2019-2020 IFSA FWQ Series Rule Changes
Please read this article to stay informed about rule changes to the FWQ Adult Freeride Series in Region 2 for the 2018-2019 season.
As an athlete advocacy organization, the IFSA does its best to tend to the needs and concerns of Freeride athletes, parents, and coaches. In response to feedback from the community there will be a few important policy changes implemented for the 2019-2020 competition season. Please take the time to review the new IFSA Region 2 FWQ Handbook and the series changes outlined below.
All coaches and athletes are responsible for knowing and
understanding the material within the IFSA FWQ Series 2020 Handbook.
2019-2020 IFSA FWQ SERIES POLICY CHANGES
Section 2.3. VENUE INSPECTION
Due to feedback from the community and concern for the safety of all riders, the venue inspection policy has been updated. It is imperative that riders and coaches understand the policies and protocol established to conduct both a safe inspection period and a safe competition.
TAKE TIME TO REVIEW AND UNDERSTAND THE UPDATED POLICY.
See Section 2.3.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VENUE ACCESS
Once the venue has been officially closed for competition, only athletes, staff, event personnel, or certified coaches are permitted venue access. Valid credentials will be MANDATORY for anyone to obtain access to the venue in the 2019-2020 season.
- Athletes will be required to display a credential (i.e. a bib, band, badge, sticker, or number) provided by the event organizer, signifying that they are a registered participant on the event roster. Individuals or athletes not competing on that date or venue are not permitted access.
- Coaches seeking venue access are REQUIRED to have current IFSA Coach Certification and a current IFSA Coach Membership.
- Venue inspection is MANDATORY for all athletes at all events in Region 2.
- Terrain enhancement or alteration is not permitted unless clearly stated otherwise by event officials. See Section 2.4. Terrain enhancement by either coaches or athletes is strictly prohibited. This behavior will result in immediate disqualification of the athlete or suspension of the coach by the head judge or TD.
- During inspection, athletes must be aware of everyone else around them.
- On the day of competition, athletes must have an opportunity to have access to the competition venue to inspect the terrain and features within the venue. If the venue must be changed or altered significantly, after the initial venue inspection, athletes must have an opportunity for another inspection.
- Slow riding/skiing is MANDATORY during venue inspection.
- The technical director and/or head judge will disqualify a competitor from the competition for riding fast or recklessly during inspection.
- Athletes may not practice, session, or rehearse a line during inspection or jump/drop any features within the venue boundary. This behavior will result in immediate disqualification.
- In blind areas, athletes shall verbally announce themselves to make others aware of their presence and intended next move/position.
- Athletes are to be respectful of fellow athletes, coaches, and officials during inspection.
- Athletes and coaches must respect the snow coverage while inspecting. Consider the rest of the competitors before you slide repeatedly in an area or access snow in a takeoff or landing zone. Never set a traverse across a landing zone as riders following your line will create a rut in the snow that will become a safety hazard. Whenever possible, use a side step motion instead of sliding or skidding to a stop. Riders may ski through a zone to check snow but traversing shall be avoided.
- Note that an inspection closure is defined as an area that cannot be accessed during inspection. These are areas that may not withstand inspection pressure. To conduct the competition safely, inspection closures must be limited to inspection and reevaluated as potential venue options before the competition by the head judge and TD.
- Reckless behavior or infractions of inspection rules will result in immediate disqualification from the event at the discretion of the TD and head judge.
Section 2.4. TERRAIN ENHANCEMENT
Due to feedback from the community and concern for the safety of all riders, the terrain enhancement policy has been updated. It is imperative that riders and coaches understand the policies and protocol established to conduct both a safe inspection period and a safe competition.
TAKE TIME TO REVIEW AND UNDERSTAND THE UPDATED TERRAIN ENHANCEMENT POLICY.
See Section 2.4.
