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FIS Rules for the Conduct of Skiers (Ski Way Code)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
1: Respect for Others
A skier must behave in such a way that he does not endanger or prejudice others.

Commentary: Skiers are responsible not only for their own behaviour but also for any defective equipment. This also applies to those using newly developed equipment.

2: Control of Speed and Skiing
A skier must ski in control. He must adapt his speed and manner of skiing to his personal ability and to the prevailing conditions of terrain, snow and weather as well as the density of traffic.

Commentary: Collisions usually happen because skiers are travelling too fast, out of control or have failed to see others. A skier must be able to stop turn and move within the ability of his own vision. In crowded areas or places where visibilty is reduced, skiers must ski slowly, especially at the edge of a steep slope, at the bottom of a piste and within areas surrounding ski lifts.

3: Choice of Route
A skier coming from behind must choose his route in such a way that he does not endanger skiers ahead.

Commentary: Skiing is a free activity sport where everyone may ski as and where they please, provided that they abide by these rules and adapt their skiing to their own personal ability and to the prevailing conditions on the mountain. The skier in front has priority. The skier skiing behind another in the same direction must keep sufficient distance between himself and the other skier so as to leave the preceeding skier enough space to make all his movements freely.

4: Overtaking
A skier may overtake another skier above or below and to the right or the left, provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.

Commentary: A skier who overtakes another is wholly responsible for completing that manoeuvre in such a way as to cause no difficulty to the skier being overtaken. This responsibility rests with him until the overtaking manoeuvre has been completed. This rule applies even when overtaking a stationary skier.

5: Entering and Starting
A skier entering a marked run or starting again after stopping must look up and down the run to make sure he can do so without endangering himself or others.

Commentary: Experience proves that joining a piste or starting to ski again after stopping are the sources of accidents. It is absolutely essential that a skier finding himself in this situation enters the piste safely and without causing an obstruction or danger to himself or others. When he has started skiing properly again - even slowly - he has the benefit of rule 3 as against faster skiers coming from above or behind.

6: Stopping on the Piste
Unless absolutely necessary, a skier must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where the visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier must move clear of the piste as soon as possible.

Commentary: Except on wide pistes, stops must be made at the side of the piste. One must not stop in narrow places or where it is difficult to be seen from above.

7: Climbing and Descending on Foot
Both a skier climbing or descending on foot must keep to the side of the piste.

Commentary: Moving against the general direction poses unexpected obstacles for the skiers. Footprints damage the piste and can cause danger to skiers.

8: Respect for Signals and Markings
A skier must respect all signs and markings.

Commentary: The degree of difficulty of a piste is indicated as black, red, blue or green. A skier is free to choose whichever piste he wants. The pistes are also marked with other signs showing direction or giving warnings of danger or closure. A sign closing a piste, like one denoting danger, must be strictly observed. Skiers should be aware that warning signs are posted in their own interest.

9: Assistance
At accidents every skier is duty-bound to assist.

Commentary: It is a cardinal principle for all sportsmen that they should render assistance following an accident, independant of any legal obligation to do so. Immediate first-aid should be given, the appropriate authorities allerted and the place of the accident marked to warn other skiers. FIS hopes that hopes that a hit-and-run offence in skiing will incur a criminal conviction similar to a hit-and-run offence on the road and that equivalent penalties will be imposed by all countries where such legislation is not already in force.

10: Identification
Every skier or witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident.

Commentary: Witnesses are of great importance in establishing a full and proper report of an accident, and therefore everybody must consider that it is his duty as a responsible person to provide information as a witness. Reports of the rescue service and of the police as well as photographs are of considerable assistance in determining civil and criminal liability.


Additional Rules for Snowboarders
I cannot find an FIS reference for these

1: Always wear a leash.

2: Always place your board face-down on the snow when it is not in use.

3: Always look around when turning especially on your blind side.

4: Do not assume because you can ski you can snowboard, take lessons.


