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The IBU Cup is a series of biathlon competitions held during the winter . The host is the International Biathlon Union .

For both women and men, the IBU Cup is the second highest international competition class of the winter after the Biathlon World Cup . This is why the IBU Cup is also known colloquially as the “second division”. Starters are both young athletes who are slowly being introduced to the World Cup, as well as experienced athletes whose performance is insufficient to be permanently nominated by their association for the World Cup team. That is why there is always an exchange between the IBU Cup and the World Cup - especially in the strongest nations with the most athletes - between the World Cup and the IBU Cup. The overall winners of the IBU Cup are therefore not always necessarily the best athletes within the ranking, but are often the ones who have contested the most races during a winter.

The highlight of winter are the European biathlon championships , which are open championships and are not limited to European athletes. As a rule, the IBU Cup athletes take part in these championships, but some nations also send athletes from the World Cup in order to achieve the best possible results.

Until 2008, the IBU Cup was officially called the European Cup . The winners can be found in this list .


The competition series today consists of nine venues with mostly three competitions per event. The season usually includes around 23 individual races.

Allocation of starting places

Up to the 2010/11 season, each national association was entitled to 7 starting places per race, the host an additional 5.

New regulations apply from the 2011/12 season. Then the number of starting places is calculated according to the placement in the Nations Cup of the previous year.

Maximum number of starting places per national association since 2011/12
Placement in the Nations Cup 1 - 5 6-10 11-20 21 +
Number of starting places 6th 5 4th 3

Non-European associations may in any case provide at least four starters.

IBU Cup points system

The IBU World Cup points system for the individual races for women and men also determines the overall and discipline scores in the Biathlon IBU Cup. It differs from the FIS point system that is otherwise common in Nordic and Alpine skiing in that the high level of constancy is rewarded more strongly throughout the season than a constant change between top positions and placements at the end of or outside the points. For example, a biathlete who wins five out of ten races and does not score in the remaining five races receives fewer points than a competitor who always comes in tenth place in these races (300 versus 310) - according to the FIS system , he would against it score almost twice as many points as his opponent (500 versus 260).

The leading athletes in the overall ranking wear a yellow jersey in the races based on the example of the Tour de France , the leading athletes in the respective discipline ranking are identified by a red jersey, and there is also a yellow-red combination. The trophies awarded at the end of the season for victory in these ratings - the so-called large and small crystal balls - become the property of the respective winners.

Distribution of points

Distribution of points since the 2008/09 season
placement 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 10 11 12 13 14th 15th 16 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23 24 25th 26th 27 28 29 30th 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Points 60 54 48 43 40 38 36 34 32 31 30th 29 28 27 26th 25th 24 23 22nd 21st 20th 19th 18th 17th 16 15th 14th 13 12 11 10 9 8th 7th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1
Former point systems 0
Distribution of points from the 2000/01 season to the 2007/08 season
placement 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 10 11 12 13 14th 15th 16 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23 24 25th 26th 27 28 29 30th
Points 50 46 43 40 37 34 32 30th 28 26th 24 22nd 20th 18th 16 15th 14th 13 12 11 10 9 8th 7th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1
Distribution of points up to the 1999/2000 season
placement 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 10 11 12 13 14th 15th 16 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23 24 25th
Points 30th 26th 24 22nd 21st 20th 19th 18th 17th 16 15th 14th 13 12 11 10 9 8th 7th 6th 5 4th 3 2 1

Deletion results

As in the Biathlon World Cup are at the IBU Cup match results . At the end of the season, the two worst results of each starter are deleted and the final IBU Cup ranking is then calculated. No results will be deleted in the discipline evaluations.



