Cross-country skiing world cup

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The FIS Cross-Country World Cup is aligned in the months from October to March series of competitions in cross-country skiing , by skiing's governing body FIS is organized. The results of the participating athletes are evaluated according to a point system, on the basis of which winners are determined in various ratings at the end of a season. The cross-country skiing world cup is held for both women and men .


The first officially recognized World Cup took place in the 1981/82 season. Unofficial World Cup competitions already existed in the 1973/74 season, but after three competitions the FIS Cross-Country Committee rejected the official introduction in February 1974, possibly because of the lack of interest from the Nordic countries. Unofficially, however, the World Cup continued to exist, as can be seen from the official reports for the 31st FIS Congress in 1977 in Bariloche , which in short: "Provisional recognition of the cross-country skiing World Cup, which unofficially takes place for the fourth time in 1976/77". In the 1978/79 and 1980/81 seasons, the FIS conducted the World Cup on a trial basis. Since the 1985/86 season, the technology to be used has been specified for each competition. Before that, there was no regulation of technique , so in all competitions athletes could use both the classic style and the skating style. From 1988/89 the hunting races were added to the program, which take place on two days and have both styles; On the second day, the runners start according to the time reached on the previous day and pursue each other ( hunt ).

In the 1996/97 season, sprint competitions were included in the cross-country skiing world cup program. The FIS then decided to introduce World Cup ratings in the sprint and distance races. The Distance World Cup was not held from 2001 to 2003, however. Since the 2003/04 season, the 5-kilometer distances for women and the 10-kilometer distances for men are no longer part of the World Cup program. The Tour de Ski stage race has been part of the World Cup program since the 2006/07 season. World Cup points are awarded for both the overall and daily scores. This regulation also applies to the World Cup finals introduced in the 2007/08 season , which will be held as a 4-stage race at the end of the season. Since the 2010/11 season, the Nordic Opening has been part of the World Cup program, which is held as a 3-stage race at the start of the season.



Sprint competition in Prague 2007

The cross-country skiing world cup includes both individual and team competitions. The individual competitions include sprint competitions with a route length of less than 1.4 kilometers and distance competitions with a route length longer than 5 kilometers. The distance competitions include single start competitions in which the athletes fight the clock alone, mass start competitions in which all competitors start at the same time, and pursuit competitions in which all athletes start at the same time but the cross-country skiing technique is changed halfway through the race. The number of competitions in distance and sprint competitions is divided in a ratio of 2: 1. Twice as many distance races are held per season as sprints. The team competitions held in the World Cup include relays with four athletes and team sprints with two athletes per nation.

The division of the techniques takes place in the ratio 1: 1, so that the same number of competitions in the free technique and in the classical technique are carried out. This division applies to both the distance races and the sprint races.

The total number of competitions in a championship-free year is higher than in years in which World Championships or Olympic Games take place. A maximum of 16 distance competitions and eight sprint competitions are held. There are also three relay competitions and three team sprints. In years with international championships, the number of distance competitions is reduced to 12 to 13 and one relay competition and one less team sprint are held.


In order to take part in World Cup competitions, an athlete must be officially registered as a cross-country skier with the FIS. For distance races, the athlete must participate in at least one competition organized by the FIS, such as B. Continental Cup or FIS Cup, a result of a maximum of 60 FIS distance points for men or 90 FIS distance points for women. For the sprint world cup, both genders must fall below 120 FIS sprint points. The FIS points are an FIS evaluation system that classifies the performance of the athletes. The basis for the calculation are the winning time, the time of the athlete and a factor that has different values ​​for sprint, mass start and individual competitions.

The number of participants in World Cup competitions is determined by a quota system. In principle, every nation has the right to register two athletes per competition. On the basis of the past World Cup season, a quota is also determined that guarantees additional starting places. This quota is determined separately for the Sprint and Distance World Cups. The basis for calculating the quota is the number of athletes in a nation who were able to achieve at least one World Cup point in the past World Cup season and were thus placed in the overall ranking of the respective discipline.

Quota calculation of additional starting places per nation
Number of placed athletes in the World Cup 1 - 2 2 - 5 6 - 8 9 +
Number of additional starting places 1 2 3 4th

If all athletes of a nation can place themselves among the best 30 athletes of the World Cup, the so-called Red Group , the nation receives an additional starting place, whereby a maximum of nine athletes from a nation can start using the nation quota. In addition to this quota regulation, the overall World Cup winner and the winners of the discipline ratings of the last season have an automatic start right for the following season. Furthermore, the organizing nation of a World Cup competition has the right to start a national group of a maximum of ten athletes.


