Four Hills Tournament

The Four Hills Tournament (German: Vierschanzentournee) or the German-Austrian Ski Jumping Week (German: Deutsch-Österreichische Skisprung-Woche) is a ski jumping event composed of four World Cup events and has taken place in Germany and Austria each year since 1953. With a few exceptions the ski jumping events are held chronologically at Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen. Winning these all four events in one Four Hills Tournament edition is called the grand slam.

Four Hills Tournament
Vierschanzentournee
logotype
Statusactive
Genresporting event
Date(s)29/30 December – 6 January
Frequencyannual
CountryAustria
Germany
Inaugurated1953 (1953)
Organised byFIS
Websitevierschanzentournee.com

The Four Hills Tournament champion is the one who gets the most points over the four events. Unlike the World Cup ranking, however, the actual points scored during the competitions are the ones that are used to determine the winner. In 2005–06, Janne Ahonen and Jakub Janda shared the overall victory after finishing with exactly the same points total after the four competitions. In 2001–02, the anniversary 50th edition, Sven Hannawald became the first to win all the four events in the same edition. In 2017-18 season Kamil Stoch became just the second man in history to achieve the grand slam of ski jumping. Just a year later, in the 2018-19 edition, Ryoyu Kobayashi became the third ski jumper in history to win the grand slam.

The four individual events themselves are part of the World Cup and award points toward the world cup in exactly the same manner as all other world cup events.

Tournament hills

Date Image Place Hill name K-Point Hill size Hill record
29 or 30 December Oberstdorf, Germany Schattenbergschanze K-120 HS 137 143.5 m (2003)
Sigurd Pettersen
1 January Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Große Olympiaschanze K-125 HS 142 143.5 m (2010)
Simon Ammann
3 or 4 January Innsbruck, Austria Bergiselschanze K-120 HS 130 138.0 m (2015)
Michael Hayböck[1]
6 January Bischofshofen, Austria Paul-Ausserleitner-Schanze K-125 HS 142 145.0 m (2019)
Dawid Kubacki

Traditionally, the order of the tournament competitions has been: Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck, Bischofshofen with the following exceptions:

  • 1953: Garmisch-Partenkirchen was the first, and Oberstdorf the second event.
  • 1956–57, 1961–62, 1962–63: Innsbruck was the second event, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen third.
  • 1971–72: Innsbruck was first, and Oberstdorf third.
  • 2007–08: The Innsbruck event was cancelled due to bad weather, and replaced with an additional competition at Bischofshofen.

Knock-out system

One of the tournament's peculiarities is its qualifying system. Unlike other ski jumping events where the best 30 competitors in the first round qualify for the second round, all Four Hills events follow a knock-out system first introduced for the 1996–97 season.

The 50 competitors are divided into 25 pairs. All 25 winners of these duels plus the five best losers qualify for the second round. It is theoretically possible that a competitor who finishes the first round 12th will not qualify for the second round (if he loses his internal duel, five lucky losers and winners of their duels have better results) while the one with the 49th first series result may still qualify (if his "rival" has the worst result). On the other hand, jumpers are less likely to be disadvantaged by a possible significant change in weather conditions between the start and end of the first series. A change in the direction and speed of the wind can make it impossible for the best jumpers to produce a good result. In the event of significantly worse conditions during the second half of the first series, the possibility exists that most of the best jumpers would be eliminated by bad luck alone. Directly pairing rivals reduces the impact of these conditions. In this competition format the qualifying series are valued as well, since jumpers with a better qualification result will have the opportunity to compete against jumpers with worse result. Therefore, it is not enough for a jumper to be among 50 best jumpers in qualifications (with whatever result), but it is better for him to achieve a result as good as possible.

The first jumper in the competition is the one who qualified 26th, followed by his pair who qualified 25th. The next pair has 27th and 24th from the qualification, one after that 28th and 23rd etc. The last pair has last qualified jumper against qualification winner.

If qualification is postponed until the day of competition, the knock-out system is not used, and competition follows regular world cup rules. Because of that in the 2007/08 tournament, the knock-out system was used only in Oberstdorf.

