Cross-Country Committee members, FIS Technical Delegates and Organizers met in Zurich last weekend for the traditional FIS Autumn Meetings. One of the most important results is that the frames for the calendars until the season 2016/17 have been confirmed by the Cross-Country Committee.
Long-time planning is more and more necessary to coordinate with all our main stakeholders. Organizers need to homologate and improve their courses, TV producers need to prepare the best camera angels and sponsors need to know what they are buying. That is just to mention a few important reasons for the long-term calendar planning.
For the season 2013/14 there are just a few small changes in the competition techniques compared with the version at the FIS Congress in Korea. The Committee Members listened to an important wish from the athletes and coaches to favor techniques used during the Olympic Games in Sochi, instead of the pure mathematical balance between classical and free technique.
For the next season without a championship, 2015/2016, there is a strong wish to stage a second highlight after the Tour de Ski in February. Therefore the Committee members were encouraged to examine a second Tour possibility, to be held over two weekends and preferably in cooperation among few nations. Such a second tour concept could be a nice warm-up for the new Tour World Championship in 2020.
In the Rules Sub-Committee we learned that there were fewer sanctions than ever before last season, and that no sanction was appealed. We can find one of the reasons for this in our work with the rules guidelines which now ensure a better common understanding of our rules among the athletes and TDs.
On a less than positive note, we registered that up to 80 % of the FIS races are organized on non-homologated courses, and the problem is worse in Scandinavia. In many cases it is a formality, yes, but it should be done, and National Ski Associations now have three years to correct the situation. A possible consequence may be no FIS points for the athletes.