Last year I made a thread asking people to share what their favourite biathlon-format is and why. In this thread I would like to open a discussion about the strengths and flaws with the different formats. I would also like to discuss any suggestions on how to improve the following formats: "sprint", "pursuit", "individual", mass start" and "super sprint".
Here are some of my opinions,
SPRINT: This is my personal favourite. It's short and simple. The tv-producers have enough time to show the important moments at the shooting range and around the track. My only problem is that sometimes these races can run a little long because of the number of starting athletes (like that one time Eckhoff had start 85).
PURSUIT: This event can be exciting if there are enough athletes starting close to each other. However, my problem is that pursuit is based on ONE previous event(sprint), and that the result of pursuit also counts towards the World Cup rankings. If you have one day off during a sprint it can seriously hurt your chances at the World Cup rankings. My suggestion on how to improve this event, based on something they did in Tour de Ski, would be to halve the time differences and add a "worst possible starting time". Example: If you finish ten seconds ahead in a sprint, your start will be five seconds ahead in the following pursuit. The "worst possible starting time" would be, something like, 1 minute and 30 seconds regardless of how far behind you finished in the sprint. You finish 2 minutes, 3 minutes, behind sprint-winner, you start 1:30 behind in pursuit.
INDIVIDUAL: This event has a lot of surprising results - which I think is good for the sport. However, my problem with this event is the tv-production. It turns into a "shooting-competition". Nearly for an hour, all you watch are athletes at the shooting range, then sometimes you watch someone cross the finish line.
MASS START: Probably my second favourite format(very close to sprint). 30 skiers starting equal on the start, battling head-to-head. Even if you miss a target on the first shooting, you can still catch back up. Easy to follow and exciting from start to finish. Maybe a little unfair towards World Cup because it's 25 top in World Cup(?) + 5 athletes who performed best in that week's previous competition(s). I do like that it gives a chance to 5 athletes who are "in-form".
SUPER SPRINT: Following the trend in cross-country skiing that tv-audiences enjoy watching shorter broadcasts and competit... keep reading on reddit ➡
I think this year's WC is very "open" and I think we can get a few surprises. Who do you think will do well in Pokljuka?
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There is a 5 miles stretch of forest road that gets groomed by a cat/plow near me and I am planning a biathlon for some friends. This is a popular camping/ target shooting area in the summer but the road closes with a gate and is empty in the winter. It is on national forest so it’s legal to shoot provided you follow the safety guidelines.
Has anyone held a DIY backcountry biathlon and if so have any tips?
I plan on scouting two reasonable shooting areas about 1 mile down each and setting up a table for throwing clays (not enough 22s unfortunately in the group). Shooting the first on the way out. Turn around at the second. And shoot the first again on your way back
Each racer will be timed and scored on 15 clays with 1 mulligan per round if it’s a bad throw by the thrower
Interested if anyone has done something like this before.
What is your favourite biathlon-format(s) and why?
Single mixed relay
I really don’t get it. Is this a money issue? I mean, yeah, covid, but other sports’ federations seem doing all right despite all the situation in the world...
Originally called "military patrol", it's a mix of cross-country skiing and precision shooting. It consists of biathletes going around for anywhere between 1,25 and 2,5 miles, then you shoot 5 targets that are 55yds away.
How long are the races? 3 or 5 laps (2/4 shootings) depending on the format. Relays are 12 laps (4 3-lap stints).
What if you miss? In the "individual" time trial, you get a 60-second penalty. In the sprint time trial, the pursuit and the mass start you have to go around a 500ft loop per every miss. In the relays, you have 3 extra bullets just in case (manual reloading) and, if you still are missing any targets, you go to the 500ft loop.
How big are the targets? When shooting prone, your target is around 1 1/2 inches in diameter. When shooting standing up, your target is around 4 inches.
What kind of weapon do they use? A subsonic carbine. Before every race, biathletes test their waxing and do some zeroing (trying to figure out the compensation) so their sights are precise enough.
Are female biathletes hot? Gabriela Soukalova was at one point a model and the best, Miriam Gossner was all over the place when it came to shooting (from 100% accuracy to 60% or less) and also appeared on the German version of Playboy (tits and all)... Every year there are a couple of decently hot ones on the grid.