Biathlon Youth

Biathlon Overview:

Biathlon originated in Norway in the 1700s, as an alternative training for their military. The combination of cross-country skiing and small bore marksmanship was well-suited to training the Norwegian ski regiments. This challenging sport has evolved over the centuries to become the exciting and dramatic Olympic competition it is today. ENSC will strive to train their biathletes in both the technique of skate skiing and marksmanship required to enjoy this fascinating sport. In addition to our Biathlon Program, we highly recommend our biathletes take a supplementary ski lesson, suitable to his or her skill level and developmental age (CCC-LTAD).


Development and Progressions:

Progression through Biathlon categories is based upon level of ability, rather than age.

Air Rifles 1 & 2: Beginners, under 15, start in Air Rifles-1 and progress to Air Rifles-2. When ready, an athlete advances to a .22 calibre rifle.

.22 Rifles: Beginners, 15 years or older, must start in the Under-17 rifle categories. The first rifle category is Development-Level 1 (DEV-1), then Development-Level 2 (DEV-2), and then Sr. Boys/Girls

Note that there are only upper age limits in these younger categories.

International Biathlon Union (IBU): Athletes 17 years or older progress on the basis of the IBU categories- Youth Men/Women, Jr Men/Women and Sr. Men /Women. This progressive approach to mastering the sport is in line with the Biathlon Canada model for Long-Term Athlete Development (M-LTAD).

Please note: At their discretion, coaches may move any athlete to a training group they deem appropriate.

Adult Recreational: The Sport Men/Women category is intended for athletes over 18 years old, that do not wish to participate in a competitive class (IBU). Master Men/Women is for athletes over the age of 35.

PAL: A PAL (Possession and Acquisition License) is required for each rifle athlete and parents. Athletes over 12 years of age must obtain their own Minor’s PAL. Please ensure a minimum of one adult family member has a PAL by the time programs begin. For information on obtaining a PAL contact or a gun range.

ENSC Membership: ENSC Biathlon Program participants must have an ENSC membership.

  • Family Membership: $50

Biathlon Alberta Membership: It is very important that all biathlon athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials are active members of Biathlon Alberta. Register at



Biathlon Rifles Youth:

Dev 1/Dev 2:

  • For young athletes with previous experience in Biathlon Bears, with ski skills appropriate for longer distances, and shooting skills appropriate for a .22 caliber rifle. The athletes in DEV1 shoot with a rest, while in DEV2 they shoot without a rest and with the addition of an armband. Emphasis is on improving marksmanship, along with endurance, fitness, and strong ski technique in a fun and motivating environment. Athletes will have the opportunity to compete at the local and provincial level.
  • Age Range: Under 15

Senior Boys/Girls:

  • For young athletes with previous experience in the Biathlon Rifles DEV1/DEV2 category. This program is for rifle athletes progressing in the Under-17 categories. Athletes will begin to hone their skills at shooting both prone and standing. Emphasis is to continue building on the ski and shooting fundamentals laydown in previous years, in an inspiring and motivating environment. Athletes will have the opportunity to compete at a provincial and potentially a national level throughout the season. Team building is a very important component through weekly trainings, camps and while travelling to competitions.
  • Age Range: Under 17

Youth & Junior Men/Women:

  • For athletes with solid shooting and ski skills, with previous experience in a biathlon rifle program. This program is usually combined with a Cross-Country ski program, to maximize the athlete’s potential of competing at this level. The focus on racing increases from Sr. Boy/Girl through Jr. Men/Women. Objectives for athletes at this level include developing healthy training habits, introduction to systematic training, increased training knowledge, involvement with planning and targeting efforts on specific goals. Athletes will have the opportunity to compete at a provincial and potentially a national level throughout the season. Team building is a very important component nurtured through camps and while travelling to competitions.
  • Age Range: Under 20


Season: mid-August to March 31 (weather permitting)

Schedule: Mondays and/or Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30 pm and Saturdays 10:00-Noon.


Cost: 2-Days: $540, 3-Day: $770


  • Rifle: A limited number of biathlon rifles can be rented from ENSC for $250 per year plus deposit. Please follow link for more info about the ENSC rental rifle
  • Ski Equipment: Dev1 & Dev2, require appropriate skate ski equipment
  • Ski Equipment: Senior Boys/Girls and Youth/Junior require appropriate Skate and Classic ski equipment. We encourage our athletes to have a pair of ‘warm up skis’ in addition to their race skis.
  • Ammunition: can be purchases through the club. Expect to spend $400+ per year.
  • PAL: Athletes and parents must have a PAL by Sept 30.

Location: Practices are held at the Edmonton Nordic Biathlon Centre, Strathcona Science Park.

Additional Ski Lessons: see ENSC Cross Country programs for biathlete options.

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