The United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) will propose to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to increase the number of snowboarders that can participate at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics from 14 to 18. The proposal was discussed at the USSA1s 1999 Congress held in Park City, Utah, last week.

In the USSA1s snowboard committee meeting, Sharon Harned reported for U.S. FIS delegate William SlatteryÐwho was absentÐthat the organization will make the proposal to FIS during its October Snowboarding Committee meeting in Milano, Italy.

In addition to increasing the number of snowboarders competing at the Olympics, USSA will also propose the addition of a provisional rule for the 1999/2000 competition season allowing for the use the Super Pipe Dragon at FIS events. This would require the current halfpipe specifications to be adjusted to have a new maximum wall height of 5.5 meters.

The proposal also states that, “Upon completion of the 1999/2000 season, a review of the competitions using the Super Pipe Dragon would take place and a recommendation made as to a formal rule change for the 2000/01 season.

The increase in number of athletes needs to be proposed and finalized soon so that the Olympic organizers can plan to house all the attending athletes in the Salt Lake or probably Park City area where the snowboard events will take place. The increase could also help accommodate for the inclusion of boardercross as an event, if it is approved by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC). FIS and USSA would like to see the inclusion of the event, but SLOC is balking. According to Harned, the prospects for boardercross being included as a new event by SLOC is not good right now.