INCIDENTS IN THE ALPINE SKIING GIANT SLALOM

  • Wlodzimierz S. Erdmann
  • Vassilios Giovanis
Keywords: alpine skiing, Giant slalom, tactics, kinematics, incidents, prevention

Abstract

Introduction: A detailed description of running in alpine skiing can be made using kinematic data. This can be done according to the detailed geometry of a track, including the setting of gates and according to the time intervals between slalom gates. The aim of this paper was a description of situations involved in incidents (falls, running over the pole, missing a gate) of skiers in the alpine skiing giant slalom. Materials and methods: Investigations of 64 skiers (41 men and 23 women) were performed during the Greek Championships in Alpine Skiing in Naoussa. Of the skiers, 14 (21.9%) had problems while running the giant slalom. The geometry of the whole giant slalom, i.e., distances between all gate poles (vertical and surface), as well as all angles between them, were obtained by geodetic theodolite. All runs were recorded with video equipment. Based on displacement and time, mean velocities and accelerations obtained between the gates were calculated. The coefficient of acceleration was calculated by dividing the absolute value of the mean acceleration of the course by the mean velocity of the course. Results: Comparing the coefficient of acceleration between the best three skiers and the worst three, it was observed that the better skiers had higher values of this coefficient: 0.075 and 0.048 respectively, although the correlation coefficient for the entire group was not significant. One could say there was an optimum range of that coefficient, which was the mean value +/- one standard deviation (0.053 +/- 0.008). Those who had a value above the optimum range ran with a risk of incident, while those who had a value below the optimum range ran not active. The best skier had 0.059 and the second had 0.082, which was too large. Of the group of skiers, 7 men, i.e., 17 % of men, and 7 women, i.e., 30 % of women, had incidents while running the course. Two skiers had incidents (serious falls) while running one of the longest inter-gate distances, nine skiers (64% of skiers with incidents) had problems in the portion of the slalom where two gates were taken with one curve (one open + one closed gate), and at the third gate there was a big angle of deviation of the course. Conclusions: It appears that those skiers who had incidents during the Greek Championships used poor tactics. Their coefficient of acceleration surpassed the acquired norm. Mean data of their coefficient equaled 0.077 and was significantly higher compared to the other skiers.