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The F.I.S. (Italian Ski Federation) rules must be considered an ideal pattern of conduct for a responsible and careful skier or snowboarder and their purpose is to avoid accidents on the piste. The F.I.S. rules apply to all skiers and snowboarders. The skier or snowboarder is obliged to be familiar with and to respect them. If he fails to do so, his behaviour could expose him to civil and criminal liability in the event of an accident.



Downhill and snowboard

Rules for the conduct of skiers and snowboarders

1. Respect for others
A skier or snowboarder must behave in such a way that he does not endanger or prejudice others. Skiers and snowboarders are responsible not only for their own behaviour but also for their defective equipment. This also applies to those using newly developed equipment.

2. Control of speed and skiing or snowboarding
A skier or snowboarder must move in control. He must adapt his speed and manner of skiing or snowboarding to his personal ability and to the prevailing conditions of terrain, snow and weather as well as to the density of traffic. Collisions usually happen because skiers or snowboarders are moving too fast, out of control or have failed to see others. A skier or snowboarder must be able to stop, turn and move within the ambit of his own vision. In crowded areas or in places where visibility is reduced, skiers and snowboarders must move 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 or snowboarder coming from behind must choose his route in such away that he does not endanger skiers or snowboarders ahead. Skiing and snowboarding are free activity sports, where everyone may move where and as they please, provided that they abide by these rules and adapt their skiing and snowboarding to their personal ability and to the prevailing conditions on the mountain. The skier or snowboarder in front has priority. The skier or snowboarder moving behind another in the same direction must keep sufficient distance between himself and the other skier or snowboarder so as to leave the preceding skier or snowboarder enough space to make all his movements freely.

4. Overtaking
A skier or snowboarder may overtake another skier or snowboarder above or below and to the right or to the left provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier or snowboarder to make any voluntary or involuntary movement. A skier or snowboarder who overtakes another is wholly responsible for completing that manoeuvre in such a way to cause no difficulty to the skier or snowboarder being overtaken. This responsibility rests with him until the overtaking manoeuvre has been completed. This rule applies even when overtaking a stationary skier or snowboarder.

5. Entering, starting and moving upwards
A skier or snowboarder entering a marked run, starting again after stopping or moving upwards on the slopes must look up and down the slopes that he can do so without endangering himself or others. Experience proves that joining a piste or starting again after stopping are the sources of accidents. It is absolutely essential that a skier or snowboarder 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 or snowboarding properly again - even slowly - he has the benefit of rule 3 as against faster skiers and snowboarders coming from above or behind. The development of carving skis and snowboards allows their users to carve and turn upwards on the slopes. Hence they move opposite to the general downhill traffic. They must, therefore, make sure in time that they can do so without endangering themselves and others.

6. Stopping on the slopes
Unless absolutely necessary, a skier or snowboarder must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier or snowboarder must move clear of the piste as soon as possible. Except on wide slopes stops must be made at the side of the trail. One must not stop in narrow places or where it is difficult to be seen from above.

7. Climbing and descending on foot
A skier or snowboarder either climbing or descending on foot must keep to the side of the piste. Moving against the general direction poses unexpected obstacles for the skiers and snowboarders. Footprints damage the piste and can cause danger to skiers and snowboarders.

8. Respect for signs and markings
A skier or snowboarder must respect all signs and markings. The degree of difficulty of a piste is indicated in black, red, blue or green. A skier or snowboarder 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 and snowboarders should be aware that warning signs are posted in their own interests.

9. Assistance
At accidents, every skier or snowboarder is duty bound to assist. It is a cardinal principle for all sportsmen that they should render assistance following an accident independent of any legal obligation to do so. Immediate First Aid should be given, the appropriate authorities alerted and the place of the accident marked to warn other skiers and snowboarders. F.I.S. hopes that a hit and run offence in skiing and snowboarding will incur a criminal conviction similar to 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 snowboarder and witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident. Witnesses are of great importance in establishing a full and proper report of an accident and therefore everybody must consider that it is the 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 determing civil and criminal liability.


Freeride/Off-piste

Safety rules for off-piste skiers

1. Ideally everyone should have a transciever in order to be tracked in case of avalanche.

2. Never go off-piste alone, ideal group size is 4/5 people - when in doubt stay out and always check the weather and avalanche warning signs.

3. Tell someone your planned route and a latest return time when they should alert authorities.

4. You need to be acccompanied by a guide.

5. Check the weather forecast and, while skiing, constantly pay attention to the evolution of the weather.

6. Respect the environment. A well-behaved skier never leaves litter nor does he/she damage the environment. Respect local cultures and traditions, always bearing in mind that you are a guest.


Snowparks

The rules in a snowpark

1. It is compulsory to use the homologated ski helmet and it is suggested to wear protection, for example for the back.

2. In the snowpark you will find jumps, sinkings, bumps, pendency changing and rigid artificial structures with different difficulty levels that change constantly, depending on the snow conditions, on the use, on the milling and on the day time.

3. Make a previous reconnaissance so to evaluate the difficulty level and the risks connected with the run you choose.

4. Avoid to use the structures if you do not have enough ability and experience to do it in safety.

5. Check carefully that neither people nor obstacles are on the way.

6. Read and respect the snowboarders and skiers behaviour rules (art. 30 of the execution rule of the L.P. 7/87).

7. Ski and snowboard disciplines can cause accidents. Acrobatic manoeuvres increase that risk.


Cross-country skiing

Rules of good behaviour for cross-country skiers

1. Respect other skiers
You must behave so as not to jeopardise the safety of other skiers, especially the less experienced ones.

2. Respect the signs
You must stay within the borders of the track and respect the signs. When skiing on the track you must follow the sense of direction indicated.

3. The track to follow
If the beaten piste has several tracks, you must use the one furthest on your right. In a group, you should always move in a queue along the track on the right.

4. Overtaking
The skier in front is not obliged to give way. However, you should let faster skiers overtake you whenever you think it is possible without any danger. It is possible to overtake both on the right end on the left on a free track, or on fresh snow, but you must always warn the skier in front, again without causing any danger for other skiers.

5. Crossing
In a two-way single-track piste, both skier must free the track by moving to the his/her right. On slopes, the skier going down must be given way. Always keep the sticks close to your body so as to avoid any problem during manoeuvring.

6. Control of speed and behaviour
Especially when going down a slope, you must adjust your own speed and behaviour to your technical skills as well as to the snow conditions, the weather, the visibility and the number of skiers on the track. You should always keep a certain safety distance with the skier in front of you.

7. Stop and the fall-down
When you want to stop, you should do it outside the track and the piste. After falling down, you must clear the tracks as soon as possible.

8. Rescue in case of accident on the track
In case of accident, all skiers should always rescue the victim of the accident.

9. Identification
Anyone involved in or witnessing an accident should provide his/her personal data.

10. Respect the environment and the tracks
A well-behaved cross-country skier never leaves litter on the track nor does he/she damage the environment. The track must not be damaged either by walking without skis on, or with skis, sledges or anything else.

11. During the race
If an official race is taking place on the track, you should leave the track free until the end of the contest.



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