ATHLETE SELECTION PROCEDURES
US Biathlon Association


2020-21 World Cup (WC) & IBU Cup Teams

REVISED – November 2020  

REVISED - January 2021

REVISED - February 2021


 

 

Downloadable PDF (Updated 2/13/2021)

USBA 2020-21 Team Selection Procedures for World Cup (WC) & IBU Cup Teams

The following criteria specify how athletes qualify for competition teams in the 2020-21 Season. The  competitions covered in this document are World Cups (WC’s), Open European Championships (OECH),  IBU Cups, and associated training camps leading up to these competitions. Team selections are proposed  by the US Biathlon High Performance Staff and approved by International Competition Committee (ICC)  through the following process (Also, see Appendix, Section 7): 

1. US Biathlon High Performance Staff proposes team selections and justifications for any discretionary selections

2. The ICC holds a committee meeting to discuss these proposals and to make any necessary  revisions per the committee’s input

3. At the conclusion of the committee meeting, the ICC members vote on the final proposal and  team selections are deemed final only when a majority of ICC members have voted in favor.  

Pre-qualified athletes: Four athletes achieved personal top-25 results on the WC tour or at World  Championships (WCH) in the 2020-21 season, and are therefore prequalified for the on-snow  preparation camp in Europe in November and WC’s 1-5. These athletes are: Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan,  Sean Doherty, and Leif Nordgren.  

For non-prequalified athletes: Due to the uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, it will not  be possible to hold any roller ski selection trials races before the World Cup and IBU Cup seasons.  USBA  seeks to give every athlete an equal opportunity to be named to international teams.  With the current  state of domestic travel restrictions, it is not possible to ensure this equality by holding a typical trials series.  Therefore, per the contingency procedures outline in Section 4 of the Appendix, all remaining  World Cup start spots for World Cups 1-5 will be filled by discretion. 

Using the USBA Discretionary Principles (Section 3 in the Appendix), the ICC, in consultation with the US  Biathlon High Performance staff, will review previous season’s results as the primary means of assessing  athlete performance.  However, where appropriate and as prescribed in the Discretionary Principles,  relevant training or competition data from the current training year will be taken into account during  the selection process.  

The ICC, where appropriate, will reach out to athletes’ coaches or a designated representative in the  decision-making process in order to get more detailed information on an athlete’s current level of  performance.  For athletes on the USBA NT, JNT, or X Team, their respective USBA coaches will be  consulted.  For those athletes being considered who are not currently on a USBA National, Junior  National, or X Team, the athlete’s regional coach or designated representative will have the opportunity  to put forward any pertinent results and/or data that would inform the discretionary process. 

The World Cup rosters will be named on or before October 19, 2020. 

NOTE: The International Biathlon Union (IBU) will release the finalized race schedule for the World Cup  at the end of September.  This may necessitate further revisions of the team selection process  depending on any changes to the international race schedule.  Furthermore, due to the uncertainties  relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, athletes and coaches should be aware that USBA and the ICC may  need to make further changes to the race schedule and team naming process in order to maintain the  safety of every athlete and comply with relevant local health guidelines.  Any changes will be  communicated as quickly as possible to the USBA community. 

Movement of athletes between World Cup and IBU Cup:  The following dates and details describe  when athletes should expect exchanges, if warranted, between the World Cup and IBU Cup team rosters  (also outlined in “Selection Criteria” section below.  The National Team coaches will review athlete  performance on both tours throughout the season and will make roster exchange requests to the ICC  when appropriate.  The review process will follow in accordance with those policies outlined in items 2  and 3 of the Appendix.  In addition to the following dates, the US Biathlon High Performance Staff and  the ICC may undertake additional athlete exchanges at any point in the season if warranted by athlete  performances. 

Jan. 17, 2021: Following the conclusion of the Ruhpolding World Cup and IBU Cup 1. 

World Championships: 

The prequalification spots for the World Championship team will be determined at the conclusion of  World Cup 7 (Antholz).  Those WC athletes not prequalified will travel to compete at OECH’s with the  IBU Cup team.  At the conclusion of those races, the rest of the World Championships team roster will  be filled.  Those athletes who do not qualify through OECH will compete at IBU Cups 3-6.  


