The Relay Competition
Relay competitions for Men consist of four team members skiing 7.5 km with two bouts of shooting. The Women‘s format is the same, except the distance is 6 km. The first starter from each team start in a simultaneous start, ski 2.5 km (2 km for Women), shoot prone, ski 2.5 km, shoot standing and then continue with the last 2.5 km to tag the next team member, or – in the case of the last competitor – ski to the finish line. The team of the first competitor to physically cross the finish line is the winner, subject to any penalties for rule violations.
The Relay is very exciting, because spectators can see who is leading at any time. Each competitor in a Relay competition carries three spare rounds. If all five targets are not knocked down with the first five rounds, the spares must be used. The concept is that because of the intense pressure in the Relay, the competitor may wish to shoot extremely fast, and of course then be able to get away quickly if all five targets are hit. However, if all five targets are not hit with the five rounds in the magazine, the spare rounds must be loaded individually by hand, which takes much more time and which is very difficult under pressure.
Participation in a Relay is set by the event rules, and start numbers are determined by World Cup Relay Score standings or by random draw in certain events.
The start number represents both the team’s start track and shooting lane number. Starting from the second shooting, the team members must use the free shooting lane beginning from the right, according to their actual order of arrival at the shooting range. The start numbers are color coded: red - first leg; green - second; yellow - third; blue - fourth. At OWG, World Championships and World Cup events, the teams’ start numbers also represent their current World Cup Relay Score ranking.