650 meters. Doesn’t go under the bridge, but turns before it. Shorter course. Changed direction of the course to create a long finish stretch. Ski service boxes on spectator stand side. Building artificial bridge on flat on way back to finish. Creating more stands for spectators. Dresden working to create a better atmosphere around the event.

Relay in Nove Mesto on day two changed to Pursuit.

Ski Tour 2020 (Mid-Scandinavian Tour):

Team presentation on Friday evening prior to Östersund races.

Åre Sprint F will be on lower alpine hill. Two laps.

Athletes (mandatory) and staff (not mandatory) on the train between venues. This is part of the sustainable vision of this Tour.

TV (SVT, NRK) on the train and at least one press conference on the train.

Teams will transport their own skis and equipment. Wax trucks.

3 accommodation hubs (Östersund, Åre, Trondheim).

For Stage 4, the wax trucks will stage at finish in Meråker, where there should be good testing and space for waxing/skiing. The OC will provide some hotel rooms for teams to change/hang out, etc.

Idea from the OC is to have the athletes carry their own feeds on point to point stage 4. OC feeds possible at 22 and 33 km. We will need to create a strategy for procuring using Camelbacks, etc.

North American World Cups:

Full-sized USA Nation’s Group for Quebec City, Minneapolis, and Canmore (max 15 athletes per sex) including National Quota, COC leader, sprint top-20 (QC/MSP only), and Nation’s Group.

Team Sprint in Quebec City eliminated because it doesn’t fit into a Sprint Tour concept. We will have a Sprint C instead. Total 3 sprints in the Tour. Scored like a mini-Tour. Promotes attendance in both Quebec City and Minneapolis. Half-points each stage. 200 points for the Tour victory.

Canmore WC Finals. A new format will be introduced to World Cup: mixed relay on last day of WC (Sunday March 22). 4 x 5 km. CC/FF. Woman, Man, Man, Woman. No relay quotas so that most athletes can race the relay.

World Cup 2020-21:

Weekends off prior to and after the Tour de Ski.

We will try an interval start at Holmenkollen. TV is already organized for this. It will be an experiment, and if it works well it may be repeated going forward and will complement the mass-start 30 km and 50 km at the Olympics and World Champs.

World Cup 2021-22:

Discussion of moving the Tour de Ski forward one week to allow for better participation in the Tour on an Olympic year, and give time for recovery and training/preparation prior to the Olympics. However, moving it forward puts the Tour very close to Christmas.

Free weekend prior to Beijing Olympics.


Discussion in the Rules & Control subcommittee of no-pole skating hard (with aggressive arm swings) in mass-starts, sprint heats, and pursuits where one athlete’s poles are obstructing/injuring another athlete. This is often a type of tactical skiing athletes are employing, but the behavior can’t be contained or measured effectively by creation of a rule, and must be left to the discretion of the jury. Athletes can employ this tactic but do risk penalties for obstruction or unsportsmanlike conduct if behavior is egregious.

There will be China City Sprints in 2019-20 again this winter. Details coming later this summer/fall. Many different cities may be host sites.

International Ski Leaders of Tomorrow Seminar (women in coaching) in Oslo, NOR in September 13-15, 2019. More info coming in June. Room and Board are graciously being provided by the organizer.

There is a lot of momentum for replacing the word “ladies” in all FIS XC English language documents with the word “women”. Everyone is in support of modernizing the language. Will take quite a bit of work to go through all documents.

World Cup Rules:

The limitation of 4 bibs (2 x Course 1, 2 x Course 2) on World Cup race days is effective already this season (2019-20). Also, Nations can only combine Service Teams with one other Nation maximum. There was strong support for these proposals.  This means that athletes will need to be ready to test much more often by themselves, if they are testing on course. This should help to level the playing field between the biggest service teams and all other nations.

FIS staff will create a working group this summer that includes representatives from Service Teams and the SRS to further discuss creating standardized windows of testing on World Cup race courses depending on the event type, and come to Zurich fall meetings ready for discussions and creating rules.

There will be some language that attempts to prevent teams from doing a lot of ski testing at a race venue in the weeks leading up to the competition. However, it is always possible to be testing skis with athletes any time, and there was recognition that this would be very challenging to police. The idea is to prevent lots of testing without athletes at WC race venues (i.e. supplanting reduced race day testing with increased testing during the week).

Working group created to investigate an increase WC prize money in the 2020-21 season. The group will come to Zurich in October with a proposal. It’s been 18 years since we’ve had a prize money purse increase. This would need to be approved by FIS council.

The OC can charge a team for meals/access to the FIS family room 10 CHF/day if that nation is booking lodging outside the OC. Nations that are booking their own hotels should speak with the OC to make sure the hotel is part of the OC’s “network”.

The FIS staff can set official departure and arrival days at venues during a multi-state event, starting with the Tour de Ski this coming season. We are waiting to hear back from the staff concerning which days will be official Tour de Ski travel days for the 19-20 season.

World Juniors / U23s:

All Nations support adding a U23 mixed relay. Teams would like it added to the program already by Oberwiesenthal 2020. This must be approved by the FIS Council because it is a medal event. We need time for GER to discuss with Oberwiesenthal and Nordic Combined to see what is possible for the schedule. Most nations would like to have the relay as the last event at the Champs for both juniors and U23s. The CCC would like the format to be CC/FF. 4 x 5 km. Woman, Man, Man, Woman.

The FIS staff suggested that normally the WJC/U23 Championships will be held in late January – early February. The March timing of Oberwiesenthal is an anomaly based on the needs of the GER Federation. The USA strongly supports keeping the Championships out of March to avoid future conflicts with NCAA Champs and Junior Nationals.

Olympic Quota (already being considered at the IOC):

Quota no longer calculated with FIS points, but by analyzing results from World Championships 2021 and U23s 2021.

Maximum 8 men and 8 women per nation. Quota is fixed so that number of men and women is the same overall. Nations may or may not have an equal number of women and men, unless they reach their max quota of 16. However, the total Games quota for all teams will be an equal number of men and women.

We will know our quota (specific number of women and men) for the 2022 Olympics by the end of the 2020-2021 Season! This will really help all teams effectively plan for the Games, take the guess-work out of team sizes, etc.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Chris Grover
+1 435 640 8545