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NJ Summer Biathlon


Description of Summer Biathlon

Summer Biathlon is a copyright protected name referring to the sport that combines running and shooting. The standard race distance is 5 kilometers. The rifles are .22 caliber and the standard shooting distance is 50 meters. Summer Biathlon races use the same format as the Winter Olympic sport, except that running is substituted for cross-country skiing. Competitors, starting in waves of 2 or 3 per minute, begin by running a loop that brings them to the shooting range. They lay down, pick up the rifle, shoot 5 shots at the metal knock-down targets, jump up (often in jubilation after hitting all five), walk to the end of the range, and continue the running. They run another loop and come back to the range. This time it is five shots from the standing position. The race ends with a dash to the finish. Scoring is based on the competitors' total time, which includes the number of penalty loops run for each miss.

Age Categories

Most races are divided into the following age categories for both men and women:

  • 14-19
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60+

50 Meter Format

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has set up standard formats for 50-meter races for Summer Biathlon events. In an effort to align ourselves more closely with the international distances, we use the following formats for the 50-meter international races:

EventMenWomenNumber of Shooting StagesOrder of Stages
Sprint6k4k2prone, standing (p,s)
Individual10k8k4p, s, p, s
Pursuit8k6k4p, s, p, s

Glossary of Terms

  • Arm Sling: Belt or webbing that hooks into an armband to stabilize the rifle and arms while firing. Used in prone position in 50-meter events.
  • Clicks: Adjustments made to the rear apertures of the sights. The amount of change is measured in clicks heard.
  • Clip: Used to hold five .22 caliber rifle cartridges. Up to four clips can be stored in the rifle stock.
  • Prone: A lying down shooting position used in biathlon
  • Shoot Clean: Hit all five targets during one shooting stage
  • Target: Metal target sizes are 3.5 inches for standing and prone. In 50-meter events, metal targets are 11.5 cm in diameter for standing and 4.5 cm for prone.
  • Zero: Time spent before the race shooting at paper targets to align the rifle sights.