What's the IBU? What's the Athlete Pathway?

The IBU, the International Biathlon Union, is the peak body of the sport internationally. This means it is the IBU who sets the rules of the sport, conduct major international events, set qualifications for international competitions.  

Only athletes who are members of their Nation Federation which is a member of the IBU is permitted to participate in IBU events, whether competition, training camps or conferences.

The member National Federation in Australia is Australian Biathlon, which has been in existence since the 1980's.  Australian Biathlon has a licensed biathlon range at Mt Hotham, the only biathlon range in Australia. Go to our About page if you'd like to know more about the National Federation and about our branch, Biathlon NSW.

Remember: If you want to compete in IBU competitions or participate in their camps, you must be a member of Australian Biathlon. In NSW, Biathlon NSW, the branch of the National Federation conducts regular weekly Summer Biathlon training, Summer Biathlon Sprint Races, Specialist camps and on-snow NSW Biathlon Championships.

Athletes Under 18, this is the athlete pathway:

International Competition:

  • Youth Winter Olympics (next one in 2020)

  • IBU Youth and Junior World Championships

  • IBU Junior Open European Championships

  • IBU Junior Cup

  • Italia, Swiss, Alpen Cups, Norams (North American Comps)

Australian Competition:

You must compete at these selection races to be selected to race internationally:

  • Australian Biathlon Championships (2 days)

  • Victorian Biathlon Championships (2 days)

Biathlon Pathway to the Top

To follow our athletes on the IBU Competition Circuit whether at World Cup, IBU Cup or IBU Junior cup, just click here to go to our National Federation's News page. You'll see results to date for those on the circuit as well as those registered to start at various IBU races.

The Pathway to the top of athlete competition is available only through Australian Biathlon.  Here's how you proceed through the pathway:










There are qualification rules at each stage of the pathway. The IBU has a points system where the highest ranked athlete has 0 points and the objective at senior races is to score fewer points. The better you perform, the fewer the points.  The IBU has a complex algorithm  that calculates points depending on the quality of the competitors of the particular race.

Australian Biathlon encourages our young biathletes to compete at levels appropriate to them at IBU Junior Cup, Junior OECh, Junior World Championships, at European Nations National Championships such as the Coppa d'Italia, Swiss Cup and Alpen Cup. 

Australian Biathletes also compete at Masters Events and in Europe, each year at Kontiolathi, Finland are held the Biathlon Masters International Championships. Australian Masters Biathletes have come away with Gold Medals for the last 10 years. 

If you want to compete overseas, go read the Australian Biathlon Selection Policy. It's published on the National Federation website. If you want to compete at the highest level of the sport, you'll need to know the IBU rules inside out. 

Where do you start? In NSW, you'd contact us at Biathlon NSW and find out about our training activities to prepare for our Winter Competitions.

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