ISF announces insolvency
The International Snowboard Federation, the original sanctioning body for pro snowboarding events, has terminated operations after the Board of Directors voted, with one abstention, to follow the advice of the excutive committee and declare financial insolvency.
All ISF operations have ceased, and events, such as the ISF Junior World Championships in New Zealand, will now come under the control of the organizing committee and the national snowboard organizations.
In the June 22 press release announcing the decision, the ISF said the "lack of a credible solution to the financial difficulties and the missing support of past partners forced this drastic decision."
The ISF was formed in May 1990 when the newly formed International Snowboard Association and the Pro Snowboarders Association joined forces to create a governing body to promote, organize and regulate the growing sport. The previous winter, the ISA and PSA helped to organize a circuit of six European events, eight North American events, and four events in Japan.
They motto of the newly formed ISF was "Snowboarding by snowboarders for snowboarders."
The collection events became known as the ISF World Pro Tour, and in the spring of 1993 the first ISF Junior World Championships were held in Austria.
Things were going well until the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) became interested in the sport and created its own World Cup series in 1994. Because the ISF tour was less regulated and the prize money was generally higher, the ISF continued to dominate the sport the second ISF World Championships hosted 260 competitors from 29 countries, and more than $1 million U.S. in prize money was handed out on the tour.
In November of 1995, the International Olympic Committee voted to include snowboarding in the next winter games in 1988 at Nagano, Japan. The ISF felt that they should be the official organizers of the event as the most widely recognized governing body for the sport, but the honour was instead given to the FIS.
This caused a breach between the two organizations that have lasted until today, with some ISF athletes refusing to recognize FIS as the official body for the sport.
Nevertheless, the ISF continued to grow. In 1999-2000, the ISF membership included 35 national federations and more than 62,000 riders. However, with the World Cup prize money growing and athletes chasing Olympic dreams the ISF only hosting ten worldwide events.
The ISF had always managed to stay just ahead of the FIS, shifting its focus to events like the boardercross, quarterpipes, and big air competitions in the late 1990s, but the FIS has recently countered with their own World Cup Snowboard Cross and Big Air events.
There is as yet no word on exactly what the ISFs financial situation was leading up to the decision to dissolve the organization.