Winter Olympics Rules of the Game: Biathlon

Biathlon began as an event called military patrol in 1924

At the 2014 games in Sochi there are a total of 11 events

There are 5 men's events 4 individual and 1 relay ... 5 women's events 4 individual and a relay as well and a mixed relay

We'll use the men's individual 20 kilometer race as our example:

  • Athletes ski five laps around a 4 kilometer circuit

  • Competitors stop four times at the range and attempt to shoot 5 targets each time so a total of 20 targets.

  • They use a 22 caliber rifle that weighs more than 7 pounds

  • In the firing range the athletes alternate between a prone and standing position

  • The target is 55 yards away and changes in size based on the shooting position

In the prone position, the competitors are laying down. That's stops 1 and 3 and they take 5 shots at the target which is slightly bigger than a golf ball.

On stops 2 and 4, the competitors shoot from the standing position at a target that is slightly larger than a softball.

On a hit, the black target is covered by a white plate. There is a one minute time penalty for each missed target.

And that's your look at the rules of the game.

Source: USA TODAYSports

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