Safety on Lifts
Not actual rules but should still be observed

1: Falling while on a lift: if you fall off a drag lift, move off the track as quickly as possible to avoid obstructing the path of following skiers.

2: Getting off lifts: after leaving a lift, immediately move well out of the exit area before stopping or gathering into a group.


Additional Rules for Instructors

1: The ski schools, instructors and guides must teach pupils how to ski safely, which means teaching the technique of skiing and the rules of conduct for skiers.

2: The ski schools are responsible for placing their pupils into different classes according to their standard of skiing.

3: The ski schools, instructors and guides must never allow their pupils to take any risk beyond their capability especially taking into account the snow and weather conditions.

4: The instructors must remind their pupils that during instruction they have no particular priority on the piste and that they should at all times respect the rules of conduct of skiers.

Cribbed from The BASI Manual V3.

The definitive documents:
http://www.fis-ski.com/data/document/10-fis-rules-for-conduct.pdf
http://www.fis-ski.com/data/document/rules-for-safety-10-fis-rules2002.pdf


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 7-03-12 16:13; edited 5 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Do any snowboarders ever wear leashes? I've seen maybe 2, ever. Seems stupid.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I think we've previously established that the BASI Manual is wrong on this as the additional rules for snowboarders are clearly horsesh!t. Besides 3 of them being bloody stupid comments about the equipment and self awareness- you might has well have a ski rule that says DO NOT CHUCK YOUR EQUIPMENT AWAY IN A FIT OF ANGER, the one about looking around is a nonsense if it refers only to boarders and confuses/conflicts with the downhill user has priority concept.

Is the ESF (masters of the 20 kid snake and the no-look merge) even aware of the existence of point 4 for Instructors?
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bobmcstuff, not worn one myself for years - think I abandoned leashes about my second year riding. Unless they're really long, you'll have to unleash to take your foot out of your binding anyway which kinda defeats the purpose...

Quote:
Except on wide pistes, stops must be made at the side of the piste.
Disagree - people stopping on the piste should ALWAYS do so to the side, regardless of width. Know 'my people' are always painted guilty of this, but both parties are just as bad in my experience.
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Quote:

Commentary: Skiers are responsible not only for their own behaviour but also for any defective equipment. This also applies to those using newly developed equipment.

How could this be applied to a newbie skier? Even someone with say 6-8 weeks on snow would not be able to identify a faulty binding etc?

Odd
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The 10 main rules are superb, cover everything.

Of course no-one actually enforces them so largely a waste of time. Should they be enforced with on piste "police"? Well that's be much discussed over the years here.
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Saw a guy who would have benefitted from the snowboarder rules 1 and 2. He'd put his board down at the side of this piste, and it had slid off the side. I was watching this from the chair lift and last I saw it was heading off by itself at speed a mile or so down the fall line off the side of the piste
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Is there any mention of terrain park rules & etiquette in the Basi manual? In my limited experience I have seen so many accidents & near accidents that should have been avoided. Some skiers are totally oblivious to the danger.
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Many years ago, one of our party lost his hired board off the side of a piste. He spent over two hours looking but never found it. I've also seen a loose snowboard running straight down the middle of a long, steep piste. Fortunately, it wasn't busy and the board eventally took off, bounced and landed face down. It was going so fast that, if it had hit anyone, it probably would have gone straight through them!

Those snowboard rules may be a BASI invention (I can't find any reference to them on the FIS website) but the first three, at least, are sensible ones and should be adhered to.
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Elston, Don't know about Rules per se, but there are normally ettiquette guides printed on the entrances to terrain parks, including local 'house rules' like Wear a Helmet to use our park.

Normally, it's respect people queueing to drop in on a feature, and take your turn.
Clear the exit of a feature as quickly as possible.
Don't drop into a feature unless it's clear.
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Elston, altis, Sorry but IMV what they were missing was a bit of common sense rather than a leash.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:

Quote:
Except on wide pistes, stops must be made at the side of the piste.
Disagree - people stopping on the piste should ALWAYS do so to the side, regardless of width. Know 'my people' are always painted guilty of this, but both parties are just as bad in my experience.


