During the FIS Calendar Conference in Portoroz, Italy, new rules were defined which were then approved by the FIS Council.
Here is a summary of the most important approved items.
At its meeting in Ljubljana on 6th June, the FIS Council confirmed 'skiathlon' to be the new official name of the Cross-Country race format pursuit in which both the classical and free technique are used with equipment change at mid-distance. This was done in order to distinguish the competition from the handicap races which are a type of a pursuit as well.
Skiathlon was introduced in 2003 and is an event on the program of the Olympic Winter Games and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The first half of the race - total length for ladies 15km and 30km for men - is competed in classical technique while the latter half is raced in the free technique. The ski equipment change takes place in special changing boxes at the stadium.
To increase the excitement for the spectators in future team sprints, only two teams are directly qualified from the semi-final into the final (until now, three made the direct cut). To complete the field of 10 teams in the final, six teams will earn their spots in the final by their times.
Participation at World Cups
To ensure a good starter field in all World Cup competitions, the five best nations (Ranking Team World Cup 2010/11) according to the gender ranking (Top 5 ladies’ teams: Norway, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Poland and top 5 men’s teams: Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy) have to start in all World Cup competitions during the season 2011/12, except one FIS World Cup weekend.
To have more time to show the best athletes during the interval start, a new starting order for interval start will be tested in the first World Cup event in Beitostoelen (NOR). The 30 best athletes according to the current World Cup standings registered to compete will start in reverse order as the last group according to the current World Cup standings. This follows the current practice, however: registered athletes with the highest FIS points will start set between the seeded group athletes.
New Rules Online
You can find all new rules online at: http://www.fis-ski.com/data/document/rules-rules-cc_1112_all1.pdf