Trials Event Information 

December On-Snow Trials for IBU Cup one and two have been cancelled.

 

The race series will consist of three races spanning the four-day period between Dec. 17 and 20.  The  results of these trials will determine the spots on the roster for the IBU Cups 1 and 2.  Depending on  athletes’ performances in World Cup’s 1-5, athletes from the December Trials may qualify for World Cup  6 and 7 (See “World Cup 6 & 7” criteria). In order to attend the trials, USBA will require that all  attendees comply with state and local health guidelines and reserves the right to enact further health  protocols in order to protect the safety of all individuals present.  


Formats and dates for trials races: 

October World Cup & IBU Cup Trials: CANCELLED:                 

December On-Snow Trials: CANCELLED

Selection Criteria 

Note: If any athlete declines their position on any team the ICC reserves the option to name a  replacement athlete by discretion (see Point 3 of the Appendix - USBA Principles of Discretionary  Selection).  

Note: In the event that trials are postponed or cancelled due to weather conditions or other issues, the  ICC will follow the contingency planning process outlined in Point 4 of the Appendix – Contingency  Procedures for Trials Events

NOTE: IBU Event names, numbers and dates are those available as of the publication of this document.  Any changes made by IBU could result in changes to these procedures as determined by the US Biathlon  ICC. 

World Cups 1-5 (and On-snow WC Preparation Camp)

European Preparation Camp, TBD location in Europe: ~Nov. 10-26, 2020 

World Cup 1 in Kontiolahti, FIN:  Nov. 27-29, 2020 

World Cup 2 in Oestersund, SWE: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2020 

World Cup 3 in Hochfilzen, AUT: Dec. 7-13, 2020

 

      World Cup 4 in Annecy, FRA: Dec. 14-20, 2020 

       World Cup 5 in Oberhof, GER: Jan. 4-10, 2021 

Women & Men 

Start Spots: 4 per gender 

Team Size: 4 or 5 per gender 

All athletes with a personal top-25 result on the World Cup during the 2019/20 Season.

All remaining start spots will be chosen by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon High 

Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection 

IBU Cups 1-2

IBU Cup 1 at Arber, Germany: Jan11-16, 2021 

IBU Cup 2 at Arber, Germany: Jan. 18-24, 2021 

Women & Men 

Start Spots: 6 per gender

Team Size: 6 per gender

 

With the cancelation of December on-snow trials, all six start spots will be filled via discretion, per the contingency procedures outlined in Section 3 of the Appendix.  The 5th start spot will be guaranteed to a Junior or Youth competitor.  The 6th spot will favor a Junior or Youth competitor in the event of a close decision. 

 

Due to the shift to a discretionary team selection process, USBA has created a Discretionary Selection Working Group. This group will include USBA High Performance staff and regional representation to provide a more diverse and equitable discretionary process. (See Section 8 in Appendix).

 

Using the USBA Discretionary Principles (Section 2 in the Appendix), the ICC, in consultation with the USBA Discretionary Selection Working Group (Section 8 in Appendix), will review current and previous competition season’s results as the primary means of assessing athlete performance. However, where appropriate and as prescribed in the Discretionary Principles, relevant training data from the current training year will be taken into account during the selection process.  

 

A list of eligible athletes will be posted on the USBA site by December 4th.  If an athlete is not on the list, but wishes to be added, they can request to be included by emailing Tim Burke at tburke@usbiathlon.org by December 10th. 

 

The ICC, and the USBA Discretionary Working Group, will reach out to athletes’ coaches or a designated representative in the decision-making process in order to get more detailed information on an athlete’s current level of performance. 

 

Athletes are encouraged to reach out to the Athletes Representative, Haley Johnson Stewart, during this process with any questions or concerns.  Haley can be reached at hhjstewart@gmail.com or 518-524-7482.

 

The timeline for the discretionary process will be as follows:

  • On Friday, December 4th a provisional list of eligible athletes will be posted to the USBA website.

  • Thursday, December 10th is the deadline for athletes to request to be added to the list.

  • A final list of eligible athletes will be posted on the USBA website on Friday, December 11th.

  • The USBA Discretionary Working Group will deliberate the week of December 14th with a recommendation to the ICC by Saturday, December 19th.

