Ski jumping 101: Scoring

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Jumpers are scored based on distance jumped and style points earned, alongside gate and wind compensation points. The distance is measured along the curve of the landing hill from the take-off point to the exact place where the jumper’s feet touch the landing slope. Ideally, jumpers land in the Telemark position: landing with one ski in front of the other, lunging forward. Video cameras record the distance of each jump and then the distance is translated into distance points.

A ski jumper earns style points on a scale of 0 to 20 from five judges, and the highest and lowest scores are eliminated. A jump with perfect power, boldness, precision, fluidity and control of the jump from the take-off through the flight, the landing, and the out-run can earn a maximum of 60 style points.

Points can be added or subtracted based on the gate and wind factor.

Depending on the strength and direction of the wind, the athletes can have points added or deducted from their scores. Points are added when there are less favorable wind conditions; likewise, if there is a headwind, giving athletes more lift, points are subtracted. This addition to the scoring was first used at an Olympics in 2014.

The gate adjustments also affects scores. Points are reduced for a higher starting gate, while points are added for a lower start gate. Coaches or a technical jury can adjust an athlete’s starting gate before a run.

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