I disagree, depending on the piste, stopping in the middle - while in clear view - especially if next to a pylon or warning banner - can sometime be much safer for all concerned.

I was totally wiped out while waiting at the side of Santons a few years ago when a beginner slipped on some ice while turning above me an crashed into me, full force. Ironically, had I been stopped in the middle (albeit of a fairly narrow gully and therefore not something I would have done) the higher quality of the snow there would have meant that a. he would have had a better chance of gaining control and therefore not hitting me and b. our combined landing would have been a lot softer and I would not have hurt myself quite as badly.
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altis, The first three are common sense and shouldn't be rules unless there are also rules created for skiers such as:

Don't be a dimwit.
Maintain spatial awareness around you and don't ski into another slope user's path.
Do not stand around in large crowds.
etc etc
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Richard_Sideways, I understand what the rules are (and really they are just a little common sense) but I am interested as to whether they are communicated effectively to everyone. People don't always stop to read a sign and the consequences can be terrible. To be fair I have seen some excellent ESF instructors with students in terrain parks. Its generally parents with young children.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Scampi Dellahanti, I take your point about pylons/barriers, on the proviso that people stop giving enough room for other slope users to negotiate their way around without impeding their progress too much.

Elston, I see what you mean - park ettiquette was drummed into me early in my boarding career when on a lesson in Mammoth, and heavily highlighted by a friend who had an incident while on a jump (he dropped into a small kicker and another person dropped into the large kicker next to it, came off at a bad angle and they collided mid-air, concussion for mate, skull fracture and air-lift to LA for other guy). It all comes back to personal responsibility I suppose - ignoring warnings and advice at your peril, of course you may extend that peril to others...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Scampi Dellahanti, I agree, stopping directly 'underneath' a brightly marked and padded obstruction like a pylon, lift stanchion or snow cannon, is just as acceptable and probably safer than standing at the side of the piste. I am always more comfortable knowing there is something large, solid and well padded between me and the flow of skiers coming down towards me.

For this reason when possible I tend to stop just downhill of Frosty The Snowman Toofy Grin Laughing
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We arrived at the top of the drag lift by the cafe at the top of the Swiss Wall a few years ago. It was quite windy. As we skied across to stop and have coffee my OH spotted two snowboards just about to take off. He managed to get to one and retrieve it, the second one just set off, all on its own down the wall. He took the saved board into the cafe held it up and asked for the owner, who appeared a little grateful. The other one just asked where was his...." 'fraid I don't know mate, gone down the wall" was all he could say.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Last week whilst minding my own business on the Sella Ronde I got overtaken by a ski minus its owner. I think that manages to violate rule one for both boarders and skiers?
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altis wrote:
Many years ago, one of our party lost his hired board off the side of a piste. He spent over two hours looking but never found it. I've also seen a loose snowboard running straight down the middle of a long, steep piste. Fortunately, it wasn't busy and the board eventally took off, bounced and landed face down. It was going so fast that, if it had hit anyone, it probably would have gone straight through them!

Those snowboard rules may be a BASI invention (I can't find any reference to them on the FIS website) but the first three, at least, are sensible ones and should be adhered to.


You think that it is sensible to try and shift some of the onus for avoiding collisions on to snowboarders who are downhill. Do skiers downhill have to look around before turning? It could be argued that a boarder, whilst having a blind spot on their heelside, has a better angle of vision on their toeside than a skier who is facing forward.

I abide by all 10 of the FIS rules and have drilled them in to my wife and kids. If other people apply them (be they skiers and\or boarders) then there is no need for additional rules for snowboarders!

