The IBU has recently approved three rule changes, coming into effect for the 2015-2016 competition season. These rule changes are summarized below.

Of particular note is the revised Rifle Loading and Unloading rule that limits when an athlete may touch the bolt or any magazines on the rifle, and the change to the Rifle, Repairs and Ammunition rule that limits when and where an athlete is permitted to receive both ammunition and magazines.

The new Loading and Unloading rule effectively means the bolt must be in the closed position when an athlete arrives at a firing point, and then be closed after the shooting bout but before the athlete leaves the firing point to start skiing again. This change has, in turn, necessitated a revision to the Biathlon Canada rules that govern the range procedures that are used by Senior Boys and Senior Girls.

The 2015-2016 Canadian Hosting Policy contains, in Annex A-3, the revised procedure, which clarifies and standardizes when and where the bolt must be opened and closed when non-carrying athletes are utilizing the rifle racks at the entrance and exit of the Range. This edition of the Canadian Hosting Policy is available at:

Please ensure that the new IBU rules and the revision to the Biathlon Canada procedures for non-carrying athletes are brought to the attention of your Athletes, Coaches, and Officials.

IBU Rule Changes 2015-16 – References are to the Event and Competition Rules

7.1.4 Passing and Giving Way

A competitor, who is in position to pass another competitor, and wishes to pass, must yell “Track.” A competitor who is about to be overtaken must clear the course in front of the passing competitor at the first yell of “Track” or other voice signal, even if the course is wide enough. However, this obligation does not apply to the last 50 m before the finish line and the last 50 m before the hand?over zone. The competitor on or exiting the penalty loop has the right of way over the competitor entering the penalty loop.

7.3.3 Rifle Repairs, Exchange and Ammunition

Assistance to repair a rifle is only permitted on the shooting range by the competition armorer or a competition official on the shooting range. A rifle may be exchanged only on the shooting range. Competitors are permitted to receive ammunition and magazines only on the shooting range.

8.5.2 Loading and Unloading

After starting in a competition, the bolt must remain closed while skiing and it is forbidden to open the bolt or remove a magazine from the stock or magazine-well except when stopped on the shooting mat. Rifles may be loaded and unloaded only with the barrel pointing in the direction of the targets or up. Inserting a magazine containing bullets into the rifle is also part of the loading procedure. When moving from one shooting lane to another, competitors must first unload their rifle and place the rifle on their back in the normal carrying position.