I’ve been watching some Olympics coverage. Nothing too serious, besides the usual intense scrutiny which figure skating gets in my household. Every time I see ski jumping (which, admittedly, isn’t very often) I wonder how they measure the length of the jump. Do they use some kind of high-speed camera, or do judges just eyeball it (as in, say, javelin)? I turned to Wikipedia for answers:
Each hill has a target called the calculation point (or K point) which is a par distance to aim for. This point is marked by the K line on the landing strip. For K90 and K120 competitions, the K line is at 90m and 120m respectively.
Skiers are awarded 60 points if they land on the K Line. For every metre short/beyond this average, jumpers receive fewer/more points than the par 60 (approximately 2 points per metre). In addition, five judges are based in a tower that lies to the side of the expected landing point. They can award up to 20 points for style based on: keeping the skis steady during flight, balance, good body position and landing. The highest and lowest scores are removed.
I had no idea that they weren’t shooting for maximum distance. Regardless, I’m afraid that entry didn’t completely answer my question. Does anybody know? I did find this page, which is an interesting discussion of how ski jumpers use physics.