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Alpine Course Homologation Rules

Alpine Course Homologation - USSA Rules

Here are the USSA rules for homologated courses, which can also be found in the Alpine Competition Guide. 

650         Rules about the Homologation of the Courses

650.1       General

All USSA sanctioned events (DH, SG, GS and SL) both scored and non-scored, including Masters, must be run on courses that have been approved by USSA or by FIS. Courses not meeting the minimum vertical drops requirements will be registered, and an inspection certificate provided. Registered courses are subject to all rules pertaining to homologated courses.

650.1.1    All FIS-homologated trails are automatically accepted as meeting USSA course approval standards.

650.1.2    Courses for night competitions

All courses used for night competitions must be homologated for use with artificial light. The courses must meet the illumination standards of the National Ski Areas Association. The inspection of these courses must be made on snow at night.

650.2       Initial Request (application)

The initial request for the homologation or rehomologation of a course is to be directed to the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group by submitting the application form and appropriate fee to the working group chair.

650.3       Completed report package (inspector’s report and accompanying documentation)

The completed report requesting homologation must be submitted to the working group chair and shall include the documents listed below in 650.4 in approved digital format(s).

650.3.1    Following review and approval, the chair of the Alpine Courses Working Group will provide signed digital copies of the report and documentation (PDF book) and digital copies of the official certificate to:

650.3.1.1 The USSA office

650.3.1.2 The organizing club or ski area

650.3.1.2.1  The original certificate will be sent to the postal address as indicated on the inspector’s report

650.3.1.3 The inspector in charge of the examination

650.4       Documents

The request for the homologation of a course must be accompanied by the following six documents or equivalents to the satisfaction of the inspector and the working group chair (individual documents may be combined, provided that all of the required information is included):

650.4.1    A description of the course, containing:

  • the name of the course
  • the geographical location of the course
  • the start point expressed in meters above sea level
  • the finish point expressed in meters above sea level
  • the vertical drop expressed in meters
  • the surface length (inclined length) of the course expressed in meters
  • the average, maximum and minimum gradients (in percentages)
  • evacuation arrangements for injured competitors
  • possible water supply
  • artificial snowmaking installations
  • a description of access to the start and finish areas - the uphill transport with hourly capacity, (persons)
  • a description of the places requiring nets or other protective installations
  • evacuation distance to the nearest hospital in kilometers
  • Contact address with telephone, fax number, postal and email address.

650.4.2    A map in suitable scale, with contour lines and the course drawn on it, and start and finish locations indicated.

650.4.3    A profile indicating the vertical drop and length of the course, approximately in the same scale as the topographical map 650.4.2. (Vertical to horizontal ratio of the profile preferred to be approximately 1:1).

650.4.4    A photograph with adequate resolution on which the course is marked. It must be a genuine photograph, preferably digital, and not a graphic representation from a prospectus. The photograph should be provided for a normal size of 8”x10” when printed. The photograph should be taken preferably from an opposite slope. If that is not possible, then an oblique aerial photograph will be acceptable. Appropriate images from online sources are acceptable.

650.4.5    A sketch of the entire course in suitable scale with all details and data indicated, such as lift towers, groups of trees, snowmaking hydrants, snow fences, steep sections, curves, trail intersections, etc. and information on elevations, section and resort names. The purpose of the sketch is primarily to provide the inspector with condensed information on the actual state of the course, any improvements planned and also the location of protective installations (nets, etc.).

650.5       Appointment of an Inspector

The chair of the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group will review the homologation application and appoint an inspector to examine the course.

The inspector for DH courses must not belong to the organization requesting a first homologation, or be from the same state.

The courses proposed for homologation must comply with the technical requirements of articles 701, 801, 901 and 1001 (and/or according to the valid rules for registered courses not meeting minimum vertical drop according to these articles).

Sufficient space must be provided on DH, GS and SG courses, or on an emergency track or road or on the competition course itself, for the evacuation of competitors injured during the competition.

650.6       Homologation Procedure

650.6.1    The Applicant

The applicant club or organizer will send the application requesting homologation to the chair of the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group.

The homologation fee of $150 per USSA course should be submitted with the application. This sum covers the administrative costs. The inspector’s daily per diem, travel and living expenses must be paid to him directly by the applicant (club or ski area).

