Important 2019 National Rule Changes

The NIC has determined that a number of new rules will be developed for the 2019 National Event. Over the coming month, the SSA Northern Interschools Committee (Northern ISC), the Victorian Interschools Committee (VISC), and the South Australian Interschools Committee (SAISC), will review these National Rule changes to decide on the appropriateness of the introduction of these rules at their respective State and Regional level events in 2019.

Equipment Loss on-course: To improve competitor safety and in-line with National sport development policies, any competitor who has an equipment loss of ski/s or snowboard during a course run will now be recorded as a DNF (Did-Not-Finish) for that run only. If a skier loses a stock, then that competitor will be allowed to continue down the course. At all 2019 Northern (NSW/ACT/QLD) events, this new National rule will also be adopted, along with an introduction of a new DQ (Disqualification) rule that will cover any circumstance where a competitor falls and/or comes to a stop, but does not lose any ski or snowboard, then that competitor will have a maximum of 10 seconds to recover and re-join the run, rather than the current rule which indicates “within a reasonable time”.

Race-Suits: To improve competitor safety and in-line with National sport development policies, Alpine Race Suits are no longer permitted for Division 5 Alpine events. They also remain prohibited in Division 6 Alpine events. At all 2019 Northern (NSW/ACT/QLD) events, this new National rule will also be adopted. Alpine Race-Suit use will remain permitted for Division 4 to Division 1 events during 2019. The use of Alpine Race-Suits for Division 4 to Division 1 is currently under review for 2020 events, by the National Interschools Committee.  There will be wide-spread consultation with the Interschools community via direct communication with school coordinators during 2019, with final recommendations being presented to the November 7/8 National Participation & Development Conference. The NIC is collaboratively working with the National Alpine Committee (NAC) and the wider SSA sports community in a review of the use of race suits, in-line with a whole-of-sport approach that will provide an FTEM (Foundations-Talent-Elite-Mastery > go to ) Snowsports Athlete Pathway Framework to provide accurate stepping stones for athlete progression along the snowsports pathway with an emphasis on skills and foundational movements, rather than on competition and results. 

National Event Invites: The NIC will review the number of individual athletes invited to compete in the 2019 AUS event, over the coming month. The number of teams invited to compete through the respective State Event rules will remain the same, that is ‘up to’ 6 from NSW + 6 from VIC, whilst ACT, QLD + SA have a differing team qualification. It is anticipated that the number of individual athletes invited to compete will increase through the introduction of a new rule which will take into account how many of the current “Top 15 individuals” from State level events already receive a National event invite courtesy of their team invite. It is envisaged that the new rule may develop along the lines of  “Up to the Top 10 individuals outside of all team individual invite recipients, dependant on attaining an agreed minimum State performance level, will be invited to compete at the AUS event”, or similar. The NIC is currently reviewing the 2018 State & AUS event results to determine the appropriate re-wording of this rule. The Northern ISC will also review the 2019 Regional & State individual invite rule, in-line with this National level development.

State and Regional Event Athlete Exemption Rule: In-line with the trialling of Elite/FIS individual athlete exemptions during 2017 & 2018, which enabled a very small group of athletes (there were less than 15 exemption applications in 2019), and upon input from schools, the NIC will move to develop a new 2019 Exemption Rule for individual athletes only, and not teams as we did in 2018.

The exemption would apply only to (official & recognised/accredited) SSA ETS and/or NSWIS or higher-level athletes, and would be an exemption to compete in the National Event only, via direct athlete/parent application to the NIC, and due to official and confirmed training and/or competition requirements elsewhere, whilst Regional/State events are being held.

The exemption would be discipline specific, that is, as an example, if a SBX NSWIS athlete, the athlete can apply for a National Event invite in SBX and SBGS and SBSS only, and at the individual level only. If their school already had a team qualify, and the possible inclusion of the athlete to that team is appropriate within the context of the existing rules for team progression through to the National Event, then that would be approved. Again, as an example and matter of clarification, that same snowboard athlete would not be granted an individual exemption to compete as an individual in any ski events, etc. Again, they could be added to a qualifying school ski-team so long as it was within the context of the existing rules for team progression through to the National Event.

Fluoro-Waxes: The use of fluoro-wax at any Interschools event, in all disciplines, is no longer permitted. A new rule covering the implementation and governance of this rule will be developed in the coming month.