  • Athletes have until Thursday, December 17th to reach out to their Athlete Representative, Haley Johnson Stewart, with questions or concerns.  Haley can be reached at hhjstewart@gmail.com or 518-524-7482.

  • The ICC will meet and make the final team selection not later than Monday, December 21st 

  • Athletes will be notified not later than Monday, December 21st 


World Cup 6 & 7

World Cup 6 in Ruhpolding, GER: Jan. 11-17, 2021 

World Cup 7 in Antholz, ITA: Jan. 18-24, 2021 

Women & Men 

Start Spots: 4 per gender 

Team Size: 4 or 5 per gender 

Three athletes from World Cup 1-5 may qualify for WC 6 & 7, based on the following criteria applied to individual World Cup starts only:

o Two (2) top-25 performances in World Cups 1-5 ranked in order by the single best finish.

o If fewer than 3 athletes meet the above criteria, then athletes with the highest single personal placing better than 60th place from WC 1-5 will be  named until a maximum of three spots are filled. 

o If fewer than 3 athletes meet the aforementioned criteria, the remaining spots will be filled by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon High Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection after the completion of WC 5 and December On-Snow Trials. 

o Ties will be resolved using percent back from the winner. 

One additional athlete will be named after completion of WC 5 and December On-Snow  Trials by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon High Performance Staff, in accordance with  the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection.  These selections will be announced on  January 10, 2021. 

Open European Championships

Held in Djuzniki, POL: Jan. 25-31, 2021 

Women & Men 

Start Spots: 6 per gender 

Team Size: 5-6 per gender  

At least one and a maximum of two WC 6 and/or 7 Team athletes from each gender who  have not pre-qualified for WCH’s following the Antholz World Cup will be named. 4 athletes from each gender who were qualified for IBU Cups 1-2

If the sixth spot remains available after the aforementioned criteria, a final sixth athlete  from each gender may be named by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon High  Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection. 


IBU Cups 3 & 4: 

Held in Osrblie, SVK: Feb. 10-21, 2021

 

Women & Men

Start spots: 6/gender

Team size: 4-6/gender

  • The 4 athletes from each gender, including juniors, and excluding those that qualify for WCH's, based on single best result at OECH, excluding all relay-format competitions, will be named. 

  • Up to 2 additional spots per gender may be named by the ICC in consultation with the US Biathlon High Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection

 

IBU Cup 5: 

Held in Ridnaun, ITA - March 8-14, 2021

 

Women & Men

Start spots: 6/gender

Team size: 5-6/gender

  • The 5th member of the 2021 WCH's team from each gender will qualify.

  • At the conclusion of IBU Cup 4, 2 athletes from each gender, including juniors, based on single best result at IBU Cups 3 & 4.

  • At the conclusion of IBU Cup 4, one additional spot per gender will be named by the ICC in consultation with the US Biathlon High Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection.  

  • At the conclusion of YJWCH, the top junior athlete from each gender, excluding any juniors that have already qualified through IBU Cup 4, based on single best result at YJWCH's, excluding all relay-format competitions, will qualify.

  • One additional start spot per gender may be named by the ICC in consultation with the US Biathlon High Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection.  


World Championships  (and Pre-WCH Camp)

Pre-WCH Camp (location TBD): ~Jan. 29- Feb. 7, 2021 

Held in Pokljuka, SLO: Feb. 8-21, 2021 

Women & Men 

Start Spots: 4 per gender 

Team Size: 5 per gender  

From each gender, 3 athletes with the most World Cup points following World Cup 7 will be  named. If fewer than three athletes have points, then all athletes with points will qualify,  and the single best personal World Cup placing in the current season will be used until the  limit of 3 athletes is reached. Ties will be resolved by looking at percent back from the  winner. 

The fourth spot in each gender will be awarded to the athlete with the most IBU Cup points  earned at the OECH. 

1 additional athlete of each gender will be named by the ICC after the conclusion of OECH,  in consultation with US Biathlon staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of  Discretionary Selection.  

In the event that the team size exceeds the number of starts quotas, the head coaches will  decide which athletes race by evaluating the performance capabilities of each athlete at  that time. 

