What is your overall assessment of the past season?
Walter Hofer: “The 2009/2010 season was definitely a positive one for Ski Jumping. It was long and challenging, but also very successful with great resonance with our fans and viewers both on site and in front of the television. On the whole we can be satisfied with the current state of the discipline.”
Ulrich Wehling: “The general assessment of the last Nordic Combined season falls on the positive side. From a quantitative point of view, we were able to stage all competition weekends, with one exception. From a qualitative perspective, we did not deliver at our expected level in two cases.
As a result, because we always seek to improve, we are in the process of establishing a working group to find, coach, and further educate our best Technical Delegates. The idea is that members from this small group will be in charge of all competitions next winter. Regarding the highlights, the third Olympic competition in Whistler Olympic Park has led to many both objective and emotional discussions. However, overall, the Olympic Games at Vancouver were very well-organized und should be remembered for their good moments. Besides Vancouver 2010, we should not forget the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Hinterzarten which were organized at an outstanding level.”
Will there be any changes going forward?
Walter Hofer: “The Zürich meetings of the various Ski Jumping Sub-Committees held in Zürich last weekend resulted in a few recommendations for the FIS Jumping Committee that will meet at the 2010 Congress in early June.
The two main recommendations concern an adjustment to the guidelines for the construction of Ski Flying hills, and a full adoption of the wind and gate compensation factors that were tested this season at some World Cup events as well as at the FIS Ski Flying World Championships Planica 2010.
The adjustment to the construction of Ski Flying hills was supported by the responsible Sub-Committee and by the managers of all five currently existing hill facilities, three of which are being or will need to be adjusted. In terms of our rules, this adjustment means that the maximum size of the hill will be increased from 130m to 135m. In reality, the amendment of this 18-year-old rule allows an alteration of the existing facilities that brings them in tune with the modern circumstances of our sport. As a result of the change, jumps of 240-245 m in length will probably be possible at the largest hills.
The Sub-Committees are also unanimously recommending the full acceptance of the wind and gate compensation rules at all competitions at the highest level, beginning with the FIS Grand Prix in the summer and including the FIS World Cup and the 2011 FIS World Championships. The additional tests have shown that the theoretical basis for these rules is solid and that the system also works from the sports perspective.
Most importantly, the safety of the athletes through controlling that they will not outjump the hill can be better managed. The only critique points involved individual cases relating to the application of the rules by competition management which can be addressed by additional training of the Technical Delegates and other jury members. We will also fine-tune some details in the TV graphics to ensure that the new system is easily understood by all our fans and spectators.
The additional two proposals being sent for further review include the inclusion of a ladies team event at the Junior World Championships and the launch of a ladies Ski Jumping World Cup beginning with the 2012/2013 season.
All these proposals are currently with the National Ski Associations for review before they will be re-considered by the Jumping Committee in Antalya with their comments.”
Ulrich Wehling: “The FIS Nordic Combined Expert Meeting in Zurich last Saturday again discussed the issues we had this season, such as at the individual competition on the large hill at the Games. I hope that this chapter is closed now and that we can look more into the future than the past. The new rules with the wind and gate compensation system that were tested in all events last season turned out to be very important for the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup. We have to consider that there is just one jump in the Nordic Combined competition and we must be as fair as possible. Our proposal for going forward is for the new system to be used in the future, and with current technical possibilities we should reach an even higher standard than the past winter.
Detailed proposals are currently being prepared for the FIS Congress in Antalya, Turkey, at the beginning of June. Until then, the calendars should be completed, including the 2010/11 World Cup calendar which still has some gaps. Our recommendation for the Summer Grand Prix in August is to use roller skis rather than inline skates.”