For the first time in Winter Olympic history, women will be competing in ski jumping—a sport that’s been a men’s only event until today.
Whether you’re familiar with the sport, here’s what you need to know about women’s ski jumping events and how it differs from those of men.
Ski jumping is believed to have started in 1808 when a Norwegian military officer named Olaf Rye ski jumped 9.5 meters to show off in front of his soldiers. The first ski jumping competition was held in Norway where another Norwegian, Sondre Norheim, won in 1866.
Fast forward to modern times to 1924 when ski jumping was officially added as as Winter Olympic sport at the Games in Chamonix, France.
Rules and scoring women’s ski jump:
There are four separate ski jumping events set for this year, but women will be competing in only one: the individual normal hill competition, also known as K-90.
Athletes must complete two jumps. Scores will be determined by two factors: distance and style.
Distance points: Athletes start with 60 points, also known as the “K Point.” Two points are added for every meter jumped more than 90 meters; and two points are deducted for every meter jumped under 90 meters.
Style points: Five judges will score athletes, using a 20-point scale, based on flight, landing, and outrun.
Marks from the lowest- and highest-scoring judges will be discarded, and those of the the remaining three judges will be added together.
The final score is the sum of the distance points plus the style points.
Rules and scoring men’s ski jump:
While women will compete in only one event—the individual normal hill competition—men will compete in three: the individual normal hill competition, the individual large hill competition, and the team event.
Men and women are judged and scored the same way during the individual normal hill competition, which has a hill size, or HS, of about 105 meters.
Men’s individual large hill competition, or K-120, has a hill size of 140 meters. This competition is scored for a jump distance of 120 meters. Starting with 60 points, two points are added for every meter more than 120 meters and two points deducted for every meter under 120. Style scores are judged and added the same way as the normal hill competition.
Men’s team large hill competition is done at the same hill size of 140 meters for the same jump distance, 120 meters. Teams are made up of four athletes, each making two jumps, and each scored individually. The team members’ scores are added to make the final team score. Only eight teams make it to the final round.