The 2017 IBSF Congress took place in London ©Twitter

Alterations to the statutes and discussions about further improving the governance of the organisation featured heavily on the agenda at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) Congress in London.

The membership of the governing body unanimously voted to scrap the title of Associate Members with all National Federations who are a part of the IBSF to now be known as members.

Members have to adhere to several regulations, including ensuring they have competed in at least 10 of the IBSF on-ice competitions in the preceding 24 months prior to the Congress and in a minimum of two of the five Olympic sport disciplines.

All are given voting rights when it comes to events such as the World Championships, with Federations who have organised IBSF competitions in the past season given an additional vote.

Executive Committee members are also able to cast one vote.

The main difference between Members and Associate Members as per the old statutes was that an Associate did not have voting power and was not able to propose anybody to the ruling Executive Committee.

Although every nation will be a member, there is still a difference in voting power but this is down to the participation criteria and involvement in the sport.

insidethegames understands the move to abolish Associate Members was made to avoid any confusion about the status of a particular country within the governing body.

Whistler in Canada, Lake Placid in the United States, Altenberg, Königssee and Winterberg in Germany, St Moritz in Switzerland, Igls in Austria and 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games hosts Pyeongchang were confirmed as the venues for next season's IBSF World Cup calendar.

The majority of the decisions were made at a pre-Congress gathering, with proceedings then being held to rubber-stamp those proposals.

IBSF President Ivo Ferriani urged his members during the Congress “to be chameleons and not to be dinosaurs because they are small and are able to adapt themselves to survive” to ensure the body continues to “modernise” its governance structure.

IBSF President Ivo Ferriani urged the members to continue to adapt to ensure good governance
IBSF President Ivo Ferriani urged the members to continue to adapt to ensure good governance ©Twitter

It comes amid a turbulent time for sport in general in the wake of several corruption scandals, which has forced all International Federations to rethink the way they are governed.

“We spoke a lot about good governance as for us it is a big word," Ferriani told insidethegames.

“I told all the members that the good governance bracket is made by good people; you can have a lot of ideas and points but if you don’t have the right people to apply the concept you can’t be effective.

“We showed again our action plan just to be measured in our actions so we had a lot of open things.

“We spoke about improving the quality of our sport and attracting new athletes as this is important.

“We did a lot of work but a federation cannot be static - every day we need to customise our strategic plan in order to accomplish our aims.

“I always tell my people to be chameleons and not to be dinosaurs because they are small and are able to adapt themselves to survive.

“In five years we make our administration very transparent.

“We have changed our bookkeeping and all of our members are able to see our financial statements.”

Ferriani also provided the members with an update on Pyeongchang 2018 after preparations suffered a hitch in the spring of this year when parts of the track at the Alpensia Sliding Centre couldn’t be tested due to a lack of ice.

The Italian, who has been President of the IBSF since 2010 and has been proposed for membership of the International Olympic Committee, stressed the federations were happy the progress being made.

“The update we provided was necessary and the members are okay with Pyeongchang 2018, he said.

“There were no particular questions - everybody is excited to see and physically try out the track at the test event in March.”