Biathlon Bears

Biathlon Bears

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 caliber 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 Bears:

The ENSC Biathlon Bears program is for beginners, teaching the basic skills of air rifle safety and marksmanship, as well as skate skiing, in a safe and motivating environment. The Bears program aims to develop the enjoyment of Biathlon, focusing on team building and having fun, for both first time skiers, as well as challenging returning Bears. No previous skiing or shooting experience is necessary. Athletes are encouraged to compete in the Air Rifles divisions at local and provincial events.

Air Rifle 1: Bears AR1 will shoot with a rest on big targets (35mm). Through the Biathlon Bears programs, a combination of skiing and shooting instruction is given, with the emphasis on enjoyment and fundamental skill development.

Air Rifle 2: This program is designed for returning Bears, looking to improve their fitness and skills previously experienced in AR 1. AR2s will still shoot with a rest, but on smaller targets(15mm). This group will focus on appropriate ski and shooting techniques, to prepare the participants for advancing to the .22 caliber rifle program.

Age Range: under 15


Fall Session: October 1 – Christmas Break (12 weeks)

Winter Session: January 1 – March 31 (weather permitting) (12 weeks)

Schedule: Wednesdays 6:30-8:00PM and/or Saturdays 10:00AM-11:30PM.

  • Biathlon Bears – 1 day (Wednesday or Saturday)
  • Biathlon Bears – 2 day (Wednesday and Saturday)


1-Day: $90/session

2-Day: $180/session

Equipment: Air rifle and ammunition provided. Skate skis, boots & poles provided by athlete. Ski rentals are available through ENSC.

Location: Biathlon practices are held at the Edmonton Nordic Biathlon Centre @ Strathcona Science Park.

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