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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 19 - 25, 2002


FIS changes some 
racing formats

During 2002 Congress

PORTROZ, Slovenia (June 8)—The FIS Congress 2002, looking to provide more excitement and appeal in alpine World Cup racing and to make it more TV-friendly, made several dramatic changes in racing formats during the recent Congress 2002, its biennial convention.

The gathering in this Slovenian seaside resort community made the following changes:

·  The starting procedure for World Cup downhill and super G events will change to enhance the opportunities for more skiers to have a chance to win. Under the new protocol, the top-30 skiers will start in reverse order. The change was designed to stem a trend where virtually all World Cup speed races were being decided before even 10 skiers had started.

·  In super G, the latest "World Cup Start List"—a ranking list of the top racers—will be used to seed the race, with the top-30 order reversed for the top 30 starters in the race.

There will be two procedures in downhill. When two or more downhill training runs are conducted prior to the World Cup event, the ranking list from the second training run will be used, with the top 30 reversed in the start of the downhill. Where just one training run is held, the World Cup Start List in reverse order will be used to seed the top-30 start positions.

Presently, racers select their start number with the best choosing start numbers first. Generally, most top skiers select start positions between 5-10 when course conditions are best.

The result has been a situation where virtually every super G and most downhills are decided before 10 starters. The change is expected to have a dramatic effect on results and build more fan and television appeal for World Cup competitions.

·  A new slalom procedure, which was tested a year ago in a stand-alone event, will be added to one World Cup this next season.

The so-called 'KO [for Knock-out] Slalom' will be implemented in night races Dec. 15-16 in Sestriere, Italy, for women and men.

Under the new format, a qualifying run is held during the day with the top-30 from that qualifying run seeded into the start of the World Cup.

In the first run, the first racer and 30th racer will race individually with the best time advancing, and so on. The 15 winners plus the three fastest times among the losers will advance to the next round. The 18 skiers in the next round will follow a similar format, resulting in nine skiers advancing to the third and final round, where time alone will determine the final ranking.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.