List of winners

* Won all four events in the same season
Won three events in the same season
YearOberstdorfGarmisch-
Partenkirchen
InnsbruckBischofshofenOverall victory
1953 Erling Kroken Asgeir Dølplads[lower-alpha 1] Sepp Bradl Halvor Næs Sepp Bradl
1953–54 Olav Bjørnstad Olav Bjørnstad Olav Bjørnstad Sepp Bradl Olav Bjørnstad
1954–55 Aulis Kallakorpi Aulis Kallakorpi Torbjørn Ruste Torbjørn Ruste Hemmo Silvennoinen
1955–56 Eino Kirjonen Hemmo Silvennoinen Koba Zakadze Yuri Skorzov Nikolay Kamenskiy
1956–57 Pentti Uotinen Nikolay Kamenskiy[lower-alpha 2] Nikolai Schamov[lower-alpha 2] Eino Kirjonen Pentti Uotinen
1957–58 Nikolay Kamenskiy Willi Egger Helmut Recknagel Helmut Recknagel Helmut Recknagel
1958–59 Helmut Recknagel Helmut Recknagel Helmut Recknagel Walter Habersatter Helmut Recknagel
1959–60 Max Bolkart Max Bolkart Max Bolkart Albin Plank Max Bolkart
1960–61 Juhani Kärkinen Koba Zakadze Kalevi Kärkinen Helmut Recknagel Helmut Recknagel (3)
1961–62 Eino Kirjonen Georg Thoma[lower-alpha 2] Willi Egger[lower-alpha 2] Willi Egger Eino Kirjonen
1962–63 Toralf Engan Toralf Engan[lower-alpha 2] Toralf Engan[lower-alpha 2] Torbjørn Yggeseth Toralf Engan
1963–64 Torbjørn Yggeseth Veikko Kankkonen Veikko Kankkonen Baldur Preiml Veikko Kankkonen
1964–65 Torgeir Brandtzæg Erkki Pukka Torgeir Brandtzæg Bjørn Wirkola Torgeir Brandtzæg
1965–66 Veikko Kankkonen Paavo Lukkariniemi Dieter Neuendorf Veikko Kankkonen Veikko Kankkonen (2)
1966–67 Dieter Neuendorf Bjørn Wirkola Bjørn Wirkola Bjørn Wirkola Bjørn Wirkola
1967–68 Dieter Neuendorf Bjørn Wirkola Gariy Napalkov Jiří Raška Bjørn Wirkola
1968–69 Bjørn Wirkola Bjørn Wirkola Bjørn Wirkola Jiří Raška Bjørn Wirkola (3)
1969–70 Gariy Napalkov Jiří Raška Bjørn Wirkola Jiří Raška Horst Queck
1970–71 Ingolf Mork Ingolf Mork Zbyněk Hubač Ingolf Mork Jiří Raška
1971–72 Yukio Kasaya[lower-alpha 3] Yukio Kasaya Yukio Kasaya[lower-alpha 3] Bjørn Wirkola Ingolf Mork
1972–73 Rainer Schmidt Rainer Schmidt Sergei Botschkov Rudolf Höhnl Rainer Schmidt
1973–74 Hans-Georg Aschenbach Walter Steiner Hans-Georg Aschenbach Bernd Eckstein Hans-Georg Aschenbach
1974–75 Willi Pürstl Karl Schnabl Karl Schnabl Karl Schnabl Willi Pürstl
1975–76 Toni Innauer Toni Innauer Jochen Danneberg Toni Innauer Jochen Danneberg
1976–77 Toni Innauer Jochen Danneberg Henry Glaß Walter Steiner Jochen Danneberg (2)
1977–78 Matthias Buse Jochen Danneberg Per Bergerud Kari Ylianttila Kari Ylianttila
1978–79 Yuri Ivanov Josef Samek Pentti Kokkonen Pentti Kokkonen Pentti Kokkonen
1979–80 Jochen Danneberg Hubert Neuper Hubert Neuper Martin Weber Hubert Neuper
1980–81 Hubert Neuper Horst Bulau Jari Puikkonen Armin Kogler Hubert Neuper (2)
1981–82 Matti Nykänen Roger Ruud Manfred Deckert
Per Bergerud
Hubert Neuper Manfred Deckert
1982–83 Horst Bulau Armin Kogler Matti Nykänen Jens Weißflog Matti Nykänen
1983–84 Klaus Ostwald Jens Weißflog Jens Weißflog Jens Weißflog Jens Weißflog
1984–85 Ernst Vettori Jens Weißflog Matti Nykänen Hroar Stjernen Jens Weißflog
1985–86 Pekka Suorsa Pavel Ploc Jari Puikkonen Ernst Vettori Ernst Vettori
1986–87 Vegard Opaas Andreas Bauer Primož Ulaga Tuomo Ylipulli Ernst Vettori (2)
