A busy week of online meetings came to a close on Thursday with the congregation of the FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski Committee at the 2021 FIS Spring Meetings. Originally scheduled to take place in Portoroz (SLO), this year’s gathering was moved to the virtual realm for some obvious reasons, and while we once again missed being able to see our snowsport family in person, each one of the subcommittees and advisory groups that met over the course of these past few days resulted in some productive sessions. While few major decisions were agreed upon as we head into an Olympic season, the wheels were put in motion for various potential refinements for most events ahead of the 2022/23 competition year.
Read on for some of the main highlights and decisions from this spring’s meeting…
Snowboard Alpine Sub Committee meeting
- Looking back at the 2020/21 season we see that despite the obvious challenges presented in holding the FIS Alpine World Cup calendar, our events were the least affected of any on the snowboard side. With the exceptional cooperation we enjoyed with our well-establish and consistent host resorts, the FIS Alpine season saw 13 World Cup events take place, with 11 total individual races taking place women and men, as well as two team competitions.
- The World Cup calendar for the upcoming season is looking even stronger, with the preliminary version currently listing eight PGS, six PSL and four Team competitions - as well as the most anticipated competition of the past four years at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
- As is typical when we head into an Olympic season, there were no major changes made in the rules section at this week’s meetings.
- However, there were some small adjustments of note, including a new rules stating that men always start first at mixed team events, as this has been proven the most attractive and entertaining format. As well, there is a direction that more rules in unclear areas will be established in near future as the events continue to grow in popularity.
- Work on the flour ban for ski and snowboard wax was discussed, as this ban highly effects racing sports such as snowboard alpine. Work is being done to redefine the technical solution to this ban, as well as how to implement it into the rules so that can be used at all FIS levels of competition. The technology to conduct the testing is finally up to the necessary accuracy, so expect to see the ban coming into effect in near future.
- The SB Alpine Subcommittee is strongly in favour of seeking to introduce PSL competition into Olympic programme for Milan/Cortina 2026, as it is one of the disciplines where the host nation of Italy has strong traditions and athletes.
- Also new developments and implementations for snowboard alpine were discussed - mostly concerning TV production and graphics in order to create a better show that can help promote the sport.
- “Online” version of updates and clinics for technical delegates are being pursued. General approval was achieved that the current system for training and updating of the Candidates and the Technical Delegates will stay in principle, but the use of an e-learning or education platform is supported. Online provides valuable tools for imparting information, new rules, and general guidelines.
- The Junior World Championships could be carried out despite the difficulties of the pandemic situation as planned in Krasnoyarsk (RUS). A letter of intent to organise the Junior World Championships 2022 Cross and Alpine Snowboard in Valmalenco ITA was sent to the FIS race management. This application has still to be confirmed by the FIS Council.