Terrain enhancement or alteration by athletes or coaches is NOT PERMITTED unless clearly stated otherwise by the technical director. See below for specifications. Terrain enhancement or alteration by either coaches or athletes is strictly prohibited. This behavior will result in immediate disqualification of the athlete or suspension of the coach by the head judge and/or technical director.
Under special circumstances an event organizer and technical director may need to employ terrain manipulation to enhance the venue. If this is the case, it must be completed and clearly communicated prior to the beginning of venue inspection.
- If a venue has limited features and/or the conditions dictate, the TD/event organizer may enhance the venue to create a more challenging and safe venue. Safety must be the first concern when altering venues. No athlete participation in shovel or tool manipulated terrain is permitted.
- Any level of enhancement will be clearly posted and/or communicated to all athletes and coaches by the event organizer or TD. The enhancement must be completed prior to the first inspection run of the competition day and communicated and announced to athletes and coaches. This is just one reason why athlete meeting attendance is MANDATORY.
- Due to snow conditions or safety concerns, an event organizer and TD may allow for terrain enhancement by coaches, athletes, event staff or volunteers in specific scenarios. However, this is restricted to situations where snow compaction is needed in the case of breakable crust, icy conditions, etc.
- It must be emphasized that athletes enhancing or manipulating the terrain during inspection or on the day of the event will be disqualified.
- It must be emphasized that coaches enhancing or manipulating the terrain during inspection or on the day of the event will be stripped of their coaching credentials and their IFSA Coach Membership shall be suspended until a satisfactory response to the IFSA Board of Directors is submitted.
Section 2.6. IFSA FWQ REGION 2 SCORING
NEW FOR 2019-2020
Every competitor MUST exit the venue through the finish corral. If an athlete exits the venue boundary at any point, a DQ will be awarded, even if a DNF score was initially earned. To maintain the safety of the event, if an athlete leaves the start gate it is now MANDATORY that they exit the venue through the finish corral.
See Section 2.6.
Section 2.12. TRAINING ON COMPETITION VENUES
Because IFSA competition in Region 2 (unlike in Region 1) primarily takes place on terrain within a resort boundary, it is very difficult (often impossible) for host mountains to close the terrain to the general public in the week or even in the days leading up to the competition. We have had problems with athletes repeatedly lapping the venue in the days leading up to an event, thereby degrading the coverage and snow quality for other competitors. This also presents a dangerous situation for event officials who are one the venue setting boundaries and discussing potential features and/or closures. The following recommendation is a reminder to our community about the sportsmanship and safety considerations that are critical to the success of Freeride events:
Keep in mind that excessive sessioning may negatively impact the venue quality on competition day. Please consider this before using the venue prior to the official inspection closure. Also consider that event officials, the technical director, and/or the head judge may be on the venue in the days leading up to the competition to determine closures, establish features, and delineate boundaries. Reckless riding by registered participants endangers the individuals responsible for executing this critical component of event preparation.
See Section 2.12.
Section 2.18. ATHLETE SAFETY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
After much discussion and review of feedback from coaches, athletes, and family members, the IFSA is making a change to the mandatory equipment requirements. Athletes failing to meet equipment requirements set by both the IFSA and the event organizer will not be permitted to start and will be awarded a DNS (Did Not Start) score, earning no points DNS riders will not receive a refund for the registration fee.
See Section 2.18.
- Helmets are MANDATORY when inspecting, competing, or riding within the venue. Coaches must also wear a helmet when accessing the venue.
- NEW FOR 2019-2020 SEASON – It is MANDATORY that an athlete wear a back protector during any competition run(s). The back protector must be a stand-alone piece of equipment designed to protect users from impact during a fall. Backpacks, external vests worn OVER the jacket, avalanche packs, etc. will not be considered valid back protectors
Take the time to thoroughly review our updated
2019-2020 IFSA FWQ Series Handbook.
If you have any questions about the above,
please refer to the handbook for clarification.