Types of Competition
IBU Youth & Junior World Championships Biathlon (Osrblie, SVK)
Individual: the Biathlon Classic
This competition is the longest in the biathlon program, as well as the oldest, with women skiing 15 km and men 20 km. The start interval is generally 30 seconds, but particular conditions allow the jury to opt for shorter or longer intervals. Contrary to all the other formats, there is no penalty loop: each missed target in the individual adds a minute to the final time. Another peculiarity of this format is that the athletes shoot first in prone position, then standing, then prone again and finally standing for a second time in the four shooting stages. The winner is determined by the best time including the added penalty minutes.
Relay: It 's about Teamwork
The relays where the women compete over 6km and the men 7.5 km have four team members competing in succession, each of them shooting twice (once prone and once standing). Contrary to most individual competitions, athletes are allowed three spare bullets to use in case of missed targets If a target(s) remain standing after the three spares, the athlete goes to the 150m penalty loop. The spare bullets are loaded manually, one at time. The winning team is the one crossing the finish line first.
Sprint: as Fast as It Gets
While the women ski 7.5 km and the men 10 km in sprint competitions, the format is exactly the same: it's a time-trial competition with two shooting stages, 1 prone and 1 standing. Each missed target results in a penalty loop of 150m. Competitors start at 30-second intervals, but under particular circumstances, the jury can opt for longer or shorter intervals. The winner is determined by the fastest time at finish, which means in principle that any start number can be the winner.
Pursuit: Let the Chase Begin
This format allows the top 60 athletes (or more if there is a tie for 60th place in the qualification competition) in the sprint (in some circumstances, an individual competition can be used as a qualification to make up the start list too) event to compete over 10km for women and 12.5km for men. Competitors make four stops at the shooting range: the first two in the prone position and the last two in standing. The start interval is determined by the results of the sprint competition so that the winner starts first, the second follows by the time back from the sprint results and so on until 60th (in the case of a pursuit following an individual, time gaps are halved). In case athletes are more than four minutes back, they start 4 minutes behind the leader. If there are more athletes at that point, they all start in a single wave, which means going out at the same time. Just as in the sprint, each missed target corresponds to a penalty loop of 150m. The winner of the pursuit is whomever crosses the finish line first.