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Characterization of course and terrain and their effect on skier speed in World Cup alpine ski racing.

Gilgien M, Crivelli P, Spörri J, Kröll J, Müller E - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In giant slalom the horizontal gate distance increased with terrain inclination, while super-G and downhill did not show such a connection.Skier speed decreased with increasing steepness of terrain in all disciplines except for downhill.In steep terrain, speed was found to be controllable by increased horizontal gate distances in giant slalom and by shorter gate distances in giant slalom and super-G.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Physical Performance, Oslo, Norway.

ABSTRACT
World Cup (WC) alpine ski racing consists of four main competition disciplines (slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill), each with specific course and terrain characteristics. The International Ski Federation (FIS) has regulated course length, altitude drop from start to finish and course setting in order to specify the characteristics of the respective competition disciplines and to control performance and injury-related aspects. However to date, no detailed data on course setting and its adaptation to terrain is available. It is also unknown how course and terrain characteristics influence skier speed. Therefore, the aim of the study was to characterize course setting, terrain geomorphology and their relationship to speed in male WC giant slalom, super-G and downhill. The study revealed that terrain was flatter in downhill compared to the other disciplines. In all disciplines, variability in horizontal gate distance (gate offset) was larger than in gate distance (linear distance from gate to gate). In giant slalom the horizontal gate distance increased with terrain inclination, while super-G and downhill did not show such a connection. In giant slalom and super-G, there was a slight trend towards shorter gate distances as the steepness of the terrain increased. Gates were usually set close to terrain transitions in all three disciplines. Downhill had a larger proportion of extreme terrain inclination changes along the skier trajectory per unit time skiing than the other disciplines. Skier speed decreased with increasing steepness of terrain in all disciplines except for downhill. In steep terrain, speed was found to be controllable by increased horizontal gate distances in giant slalom and by shorter gate distances in giant slalom and super-G. Across the disciplines skier speed was largely explained by course setting and terrain inclination in a multiple linear model.

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Histogram showing the distance distribution between concave terrain transition (compression) apex and gate positions for GS (black), SG (gray) and DH (white).A magnification of the histogram for the range from −10 to 10m with a higher resolution is shown in the upper left corner of the graph. A negative distance indicates that the gate is set ahead of the terrain transition apex, seen from the skier’s skiing direction.
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pone.0118119.g014: Histogram showing the distance distribution between concave terrain transition (compression) apex and gate positions for GS (black), SG (gray) and DH (white).A magnification of the histogram for the range from −10 to 10m with a higher resolution is shown in the upper left corner of the graph. A negative distance indicates that the gate is set ahead of the terrain transition apex, seen from the skier’s skiing direction.

Mentions: Considering all gates, the distance between the gate and the apex of the terrain transition was significantly larger than 0 m and gates were set after terrain transitions for GS. In SG and DH the distances were not different from 0 m distance. In Figs. 13 and 14 the distances to terrain transition (convex and concave) apex are illustrated in histograms. If gates were set closer than 10m to the terrain transition in GS, the distances were also significantly different from zero and were on average set 1.61m after convex terrain transitions and 1.39m after concave terrain transitions. In SG and DH, distances were not different from zero if set closer than 10m to the terrain transition.


Characterization of course and terrain and their effect on skier speed in World Cup alpine ski racing.

Gilgien M, Crivelli P, Spörri J, Kröll J, Müller E - PLoS ONE (2015)

Histogram showing the distance distribution between concave terrain transition (compression) apex and gate positions for GS (black), SG (gray) and DH (white).A magnification of the histogram for the range from −10 to 10m with a higher resolution is shown in the upper left corner of the graph. A negative distance indicates that the gate is set ahead of the terrain transition apex, seen from the skier’s skiing direction.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4356573&req=5

pone.0118119.g014: Histogram showing the distance distribution between concave terrain transition (compression) apex and gate positions for GS (black), SG (gray) and DH (white).A magnification of the histogram for the range from −10 to 10m with a higher resolution is shown in the upper left corner of the graph. A negative distance indicates that the gate is set ahead of the terrain transition apex, seen from the skier’s skiing direction.
Mentions: Considering all gates, the distance between the gate and the apex of the terrain transition was significantly larger than 0 m and gates were set after terrain transitions for GS. In SG and DH the distances were not different from 0 m distance. In Figs. 13 and 14 the distances to terrain transition (convex and concave) apex are illustrated in histograms. If gates were set closer than 10m to the terrain transition in GS, the distances were also significantly different from zero and were on average set 1.61m after convex terrain transitions and 1.39m after concave terrain transitions. In SG and DH, distances were not different from zero if set closer than 10m to the terrain transition.

Bottom Line: In giant slalom the horizontal gate distance increased with terrain inclination, while super-G and downhill did not show such a connection.Skier speed decreased with increasing steepness of terrain in all disciplines except for downhill.In steep terrain, speed was found to be controllable by increased horizontal gate distances in giant slalom and by shorter gate distances in giant slalom and super-G.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Department of Physical Performance, Oslo, Norway.

ABSTRACT
World Cup (WC) alpine ski racing consists of four main competition disciplines (slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill), each with specific course and terrain characteristics. The International Ski Federation (FIS) has regulated course length, altitude drop from start to finish and course setting in order to specify the characteristics of the respective competition disciplines and to control performance and injury-related aspects. However to date, no detailed data on course setting and its adaptation to terrain is available. It is also unknown how course and terrain characteristics influence skier speed. Therefore, the aim of the study was to characterize course setting, terrain geomorphology and their relationship to speed in male WC giant slalom, super-G and downhill. The study revealed that terrain was flatter in downhill compared to the other disciplines. In all disciplines, variability in horizontal gate distance (gate offset) was larger than in gate distance (linear distance from gate to gate). In giant slalom the horizontal gate distance increased with terrain inclination, while super-G and downhill did not show such a connection. In giant slalom and super-G, there was a slight trend towards shorter gate distances as the steepness of the terrain increased. Gates were usually set close to terrain transitions in all three disciplines. Downhill had a larger proportion of extreme terrain inclination changes along the skier trajectory per unit time skiing than the other disciplines. Skier speed decreased with increasing steepness of terrain in all disciplines except for downhill. In steep terrain, speed was found to be controllable by increased horizontal gate distances in giant slalom and by shorter gate distances in giant slalom and super-G. Across the disciplines skier speed was largely explained by course setting and terrain inclination in a multiple linear model.

Show MeSH