|Biathlon - a combination of Cross-Country Skiing and Rifle Shooting
A biathlon in the Olympic sense refers to an event where athletes compete against each other in cross-country skiing and rifle shooting in a single competition; i.e., athletes ski around a track while intermittenly stopping for various shooting rounds. They are penalized by either time or distance and how poorly they do during the shooting round. Since it's a race, the athlete that performs the best overall in the fastest time is declared the winner.
||Biathlon - endurance, and controlled precision
Biathlon is an intriguing sport where competitors have to hit targets while moving through a course at fast speeds. The skiing part of biathlon requires excellent endurance skills, while the shooting component demands accuracy and controlled precision.
- Skis and poles - the only equipment allowed: Minimum ski length is 1.6 inches less than height of skier.
- Rifle - Bolt action rifle which uses .22 LR ammunition, total weight of both rifle and ammunition, carried on skier’s back, is at least 7.7 lbs.
A biathlon course is laid out over a wide area of countryside. The layout should change to provide challenges to the competitors, testing their stamina, strength, and their strategy on how to best ski the course. Targets are placed in a shooting range set in the central area of the course and away from the spectators. The range will have about 30 shooting lanes, 15 standing and 15 prone, each about 50 meters long and about 2.5 to 3 meters wide.
What the Judges Look For:
- Competition is broken up by either two or four rounds, half in prone position, the other half standing
- Depending on performances, extra distance or time can be added to contestant’s total running distance/time
- Naturally, racer with shortest time wins
- For each round, competitor must hit five targets
- Missed targets can be “atoned” for in one of three ways, depending on competition format:
- Skiing around 150 meter penalty loop, typically taking 20-30 seconds to complete depending on weather conditions
- Having an extra minute added to skier’s total time
- Having to use an “extra cartridge” (placed at shooting range) to finish of target, only three available for each round and a penalty loop must be made for each target missed
- Points are scored based on where each shot hits the target, similar to a dart board. The bullseye, of course, is the highest score.
- There are penalties involved, such as not allowing a competing skier to pass them, not shooting from adjacent lanes, or a penalty loop not being completed directly after it’s required.
- Skiers can be disqualified for:
- Firing more shots than allowed
- Not following the marked course
- Not carrying their rifle while skiing
- Intentionally interfering with an opposing competitor or
- Failing to come to a complete stop before handling their rifle
... Cross-Country Skiing is also one of the disciplines, along with Ski Jumping
, that make up the Nordic Combined
We added these winter "one-pagers" to our Sports Know-How
category in time for the Winter Youth Olympic Games
(YOG) that were held in January 2012. We got inspired by the 2012 London Summer Games
to add to our Summer Sports category. We'll be adding sports periodically so keep checking back. If the titles are shining brightly in white text, they're ready for you to click on! ^.^