In order to host USSA/FIS sanctioned races in the future, sites will need to homologate their trails. If progress starts in the summer of 2010 the site will be allowed to host FIS races for the 2010-11 season, but must complete the process to be allowed to host races in 2011-12 season. As a national development strategy, the USSA intends to host many FIS sanctioned races so our athletes can develop their FIS point profiles and so we can earn enough start quotas to send a large team to the Olympic games and other major events that measure a nation's strength by their athletes' FIS points profiles.
So, for those of you interested in pursuing homologation for your home venue, we have prepared some notes to explain the process. Read on. For those who want to see their home sites offer FIS sanctioned races, please encourage your venue, trails, and race organizers to pursue homologation. While it does take some work, most trails can achieve some level of homologation with a few site visits, some cutting, widening and sometimes some simple reworking of existing trails.
USSA/FIS Homologation Basics
The basic homologation philosophy is for venues to have standardized courses so that challenging courses and adequate stadiums will be used for all scored races in the USSA/FIS schedule. USSA does not mandate that all venues of USSA NRL races meet FIS homologation criteria, but for races we are scoring to the FIS schedule (U.S. Championships, USSA SuperTour & SuperTour Finals, and some collegiate races) we are required by FIS to have course homologation certificates on the courses that are to be used. FIS ICR 313 states “All FIS Cross-Country competitions should be carried out on homologated courses.”
The FIS Homologation Manual gives the requirements for homologation and is found on the FIS website under cross country rules. Information is also found in ICR 312 and 313.
In the USA we have 6 homologated venues, Soldier Hollow, Houghton, Rumford, Jackson N.H., Kincaid Park in Anchorage, and Trapps Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. For comparison, Norway has 47 homologated venues. In addition to meeting the FIS rules, Homologation typically provides more challenging courses which will benefit our programs and our developing athletes. So USSA encourages all venues intending to hold high level racing of any sort to take on the process of homologation.
USSA requires that JO and U.S. Championship sites meet homologation standards according to USSA rules 81.7 and 57.4. It is important to note that homologation includes the stadium and course width as well as course climbs and hills. With new types of races, stadium size and course width (9m wide for mass start free style) becomes critical.
When an organizer/venue wants to homologate, contact should be made with the chair of the USSA XC Officials Committee Bob Gross or the USSA Nordic Director John Farra to start the process. Depending on the status of the course, existing (no work to be done), existing (work to be done) or brand new courses, 2 or more visits will be required by the Homologation Inspector (HI). The HI is not a course designer; however, the HI has sufficient knowledge to offer suggestions to the venue operator about course and stadium requirements and changes. In the USA, there are course designers who may be hired depending on the amount of changes to be made. The venue is required to pay expenses and a small stipend to the HI for each visit. The venue will also be required to provide maps and profiles accomplished by a GPS survey and/or a wheel and inclinometer. That information will be input to FIS software to provide the homologation data. A fee to FIS for the certification (ICR 313.3.3) is also required.
Any number or type of course can be homologated, but the USSA goal is for 1 sprint course, and a minimum 2.5k and 5k. These can then be mixed and matched or longer courses can be used. When thinking about courses, flow and not necessarily the most difficult option must be considered.
On November 13-14, 2010, in Minneapolis, the USSA will host a FIS homologation seminar. Any venue that intends to pursue homologation should consider sending a representative.
USSA has Homologation software available to USSA Club members who would like to utilize the software to homologate their trails. Please contact email@example.com for information.