650.6.2    Refer to 650.6.6.1 and 650.6.6.2 regarding duration of validity of homologations according to event.

650.6.3    The Inspector

After the request for homologation has been received by the chair of the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group, the chair will appoint an inspector. The inspector promptly contacts the applicant about the time for the inspection. The inspector will request a copy of the required documentation part of the inspection package. After the inspection, he/she writes the inspection report, noting any required improvements, marking these on the course plan. After checking all other documents, he/she sends the complete set of documents to the chair of the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group. The latter will examine and ratify them and send a copy and a certificate to each of the following:

  • the USSA office
  • the applicant
  • the inspector

Normally, initial inspections of a course should be done in the summer or fall. It is left to the discretion of the inspector to decide whether, in addition to the summer inspection, a second inspection in winter will be necessary in consideration of different conditions in winter. This applies especially to protection recommendations and the placing of nets and other devices. Rehomologations, when there are no changes made, may be done on-snow.

650.6.3.1 Ratification of the inspection report and documentation

The chair of the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group will ratify the inspection report and attached documentation by signature and date. The chair may require correction of any errors or request clarification or additional documentation by the inspector or place prior to ratification.

650.6.4    Issue of the USSA Homologation Certificate

If the inspection report is affirmative and no further work is needed, the chair of the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group will send the original of the homologation certificate to the applicant and a digital copy to the USSA Office.

The homologation certificate itself sets out the name and type of the course and its technical data.

For all courses, the expiry date is indicated.

The homologation certificate will only be issued if all fees, including inspector expenses, are paid.

650.6.5    Expiration of the Application

If work requested has not been completed within five years after the inspection is carried out and the homologation cannot be granted, the site (course) in question will be deleted from the list of pending homologation applications. For further consideration a new application, with fee, is required.

650.6.6    Validity of the Homologation Certificate

650.6.6.1 For DH and SG courses (both approved and registered) the certificate is valid for five years from the date of issue. After that a new application for rehomologation must be made.

650.6.6.2 For GS and SL courses (both approved and registered) the certificate is valid for ten years from the date of issue. After that a new application for rehomologation must be made.

650.6.6.3 For all Disciplines

Homologation certificates are valid (within periods in article 650.6.6.1) as long as no natural or artificial changes or changes in the regulations or technical requirements have occurred.

Natural changes can consist of:

  • erosion, landslides or the terrain becoming overgrown.

Artificial changes are:

  • the construction of buildings, lifts,
  • the construction of shelters, parks, roads or tracks etc.,
  • the installation of snowmaking hydrants, snow retention fences or other significant hardware,
  • significant increasing or decreasing of the elevation(s) of start and/or finish location(s).

650.6.7    Compulsory Report

The applicant must report to the inspector and to the USSA Alpine Courses Working Group chair when required improvements have been carried out.

Supplementary Reports

USSA Technical Delegates should submit the Supplementary Report of the TD to indicate that reinspection may be needed in cases of changes per 650.6.6.3. This report is to be submitted directly to the working group chair copy to the organizing club (only).

650.6.8    Publication

The USSA Office publishes the official list of all homologated and registered courses.

650.6.9    Relationship Between Homologation, Snow and Weather as well as Special Conditions

An organizer should not depend entirely on the homologation of a course by USSA, but also take note of the prevailing snow and weather conditions (e.g. a DH course homologated by USSA may be unsuitable for holding DH races when there is insufficient snow depth, unfavorable surface snow conditions, dense fog, heavy snow fall, storm or rain).

U1200    Competitions under Artificial Light

U1200.1  The running of competitions under artificial lights is permitted.

U1200.2  The lighting must meet the following specifications. Competitions under artificial light must only be run on courses that are homologated for night competition.

U1200.2.1   Courses must meet the lightning standards of the National Ski Areas Association. Lighting should be as uniform as possible so that excessively bright and dark areas may be avoided.

U1200.2.2   The lights must be placed so that the light does not alter the topography of the course. The light must show the competitor the exact picture of the terrain and must not alter the depth perception and precision.

U1200.2.3   The lights should not cast the competitor’s shadow into the racing line and should not blind the competitor by glare.

U1200.3  The TD together with the Jury must check ahead of time that the lighting conforms to the rules.

U1200.4  The TD must submit a supplementary report on the quality of the lighting.