World Cup in Falun 2007

Competitions for men and women are held in parallel at one venue. The competitions are usually held on a weekend with two competitions each for men and women. The locations where World Cup competitions take place are determined before the start of a new season. The up to 17 different competition venues per season, however, vary greatly. Few places like Oslo are included in the competition calendar every year.

Most of the competitions are held in Europe. But also in North America and Asia will be held World Cup competitions, such as 2008 Canadian Canmore or 2007 in China's Changchun . Traditional venues in Northern Europe are Oslo in Norway , Lahti in Finland , Falun in Sweden and Otepää in Estonia . The Austrian Ramsau am Dachstein , the Czech Nové Město na Moravě and the Italian Val di Fiemme are, like the German Düsseldorf, frequent venues in Central Europe .

The season started from 2002 to 2007 in October in Düsseldorf. A sprint competition and a team sprint were held there in the city center. Furthermore, several World Cup competitions have been held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , Reit im Winkl , Oberhof and Oberstdorf in Germany. In 2006, a sprint race was held in the Munich Olympic Stadium as part of the Tour de Ski . Due to the financial situation of the German Ski Association , however, no events other than the season opener in Düsseldorf could be held in the 2007/08 season. In 2008, the cross-country skiing world cup took place in Düsseldorf in December. In addition, Oberhof is the starting point for the Tour de Ski.

In the 2017/18 season, the Saxon capital Dresden will host a World Cup for the first time (freestyle sprint and team sprint).

Point system

The results of the World Cup competitions are converted into points based on the FIS point system . In individual and relay competitions, the best 30 athletes or teams receive World Cup points, whereby the points in relay competitions are multiplied by a factor of two compared to individual competitions. It should also be noted that a nation can compete with multiple relays. However, only one relay team receives World Cup points and must be named before the competition. Two teams per nation can take part in team sprints. Both teams can receive World Cup points, which are awarded according to the point system for individual competitions.

In the stage races Tour de Ski, Lillehammer Triple and World Cup finals, points are awarded for the individual stages as well as for the overall ranking at the end of the event. The points for individual stages are counted for both the overall World Cup and the discipline World Cup - the points for the overall ranking are only used for the overall World Cup. In the overall ranking of the Tour de Ski, four times the number of points according to the FIS point system are awarded to the best 30 athletes, and twice the number of points at the World Cup finals and the Lillehammer Triple.

space 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 10 11 12 13 14th 15th 16 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23 24 25th 26th 27 28 29 30th
Individual / team sprint 100 80 60 50 45 40 36 32 29 26th 24 22nd 20th 18th 16 15th 14th 13 12 11 10 9 8th 7th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1
World Cup Finals / Lillehammer Triple / Relay 200 160 120 100 90 80 72 64 58 52 48 44 40 36 32 30th 28 26th 24 22nd 20th 18th 16 14th 12 10 8th 6th 4th 2
Tour de Ski 400 320 240 200 180 160 144 128 116 104 96 88 80 72 64 60 56 52 48 44 40 36 32 28 24 20th 16 12 8th 4th
Stage Tour de Ski / Nordic Opening / World Cup finals 50 46 43 40 37 34 32 30th 28 26th 24 22nd 20th 18th 16 15th 14th 13 12 11 10 9 8th 7th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1
World Cup bonus points 15th 12 10 8th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1

Since the 2009/10 season , World Cup bonus points have been awarded for intermediate evaluations in mass start competitions. In the 2018/19 season , the first ten received points. The race has to be ended, however, the points are only transferred to the next one in the event of disqualification, not in the event of abandonment. Depending on the length of the competition, up to six intermediate evaluations are held per competition, two in stage races.

Length of competition 10 km 11-20 km 30 km 50 km
Number of interim evaluations 1 2 4th 6th


Overall World Cup

Overall World Cup winner Tobias Angerer at the 2007 award ceremony

During a World Cup season, scores are awarded in the overall world cup, in the discipline world cups and in the national ranking. The winners of the ratings will be rewarded with a trophy and prize money. All World Cup points achieved by an athlete in individual competitions in a season are counted towards the overall World Cup, whereby the number of sprint competitions that are included in the overall ranking depends on the number of distance races held. A maximum of the number of sprint results that corresponds to half of the distance races will be counted. If, for example, twelve distance races are held, a maximum of six results from sprint competitions may be counted, even if more sprint competitions were held. The winners of the overall World Cup receive a large FIS World Cup trophy (World Cup ball). The first six athletes in the ranking will also be awarded FIS medals. The award takes place immediately after the last World Cup competition.