1987–88 Pavel Ploc Matti Nykänen Matti Nykänen Matti Nykänen Matti Nykänen (2)
1988–89 Dieter Thoma Matti Nykänen Jan Boklöv Mike Holland Risto Laakkonen
1989–90 Dieter Thoma Jens Weißflog Ari-Pekka Nikkola František Jež Dieter Thoma
1990–91 Jens Weißflog Jens Weißflog Ari-Pekka Nikkola Andreas Felder Jens Weißflog
1991–92 Toni Nieminen Andreas Felder Toni Nieminen Toni Nieminen Toni Nieminen
1992–93 Christof Duffner Noriaki Kasai Andreas Goldberger Andreas Goldberger Andreas Goldberger
1993–94 Jens Weißflog Espen Bredesen Andreas Goldberger Espen Bredesen Espen Bredesen
1994–95 R. Schwarzenberger Janne Ahonen Kazuyoshi Funaki Andreas Goldberger Andreas Goldberger (2)
1995–96 Mika Laitinen R. Schwarzenberger Andreas Goldberger Jens Weißflog Jens Weißflog (4)
1996–97 Dieter Thoma Primož Peterka Kazuyoshi Funaki Dieter Thoma Primož Peterka
1997–98 Kazuyoshi Funaki Kazuyoshi Funaki Kazuyoshi Funaki Sven Hannawald Kazuyoshi Funaki
1998–99 Martin Schmitt Martin Schmitt Noriaki Kasai Andreas Widhölzl Janne Ahonen
1999–00 Martin Schmitt Andreas Widhölzl Andreas Widhölzl Andreas Widhölzl Andreas Widhölzl
2000–01 Martin Schmitt Noriaki Kasai Adam Małysz Adam Małysz Adam Małysz
2001–02 Sven Hannawald Sven Hannawald Sven Hannawald Sven Hannawald Sven Hannawald *
2002–03 Sven Hannawald Primož Peterka Janne Ahonen Bjørn Einar Romøren Janne Ahonen
2003–04 Sigurd Pettersen Sigurd Pettersen Peter Žonta Sigurd Pettersen Sigurd Pettersen
2004–05 Janne Ahonen Janne Ahonen Janne Ahonen Martin Höllwarth Janne Ahonen
2005–06 Janne Ahonen Jakub Janda Lars Bystøl Janne Ahonen Janne Ahonen
Jakub Janda
2006–07 Gregor Schlierenzauer Andreas Küttel Anders Jacobsen Gregor Schlierenzauer Anders Jacobsen
2007–08 Thomas Morgenstern Gregor Schlierenzauer Janne Ahonen[lower-alpha 4] Janne Ahonen Janne Ahonen (5)
2008–09 Simon Ammann Wolfgang Loitzl Wolfgang Loitzl Wolfgang Loitzl Wolfgang Loitzl
2009–10 Andreas Kofler Gregor Schlierenzauer Gregor Schlierenzauer Thomas Morgenstern Andreas Kofler
2010–11 Thomas Morgenstern Simon Ammann Thomas Morgenstern Tom Hilde Thomas Morgenstern
2011–12 Gregor Schlierenzauer Gregor Schlierenzauer Andreas Kofler Thomas Morgenstern Gregor Schlierenzauer
2012–13 Anders Jacobsen Anders Jacobsen Gregor Schlierenzauer Gregor Schlierenzauer Gregor Schlierenzauer (2)
2013–14 Simon Ammann Thomas Diethart Anssi Koivuranta Thomas Diethart Thomas Diethart
2014–15 Stefan Kraft Anders Jacobsen Richard Freitag Michael Hayboeck Stefan Kraft
2015–16 Severin Freund Peter Prevc Peter Prevc Peter Prevc Peter Prevc
2016–17 Stefan Kraft Daniel-André Tande Daniel-André Tande Kamil Stoch Kamil Stoch
2017–18 Kamil Stoch Kamil Stoch Kamil Stoch Kamil Stoch Kamil Stoch * (2)
2018–19 Ryoyu Kobayashi Ryoyu Kobayashi Ryoyu Kobayashi Ryoyu Kobayashi Ryoyu Kobayashi *
Notes
  1. In the inaugural tournament, the first competition was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  2. Innsbruck was the second event, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen third.
  3. Innsbruck was the first event, and Oberstdorf third.
  4. The competition was held in Bischofshofen due to bad weather