 

 

Alpine Course Homologation - FIS Rules

 

Here are the FIS rules for course homologation, which can be found in the International Competition Rules.
These rules have been updated with the changes and additions from the 2009-2010 FIS Precisisons.

650 Rules regarding the Homologation of the Courses

650.1 General

All competitions must take place on FIS-approved courses. Exceptions may be granted on request. Only the FIS Council can grant exceptions or deviations from the prescribed technical data. The National Ski Association in question and the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses submit the proposals. If exemptions are granted the exemption is valid from date of approval until revoked.

650.2 Request

The request for the homologation of a course is to be directed to the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses through the appropriate National Ski Association.

650.3 Recipients

The request must be accompanied by the following documents in multi-page pdf format, sent or given to:

650.3.1 The chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses

650.3.2 The appropriate National Ski Association

650.3.3 The applicant

650.3.4 The inspector in charge of the examination

650.4 Documents

The request for the homologation of a course must be accompanied by the following six documents:

650.4.1 A description of the course, containing:

  • the name of the course
  • the geographical location of the course
  • the start point expressed in meters above sea level
  • the finish point expressed in meters above sea level
  • the vertical drop expressed in meters
  • the surface length of the course expressed in meters
  • the average gradient, the maximum gradient, the minimum gradient (in percentages)
  • emergency evacuation arrangements for injured competitors
  • possible water supply for the course
  • possible helicopter landing sites
  • artificial snow-making installations
  • a description of the access facilities to the start and finish areas, and of the uphill transport with hourly capacity, (persons)
  • a description of the start and finish areas including details of the terrain, aspect and facilities for journalists, radio and television commentators, and spectators, and description of the shelters for the competitors at the start and finish
  • a description of the places requiring safety nets
  • indications of the locations of the loudspeakers
  • a description of the possibilities for auxiliary courses for the technical services, technical personnel, etc.
  • evacuation distance to the nearest hospital in kilometers
  • a description of the communication system and the available number of lines preferably with a circuit diagram showing:
  • underground cables
  • permanent air cable
  • temporary air cable
  • cross-section of lines
  • number of outlets along the course
  • connections between the finish area and the race office
  • connections between the finish area and the press centre
  • details about available radio apparatus
  • connections between start and finish area
  • contact address with telephone number, e-mail and fax numbers.

650.4.2  A map, minimum scale 1: 25,000, with contour lines and the course drawn on it.

650.4.3  A 1: 5,000 profile indicating the vertical drop and length of the course (contours at the same scale).

650.4.4  A large and comprehensive photograph on which the course is marked. It must be a genuine photograph and not a graphic representation from a prospectus. The size of the photograph shall be at least 18 x 24 cm. The photograph should be taken preferably from an opposite slope. If that is not possible, then an oblique aerial photograph will be acceptable.

650.4.5  A sketch of the entire course (1 : 5,000) with all details and data indicated, such as lift towers, groups of trees, snow-making hydrants, snow fences, steep sections, curves, trail intersections, etc. and information on elevations, section and resort names. The purpose of the sketch is primarily to provide the inspector with condensed information on the actual state of the course, any improvements planned and also the location of safety nets.

650.5   Appointment of an Inspector

The chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses will study the homologation request and appoint an inspector to examine the course. The inspector for Downhill courses must not belong to the country requesting a first homologation. The inspector for Downhill courses to be used for Entry League races should not belong to the country requesting a first homologation. The courses proposed for homologation must comply with the technical requirements of the art. 701, 801, 901, 1001, 1102 and 1103. Sufficient space must be provided on Downhill, Giant Slalom and Super-G courses, or on an emergency track or road or on the competition course itself, for the evacuation of competitors injured during the competition or training.

650.6   Homologation Procedure

650.6.1  The Applicant As soon as the required documents are ready in pdf format,, the applicant club will send the request for homologation through its National Ski Association to the chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses or in agreement with the National Ski Association they deliver it, before the on-site inspection to the inspector, who will pass the copies to the right place. At the same time the applicant must remit the equivalent of CHF 150 per homologation to the National Ski Association.

This sum covers the administrative costs. The inspector's travel and living expenses must be paid to him directly by the applicant. The travel from his home to the course site and back may be calculated as follows:

  • Per travel day, CHF 100.
  • Train fare: first-class
  • Travel in his own car: CHF 0.70 per kilometer
  • Air travel: economy

650.6.1.1  The applicant (ski resort, owner. organizer, club) is responsible for the observance of applicable environmental regulations during development of the course including completion of any improvements required by the inspector.

