Article - Competition
Here you can find all you need to know about the 10-day competition programme. In each discipline description, you can see an overview of the distance, the start and the penalty for a miss.
Individual: The classic
This timed race is the oldest and longest in the entire competition programme. The women ski 15 km, the men 20 km, the junior women ski 12.5 km, the junior men 15 km, the youth women 10 km and the youth men 12.5 km. The starting intervals are generally 30 seconds, but can be increased or decreased by the jury under certain circumstances. Unlike all the other types of competition, there is no penalty loop: every miss is punished with a minute penalty, which is added to the athlete’s total time. A penalty of 45 seconds applies to the junior and youth categories. The athletes shoot four times: first lying down, then standing, then lying down again and finally standing again. Whoever has the quickest time (including penalty minutes) is the winner.
Sprint: as fast as possible
The women ski 7.5 km, the men 10 km. The junior categories complete the same distance as the elites. Youth women ski 6 km and youth men 7.5 km. Apart from this, there are no differences between the female and male races. The total time that an athlete needs for the entire route and the two shooting ranges (1 x lying down, 1 x standing) is the deciding factor. Each miss is punished with a penalty loop of 150 m. The athletes start the race one at a time at intervals of 30 seconds. In certain circumstances, the jury can impose longer or shorter intervals. Whoever reaches the finish line in the quickest time is the winner. This means that any start number could be the winner.
Pursuit: let the chase begin
In this competition, the top 60 athletes in the sprint (or more if there are two athletes with the same time in position 60) compete against each other (in certain circumstances, the individual competition can be used as a qualification round). The women ski 10 km, the men 12.5 km. The junior categories do the same distance as the elites. Youth women ski 7.5 km and youth men 10 km. The athletes have to complete four shooting ranges: the first two lying down, the next two standing. The starting positions depend on the sprint results. The winner of the sprint starts in first place, followed by the second sprinter with an interval that matches the time between them in the sprint. This principle is applied to all the starters (if the individual competition is being used as the qualification round, the intervals are halved). If an athlete finished more than four minutes behind the winner/first starter, they will start four minutes behind the leader. This principle is applied to all affected athletes so that it may be the case that all the last starters set off on the route in a single start wave (all at the same time). As in the sprint, each miss is punished with a penalty loop of 150 m. The winner is the person who crosses the line first.
Mass start: all in a row
30 athletes start at the same time. The women ski 12.5 km, the men 15 km. The junior women ski 10 km, the junior men 12.5 km, the youth women 7.5 km and the youth men 10 km. Four shooting ranges have to be completed in the same order as in the pursuit: the first two lying down and the second two standing. Each miss is punished with a penalty loop of 150 m. The winner is the person who crosses the line first.
Relay: a team effort
The women ski 6 km each, the men 7.5 km each. Each of the four team members races in succession and has to shoot twice (the first time lying down and the second time standing). The junior and youth teams are only made up of three members. The routes are of the same length as for the elites. As opposed to all the other types of competition, the athletes in the relay have three spare bullets to help them hit all five targets. The competitor only has to complete a penalty loop of 150 m per disc if targets are still standing after eight shots have been fired. The spare bullets are manually reloaded one at a time by the athletes. The winner is the team that crosses the line first.