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First steps in the olympic discipline Biathlon

The term, "biathlon," is derived from a Greek word, meaning "double duel," which refers to a combination sport. Accordingly, the biathlon is composed of two sports: cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Register at Sportingbet and get our terrific welcome bonus. Biathlon competitions are held exclusively in the winter, so they should not be confused with the summer biathlon or sports similar to the biathlon, such as The Archery Biathlon more inventive versions such as the bike biathlon and the motorcycle biathlon.

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Skiing through the fields of history

The history of the development of the biathlon can be traced back well before our time. A few historical incidents provide proof for the early existence of the sport. These are, for example: duels in Nordic oral traditions, rock carvings found near Lake Onega in Russia, where hunters with stepping boards made of bear paws were depicted, the Roman poet, Virgil, described hunting on skis and the Balingsta runestone portrays a hunter on skis with a bow and arrow. This indicates that even at that time, humans used a form of skis in the winter to be able to provide food for their families.

When you by the way visit the WilliamHill sports betting homepage directly from here, you’ll receive a welcome bonus. Being on the move at a high speed and being able to hunt at the same time was very demanding. Because of this, the biathlon was originally a sport just for men, who were responsible for providing a source of food, and was later adopted for military purposes. During the Middle Ages, ski regiments were an integral component of the military in Russia and Scandinavia, out of which the military patrols on skis later developed, which really flourished in the 1920’s and 1930’s. However, these patrols were only thought of as a show of strength within military circles – the general public was excluded from such sporting events, although interest was growing among the civilian population in this “new” kind of sport.

100% BONUS- bet365 The biathlon achieved its first high point when the military patrol became an Olympic discipline in 1924. During the first modern Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, the sport was recognized as a demonstrative event.

Following the end of the Second World War, a plan was worked out to replace the patrol run with a simplified version of the "winter pentathlon," a mix of winter sports made up of the following disciplines: horseback riding, fencing, rifle shooting, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing. The UIPM (Union Internationale de Penthathlon Moderne), then created the sport we know today as the biathlon, which became an Olympic sport in 1960. Currently, everything relating to biathlons is regulated by the IBU, the International Biathlon Union.

To improve the sport, it was decided in 1972 that the large-caliber rifle was done away with and replaced with smaller caliber rifles, which were also equipped with a special scope.

Women in the Biathlon

Now to the female biathletes, who were originally somewhat discriminated against. The first female biathlete can be found very long ago in a Norwegian oral tradition; though the first real woman to compete in a professional tournament did not do so until 1981. That year, the first international women’s biathlon competition took place, after Czechoslovakia and Scandinavia put pressure on the UIPMB to organize one. Until 1988, all world championships were held separately from those of the men, though now all biathlon competitions take place together and despite their late entry into the sport, female biathletes are just as competitive as their male counterparts.

Prevalence and Popularity

The biathlon is especially popular and widespread in countries where the required climate and landscape are present, including athletes from Asia. Nonetheless, the sport has difficulty inspiring enthusiasm there, as the sport of skiing is much better known. Biathlons have also found their place in the betting industry as well. At the online betting provider, Bet-at-home, for example, you’ll find outstanding odds for future bets on biathlon events.



  • Skis

The skis that are used for the biathlon are the so-called skating skis. These skis are not allowed to weigh more than 1.25 kilograms (2.76 pounds) and can not be wider than five centimeters (two inches). The length of the skis is proportional to the height of the competitor using them. Shoulder-height cross-country skiing poles are used as well.

  • Rifle

The small caliber rifles, weighing between 3.5 and 6 kilograms (7.7 and 13 pounds) are not automatic; a scope and a sight on the end of the rifle are used to aim.

  • Ammunition

The target is fired at from a distance of 50 meters (165 feet) with a caliber of 5.6 mm and muzzle velocity of 380 m/s (approximately 1200 f/s).

The Shooting Area and Target Plates

The shooting range is composed of thirty shooting lanes, each with a width of 2.75 meters (9 feet). Each lane is allotted five targets, which are either free to choose or are assigned by the head of the competition. The target has a diameter of 45 mm (1.8 inches) if the biathlete shoots from a prone position or 115 mm (4.5 inches) if the biathlete shoots while standing. If a target is missed, then a penalty round of 150 meters (492 feet) has to be cross-country skied in the relay, mass start, pursuit and sprint, which could mean a loss of up to 20 to 30 seconds depending on the current conditions. During the individual competition, on the other hand, this could mean a loss of up to a whole minute. A successful hit is confirmed when a white plate folds over the black target plate. If a competitor does not hit all five targets, they receive a time penalty. In relay events, all teammates are punished as well.

The Slope

After the starting round, participants come to the first shooting set, which is to be carried out in a prone position. The athletes may only remove the rifle from their shoulders once they are completely standing on the shooting mat. Next, the gun can be loaded. Depending on the competition format the biathlete has either two (for the relay and the sprint) or four (for the individual, pursuit, or mass start) shots before coming comes to the end round.

Competition Formats

Although the biathlon always follows the same basic principles, there are certain rules that differ depending on the competition format. Individual, sprint, pursuit, mass start, relay, and mixed relay make up the six disciplines of the biathlon that are recognized at the biathlon world cup, the world championships and at the Winter Olympic Games. The gaming information portal is a place to be for every keen gambler.


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