Records

Janne Ahonen is the only ski jumper to have won the tournament five times, with wins in 1998–99, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06 and 2007–08. Jens Weißflog was the first ski jumper to reach four wins, winning the tournament in 1984, 1985, 1991 and 1996. Helmut Recknagel and Bjørn Wirkola have the next best record, winning three titles each. Wirkola's victories came in three consecutive years (1967–1969), a record still uncontested.

Janne Ahonen's fourth victory in 2005–06 was also the first time the tournament victory was shared, with Jakub Janda, who claimed his first 4 Hills Tournament crown.

Jens Weißflog and Bjørn Wirkola have both won ten Four Hills Tournament events. Janne Ahonen and Gregor Schlierenzauer are next with 9 victories, followed by Matti Nykänen who has seven.

In 2000–01, the 49th edition of the tournament, Adam Małysz beat second placed Janne Ahonen by 104.4 points. This is the biggest winning margin in the tournament's history. He also won all four qualifications that year. The following year Sven Hannawald became the first person to win all four competitions in a single season. In 2017-18 Kamil Stoch has repeated Hannawald's record and year after, Ryoyu Kobayashi became the third person to win all four events.

Germany (with twelve of their wins pre-1989), Austria and Finland each have sixteen victories. Fourth is Norway with ten victories. Poland has three victories. Czechoslovakia and one of its successors the Czech Republic have two victories altogether, as have Slovenia and Japan. USSR has a single victory.

Overall winners

Record overall victories
Overall victoriesNameTournament(s)
5 Janne Ahonen1998–99, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08
4 Jens Weissflog1983–84, 1984–85, 1990–91, 1995–96
3 Helmut Recknagel1957–58, 1958–59, 1960–61
Bjørn Wirkola1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69
2 Veikko Kankkonen1963–64, 1965–66
Jochen Danneberg1975–76, 1976–77
Hubert Neuper1979–80, 1980–81
Matti Nykänen1982–83, 1987–88
Ernst Vettori1985–86, 1986–87
Andreas Goldberger1992–93, 1994–95
Gregor Schlierenzauer2011–12, 2012–13
Kamil Stoch2016–17, 2017–18

National quota

During the Four Hills Tournament many national jumpers from Germany and Austria are allowed to qualify for the competition. This allows them to show themselves and get experience. The national jumping team starts first in the qualification.

Notable participants

In 1965, the Polish old-boy jumper, Stanisław Marusarz (silver medal in World Championship, 1938 in Lahti) who was visiting the tournament, asked the jury in Garmisch-Patenkirchen to allow him a showcase jump. After a long debate, the jury agreed. Marusarz, who at this time was 53 years old (and not practicing jumping for 9 years) achieved 66 meters, using borrowed skies and boots and making his try in official suit (in which he attended the New Years Party), which made the crowd applaud.[2]

See also

References

Media related to Four Hills Tournament at Wikimedia Commons

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