NORDIC COMBINED SPORT RULES


NORDIC COMBINED rules title

OBJECTIVE OF NORDIC COMBINED: Reach the finish line in the shortest time possible in a cross-country skiing race.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2+ players

MATERIALS: Jumping skis, cross-country skis, cross-country poles, helmet, bodysuit

TYPE OF GAME: Sport

AUDIENCE: 5+


OVERVIEW OF NORDIC COMBINED

NORDIC COMBINED overview

Nordic combined is a ski discipline that combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Athletes compete in an initial ski jumping competition to determine their starting positions in the ensuing cross-country skiing competition race.

The first major Nordic combined competition was held in Oslo, Norway, in 1892. Soon after, this skiing discipline made its debut at the inaugural 1924 Winter Olympics, where it has continued to remain on the Olympic program to this day.

Until the 1950s, Nordic combined required athletes to compete in the cross-country portion of the race before the ski jump. This proved to be an issue, as the scores disparities between competitors after the cross-country race would be far too drastic to overcome in the ski jump. Because of this, the ski jump is now placed before the cross-country race in all modern competitions.

Prior to 2019, Nordic Combined was an event only for men. Women have only just recently begun getting involved in the sport, as the International Ski Federation has finally approved a women’s event. A women’s Nordic combined event was scheduled to be held at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, but it was canceled due to a lack of development time. As of now, women are set to make their Olympic Nordic combined debut at the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, and we are cheering them on for a gold medal.

SETUP

EQUIPMENT

  • Jumping Skis: Can be up to 145% of a skier’s height in length
  • Cross-Country Skis: Can be up to two meters in length
  • Cross-Country Poles: Two tall poles held in the skier’s hands to help them traverse through snow
  • Helmet: Aerodynamic head protection
  • Bodysuit: Tight-fitting, spongy, microfiber suits designed to maximize a skier’s aerodynamics

EVENTS

Nordic combined includes a ski jumping event and a cross-country skiing event. The exact specifics of each event, such as the hill size and cross-country race length, differ depending on the organizer of the competition. There are usually single and team events.

The following are the events and formats of the Olympic Nordic combined events:

  • 10 km Individual Normal Hill: Athletes start with a single jump from a “normal” hill (85-109 meters) before competing in a 10-kilometer cross-country race.
  • 10 km Individual Large Hill: Athletes start with a single jump from a “large” hill (110-184 meters) before competing in a 10-kilometer cross-country race.
  • Team Large Hill: All four athletes on each team complete a single jump from a large hill before competing in a 4x5km cross-country relay race.

In most cases, the ski jump and cross-country skiing portion race take place on the same day.

GAMEPLAY

NORDIC COMBINED gameplay

SCORING

The only part of the Nordic combined event that is scored is the initial ski jump. The ski jump scores use the same scoring system as other ski jump events, with competitors being judged depending on the distance of their jump, style points, and compensation points (wind and starting gate). For example, a ski jumper with a high gate and a headwind while generally have a further jump than a ski jumper with a tailwind and a lower gate.

An athlete’s (or team’s) score in the ski jump is then used to determine their starting position in the ensuing cross-country race. This is done via the “Gundersen method”, which converts points into seconds. For the individual events, one point in the ski jump is equal to four seconds; for the team event, one ski jump point is equivalent to 1.333 seconds. This number of seconds determines an athlete’s head start.

In the staggered start cross-country portion of the event, each athlete begins the race at a specific time in accordance with their converted ski jump score. After this, crossing the finish line is the only thing that matters, as the final rankings are determined solely by the cross-country finish.

The first three athletes to cross the finish line win the gold, silver, and bronze Nordic combined medals.

Check out the highlights from the 2022 Nordic Combined events at the Olympics!

The best of Nordic Combined at #Beijing2022 🎿

OTHER TYPES OF NORDIC COMBINED EVENTS

  • Mass Start: Although rarely used nowadays, some competitions still take the old-school approach by starting with the cross-country race before the ski jump. With this starting method, all skiers start the race together in a mass start.
  • Multi-Day: The Nordic Combined World Cup uses a three-day format that sees competitors complete 1-2 jumps and a 10-20km race on three consecutive days. The top 30-50 finishers of each day move on to the next, with the third day being the championship event.
  • Penalty Start: Instead of having ski jump performance impact when an athlete begins the cross-country race, some competitions choose to have it change where each athlete starts (changes the distance).

END OF GAME

The athlete/team who is first to cross the finish line at the cross-country race is the winner of the entire Nordic combined event.

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