As for the leash thing that is just plain stupid too, snowboard bindings are non-release so the only time it would be useful is putting on or taking off your board. There is more chance of me losing my grip on a leash whilst wearing gloves than losing grip on the heelcup of my binding. I used to wear one but having almost lost my board on a number of occassions trying to get my leash on I tried without, much safer and easier (for me at least).
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TotallyBoard, 1st thing I was shown when learning to board was how to put it on safely. Its an education issue.
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prog99, bindings do break. It has happened to me more than once before. Its dangerous but it is sometimes just an accident.
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fatbob wrote:
altis, The first three are common sense


ALL of the above rules are basically just codifications of common sense.

[
Quote:

and shouldn't be rules unless there are also rules created for skiers such as:

Don't be a dimwit.
Maintain spatial awareness around you and don't ski into another slope user's path.
Do not stand around in large crowds.
etc etc


Disagree, since the ones you specify above are not discipline specific, whereas the first two of the Snowboard ones are. Skis don't just run away gaining speed when off your feet, because they have brakes to stop them.

The second of yours should be one of the general rules IMO.
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prog99 wrote:
Last week whilst minding my own business on the Sella Ronde I got overtaken by a ski minus its owner. I think that manages to violate rule one for both boarders and skiers?


A few years ago on the last day of our holiday coming down the Combe Saulire into Courchevel I had a slip, lost both skis at high speed and proceeded to overtake my mate (who was still skiing) on my ass.

I think he was quite concerned til he saw me laughing as I sped past him.
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This thread should be a sticky. How are new skiers supposed to learn about the FIS rules? I don't recall any of my instructors mentioning them over the past 30 years; schoolteachers were the people who made me aware of them.

Unfortunately not all of us have the good fortune to be blessed with common sense.

bobalexander1983, Laughing
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Walter-Spitty wrote:
This thread should be a sticky. How are new skiers supposed to learn about the FIS rules?


They used to be printed on most piste maps, but that seems to be no longer common. Looking through my collection of piste maps, the code is only on the ones from three of the 11 areas I have maps for (Soldeu, Lake Louise and Verbier), with the most recent of those being from 2001.
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alex_heney, just checked the current val gardena map. This is whats printed on them -
1. Respect others and be aware of your own limitations
2. Adjust your speed to your capabilities
3. Keep at a safe distance and be careful when overtaking a fellow skier
4. Take out an insurance policy to cover all eventualities
5. Helmets are obligatory for all under 14s. Use your head and stay ahead.
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Walter-Spitty, yes I was hoping that some passing admin or moderator would go hunting for their box of drawing pins.

I'm sure if you look you will find these rules all over the place. They're certainly plastered all over the walls at the ChillFactore and some instructors there will take the time to go through them all with beginners. The BASI manual does say that teaching them should be regarded as an ongoing process. I'd be surprised if at least one instructor hasn't reminded you to look up the hill before you start. My memory is that they're always on the back of piste maps but perhaps I'm wrong.

I agree that those snowboarder rules are not really up to the standard of the others. However, you might argue that they're covered by the general rules anyway. Snowboarding presents some difficulties over skiing. Boards are heaver, inherently more stable and with no brake mechanism. This combined with the more 'radical' nature of the sport can be a recipe for disaster. I think those rules are just a clumsy attempt to address that.

IMV, the English of the 10 basic rules is pretty clumsy too. They were ratified 10 years ago now so perhaps it's time for a rewrite. Each rule could be made more general purpose and possibly expanded to include, for example, respect for the environment. Presumably, this is one for BASI. Paging beanie...
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altis wrote:
I think those rules are just a clumsy attempt to address that.



I think the snowboard rules were either a BASI fabrication or some attempted FIS draft that BASI have never edited out of their material. They conspicuously look like they have been drafted by someone with no deep working knowledge of actually snowboarding.

Yep see post by snowrider in this thread http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1790713&highlight=fis+rules+snowboardist#1790713

BASI laziness apparently.
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I'm reminded of the snowboard lessons at the ChillFactore. In the first lesson, the very first instruction is to put your board on the snow face down. This is on the flat runout at the end of the teaching slope so there's nowhere else more downhill. The instructor explains that another pupil with poor control might run into them. If they were the right way up then they could go scooting off and into someone else's way. Rule 2 - every time. It should be subconscious.

