The FIS Calendar Conference 2009 took place this past week in Cavtat-Dubrovnik (CRO).The schedule featured the spring meetings of the various FIS Technical Committees; the FIS World Cup Organizers' Seminar as well as a briefing with the Candidate Applicants for the 2014 and 2015 FIS World Ski Championships. .
The very fruitful meetings of eight different Cross-Country Committees (Popular Skiing, Roller Skiing, Youth and Children, Cross-Country World Cup and Continental Cup, Rules and Control, Ladies, Executive Board and Cross-Country Committee) were held from Wednesday, 20th to Saturday, 23rd May.
The important topics that were discussed and confirmed by the FIS Cross-Country Committee and will be sent to approval by the FIS Council included for example the World Cup calendar for 2009/2010 season, support for the idea of introducing a multi-stage World Championship on the basis of the Tour de Ski model in the years where no FIS Nordic World Ski Championships or Olympic Games are held, and support for the newly developed TV Broadcasters' Manual.
In terms of the rules for the Cross-Country World Cup, the FIS Cross-Country Committee will forward a proposal to the FIS Council to skip the B-Final in the ladies & men's sprint World Cup races in order to have a longer time after the A-Final for emotions and interviews on TV. Rules for integrating intermediate sprints for World Cup points in long distance mass start races and the guidelines for nations' boxes were defined after the successful trial events in the past seasons. Both concepts were introduced in order to add an element of excitement into the competition in the distance races.
The FIS Cross-Country Committee agreed as well on a rule change for the FIS Tour de Ski: this allows the racers that have to quit the Tour before reaching the finish line at Alpe Cermis to keep their earned World Cup points from the earlier Tour Stages. This rule was implemented to avoid sick athletes racing the Tour to the end only in order to keep their points.
For the World Cup Final, the Cross-Country Committee is proposing to reduce the starting field. Only the 50 best athletes according to the World Cup standing plus the Continental Cup leaders and the U-23 world champions would be allowed to take part in the Final. The new rule from the Tour de Ski allowing the athletes to keep their World Cup points even if they stop before finishing the series would similarly apply.
Regarding prize money, two important clarifications will be introduced: In the future the prize money will be paid out only electronically by bank transfer and if there is a tie result, for example two athletes tying for the first place, then prize money for the first and second places is counted together and divided by two.
The FIS Cross-Country Committee also supported the wish from the Sub-Committee for Popular Skiing, which made the proposal to install the FIS points system for the FIS Marathon Cups.
The Cross-Country Committee disagreed on the proposal to proceed with the idea to integrate an additional mini-Tour with a three-stage event at the beginning of the season in Kuusamo.
All the recommendations of the FIS Cross-Country Committee will be considered by the FIS Council in its next meeting on 12th-13th June. FIS Cross-Country News will keep you updated about the decisions.