Biathlon – Rules

Rules for Biathlon are decided by International Biathlon Union(IBU). Let’s understand the rules to be followed while playing Biathlon.

  • The biathlete skis from different distances from 6km to 20 km and halts at the shooting range to target two or four times. Here both the ski distance and number of shooting sessions depend on the type of competition in question.

  • The distance from which the target is shot is always 50 m. In every session five rounds are shot at five targets. In relay competition the biathlete has three spare rounds for each session.

  • The diameters of the target completely depend on the shooting position and are very small. When shooting in the standing position it is 115 mm in diameter, while shooting in the prone position the target is even smaller that is 45 mm. The clock never stops during the entire series of events. So the biathletes do not just have to ski and shoot the target but also make it fast.

  • Except for the Individual event penalties like adding extra one minute of added time for each target missed or a 150m penalty loop immediately after each session of shooting are charged for every target missed. While in Individual event penalty is done after the session is over.

  • As an attribute to the sports, the biathlete begins at the start line, skis one course loop whose length depends on the event, comes within the shooting range and shoots at the target. Then he skis another loop and shoots again and finishes with a ski loop to the finish line after the last shooting session.

  • The Individual and Sprint events begin with one biathlete at a time with a gap of 30 seconds. The pursuit event is based on time intervals on the basis of qualifying competition. In the mass start all biathletes begin at the same time from the same place.

  • In the relay event, the first members of all teams begin the race at the same time and after covering their part, they tag the next team member in the Hand-over Zone to initiate them on their path.

  • From the beginning of the race till the end, the biathletes are responsible for their own actions and decisions made, like selecting a shooting lane allocated in the Relay and Mass Start, counting total number of targets they missed to shoot, and then skiing the correct number of penalty loops. Apart from this they are expected to follow the stipulations of the Event and Competition Rules.

  • A new concept of Relay race that is Mixed Relays are also held, where the female biathletes complete the first and the second part of the relay race, whereas the third and fourth part of the race are completed by male biathletes. However the Mixed Relay follows all other procedures and rules from the relay race.