Classic Technique ​Rules and Guidelines ​- Information for Interschools​

At the Interschools Cross Country Skiing Competition, there are two events, Cross Country Classic and a Cross Country Relay.

This page includes educational resources on Cross Country Classic Technique.

Classical techniques include double-poling techniques, herringbone techniques (with no glide), downhill techniques, and turning techniques. Each technique is explained below with examples of what is allowed, and what not is allowed.


It is recommended that Classic skis are used for the Cross Country Classic, but are not compulsory. Skating skis can be used, however, their use can lead to inadvertent skating on the course, which can lead to disqualification.


The use of skating techniques will be penalised. Deliberate skating will likely result in disqualification. Inadvertent skating that doesn't result in an advantage to a skier is more likely to result in a verbal warning. Technique control will be overseen by trained technique controllers as per rule 13.32 of the Interschools Rules of Competition.

The Course

The Cross Country course will include parallel classic tracks set where appropriate. Classic tracks are not set on tight corners where it is not possible to turn and stay in the tracks.

Classic Techniques

Double Pole

Double Pole can occur in a track or outside of a track. Skis must remain parallel at all times. Watch the videos below with the correct Double Pole technique.

Video options 1 (responsive)



Video options 2 (in table)

Diagonal Stride

Diagonal stride involves legs and arms moving in alternate rhythm. Skis must remain parallel at all times. Watch the videos below with the correct diagonal stride technique.

Herringbone or Running Herringbone (no glide)

The Herringbone techniques are used when skiers are going up a steep hill. To herringbone, create a V-shape with your skis while facing uphill. You can step or run on your skis, but gliding while the skis are in a V is not allowed.

Watch the videos on the correct herringbone technique.


Turning Techniques

Turning techniques are permitted to be used when there is no set classic track. When turning the skier may push with the outside ski to change direction while stepping with the inside ski, as per the diagram and video below. Note that the skier may not continue to use turning techniques after the classic track resumes.


Techniques Not Permitted

The following diagrams and videos demonstrate technique that may result in a sanction. Sanctions can vary between disqualification and verbal warnings.

Skating (not permitted)

Marathon skate (not permitted)

Skating with one leg out of the track around corner with track set (not permitted)

Herringbone with glide (not permitted)

Double pole outside track or between tracks without skis remaining straight (not permitted)

Skating while cutting a corner (not permitted)

Excessive track changing (not permitted)

Where there is one or more set tracks, repeatedly changing or stepping in and out of tracks is not allowed.