Premiere in Oberstdorf: For the first time ever in the ski jumping World Cup, the so-called Best-to-beat laser line will be implemented at the opening event of the 62nd 4-Hills-Tournament (Dec. 28th and 29th). The virtual colored laser line will be projected across the landing area and visually indicates to the spectators in the stadium how far an athletes has to jump to take the lead. So far this virtual line was only shown on TV, but not live in the ski jumping arenas.
"The Best-to-beat-line became an indispensable aid for TV commentators and viewers. I'm very happy, that we are now able to bring this directly to the hill in the form of a laser line, so the fans in the stadium can benefit from it as well", says Walter Hofer, race director of the International Ski Federation, FIS.
It's not a coincidence that this new technology premieres in Oberstdorf. Already three years ago, Oberstdorf was the first venue to implement the precursor of the laser line, the Best-to-beat-LED-boards. Back then an LED lit up on the left side of the landing area to indicate the distance to reach.
"This laser line now clearly is a further development of this technology, it is Best-to-beat 2.0 so to speak. It's great, that the FIS brought as in as their partner", says Stefan Huber, director of the 4-Hills-Tournament and general secretary of the opening event in Oberstdorf. Huber & Co will also present another innovation at the 62nd 4-Hills-Tournament, the LED starting bar. It will display the signal of the start light and so the complete process of the jump will be visible to the audience in the stadium.
"We are constantly trying to offer something special to the spectators in the arena. With the Best-to-beat laser line and the LED start bar we are able to further improve the service", Huber explains. Already over the past years, the organizers added additional value in the stadium. A presentation stage for interviews with the jumpers in the middle of the spectators' section and a stand at the athletes' village was built last year. "Both innovations were well received and this feedback encourages us to continue this innovative path", explains Dr. Peter Kruijer, head of the ski club Oberstdorf and the organizing comitee.