Besides the World Championships, the renowned Four Hills Tournament, which takes place between Christmas and Epiphany, is one of the absolute highlights of the ski jumping season. It includes four jumps to compete on in Germany and Austria. The venues for the Four Hills Tournament are Oberstdorf in the Oberallgäu region, Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of Zugspitze, Innsbruck in Tyrol, and Bischofshofen in the district of St. Johann im Pongau.
Timetable for the 2019/20 Tournament
|Qualification||Round 1 + 2|
|28 December 2019 (Sat)|
Start: 16:30 h
|29 December 2019 (Sun)|
Start: 17:30 h
|31 December 2019 (Tue)|
Start: 14:00 h
|1 January 2020 (Wed)|
Start: 14:00 h
|3 January 2020 (Fri)|
Start: 14:00 h
|4 January 2020 (Sat)|
Start: 14:00 h
|5 January 2020 (Sun)|
Start: 16:30 h
|6 January 2020 (Mon)|
Start: 17:15 h
How Is It Different From Regular World Cup Competitions?
The tour is the absolute highlight of the long ski jumping season for fans as well as for the athletes, and differs significantly from the usual World Cup jumping events. The 50 qualified ski jumpers compete against each other in one on one duels in the first round. The scores of the remaining jumpers are not taken into account.
The winner of each duel qualifies for the second round as do the five best losers (lucky loser rule). The duels are not drawn by lot, but result from the qualification held the day before. The last placed competes against the first in a knockout event, the last but one against the second, and so on. In the second round, the athletes jump one after the other. The jumper on 30th rank goes first, the leading jumper of the first round goes last.
Although the rules for the Four Hills Tournament differ significantly from those for the other jumps in the season, the results of the Four Hills Tournament normally count as part of the overall World Cup.
More starters for the home nations
Another special rule is the number of domestic starters. In the German jumps, the German team can bring considerably more starters to the table than the other nations. In Innsbruck and Bischofshofen, the advantage is for the Austrian eagles. This way, jumpers from the so-called B squad get the chance to prove themselves and participate in the coveted World Cup jumping competitions.
The overall winner of the Four Hills Tournament is derived from the results of all four jumps. If a ski jumper does not reach the second round in one of the four competitions, he is basically out of race for the title. An adrenaline rush is guaranteed - on the jump as well as in front of the tv.
The Four Jumps in Detail
Ski jump facility Audi Arena in Oberstdorf
The start of the Four Hills Tournament will be at Schattenbergschanze in Oberstdorf on 28/29 December. The ski jumping facility Audi Arena will be completely modernised in 2019 and made fit for the Nordic Ski World Championships 2021. The ski jump on Schattenberg (hill size: 137 meters) belongs to Skisport- und Veranstaltungs GmbH and is the home jump of ski club Oberstdorf. The ski jump record is currently held by the Norwegian Sigurd Pettersen who jumped a whopping 143.5 meters in 2003. The stadium has capacity for 27,000 spectators.
New Year's Jumping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
The Olympiaschanze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the second stop of the Ski Jumping Four Hills Tournament and takes place every year on New Year's Day. The HS-140 jump placed at the Gudiberg has its K-point at 125 meters, a hill size of 140 meters. The current ski jump record is held by the Swiss Simon Ammann with his jump in 2010. The SC Partenkirchen arena has a spectator capacity of over 25,000 people.
Bergiselschanze in Innsbruck
Last year, the Slovenian Peter Prevc was the best jumper on historic Bergisel, paving his way to winning the Four Hills Tournament. The hill size of the jump is 130 meters, the K-point is fixed at 120 meters. Incidentally, it is an Austrian who holds the jump record here. Michael Hayböck secured the record on 4 January 2015, jumping 138 metres. The stadium of SV Innsbruck Bergisel and SC Bergisel offers space for 22,500 spectators and boasts an extremely good atmosphere every year.
Three Kings Jumping in Bischofshofen
Better known as "B'hofen" with ski jumping insiders, the so-called Dreikönigsspringen takes place here every year on 6 January. The discharge ramp is the Paul-Außerleitner Jump of SC Bischofshofen. With a hill size of 142 metres and a K-point of 125 metres, it is the largest facility of the entire Four Hills Tournament. The stadium has a capacity of 26,000 spectators. Pole Dawid Kubacki set a new ski jump record on 6 January 2019 when he soared to 145 metres.
Overall Winners of the Past Years
|2019/2020||Dawid Kubacki (POL)||Marius Lindvik||Karl Geiger (GER)|
|2018/2019||Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN)||Markus Eisenbichler (GER)||Stephan Leyhe (GER)|
|2017/2018||Kamil Stoch (POL)||Andreas Wellinger (GER)||Anders Fannemel (NOR)|
|2016/2017||Kamil Stoch (POL)||Piotr Zyla (POL)||Daniel-André Tande (NOR)|
|2015/2016||Peter Prevc (SLO)||Severin Freund (GER)|
Michael Hayböck (AUT)
|2014/2015||Stefan Kraft (AUT)||Michael Hayböck (AUT)||Peter Prevc (SLO)|
|2013/2014||Thomas Diethart (AUT)||Thomas Morgenstern (AUT)||Simon Ammann (SUI)|
|2012/2013||Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT)||Anders Jacobsen (NOR)||Tom Hilde (NOR)|
|2011/2012||Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT)||Thomas Morgenstern (AUT)||Andreas Kofler (AUT)|
Former Four Hills Tournament Records
The Grand Slam: the win on all four hills
The jumps differ in such a way that so far only three athletes have managed to win all four jumps in one season: Sven Hannawald achieved this for the first time in 2002, in the 50th year of the Four Jumps Tournament. Pole Kamil Stoch was the first to be able to repeat this record in the 2017/2018 tour. Just one year later, the exceptional jumper Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan followed suit.
Most single wins
German TV expert and former world-class ski jumper Jens Weißflog collected 10 individual Four Hills Tournament victories in his career, as did Norwegian Bjørn Wirkola. However, the German also boast 4 overall victories in the tournament, whereas the Norwegian counts 3 trophies.
The most overall victories of the Four Hills Tournament
The Finn Janne Ahonen is the sole record holder in this respect. The old master has already achieved a total of 5 overall victories on the tour. Jens Weißflog follows with four overall victories.
Most successful nation in over 60 years
The most fiercely contested title is that of the most successful nation in the Four Hills Tournament. The countries Germany, Finland and Austria come out on top with a total of 16 overall wins each, thus sharing first place in this ranking.