USSA & FIS New Helmet Requirements

Please note that USSA adopted the requirement to use FIS Helmet Specifications (DH/SG/GS) for U14 and older athletes beginning in the 2015-16 season:

Season 2014-15: Recommended for U14 and older USSA alpine competitions
Season 2015-16: Required for U14 and older USSA alpine competitions (scored and non-scored including masters)

More on Helmets for FIS and USSA DH/SG/GS racing:  “No Sticker, No Start, No Exception”

There is still some confusion concerning what is required (for FIS racing) and we have had some athletes recently disqualified for not having a FIS Certified helmet.    The new helmets that meet the 2013 standard as required by the FIS have a completely different appearance, construction and feel.   The manufacturers stickers are applied in a fashion that is relatively permanent (appear overlaminated) in most brands.  The rules are quite clear as to what is required (click on following link to review the FIS equipment specification requirements).

Below is an excerpt of the Label requirement from the FIS Rules:

Label attesting conformity with FIS specifications for racing helmets (GS/SG/DH):

Fulfillment of requirements is to be attested by a specific standardized conformity label affixed in a non removable way at the back of the helmet in a location which is and shall remain visible. The label shall in particular not be covered by the goggle strap. The conformity label is shown in the attachment (see page 43). It shall include the following text: «Racing helmet conform to FIS specifications 2013». Labels affixed by manufacturers shall comply with the specifications set forth in the attachment.

The conformity label attests that the manufacturer has obtained the required certifications (EN 1077 A and ASTM 2040) and obtained a test protocol confirming that the concerned helmet model fulfils the requirements set forth above under 6.2.1. Upon request, the certification documentation and test protocol shall be provided to the FIS.

To be clear, our TD’s in North America were informed of these rules at our Fall 2014 TD updates and the policy for helmets is  – “No Sticker, No Start, No Exception”.    Athletes are responsible for their equipment ICR 222.

222 Competition Equipment

222.1 A competitor may only take part in a FIS competition with equipment which conforms to the FIS Regulations. A competitor is responsible for the equipment that he uses (skis, snowboard, bindings, ski boots, suit, etc). It is his duty to check that the equipment he uses conforms to the FIS specifications and general safety requirements and is in working order.

222.2 The term competition equipment encompasses all items of equipment which the competitor uses in competitions. This includes clothing as well as apparatus with technical functions. The entire competition equipment forms a functional unit.

Additionally, the rumor mill has generated that some bright athletes have taken upon themselves to generate some FIS conformity stickers that could be applied to older helmets.  Clearly this would be a violation of the FIS rules and those caught with such would face severe sanctions for their use or attempted use in competition.  I would suggest that our TD’s and organizers continue to control helmets and deny starts to those that do not appear at the start meeting the new standard.   It should be noted at your Team Captain’s meetings that helmet control will take place and that compliance is required.   Quotes like “my sticker came off” should not be accepted as grounds for a provisional run.

On a softer note, we must work hard to educate our partners in alpine on the importance of the use of the new helmets.  USSA has adopted the requirement to use FIS Helmet Specifications  (DH/SG/GS) for U14 and older athletes beginning in season 2015/16.   Head injury awareness in sport is a very important topic in the USA and the Alpine Sport Committee felt it  imperative that the USSA be leaders in adopting the higher FIS standard of helmet for use in Alpine Competition at all levels.

My earlier email is below and outlines specific details regarding an outdated sticker on some older Uvex helmets.  Please review this as well.

Best wishes to you all for the Christmas Holiday!


Paul Van Slyke

FIS TD Commissioner – USA

518-569-6999 Cell

518-523-4915 Office