Federation mandates longer Alpine skis

OBERHOFEN, Switzerland -- The International Ski Federation has passed a new rule requiring Alpine racers to use longer skis to help prevent serious injuries.

Giant slalom skiers will face the biggest changes in the 2012-13 World Cup season. The rules are being imposed after a six-year injury research project.

FIS says the minimum length for men's GS skis will increase by 10 centimeters to 1.95 meters. Women's GS skis must be 1.88 meters, 8 centimeters longer.

Downhill skis also will be longer -- at least 2.18 meters for men and 2.15 meters for women.

A FIS panel was led by Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden, the 1992 Olympic champion in women's GS. The panel worked with researchers in Norway and Austria to develop prototype skis that were tested last season.