World Cup 8

Held in Nove Mesto, CZE: Mar. 1-7, 2021

Women & Men 

Start Spots: 4 per gender 

Team Size: 4 per gender 

  • The top 3 athletes in each gender from WCH, based on average best result from World Championships, will qualify.

  • One additional spot per gender will be named  by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon High  Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection. 



World Cups 9 & 10

WC 9 held in Nove Mesto, CZE: Mar. 8-14, 2021

WC 10 held in Oslo, NOR: Mar. 16-21


Women & Men

Start Spots: 4 per gender 

Team Size: 3 or 4 per gender

  • Any athletes ranked in the top-50 World Cup Overall Score by the end of WC 8, will qualify.

  • If less than three start spots remain in either gender, the team will be filled by World Cup Overall until a team size of three per gender is reached.

  • One additional spot per gender may be named  by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon High  Performance Staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection.  

Appendix: Policies & Rules 

1.  USBA Percent-Back System 

An athlete’s percent back in a race is calculated using the following formula: 

Athlete’s Percent-Back = 2 – (Athlete’s time / Average time of the top three finishers scored) 

If there are only two finishers that can be scored, the average of their times shall be used as the  denominator in the formula above.  If only one finisher can be scored, that athletes shall receive a  percent back of 100%.  

2.  Movement between World Cup & IBU Cup 

The National Team coaching staff may use the following guidelines to recommend to the ICC that  athletes from the IBU Cup move to the World Cup, and vice versa: 

1. Athletes achieving top results on the IBU Cup may be moved up to the World Cup provided  there are open start positions. 

2. Athletes placing outside the top-40 in individual starts on the World Cup may be brought down  to the IBU Cup at any time or released from the World Cup Team. 

3. Athletes who have been injured or sick for lengthy periods of time may be released from the  team or brought to a different competition level.  

In addition, IBU Cup athletes will be considered to fill World Cup relay teams when there are not enough  World Cup athletes to fill the team, the logistics of getting an athlete to the event can be managed  without excessive costs, and the coaching staff sees the need and/or benefit of having a relay team  compete.  

3.  USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection 

The purpose of a discretionary choice is to ensure selection of the most competitive team.  Creating  watertight, finite criteria for discretionary choices is impossible, since by their very nature they are  meant to account for the unanticipated circumstances, which inevitably elude the principles of objective  criteria. Based on the context of the situation, the ICC will select the athlete(s) that has the best chance  of producing the best result based on the following factors:  

1. History of performance in a specific competition type over the current and previous competitive  seasons. 

2. Recent improvements in results or performance parameters such as ski speed and shooting  performance (both in training and competition). 

3. Recent positive trend of competition results or performance parameters, such as ski speed and  shooting, indicating a potential for Olympic success.  This includes indication of medal potential 

            in future Olympic or World Championship competition that would be materially enhanced by      selection to the Team. 

4. Recent decline in results or performance parameters such as ski speed and shooting  performance (both in training and competition). 

5. Performance/participation in the qualification process affected by illness or injury as certified by  USBA. 

6. Ability to effectively contribute to a relay. 

If an athlete declines or is unable to attend the competition(s) for which (s)he has qualified, the ICC will  rely upon the above Principles of Discretionary Selection to fill the spot. The ICC also reserves the right  to not fill the vacated spot. 

4.  Contingency Procedures for Trials Events 

In the event that weather conditions or other issues prevent a trials series from being held at the  planned time and place, the ICC reserves the right to change the location, date, and/or format of the  trials series. In the event that one or more events are canceled, cannot be held, or are in the view of the  ICC held under grossly unfair conditions and not rescheduled by the ICC, the following contingencies  may be applied by the ICC: 

1. If more than three races are used in the selection process the following may be applied by the  ICC: 

a) If four races are held the best three of four will be scored 

b) If three races are held the best two of three will be scored. 

2. If only two races of a three race series are held and at least two athletes are being selected the  following may be used: 

a) If one race of a three race series is canceled or in the view of the ICC held under grossly  unfair conditions and not rescheduled, the winners of each of the races held shall be  named to the team and any additional athletes may be named discretionarily by the ICC  using the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection. 

b) If one or no races are held the ICC reserves the right to name the team by discretion  and/or to create a new trials process for team selection. 

