The ski jumping discipline of Nordic combined can be broken down into five elements: inrun, takeoff, flight, landing and outrun. The distance of a jump depends on the technique and timing of the first three elements, while the judged style points depend on the final four elements. There are five FIS-appointed judges who assess style points, on a scale from 0 to 20.
From the time that a jumper receives the green starting signal from officials, he has a 10-second span in which he must begin his jump. Jumpers can strategically wait the full 10 seconds or choose to jump immediately, depending on the wind conditions. He then adopts an aerodynamic crouch position as he glides down the inrun. In that position, the jumper is coiled, prepared to thrust himself forward at the takeoff. Jumpers may not use any aids to increase speed.
Takeoff and style deductions
Jumpers take off with a rhythmic, aggressive and quick straightening of the knees and stretching of the body. The ankles are locked so that, in the air, the tips of his skis come upward. With the V style, the jumper must spread out his skis quickly in a symmetrical fashion to achieve optimal flight position. Timing is extremely important in the takeoff, because an early or late takeoff can reduce distance.
The maximum point deduction for the takeoff is 5.0 points.
Flight, distance and distance points
Typically, jumpers will be in the air for five to seven seconds. The distance is measured from the takeoff point to the exact place where the jumper's feet touch the landing slope or, if landing in the Telemark position, the midpoint between the jumper's feet as he first touches the hill.
Once the distance has been measured, that meter figure is then translated into distance points, related to the event's K-point.
On the normal hill, the K-point is 95 meters. A jump to the K-point is worth 60 points, and each meter over or under that distance is reflected by an increase or decrease of 2.0 points. So, if competitor A jumps 97 meters, he would score 64 distance points (60 + 2.0 x 2.0). If he jumps 94 meters, he would score 58 points (60 - 1.0 x 2.0).
On the large hill, the K-point is 125 meters. A jump to the K-point is again worth 60 points, and each meter over or under that distance is reflected by an increase or decrease of 1.2 points. So, if competitor Z jumps 130.5 meters, he would score 66.6 distance points (60 + 1.2 x 5.5).
Landing and style deductions
Every jumper is judged on the same criteria for the landing. A proper landing should be accomplished with steadiness, elasticity, and the distance between skis shall not be more than the width of two skis. The landing impact should be absorbed by a Telemark landing - bent knees, with one foot in front of the other, and the skis parallel and close together - which allows the jumper to absorb most of the force on his front leg at impact and then distribute his weight evenly on both legs to stabilize himself on the outrun.
For a non-Telemark (even-footed) landing, the point deduction is 2.0 points. The maximum point deduction for the landing is 5.0 points.
Outrun and style deductions
The outrun is the area at the bottom of the hill where skiers decelerate and stop. The jumper should hold the Telemark landing for 10 to 15 meters. If a jumper is unsteady after the landing because he has made a mistake in flight or in landing, the judges will monitor him until he passes the fall line. If a jumper falls on the outrun prior to the fall line because he has not recovered his balance lost on landing, the jump counts as a fall. If a jumper falls after he has passed the fall line, he will not lose any style points. The jump is over as soon as the jumper has reached the fall line. Thus, the subjective portion of the competition is judged from the takeoff to the fall line.
The maximum point deduction for the landing is 7.0 points.
Once each judge scores a jump, the highest and lowest style scores are eliminated. The composite style points (maximum: 60) are then added to the distance points to determine the start order and deficit of the cross-country skiing portion of the event.
The pursuit start
At the Olympics, all cross-country skiing portions of the Nordic combined events start with a pursuit start, sometimes referred to as the staggered start. (The pursuit start is also used in the biathlon pursuit event.) The start positions and time deficits of an individual (or team) at the beginning of the cross-country skiing portion are dictated by that individual's (or team's) score in the preceding ski jumping portion of the event. The top jumping individual (or team) is pursued by the second-placed individual (or team), who is pursued by the third, and so on.
|Event ||Jumping points ||Skiing time (start deficit)|
|Individual normal hill ||1 point ||4 seconds |
|Individual large hill ||1 point ||4 seconds |
|Team ||1 point ||1 second |
Freestyle skiing technique
The freestyle cross-country skiing technique, which is also often referred to as skating, is utilized in all Nordic combined events. In short, there are no restrictions in terms of motion. The skiers do not keep their skis within narrow tracks (as in the classical technique) but instead push off with both legs in a motion that resembles that required for skating.
Relay exchange (team event)
In the cross-country portion of the team event, exchanges between two team members involve a tap of the hand on any part of the body. The exchange must be made within a zone that is 15 meters wide and at least 45 meters long.
Electronic timing is used in the Olympics. The clock stops whenever the competitor breaks the light or photo barrier (suspended ten inches above the snow) at the finish.
In the case of a photo finish, skiers will be ranked according to the order that their front foot crosses the finish line, whether they lean, stretch or fall across the finish line.
Equipment changes during the race
Poles may be changed during any competition. One or both skis may be changed if the ski(s) or the binding(s) is broken or damaged. Equipment failure must be proven to the race jury after the competition. Waxing, scraping or cleaning of the skis during competition is forbidden.
There are three main factors to be considered by the race jury regarding cold weather safety: the temperature; the duration of the exposure; and the clothing and other protection against cold weather.
If the temperature falls below -25° C (-13°F) at any point of the course, or is forecast to fall below that temperature during the competition, the competition will be delayed indefinitely. Wind chill factor is also taken into consideration.
If the temperature rises above 5° C (41° F) at any point of the course, or is forecast to rise is forecast to rise above that temperature during the competition, the competition may be delayed. Recommendations must be given to competitors concerning clothing, skin protection and hydration.
There is no minimum age requirement in Nordic combined.