  • The sprint is the most frequently run discipline in the IBU Cup and takes place at almost every venue. In the interval start, the athletes usually go every 30 seconds on the 7.5 km route for women and 10 km for men. Shooting is done twice in the sequence, standing and lying, for each missed shot an athlete must complete a 150 m penalty loop, which means a loss of time of a little more than 20 seconds.
  • The pursuit is the second most popular discipline in the IBU Cup after the sprint. It is not an independent discipline, but follows on from a previous competition. This is usually a sprint, in exceptional cases an individual competition. The best 60 participants in the so-called qualification competition go into the pursuit race in the order of their placement and with the respective time lag - halved in a previous individual race, however. If qualified athletes do not start, the field will not be filled out. The distance of the pursuit race is 10 km for women and 12.5 km for men. It is shot twice lying down, then standing twice. As in the sprint, there is one penalty loop for each missed shot.
  • The individual competition is the most traditional discipline, but it is rarely held in the IBU Cup. Alternating between lying and standing, there is a total of four shots, for each missed shot, the participants are added a penalty minute to their competition time. The length of the route is 15 km for women and 20 km for men. As in the sprint, the athletes start the race in the interval start.
  • The mass start in the IBU Cup was rarely held until the 2017/18 season. The mass start 60 has been held in the IBU Cup since the 2018/19 season. The 30 best athletes start simultaneously in a race with a distance of 12.5 km for women and 15 km for men. As in the pursuit, shooting is carried out twice while lying down and twice standing. One penalty loop must be completed for each target that is not hit; the score is based on the finish. Usually the 25 best athletes in the cup ranking as well as the five athletes with the best points of the competition weekend who are not within the 25 best in the cup ranking are nominated. At European championships, the start list consists of the 10 best athletes in the cup and the medal winners from previous competitions. The remaining free starting places will be filled with the athletes with the highest points in the title fights.
  • The first mass start 60 was held in the IBU Cup in the 2017/18 season. 60 athletes start at the same time in this mass start. Instead of five, six laps are completed. After the first round, the first 30 athletes complete the first shooting in the prone position while the remaining 30 run another round. After the third round the second shooting bout follows for all athletes. As in the pursuit competition, the shooting is first twice lying and then twice standing.
  • In the relay competitions , four women and four men form a team. There is one horizontal and one standing shot each. In addition to the normal five rounds of ammunition, each runner has three reserve cartridges per shot. A penalty loop must be run for each target not hit after eight shots. For men, the distance for each runner is 7.5 km, for women it is now 6 km.
    • The mixed relay (also: mixed relay ) is a special form of relay competition. Here two women and two men from one nation each form a team. The rules are identical, since the 2019/20 season the running route has been the same for all athletes. If the women start first, the running distance is 6 km and if the men start it is 7.5 km. Before that, the women ran 6 km and the men 7.5 km.
    • The single mixed relay (also: simple mixed relay ) has been held since the 2015/16 season. Here a man and a woman form a team. The women complete the first section with 2 × 1.5 km running distance and one prone and one standing shooting. Immediately after the second shooting bout, the woman hands over to the man who has to complete the same distance. The man hands over to the woman, who hands over to the man after a total of 6 km. This must run an additional lap after the last standing stop, which results in a total distance of 7.5 km. As in the other relays, there are three reloading cartridges per shooting bout, and a penalty loop must be run for each target not hit. However, this is only 75 m long for the single-mixed relay. This type of competition was also included in the program for the 2016 European Biathlon Championships in Tyumen , Russia .


Although venues and dates vary slightly from year to year, there is a certain regularity in the selection and sequence of the locations. The IBU Cup season often begins in Scandinavia, for example in Idre ( Sweden ) , due to the presumably higher snow reliability . The 2nd IBU Cup is often awarded to Obertilliach ( Austria ). The last venue of the year takes place either in Martell or Ridnaun (both Italy ). In January competitions will take place in Altenberg ( Germany ) and Nové Město na Moravě ( Czech Republic ). The 6th IBU Cup takes place alternately in Haute-Maurienne ( France ) or in Martell, Italy.

The European Championships , which have also been part of the IBU Cup since the IBU Cup 2015/16 , usually take place in February .

The season highlight is often followed by IBU Cup races in Europe, occasionally also in Russia.

Web links

Commons : IBU Cup  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files