New Season, New Rules

New Season, New Rules

At the 13th Regular IBU Congress in Porec, Croatia, a number of important changes and additions to the current IBU event and competition rules have been adopted. We will be listing the most significant changes and how they will impact the sport of biathlon.

1. Introduction of the Mass Start 60 and Short Individual

Starting in the 2018/2019 season, the Mass Start 60 becomes part of the IBU competition formats. The Mass Start with 60 starters does not replace the current Mass Start with 30 starters.

IBU Sports Director Felix Bitterling has provided a detailed explanation of the new format:

The Mass Start 60 will be held at the 2018/2019 IBU Cup season finale in Martell (ITA).

In addition to the Mass Start 60 a shorter Individual has been adopted for both men (15km: 45 second penalty) and women (12,5km: 45 second penalty). This shorter Individual is mainly an option for problematic weather and snow conditions.

2. More Flexible (Single) Mixed Relays

Starting next season there is more flexibility when it comes to opening leg of the Single Mixed Relay and Mixed Relays. Until September the women began in both competition formats; starting with the next season there is also the option of the men going first.

Important Note: This still means that it will be either women first or men first -- this decision will be made in advance, meaning men and women will not be competing on the same leg.

3. Junior Cup: Nations Cup and Extension of Age Eligibility

For the first time starting next season, the Junior Cup will have a Nations Cup over the course of the 2018/2019 season. Additionally the age eligibility of the Junior category has been extended by one year to allow better development of the athletes and to ease the transition from Junior to Senior Class.

4. Introduction of Fully Electronic Targets:

In addition to paper and metal targets, fully electronic targets are now allowed IBU events.

5. Start Quotas and Wild Cards in the World Cup:

The Top 8 athletes on the IBU qualifying points list from a country not having a World Cup Quota will receive a NF Wildcard. A maximum of 2 Wildcards per NF can be handed for single trimesters.

The best female and male Junior Athletes at the YJWCHs will receive a personal start quota at the IBU World Cup Finals in that season (provided she/he is registered by their NF).

The women's and men's IBU Cup Total Score Winners will receive a personal start quota at the first World Cup stage of the following season (provided she/he is registered by their NF).