The ski jumping season 2022/23 is only just over, when the rule holders are apparently already working at full speed to further optimize the sport. At a meeting of the FIS umbrella organization, changes are said to have come up that could have an enormous impact.
The big nations of the ski jumping circus in particular must have heard with mixed feelings that the idea of reducing the maximum number of starters from one country in a World Cup competition is being considered. While the Germans, Austrians, Norwegians, Poles and Co. were previously allowed to register six jumpers, the number of starters is to be reduced to five athletes in winter 2023/24.
However, the chance remains to get another place through good results in the Continental Cup.
In addition, part of the reimbursement of travel expenses is to be reallocated from the large ski jumping countries to the smaller nations.
Ski jumping should become “more global”.
“In this way we want to reduce the gap between the top and small national teams,” explains FIS race director Sandro Pertile to “Skijumping.pl” about the intention behind the proposals. “It was a clear and important proposal that we received from the International Olympic Committee. We want to make our sport more global – and when we mean global, we are also talking about opportunities for top positions for competitors from multiple countries.”
A look at the overall World Cup of the past season reveals how elitist the Ski Jumping World Cup is at the moment: Among the top 30 there are only athletes from seven countries. Ski jumpers from the USA, Kazakhstan, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Estonia, Italy or the Ukraine have been trying in vain to catch up with the absolute world elite for years.
The same applied for a long time to athletes from Russia, who, however, are still not supposed to be part of the Ski Jumping World Cup as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. One does not want to comply with a controversial recommendation by the IOC to resume athletes from Russia and Belarus.
New rules for ski jumping material
The FIS wants to finally shut down another trouble spot in the near future. The measurement of the suits, which has repeatedly led to disqualifications and discussions in the past, is to be carried out electronically by 2024/25 at the latest. In 2023/24, the procedure is to be used for the previous measurement of the jumpers, and in the following winter the athletes are even to be measured in full gear. Before that happens, however, you want to be 100 percent sure that the process works, says Pertile.
In this context, there is a major turning point for the jumpers. From the coming season, the athletes should appear without equipment for measurement, but the BMI regulations will not be adjusted. As a result, all athletes have to gain weight – which is a sensitive topic in ski jumping anyway.
All proposals must be approved at a general meeting in Dubrovnik on May 5th.