Do you yave a board fatbob? I have - and before you ask - it has a leash.
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I've got about 3 still usuable boards including an alpine deck and a number of destroyed ones. The only times I've lost a board is dropping it while hiking an outabounds kicker (minor inconvenience) and once at the Lecht as a beginner while trying to clip into the leash before I fastened the binding. So in neither case did a leash help. I used to carry a piece of string in my pocket for out of date resorts that still tried to enforce lift bans for non-leashes but gave up on that over a decade ago. I did start using a leash when I first got a board but quickly common sense prevailed. The only really practical leash is the always on 80s style extendable slinky but alpine skiers and telemarkers aren't held to that standard so why should snowboarders? It's an old debate and the answer is leashes aren't necessary - if they they were thought to be so resorts and patrollers would be more proactive in enforcing their use.

Anyone that thinks ski brakes always stop a ski are clearly deluded too.
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yeah i wish everyone on the piste knew of these... a few weeks ago i was learning how to board with an instructor (common sense) and i've been skiing for 14 years. In the space of a week i had been wiped out by 2 skiers.. one of which was extremely experienced and who just laughed when i hit the ground at speed.. So my instructor made sure i was okay and he is also a good friend so he went after him and took his lift pass.. i could see the whole thing.. and then the other a complete beginner totally out of control and it was my last day so i was on my own and turning with control and all that jazz so i asked was he okay blah blah blah and then asked him for his name and number as i was about to give mine and he refused point blank...

maybe the ski hire shops should have a huge poster or even in the cable cars....
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Who is at fault in this clip ? (Jump to circa 28 sec for crash)

a) Skier
b) Boarder
c) Neither
d) Both


http://youtube.com/v/goJ0oNG9lyU
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Boarder at fault - he's moving faster and is making an overtaking maneouvre without making sufficient allowance for the slower skiier he's passing
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nbt, +1
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why is the clip called skier hits snowboarder Puzzled looks the other way around to me
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I love snowboarding but really that snowboarder almost hit someone else at 0:25 just before the crash. Is the guy with the camera even looking where he is going?
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Both at fault.

Snowboarder is catching up with skier but fails to notice him and avoid his line. Snowboard is also 'uphill' and so to blame. BUT
Skier is changing direction across piste without looking and 'cuts up' boarder, so at least some of the blame falls on him.

Fortunately it doesn't look like anyone was hurt, maybe they both learned a lesson.
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Been seen before.

While I'd love to say the bloke doing the poncy poleplants it's clearly the skier at fault who makes the original overtaking move but doesn't establish clear daylight over the boarder before his bog seat veer. Funnily enough it may be the cameraman who actually causes all the problems.
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Hang on a minute but am I missing something here?

At about 21 seconds in you see the skier start to overtake the boarder, I assume he stays almost parallel to the boarder until the crash at about 30 seconds where he carves across him. I don't think the skier overtook safely, he didn't get past him and carved across the front of him taking him out.

Yes the skier was (slightly) the downhill skier at point of impact *but* I think the skier breached rule 4 as he didn't complete the overtake.

4: Overtaking
A skier may overtake another skier above or below and to the right or the left, provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.

Commentary: A skier who overtakes another is wholly responsible for completing that manoeuvre in such a way as to cause no difficulty to the skier being overtaken. This responsibility rests with him until the overtaking manoeuvre has been completed. This rule applies even when overtaking a stationary skier.
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TotallyBoard, fatbob, sorry you're right. It's a 50/50 thing there - the skiier did indeed come from behind the boarder and didn't complete the overtake, I hadn't spotted that. It may even have been that the boarder wasn't aware of the skiier if the skiier didn't get far enough in front - he seems to have gone very wide and then drifted across the piste
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