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SKI JUMPING

Each contestant takes two jumps that are scored on distance and style. Competitors receive minus points for landing short of the critical point, or K point. Each of the five judges may award up to 20 points, but the highest and the lowest marks are not counted. That means a maximum of 60 style points is possible. The two jumping events are held on different jumps that are side by side.

WIND

Velocity is checked to ensure competitors are not blown off the ramp or turned over in the air.

SKIS

Jumping skis are made of wood, fiberglass and epoxy. They are one-and-a-half times as wide as Alpine skis and weigh up to 16 pounds each.

FLYING

Skiing down the ramp provides propulsion to carry the jumper forward. The athlete traps wind with the body and skis to stay up in the air. To capitalize on aerodynamics, arms are held at the sides of the body to form an airfoil, getting as much updraft as possible after takeoff.

THE IN-RUN

Jumpers keep their knees bent, shouldrs low and parallel to the ramp. The start of the ramp is designed to help build speed. The last few meters of the ramp help launch the jumper.

THE TAKEOFF

At the end of the in-run, jumpers combine a powerful thrust and a forward motion to propel the body upward and forward over the ski tips. Jumpers quickly begin closing the gap between skis and body to create a good aerodynamic position.

THE FLIGHT

Jumpers stretch the body in an jumpers position, similar to that of an aircraft wing. Arms are back and to the side of the body. Jumpers are usually not more than a few meters in the air as they follow the curve of the hill.

THE LANDING

Jumper land in the telemark position - one knee bent, one ski out in front of the other, and arms extended to the sides - to absorb the shock.

K-POINT

Marked as a red line where hill flattens out and beyond which it is dangerous to land.

MEASURING THE JUMP

Length is measured with the naked eye. Officials stand at intervals along side of the hill. The official closest to the touchdown point raises a hand to indicate distance.

CLASSICAL vs. "V" TECHNIQUE

Purists contend that the classical style - skis held parallel - is more pleasing to the eye.

Watch for the V style, where the tips of the skis are spread apart scissors-style, which provides greater lift and longer jumps. Researched in wind tunnels by the Germans, the first six World Cup events this season have been won by jumpers using the V style.

RULE CHANGE

Judges used to deduct up to four points from the jumpers using the V style. Now, a maximum of 1.5 points are taken away, and longer distances eliminate the disadvantages.

Source: Associated Press

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