Tighter Olympic Jumping format outlined

Peter Charles and Vindicat W help Britain to team gold at Greenwich Park at the London 2012 Olympics.
Peter Charles and Vindicat W, who won team gold for Britain at Greenwich Park at the London 2012 Olympics. © Kit Houghton/FEI

A compact competition format is the central element among proposals to revamp the Olympic jumping format.

The proposals from the FEI’s Jumping Committee will be considered by delegates to the FEI Sports Forum early next month.

Delegates from national federations are coming together in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the forum, with the formats of the three Olympic disciplines being the headline issue on the agenda.

Documentation released by the FEI ahead of the forum lays out the latest incarnation of the Jumping reform proposal.

It is proposed to increase the number of nations represented in Jumping at the 2020 Olympic Games without exceeding the overall quota of 75 combinations, comprising 20 teams of three, with 20 reserve combinations, plus 15 individuals.

The key elements of the Jumping Committee’s proposal, which the FEI wants in place for the 2020 Olympics, are:

  • A tighter competition format;
  • Completely separate Individual and Team events;
  • The staging of the Individual event before the Team event;
  • Three athletes per team, plus one reserve combination for substitution possibilities;
  • No drop score in the Team competition.

Proposals for the Individual event include that it be open to 75 combinations, with a maximum of three per national federation, at a height of 1.55 metres. There will be one round against the clock without a jump-off.

The 75 combinations will be divided into three groups of 25 athletes, based on a nation’s ranking. All Athletes from the same national federation will start in the same group.

The best 30 athletes (plus any tied on penalties and time for 30th place) from the first Individual competition qualify for the Individual final.

The Individual final will take place on the second day at a height of 1.6 metres.

Athletes will compete in one round against the clock with a jump-off against the clock in case of a tie on penalties for first place. If there is also a tie on penalties and time for third place, a jump-off will be held to decide the bronze medal winner.

The jump-off for third place will take place before the jump-off for first place.

All athletes not taking part in the jump-off(s) are placed according to their penalties and time in the initial round.

The proposals also traverse starting order in the competition, based on each nations’ rankings for the first day of competition, and on the reverse order of results from that competition for the final the next day.

It is proposed that there will be one or two rest days before the Team jumping competition.

It will be open to 20 teams of three. No drop score will apply. Teams will compete in one round without a jump-off, at a height of 1.55 metres. Chefs d’Equipe may select any three of their four athletes to take part in the first Team competition.

Teams will be divided into two groups based on the combined Longines Rankings points of each national federation’s three best combinations on an established date.

The starting order of teams within the groups will be established according to a draw.

Steve Guerdat of Switzerland riding Nino Des Buissonnets celebrates winning the Gold medal in the Individual Jumping Equestrian on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Steve Guerdat of Switzerland riding Nino Des Buissonnets celebrates winning the Gold medal in the Individual Jumping at the London 2012 Olympic Games. © London 2012

The overall placings for the first day of the Team event will be established for the entire competition, not per group.

The 10 best-placed teams qualify for the final, which will be held on the next day of competition.

There will be a jump-off in case of a tie on penalties for first place only, at a height 1.60 metres. Chefs d’Equipe may select any three of their four athletes to take part in the team final.

Three athletes per team will take part in the jump-off, but only the team’s best score will count (two drop scores per team in the jump-off).

In view of full substitution possibilities, it is proposed that four medals be awarded to medal-winning teams that have used a substitute combination in the Team event. The International Olympic Committee will be asked to confirm that this would be possible.

The Jumping Committee’s proposed competition format for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games is similar, but there will be no quota for participation. However, it is proposed to strengthen the criteria for the minimum eligibility requirements for earning a Certificate of Capability.

The Jumping Committee’s recommendations will be included in the proposed modifications to the Jumping Rules to be submitted to national federations for consultation before the FEI General Assembly late this year.

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