3. If only one athlete is being selected from a three race series and one or more of the races are  canceled or in the view of the ICC held under grossly unfair conditions and not rescheduled by  the ICC, the ICC may name the athlete at its discretion using the USBA Principles of Discretionary  Selection. 

5. Non-Endorsed Participation in International Events 

If any athlete desires to race at an International IBU event which has not been officially  represented in the criteria, the athlete must petition the ICC and gain approval before being allowed to  compete there.  

 

6.  IBU Performance Standards for Starting at the World Championships and World Cup Quoted from the current IBU Event & Competition Rules at time of approval: 

1.5.3.2 World Championships (WCH)As the minimum qualification requirement to compete in WCH  events a competitor must have 180 IBU qualifying points or less at the end of the last trimester before  the WCH, or fulfill one of the following criteria during the current or previous season:  a. Compete in at least one competition earning 150 IBU qualifying points or less at an IBU Cup, OECH,  WC or OWG in the Sprint or Individual, or  

b. One finish in the top half at the JWCH (not Youth). 

All members of Relay teams must also have met this individual qualification requirement. 

1.5.3.3 World Cup (WC)The World Cup season consists of three trimesters generally made up of three  WC events each, usually WC 1-3, WC 4-6 and WC 7-9. As the minimum qualification requirement to  compete in WC events, a competitor must have 150 IBU qualifying points or less at the end of the last  trimester, or fulfil one of the following criteria: 

a. Compete in at least one competition earning 125 IBU qualifying points or less at an IBU Cup, OECH,  WCH or OWG in the Sprint or Individual during the current or preceding trimester; or  b. One finish in the top half at the most recent JWCH (not Youth). 

All members of Relay teams must also have met this individual qualification requirement. 6. Self-Pay Policy 

US Biathlon will cover joint expenses of events as well as the individual travel expenses of athletes  except as noted in the selection criteria above. For athletes who are selected to teams on a self-pay  basis, US Biathlon has the following policies depending upon the nature of the event: 

For athletes who are bearing their own individual travel expenses, athletes may be billed for  their prorated share of lodging, food, and transportation. Where possible, athletes may pay  their shares directly to the vendor, in which case athletes should keep copies of all receipts. In  many cases, athletes may be expected to book and pay upfront for their own air transportation.  Participation grant money from the IBU for competitions where athletes only bear their own  expenses will be used by US Biathlon to pay for joint expenses and organizational overhead, and  not paid or shared with athletes. 

For athletes who are also required to share in the joint costs of staffing the event, the travel  expenses, material costs, and any prorated contract labor payments of coaching and service  support will be aggregated as the total joint cost, and then divided equally among athletes  attending to pay. For such trips, participation grant money from the IBU will be split evenly  among athletes to help them offset these joint costs. 

US Biathlon will provide estimates of self-pay expenses in advance for the events described in this  document to help athletes budget accordingly.  

7.  USBA International Competition Committee (ICC)


ICC Members are: 

Chair: Jay T. Kearney 

USOC Athletes’ Advisory Council Athlete Rep: Haley Johnson 

US Biathlon High Performance Director: Lowell Bailey 

National Guard Biathlon Coach: Drew Galinas 

US Biathlon National Team Head Coach Women: Armin Auchentaller (for WC/IBU Cup and WCHs/OECHs   team naming) 

US Biathlon Junior National Team Coach: Tim Burke (for Junior IBU Cup/YJWCHs team naming)11 


8.  USBA Discretionary Selection Working Group


This group is composed of three US Biathlon staff members and a representative from each USBA Region.  Regional representatives are recommended by the USBA High Performance Staff and voted on by the ICC.  This group makes recommendations to the ICC based on a majority vote.  However, as per the USBA By-laws, the ICC makes the final team selections.  

 

USBA Representative: Tim Burke- Director of Athlete Development

USBA Representative: Lowell Bailey- High Performance Director 

USBA Representative: Danika Frisbie- Sports Program Manager

East Representative: Mike Gibson- Head Coach Craftsbury Green Team

Midwest Representative: BethAnn Chamberlain- US Biathlon Paralympic Development Coach

West Representative: Seth Hubbard- Head Coach Crosscut 

Alaska Representative: Jean Paquet- Head Coach Anchorage Biathlon Club

Please direct your question to your Athlete Representative