650.6.2  The National Ski Association

The request for homologation prepared by the applicant must be submitted by its National Ski Association and then forwarded to the chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses. If the inspector orders only minor improvements on the courses, the condition of the courses after completion of these improvements must be reported to the inspector by October 31 of the current year. For more extensive work, the inspector will decide whether an additional inspection is necessary. Courses which have not been found to comply with the FIS specifications, and have not been homologated by October 31* of the current year, may not be used in the following winter for competition. These competitions will be removed from the FIS Calendar. *) = For the Southern Hemisphere by April 30

650.6.3  The Inspector After the request for homologation has been received by the chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses, from the applicant via the National Ski Association, the chairman will appoint an inspector. The inspector immediately contacts the applicant about the time for his inspection and sends a copy to the appropriate National Ski Association. The inspector will receive a pdf copy of the homologation papers before his inspection. After his inspection, he writes his inspection report and marks the required improvements in red on the course plan. After checking all other documents, he sends the complete set of documents to the chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses in multi-page pdf format. The latter will examine and ratify them. The homologation documents will be loaded on the FIS Website.

It is left to the discretion of the inspector to decide whether, in addition to the summer inspection, a second inspection in winter will be necessary in consideration of different conditions in winter. This applies especially to safety regulations and the placing of nets.

650.6.4  Issue of the FIS Homologation Certificate If the inspection report is affirmative and no further work is needed, the chairman of the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses will send the original of the homologation certificate to the applicant and a pdf copy to the appropriate National Ski Association, to FIS and the inspector. The homologation certificate itself sets out the name and type of the course and its technical data. The registration number of the certificate indicates the total number of homologated courses, the year in which the homologated certificate was issued, and the number of courses registered in that year. The expiry date is indicated.

650.6.5  Expiration of the Application If work requested has not been completed within five years after the inspection is carried out and the homologation cannot be granted, the site (course) in question will be deleted from the list of pending homologation applications. For further consideration a new application is required.

650.6.6  Validity of the FIS Homologation Certificate

650.6.6.1  Downhill and Super-G The certificate is valid for five years from 1st November* of the year of issue. After that a re-homologation must be made.*) = For the Southern Hemisphere 1st of July of the year of issue.

650.6.6.2  Slalom and Giant Slalom

The certificate is valid for ten years from 1st November* of the year of issue. After that a re-homologation must be made.*) = For the Southern Hemisphere 1st of July on the year of issue.

650.6.6.3  For all Events

Homologation certificates are valid (within periods in art. 650.6.6.1 and 650.6.6.2) as long as no natural or artificial changes or changes in the regulations or technical requirements have occurred. Natural changes can consist of: -erosion, landslides or the terrain becoming overgrown.

Artificial changes are:

  • the construction of buildings, lifts,
  • the construction of shelters, parks, roads or tracks etc.
  • the installation of snow-making hydrants, snow retention fences or
  • other significant hardware.

650.6.7  Compulsory Report The National Ski Association which has proposed the homologation of a course must report to the Sub-Committee for Alpine Courses when any required improvements have been carried out.

650.6.8  Publication

The FIS publishes all homologated courses.

650.6.9  Relationship between Homologation, Snow and Weather as well as Special Conditions An organizer should not depend entirely on the homologation of a course by the FIS, but also take note of the prevailing snow and weather conditions e.g. a Downhill course homologated by the FIS may be unsuitable for holding Downhill races when there is insufficient snow depth, unfavorable surface snow conditions, dense fog, heavy snow fall, storm or rain.

655      Competitions under Artificial Light

655.1   Competitions under artificial lights are permitted.

655.2   Lighting must meet the following specifications:

655.2.1    The light level anywhere on the course must not be less than 80 lux, measured parallel to the surface. The lighting should be as uniform as possible.

655.2.2  Floodlights must be placed so that the light does not alter the topography of the course. The light must enable the competitor to discern the terrain and must not alter the depth perception or definition.

655.2.3  The lights should not cast the competitor's shadow into the racing line and should not blind the competitor by glare.

655.3   The TD together with the Jury must check in advance that the lighting conforms to the rules.

655.4   The TD must submit a supplementary report on the quality of the lighting.