Ruka is poised to host an opening tour of the FIS World Cup season ©Getty Images

The International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Combined Committee have opted to open the season with an opening tour, featuring three competitions.

Ruka in Finland is scheduled to host the opening three events of the new season from November 24 to 26, while Lillehammer in Norway will follow next year.

The move to turn the competitions into a tour is aimed at ensuring the season begins on a high note, while it will alter how prize money is awarded.

The top three athletes in each of the single events will receive prize money, but the rest will be distributed to the highest ranked 20 athletes in the overall standings when the tour concludes.

It will see all athletes take part in each of the three competitions, differing from a triple format in which the weakest athletes are eliminated from day to day.

The standings will be driven by World Cup points, with the athlete with the highest total on the third day securing victory in the tour.

The decision will need to be rubber-stamped by the FIS Council at their next meeting, while they could also give approval to a move to introduce special bibs for the best jumper and skier.

It follows a successful test at the Summer Grand Prix, in which athletes collected points for their respective jumping and skiing rankings.

The ski jumper with the most points was given a blue bib, with the top skier wearing red.

At the close of the season, the athletes with the bibs would secure CHF7,000 (£5,500/$7,100/€6,000) in prize money.

Leaders' bibs for ski jumping and cross-country could be introduced this season ©FIS/Sandra Volk
Leaders' bibs for ski jumping and cross-country could be introduced this season ©FIS/Sandra Volk

The Committee have also opted to extend the age group for the Junior World Championship in the women's Nordic Combined event.

Athletes born in 2003 have been made eligible for the competition, which will only be a test event at the Swiss venue Kandersteg, with no medals set to be awarded.

An update on the progress of women's Nordic Combined will be presented at the governing body's Congress in Costa Navarino.

Members of the Committee will give updates on the status of women’s competition in their country, as the FIS seeks to continue the development of women's competition.