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What is Ski Jumping?


What is Ski Jumping?

Olympic Ski Jumping

Image Copyright Clive Mason / Getty Images
Question: What is Ski Jumping?
Ski Jumping competition results are based on a total point system which combines style points and distance points.
Answer: Style Points. In Olympic and FIS competition each individual jump is divided into three phases - flight, landing, and outrun (outrun is after the landing until stopping). A perfect jump receives a maximum of 20 points.

During the three phases, a set of five judges deduct points based on the theoretical perfect style for each phase. For flight and landing style a judge can deduct no more than 5 points, and for outrun style no more than 7 points can be deducted. Deductions can be in half point increments. The highest and the lowest judged number are discarded, and the three remaining are totaled for a jumper's style point.

Example: Jumper A receives scores of 17; 18; 18.5; 20; 19. Then the 17 (lowest) and the 20 (highest) are eliminated and 18 + 18.5 + 19 = 55.5 total style points.

Distance Points. In Olympic and FIS competition there are two jumping hills - the large hill and the normal hill. The size of each hill is related to an arbitrary K-point (or spot) on the hill. A large hill has a K point over 100 meters and a normal hill has a K point of 75 - 99 meters. A 120 meter (large hill) jumping competition has a K point of 120 meters, while a 90 meter (normal hill) jumping competition has a K point of 90 meters.

In each competition, a jumper receives 60 distance points if he reaches the K spot. Points are either added for exceeding the K point or deducted for not reaching it. In the large hill competition, every meter over or under the K point adds or subtracts 1.8 distance points, on the normal hill the factor is 2 distance points. Measurement of the individual jump distance is from edge of the take-off ramp to forward point of the jumper's landing, measured to the half meter.

Example: Jumper A lands at 125 meters on the large hill in the 120 Meter Competition. He receives 60 points for reaching the K point (120 meters) and 1.8 points x the 5 meters he exceeded the K point for a total of 69 distance points. For the 120 Meter Jump Competition Jumper A has a score of 124.5 (55.5 style points and 69 distance points).

Competition Events. There are three events in the Olympic ski jumping. For men, the Individual normal hill and large hill jump competitions each have two rounds of jumping. The jumper in each event with the highest total score (scores of 2 jumps added together) is the winner.

The Team event is held on the large hill. There are four members on each team. There are two rounds of jumps with all teams in the first round and the eight highest scoring teams in the second or medal round. The team with the highest combined score is the winner.

Starting with the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, there is one event for women - normal hill competition.

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