Starting this season, the FIS Nordic Combined schedule will include three new race formats, where the “penalty race” introduces a whole new race concept to the sport, borrowing penalty lap element from biathlon and doing away with judging.
In the new penalty race, skiers do one jump, and there will be no style judging in jumping competition, no wind factor and no gate factor, only length matters. The cross-country portion is a 10-kilometer mass start – only the winner of the jumping competition will get a time bonus: he will start 10 seconds prior to the mass start field. Depending on how far they jump, the racers will be assigned a from zero to five or six 150-meter penalty laps they have to complete during the cross-country portion of the competition. The racers can choose when in the race they want to do their laps – at the start or at the end – which adds a tactical/strategic element to the competition. The three penalties races are scheduled for Lillehammer (NOR) December 3-4, Zakopane (POL) January 28-29 and Liberec (CZE) February 25-26.
Additionally, there will be two other new race formats on the Nordic Combined World Cup schedule this season: A 2-person Team Sprint and a season final in Oslo where the top 30 racers on the World Cup will compete in an event where each racer have two jumps and ski a 15-kilometer cross-country course.
The 2011-12 Nordic Combined World Cup season consists of 27 competitions. The season opener takes place in Kuusamo (FIN) on November 25-26, and the season concludes in Oslo (NOR) on March 9-10. More information: FIS