All You Need to Know Biathlon Sport 

All You Need to Know Biathlon Sport 


Did you ever hear about the Biathlon sport? What is it all about? Biathlon is also called a dual event because it combines two sports – cross-country skiing and shooting or Ski shooting (Source).

 Biathlon is a winter sport and has been aroused from Nordic Scandinavia and Finland. This sport is one of the challenging winter Olympic sports. The quintessential factors to compete in cross country skiing and shooting race or ski shooting are stamina and accuracy. The race consists of frequent stops to adhere to a set of targets. 


Biathlon is a troublesome sport as the frequent stops at a sequence of targets generate abstraction among the players. The sport is played on the ice and is practiced in the snow-covered Nordic forests. Skiing is one of the most dangerous games in the world, and that makes Biathlon more adventurous. 


History of Biathlon Sport

The first competition of Biathlon-type sport was held in the 18th century. For the first time, the modern biathlon competition was performed in 1912 when the Norwegian military organized the Forward Rennet in Oslo. Initially, a 17km cross-country ski race including two-minute penalties was contracted by misses in the shooting competition part. 


The first international competition of Biathlon was held in Chamonix, France, during the winter Olympics in the year 1924. To systematize the rules for this sport, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon was founded in 1948. 

After several years, in 1993, the branch of Biathlon called Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon designed the IBU Biathlon, which authoritatively secluded from UIPMB in 1998. IBU Biathlon is the international federation of Biathlon now. But do you know what IBU stands for? IBU stands for International Biathlon Union.

Formats of Biathlon Sport 


Biathlon is a sport that has eleven events, including 5 different formats. Sounds interesting, right? In this article, you will get to know every step of this sport.


Individual Race

The individual race is the original biathlon event where the race for men and women consists of 20 km and 15 km, respectively. While carrying forward the individual race, the participant must stop 4 times to shoot at 5 targets every time. While shooting, every time they miss the target, they get a 1-minute penalty. 


Sprint Race

The sprint race contains the same format as the individual race. However, the race is done over a 3 lap course and 2 shooting segments. In the sprint race, the men and women race would consist of 12.5 km and 7.5 km, respectively. If the participant misses the target shot, they must ski through a 150 m penalty loop. 


Pursuit Race

The top 60 qualifiers from the Sprint race are entitled to compete in the Pursuit race. The pursuit race for men and women consists of 12.5 km and 10 km, respectively. The participant who was the top finishers in the sprint race begins the pursuit of race as leaders.

In the pursuit race, the participant intends to first cross the finish line. There are 4 shooting segments along with 5 targets. Each missed target means that the participant has to ski through a 150 m loop.


Mass start

The competitors start the race simultaneously, and whosoever crosses the finish line first wins the game. There are a total of 4 shooting segments. Every time the participant misses the shot, they have to ski through a 150 m penalty loop. The mass start was added to the Biathlon event in the year 2006. 



The men’s and women’s relay race consists of 4*7.5 cm and 4*6 km events, respectively. The players who begin the race always are the first members of the relay team. Every competitor has two shooting segments and three additional rounds.

There are a total of 5 targets. If the players miss any of the targets, they should manually load the bullets into the gun and try again. In case the participant misses meeting the target, they can try up to 3 times. If they miss meeting the target again, they must ski through a 150 m loop.


Mixed relay

Similar to the relay, each player gets two shooting segments along with the 3 additional rounds. The women run over 6 km while the men run over 7.5 km in the mixed relay event.


Types of Equipment Required

  • Gloves
  • Ski
  • Googles
  • Racing suit
  • Hats
  • Rifles
  • Targets


Facts about Biathlon

Do you know which rifles are used in the Biathlon match? And how much does the gun weigh? Get ready because we’ve come up with some of the interesting facts related to Biathlon that will surely excite you. 

  • Depending upon the skier’s age and gender, shooting bouts number, race distance, and the penalty loop distance differs. 
  • .22 caliber Biathlon rifles are specially designed for biathlon competitions.
  • The weight of .22 caliber Biathlon rifles is at least 3.5 kg. Usually, the target set is far more than 50 m and consists of 5 paddles. 
  • The players are allowed to make 5 shots for shooting bout. For every missed shot result in a penalty. If the participant misses the 5 shots, then 5 penalties would be filed on the player.
  • Players have to shoot by lying down (also known as prone). They have to shoot a target the size of 45 mm.
  • Standing shooting targets the size 115 mm.


Biathlon Champions

Some of the well-known players of Biathlon who’ve won so many medals for winning Biathlon are:

  • Martin Fourcade ( 2009-2010 Pursuit World Cup)
  • Target Bo (2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)
  • Marie Dorin Habert (2010 Winter Olympics, 2009, 2015, 2016)
  • Ole Einar Bjorndalen (1992, 2014)
  • Emil Hegle Svendsen ( 2007, 2010 Olympics, 2008)
  • Jakov Fak (2009, 2010, 2012, 2015)
  • Tora Berger (2008, 2010, 2014 Winter Olympics, 2013)
  • Andrea Henkel (2002, 2010 Olympics, 2006 Winter Olympics)
  • Ekaterina Iourieva (2007-2008 season, 2008-2009)
  • Marie Dorin Habert (2010 Winter Olympics, 2009, 2010 word champion, 2015, 2016 World cup)


Final Words

In conclusion, Biathlon is a competitive game where players do a lot of fun and adventure. The game has some prominent rules that are necessary to be followed by each player. What’s your opinion about this game? Let us know in the comment section. 



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