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H I L L S I Z E, S C O R I N G,
N O R D I C C O M B I N E D
Info to help you understand and enjoy ski jumping NC
How Do Hills Get “Rated” for Size? What’s a K90, K120,
How is Ski Jumping Scored? And What’s This About “Style
What is Nordic Combined?
About Ski Jumping ... Hill Sizes and Scoring Explained
Ski jumping is about flight, not height. It’s about how FAR you fly,
and has nothing at all to do with height, either the height of the
jump, or the height above the ground the skier appears in flight.
Lots of photos are shot from ground level, shooting upwards with the
sky as background, making it look like the jumper is flying high above
the ground. This is misleading. The object of the sport is to stay in
the air as long as possible, and the flight is measured from the point
of takeoff to the point of landing. OK, you’re confused. Let’s
For example, the two hill sizes at the Olympics are referred to as
“normal” (NH) and “large” (LH). The “par” distance on the NH is
about 95 meters (312 feet). This can also be called a “K95” hill. It’s
designed so good jumpers will fly that far ... or farther. A jumper
gets 60 points for jumping to that spot, known as the K point.
Jumpers get two points ADDED to the 60 point score for every meter
they fly BEYOND the K point. They’ll LOSE 2 points for each meter
they land short of K. So, why do they call it “K”? It’s the first
letter of the German word for “calculation.” And why do I call it
“par”? Because it’s a golf term familiar term to most Americans,
who understand over & under par.
The “par” distance on the large hill (LH) is about 125 meters (410
feet), which is often represented as K125. A jumper will get 60
points for flying that far, and 1.8 points per meter added or
subtracted from their score for going beyond (or landing short of)
the K point. Conversion from raw distance to points provides for
standardization of scoring on differing hill sizes.
There are judges, too, who can award up to 60 points per jump (20
points per judge) for good technique The term “style points” is a
holdover from days gone by, when distances weren’t that great, and
there was more emphasis on being “graceful” or “stylish.” They are
more appropriately thought of today as TECHNIQUE points or, simply,
Most really good jumpers get between 16 and 19 points for technique
from each of 3 judges (there are 5 judges; high and low scores are
discarded). Typically, a good jumper will probably get about 55
points per round from the judges, and about 65 points for flying a bit
beyond the K point, or 120 points total per jump (distance points plus
So, in a two-jump event, on ANY HILL, a score of 240 is good. The
best jumpers will get many more points because they’ll fly far
beyond the K point; the best often score near 300 points, and a few
have scored up to about 320, because the distance points are
unlimited. In reality, distance rules, but when distances are close,
judge points become a tiebreaker.
Disclaimer: FIS uses the term “hill size” (HS) to refer to the
maximum safe distance. We do not use that term or that number in
this discussion, because it’s confusing. Case in point ... Stefan Kraft
of Austria holds the official record for the world's longest ski jump
with 253.5 metres (832 ft), set on the ski flying hill in Vikersund,
Norway in 2017. That hill is rated K-195 (what WE call “par”), with
the FIS “hill size” (HS) rating at 225 meters. So the world record is
more than 10% FURTHER than “hill size!” Confused yet? That “HS”
number is useful to the competition jury. If jumpers start exceeding
that distance, they may require using a lower start gate to reduce
takeoff speed for the safety of the athletes.
But ... since this is a definition of scoring, we stick with the the K-
point ... the “par distance” which is the baseline for scoring.
About Nordic Combined
Where the Sports of Ski Jumping and Cross Country Racing are ...
Nordic Combined athletes have to be good at ski jumping AND cross-
country racing. They have a round of jumping to begin tradiditonal
competitions. The jumping scores are calculated just like for regular
ski jumping, then converted to a time differential for the start of a
cross-country race. The athlete who jumps farthest is the first to
start the race, and each athlete’s start time is some seconds (and
fractions of seconds) behind the leader. Often the best jumpers
aren’t the best racers, and vice versa, which makes for some thrilling
finishes to the race portion.
Why Do They Do This? These Sports Are So Different From Each
Historically, ski competitions were often multi-discipline. In fact,
even into the 1950s and ‘60s, you’d occasionally hear of “skimeister”
competitions that involved jumping, cross country, and two Alpine
disciplines, slalom and downhill. Specialization took over, and now
only Nordic Combined (jumping and XC), and biathlon (XC and
shooting) survive as multi-discipline snow sports. The old
“skimeister” competition was somewhat analogous to the pentathlon
in track, which featured five events, and spotlighted all-around
athletes. Decathlon, ten events, no skiing equivalent.
The Amazing US Success in the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver
The phenomenal success of the US Nordic Combined team at the 2010
Olympics burst into public consciousness with the amazing finish in
the first NC event, where Johnny Spillane took the silver medal, Todd
Lodwick finished 4th, and Billy Demong placed 6th. They then took
silver in the team relay. To top it all off, Demong won gold and
Spillane grabbed another silver in the LH/10K individual event.
Never a US medal in 84 years of Olympic competition, and four of
‘em in Vancouver!
In the interest of historical accuracy, we must point out that in
recent years, a scoring calculation error was discovered that would
have resulted in US athlete Anders Haugen being awarded a bronze
medal at the first Winter Olympics, in 1924 at Chamonix FRA. He
was recognized posthumously.