International Luge Federation

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International Luge Federation
FIL-luge logo.jpg
Sport Luge
Jurisdiction International

The International Luge Federation (French: Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (FIL); German: Internationaler Rennrodelverband) is the main international federation for all luge sports. Founded by 13 nations at Davos, Switzerland in 1957, it has members of 53 national luge associations as of 2009 and is based in Berchtesgaden, Germany.

History[edit]

Early beginnings[edit]

The first luge competition took place on February 12, 1883 on a four kilometer course between Davos and Klosters, Switzerland, with the co-winners from Australia and Switzerland having a time of 9 minutes, 15 seconds. Austria, Germany, and Switzerland founded the Internationaler Schlittensportsverband (ISSV - International Sled Sport Federation in (German)) in 1913 in Dresden, Germany. The first European Luge Championships took place in Reichenberg, Bohemia (now Liberec, Czech Republic) in 1914. World War I in Europe caused the ISSV operations to be suspended and prevented any additional competitions until 1927.

Rebirth and merging into FIBT[edit]

In 1927, the ISSV was reestablished with the second European Luge Championships taking place in Schreiberhau, Germany (now Szklarska Poręba, Poland) the following year with a women's competition included. The ISSV was absorbed into the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT - International Bobsleigh and Tobagganing Federation in (French)) in 1935 and was part of the "Section de Luge" until the early 1950s.

Independence from FIBT[edit]

At a 1954 International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Athens, Greece, it was determined that luge would replace skeleton as an Winter Olympic discipline. Skeleton, which had been a sport both at the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics, would not return as an Olympic sport until the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 1955, the first World Luge Championships were held at Holmenkollen near Oslo, Norway. The FIL was established in Switzerland in 1957 with membership granted into the IOC at their congress in Sofia, Bulgaria that same year. Bert Isatitsch of Austria was elected President of the FIL.

FIL growth[edit]

At the 1959 IOC meeting in Munich, West Germany, luge was approved for inclusion into the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck with competitions taking place in neighboring Igls. 12 nations took part in the first Winter Olympic luge competitions with timing taking place in 1/100ths of a second. Following a tie in the men's doubles competition between East Germany and Italy at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, the FIL began timing all of their competition in 1/1000ths of a second, a practice that continues as of 2009. The first natural track European championships took place in Kapfenberg, Austria in 1970 while the first natural track World Championships took place in Inzing, Austria in 1979. The first Junior World Championships on artificial track took place at Lake Placid, New York, United States three years later.

FIL today[edit]

Isatitich died suddenly on February 8, 1994 and then Vice-President for Sport, Josef Fendt, took over as Acting President. Fendt would be named president at the FIL congress in Rome, Italy later that year, a position he still holds as of 2010.

FIL events[edit]

The FIL governs competitions on artificial tracks and natural tracks at both the European and World Championship levels. At the Winter Olympics, only artificial track competitions are contested. The events at the European and World Championships are men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, and a team event consisting of one run each from men's singles, men's doubles, and women's singles.

Artificial tracks are tracks that have their curves specifically designed and banked with walled-in straightaways. Made of reinforced concrete and cooled with ammonia refrigeration, these tracks are smooth and have g-forces of up to 4g (Four times the athlete's body weight). Men's singles on most tracks have their start house close to the bobsleigh and skelton start locations while both the men's doubles and women's singles have their start house located further down the track. As of 2009, there are sixteen bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton artificial tracks worldwide with a 17th track near Moscow that will host Junior World Cup events in November 2009. Another track in Russia near Sochi, the Sliding Center Sanki, will be in use for the 2014 Winter Olympics, had construction started in May 2009 following controversies at a previous location over track start heights and it being near World Heritage Site, including near an endangered species of brown bear.

Natural tracks are tracks adopted from existing mountain roads and paths, including a horizontal track surface and natural track icing. Most of these tracks are located in Austria, Italy, Germany, Poland, Canada, the United States, and Slovenia.

FIL Hall of Fame[edit]

In 2004, the FIL established a Hall of Fame for the greatest competitors in luge. As of 2008, there have been a total of six inductees.

FIL Presidents[edit]

In its 52 year history, FIL has only had two presidents, Bert Isatitsch from Austria (1957–94) and Josef Fendt from Germany (1994–present).

Member countries[edit]

Country Member name
Netherlands Antilles Rodel En Bobslee Bond Nederlandse Antillen
Andorra Associatio Andorrana De Luges Esqui Club D'Andorra
Argentina Asociacion Argentina De Bobsleigh Y Skeleton- Luge
Australia Luge Australia Incorporated
Austria Österreichischer Rodelverband
Belgium Association Belge De Luge De Course
Bermuda Bermuda Bobsled Skeleton & Luge Association
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sankaski Savez Bosne I Hercegovine
Brazil Confederacao Brasileira De Desportos No Gelo
Bulgaria Bulgarian Luge Federation
Canada Canadian Luge Association (Cla)
People's Republic of China Chinese Luge Association
Croatia Croatian Bobsleigh, Skeleton & Luge Federation
Czech Republic Ceskomoravska Sankarska Asociace
Spain Federacion Española Deportes De Hielo
Estonia Estonian Association of Luge Sports
Finland Suomen Kelkkailuliitto
France Fédération Francaise Des Sports De Glace
United Kingdom Great Britain Luge Association
Georgia Luge Federation of the Republic of Georgia
Germany Bob- Und Schlittenverband Für Deutschland (Bsd)
Greece Hellenic Ice Sports Federation
Hungary Ungarischer Rennrodelverband
India Indian Amateur Luge Association
Israel Israel Luge Federation
United States Virgin Islands Virgin Islands Luge Federation
Italy Federazione Italiana Sport Invernali
Japan Japan Bobsleigh and Luge Federation
Kazakhstan Luge Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Sledge Sport Federation
Korea Korea Luge Federation
Latvia Latvian Luge Federation
Liechtenstein Rodelverband Liechtenstein
Republic of Moldova Federatia De Schi Si Sanie Din Republica Moldova
Netherlands Bob En Slee Bond Nederland (Bsbn) C/O Nederlandse Ski Vereniging
Norway Norges Ake -, Bob- Og Skeleton Forbund (Nabsf)
New Zealand New Zealand Olympic Luge Association
Poland Polski Zwiazek Sportow Saneczkowych
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Winter Sports Federation
Romania Federatia Romana De Bob-Sanie
Russia Russischer Rennrodelverband
Slovenia Sankaska Zveza Slovenije
Switzerland Schweizer Bobsleigh - Schlitten Und Skeleton Sportverband
Slovakia Slovensky Zvaz Sankarov
Sweden Svenska Bob Och Rodelförbundet
Tonga Luge Association of the Kingdom of Tonga
Thailand Thai Federation of Luge Usacck
Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Luge and Bobsleigh Association
Turkey Turkish Bobsleigh- Skeleton and Luge Federation
United Kingdom Rennrodelverband Der Ukraine
United States United States Luge Association
Venezuela Federacion Venezolana De Deportes De Invierno
Yugoslavia Serbia & Montenegro (Yugoslaw) Luge Association

Championships[edit]

References[edit]