The International Skating Union’s 55th Ordinary Congress concluded on June 13 2014 in Dublin (IRL). Over 220 Delegates from 79 ISU Member federations were present to vote on over 450 proposals. The Congress was officially opened by ISU President Mr. Ottavio Cinquanta, who made a special acknowledgement of thanks to the ISU’s Irish Member, Ice Skating Association of Ireland, presided by Ms. Karen O’Sullivan, for their organization of the Congress and their emerging role in the development of skating. For the first time in ISU history a Forum was held to provide a platform to the ISU Members to discuss a number of topics including the future of the ISU and the upcoming 2016 elections.
It was announced that the 56th Ordinary Congress will be held in Dubrovnik (CRO) in June 2016.
Key decisions by the Congress:
Constitution and General Regulations
Following the 2012 Congress to discontinue the Sports Directorate, Congress voted to adjust and better outline the ISU Bodies, Office Holders and Coordinators.
Provisions have been added to the ISU Constitution and General Regulations in case the IOC accepts Synchronized Skating into the Olympic Program.
A proposal to call the third placed Competitors to the podium followed by the second then first was rejected.
Although there were a number of proposals to either change or remove the age limit of ISU Office Holders and Officials, the Congress rejected all proposals in favor to keep the current age limit.
The minimum requirement for Members activities are now better defined and Provisional ISU membership is open to countries not having an operating ice rink under the condition that the Council may apply special conditions to those Members.
Mass starts will be proposed for inclusion in the program of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, subject to IOC approval. The 500 meters for Ladies and Men at Olympic Winter Games will be held over one race only.
The World Sprint Speed Skating Championships will have a fixed number of participants, 32 Ladies and 32 Men.
Various changes regarding the format and qualification procedure for Championships were approved.
Detailed Rules for Mass Start and Team Sprint races have been implemented. World Junior Champion titles for Ladies and for Men will be awarded during the Mass Start event at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships. The Team Sprint event will be included in the program of the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships
Single Distance Champion titles will be awarded for each distance at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships starting from season 2016/17.
Short Track Speed Skating
For the World, World Junior and European Championships new formats will be implemented and B Finals for all distances have been added.
A minimum qualifying time is required for entry for the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships which will be announced in an ISU Communication.
The qualification for the Olympic Winter Games will be held over four World Cup Competitions instead of two.
Modification in the starting procedure. In case of a second false start, the concerned skater shall be disqualified.
Single Distance Champion titles will be awarded for each distance at the European Short Track Speed Skating Championships starting from season 2016/17.
Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance
The Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance Technical Committees submitted a proposal to have the same time requirements for the Free Skating/Dance across all disciplines, 4 minutes for Ladies, Men, Pairs and Ice Dance and 3 ½ minutes for the Junior skaters. This proposal was rejected by Congress. The proposal for the Free Skating/Dance to be skated in reverse skating order to the skaters’ preceding segment result of the competition, with the best placed Competitor skating last was also rejected along with the removal of judges’ anonymity.
Competitors from the Host Member of the Olympic Winter Games who did not qualify through the normal qualification process will still be able to participate as long as they have achieved the required minimum Total Technical Score.
The Ice Dance Program Component will be multiplied by a higher factor as of season 2014/15.
The Synchronized Skating Technical Committee presented to the Congress a number of proposals that would harmonize the Rules with Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance Rules which were subsequently accepted.