Skip to main content


Correct behaviour on the piste

What are the FIS rules?

The so-called FIS rules - short for Fédération Internationale de Ski - are rules of conduct for all those who are on the ski slope. For beginners, the basic rules are already taught by the ski instructor when they first go out onto the slopes.
As the rules are simple and intuitive, no special test is necessary. There is also no direct punishment if one of the guidelines is violated. However, in the event of an accident, it may well be relevant - for example in the case of claims for damages or compensation for pain and suffering - whether or not the person who caused the accident has complied with the FIS rules.

Consideration as the first commandment

The first and most important requirement for the piste is: mutual consideration. In order to ensure that nobody is endangered and that fun continues to be in the foreground, every winter sportsman must ensure with his behaviour that he does not endanger, harm or otherwise restrict others in any way. This includes, for example, the choice of an appropriate speed, adapted both to the visibility conditions and to the traffic density. After all, anyone who rushes down the piste at high speed, even though they may not be able to see far because of heavy snowfall, risks getting into other skiers. This endangers himself and others and violates several FIS rules.

Keep your distance and give way

In addition, there are clear guidelines for overtaking manoeuvres, stopping on the piste, as well as entering or restarting after a stop. Every skier and snowboarder rides at his own speed, so it may naturally happen that slower riders have to overtake. It does not matter on which side the overtaking manoeuvre takes place. The only important thing is to keep enough distance to the other skier or snowboarder so that they are not endangered.

It is important to refrain from stopping in the middle of the descent, as this makes you an obstacle for the other riders. However, if it is necessary to take a break or wait for slower fellow travellers, the edge of the piste should be approached first. Here too, however, the flowing traffic from above must be taken into account so that no dangerous evasive manoeuvres are provoked.

Finally, in order to continue, it should be noted that those who are already on the descent have priority. It is therefore necessary to make sure in all directions that no one is endangered as soon as you enter the piste yourself. All winter sports enthusiasts should know their abilities. Those who do not start driving so fast should rather wait for a bigger gap in the traffic than to squeeze in somewhere in between.

First aid in an accident

In case of an accident, despite all the precautions taken, all winter sportsmen and women are obliged by the FIS rules to provide assistance. Just as in other life situations, it is important to help as much as possible. Even if it only means calling the rescue services - the main thing is not to look away when other people fall.

In order to be able to identify all those involved as well as any witnesses after the collision, there is also the obligation to show identification. Every winter sportsman should therefore carry his identity card with him when he goes onto the piste.

Possible sanctions for infringements

There are no fines or other penalties to be paid in case of violation of the FIS rules. Nevertheless, the behaviour of the winter sportsmen and women is relevant if an accident has occurred. For example, in November 2008, the Higher Regional Court of Hamm (file no. I-13 U 81/08) issued a ruling after a young man tried to overtake a slower skier on the piste, but collided with her. Since the health insurance company refused to cover the costs of the treatment, the injured party sued for damages for pain and suffering as well as for reimbursement of the treatment costs. Because the overtaking skier violated the FIS rules when he caused the accident by not keeping enough distance during his manoeuvre, the court decided that he had to pay for the costs.

Skifahren Kleine Scheidegg by David Birri

The other FIS rules as well as similar regulations, for example on alcohol consumption on the slopes, can be found in the free eBook on the subject.

Book your accommodation now!