What. The British Competition Equipment (Ski) rules are changing to allow the use of non-regulation skis in all races except ‘National’ level events. National level events are the three HN Championships (Welsh, Scottish and English) and the British National Championships; at these events full BCR (or FIS as relevant) Equipment Regulations remain in place.
When. These changes will come into effect for the start of the Winter snow season 2018/19.
Why. The current BCR Equipment regulations, drawn from the FIS ski regulations, require the use of specific skis for seeded competitions. Many racers only attend a small number of events and the cost of regulation equipment is high and availability is limited; thus equipment can be seen to be a bar to developing a racing career.
Many events have entry level skiers for whom the current ski regulations are unsuited as the skis are longer, heavier and of greater turning radius than those normally skied on. It is felt that it is better and safer for a new, or infrequent, racer to compete on skis with which they are familiar and that are available for hire in location.
It is apparent that racers at many events do not adhere to the current regulations, and Race Organising Committees have not been able to adequately police the regulations. This is not fair to those racers and events that have been correctly equipped, and it is right to level the playing field.
National Championships are a step up and it is felt that racers committed to these events will spend more time training, and thus be better suited to regulation skis, are required (by means of BASS points) to have qualified so are more committed to the sport, and will probably have a desire to progress further, thus necessitating graduation towards FIS equipment specifications.
In summary the changes will make it easier for racers to start a racing career by reducing cost and increasing availability of equipment, provide progression through to National Competitions and FIS whilst not affecting safety.
How. As all equipment, including current regulation skis, is valid for use at non ‘National’ events there is no cost or technical impact for these changes.
Impact on Rules.
In simple terms, the changes will allow competitors, at non ‘National’ calendar events to use skis that do not conform to the BCR Equipment Regulations. The BCR will be amended to change the ski regulations from ‘Require’ to ‘Recommended’ for all non-National level races.
National level races will be defined as the HN Championships (Welsh, Scottish and English) and the British National Championships.
Category Adder for all races will be the same (whether National or not).
There are no changes to course criteria (VD or gate percentages), but course setters must take into account the technical, age and equipment levels they are setting for