IBU Season 2023/2024 set for new rules and higher sustainability standards

The IBU season 2023/2024 is set to get underway with the opening BMW IBU World Cup in Östersund (SWE) on 25 November 2023 as new rules and sustainability commitments will be showcased for the first time.

Östersund is one of nine World Cup Organising Committees this season, in addition to World Championship host Nove Mesto na Morave, to have voluntarily signed the IBU’s new Sustainability Charter. By signing the Charter, the Organising Committees have pledged to six commitments with concrete actions that help focus and fast-track efforts to reduce environmental impact while enhancing social legacies.

The Charter is aligned with the IBU’s Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030 and is the latest step in making sustainability an integral part of the IBU’s event bidding and management process. It follows the contractual obligation on all hosts to measure and report their emissions, which has been in place since the 2021/2022 season, and from the 2026-2030 event cycle onwards, sustainability obligations on all Organising Committees will become a key hosting criterion.

In keeping with the IBU’s commitment to minimising its impact on the environment, the IBU will implement a full fluor ban this season to mitigate environmental and health concerns. The full ban from 2023/2024 onwards was announced in March 2022 and the IBU has since engaged in regular dialogue and education seminars with National Federations (NFs), their teams and technicians. Most recently, in September 2023, a Seminar was held with team technicians from approximately 30 nations to work with the detection device, explore new products and application as well as learn about how to optimize cleaning methods.

The flour test protocol will see skis tested before and after competition and a measuring procedure against pre-determined threshold zones will be enforced. Pre-competition, should athletes’ skis fall within the red threshold, they will be tested a second time and if they fail the test again will be given a red card and removed from competition. Each athlete will have the possibility to change their skis once in the season but a second red card will automatically result in a prohibition to start. Athletes whose skis fall above the post-competition threshold test will be disqualified.

The implementation of the flour ban will not be the only new rule in place this season. The IBU Technical Committee has also decided on the following rule changes:

  • in the Mixed Relays, each leg and gender will ski a 6km (3x2km) loop to facilitate course preparation and the conduction of the competition

  • tightened rifle handle regulations at the shooting range to increase safety for athletes and participants

  • extending the personal start right for the IBU Cup winners of the previous seasons to the first two World Cup stages (from only one stage previously.) This rule will be changed after next season so that the additional quota is not a personal start right any longer, but turns into an additional quota place for the National Federation of the IBU Cup winner for the first two World Cup stages of the next winter season

The 2023/2024 season will be held across 10 venues with the season finishing in North America in Soldier Hollow, Utah (USA) and Canmore, Alberta (CAN) in March. Over half a million spectators are expected to attend the season with the BMW IBU World Championships Biathlon in Nove Mesto na Morave on 7-18 February 2024 to draw the largest crowds.

Photo: IBU

Share this article

Header iconSign up for our newsletter