Discipline World Cups

World Cup competitions have been held since the 1996/97 season. The winners of the discipline world cups receive a small world cup trophy (world cup ball) at the end of the season. The discipline world cups include the sprint world cup and the distance world cup. Until 1998/99 the Distance World Cup was held under the name Long Distance World Cup. In the 1999/00 season, the Distance World Cup was divided into the Middle Distance World Cup and the Long Distance World Cup. The middle distances included all races from 5 kilometers to 10 kilometers in length for women and all races from 10 kilometers to 15 kilometers in length for men. All longer distances were assigned to the long distances. This subdivision was lifted again in the following season and the FIS decided by 2003 not to hold a distance world cup and only classify the sprint as a discipline world cup. Since the 2003/04 season, in addition to the Sprint World Cup, a Distance World Cup has been held, which includes all races longer than 5 kilometers for women and all races longer than 10 kilometers for men. In contrast to the overall World Cup, the overall ranking of stage events such as Tour de Ski is not included here.

Nations Cup

In addition to the individual ratings, a nation rating will be held. The nation whose athletes have achieved the most World Cup points in individual and team competitions receives the FIS Nations Cup (Team Cup). The team competitions also include mixed relays or team sprints, in which a team consists of male and female athletes.


The current leader in the overall World Cup starts with a yellow jersey . The leader in the sprint or distance world cup wears a red jersey . If the leader in the discipline classification is the athlete who is also leading in the overall World Cup, he must wear the yellow jersey. The runner-up in the discipline classification then takes on the red jersey.

The leading team in the men's and women's nations' standings must also wear a yellow jersey in team competitions. In relay competitions in which the leading nation has multiple relays, only the first season of the nation may wear the yellow jersey.

Prize money

The first 20 athletes in an individual competition receive prize money, which is paid out in Swiss francs (CHF). The best six nations are rewarded in team competitions. Every organizer of a World Cup competition has to pay a fixed sum to the FIS for each competition. These revenues are then paid out to the six best athletes in the overall World Cup. In addition, the top-placed young athlete under the age of 23 receives the prize-money rookie of the year award . The winner of the overall World Cup receives CHF 31,350 for both women and men, while victory in a World Cup competition is rewarded with CHF 10,000 or CHF 12,000 in a relay competition. The winner of the Tour de Ski will also receive CHF 55,000, those of the Lillehammer Triple and the World Cup Final CHF 22,500 each (as of 2018/19).

Successful athletes

Marit Bjørgen at the World Cup in Otepää 2006

In the eighties the World Cup was dominated by the Swede Gunde Svan . Between 1983 and 1989 he was able to win the overall World Cup five times. His winning streak was only interrupted in 1987 by his compatriot Torgny Mogren . Svan won 30 world cup competitions in the course of his career, making him the second most successful athlete in the cross-country skiing world cup. He is only surpassed by the Norwegian Bjørn Dæhlie . Dæhlie won the big World Cup ball six times and the small World Cup ball twice for victory in the Sprint World Cup. With 117 starts in World Cup competitions between 1989 and 1999, he celebrated a total of 46 wins and 81 podium finishes. The Kazakh Vladimir Smirnow was able to break through Dæhlie's winning streak in 1991 and 1994 and win the overall World Cup. Three times he finished second behind Dæhlie in the overall World Cup. With 30 victories in world cup competitions, he is the third most successful participant in the cross-country skiing world cup.

The most successful athlete in the cross-country skiing world cup is the Russian Jelena Välbe . The most successful cross-country skier of all time won the overall World Cup five times between 1989 and 1997. In 1997 she was also able to receive the small World Cup ball for victory in the Distance World Cup. With 45 World Cup victories, Välbe has the second most in front of the Norwegian Bente Skari , who recorded 41 victories. After Välbe's resignation, Skari dominated the World Cup between 1999 and 2003. She was able to win the big world cup four times and the small ball five times for victory in the sprint world cup. In recent years, Skari's compatriot Marit Bjørgen , who has won the overall victory four times and has won the Sprint World Cup five times, has been able to continue the triumphant advance of Norwegian cross-country skiers. She is the record holder with 76 World Cup victories (as of Dec. 18, 2016) in the individual competitions. Her greatest competitor was Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland, who also won the overall World Cup four times.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. «No Nordic Ski World Cup» . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna February 21, 1974, p. 15 ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  2. ^ Box in the middle: "Nordic" hunting races "" . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna November 3, 1988, p. 24 ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  3. Accolade for Düsseldorf: FIS Cross-Country Skiing World Cup 2008 in December - FIS International Ski Association confirms the desired date on December 20/21, 2008. Press release from June 2, 2008.
  4. Michaela Widder: Dresden gets the Ski World Cup , on, on May 29, 2017. Accessed on June 25, 2017.