US Biathlon Association

ATHLETE SELECTION PROCEDURES

A letter from USBA Director of Athlete Development - Tim Burke

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2023 Jr. IBU Cup and Junior Open European Championships

The following selection criteria specify how youth and junior class athletes qualify to represent the U.S. at the 2023 Jr. IBU Cup in Haanja, Estonia, and Junior Open European Championships in Madona, Latvia.

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2023 Youth & Junior World Championship Team 

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Overview

The following selection criteria specify how youth and junior class athletes qualify to represent the U.S. at the 2023 Youth & Junior World Championships held March 3-March 12 in Schuchinsk, Kazakhstan.

Team selections are proposed by the US Biathlon High Performance Staff and approved by the International Competition Committee (ICC) through the following process (Also, see Appendix, Section 5):

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.

Different methods for qualifying for this team include:

(1)  “pre-qualifying” with excellent results in the 2021-22 season. No athletes pre-qualified in the2021-22 season.

(2)  qualifying for the senior class IBU Cup team

(3)  competitive results at the trials races to be held Dec 28 - 31 in Anchorage, Alaska

(4)  discretionary selection.

Note Regarding Pre-Qualification for 2024 Youth & Junior World Championship Team and 2024 Jr. IBU Cup and JOECH:

Athletes who place in the top-6 at the 2023 Youth & Junior World Championships automatically pre-qualify for next season's 2024 team in the age class in which they earned the result.   For example, a sixth place in the Youth category at YWCH only qualifies that athlete for next year's YJWCH Team if the athlete remains in the Youth class, it does not qualify that athlete for the Junior Team.

Junior athletes placing in the top-6 at the 2023 JWCH automatically qualify for next season's 2023 Jr. IBU Cup, JOECH, and JWCH.  Youth athletes cannot pre-qualify for these events. Athletes pre-qualifying for US Biathlon Teams need to maintain their performance level as outlined in the USBA principles of pre-qualification.

1.         Pre-Qualification for YJWCH

Any athlete with a top 6 at last year's YJWCH is pre-qualified for the 2023 team.  No athletes met this criteria.

2.         Pre-Qualification for YJWCH

Up to two junior/youth athlete(s) who qualify for this season’s senior class team competing at the IBU Cup will automatically qualify for this season’s YJWCH team in their age class.  If more than 2 junior/youth athlete(s) qualify for the IBU Cup, only the two athlete(s) with the highest points at the end of trials will pre-qualify for YJWCH.  Pre-qualification spots will be filled first by the October IBU Trials, and secondly by December IBU Cup Trials.  If two junior/youth athletes qualify for the IBU Cup via the October Trials, then no junior/youth athletes can pre-qualify via the December IBU Trials. Further explanation for how to qualify for IBU Cups is detailed in the Athlete Selection Procedures for the senior class, available on the USBA website.

3.         YJWCH Team Trials Qualification

Trials Event Information

General: The Youth & Junior World Championships Team Trials will take place December 28-31 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Standardized Waxing Procedures: All athletes in the Youth and Junior classes at the Team Trials must adhere to the US Biathlon Standardized Waxing Protocol, which is available on the US Biathlon website.

Formats: all junior and youth class competitors will race the same distances at the Team Trials:

Trials Competition

Program

Sprint

Pursuit

Format

Sprint

Dec 28

Dec 29

Dec 31

Junior & Youth Men

10 km

10 km

7.5 km

Junior & Youth Women

7.5 km

10 km

6 km

Point lists will be calculated off of the best 2 of 3 results for each athlete using the USBA percent-back system. The point base will include only American athletes. Youth and junior athletes will be scored together. Two lists will be created for each gender: the Primary List will include both youth and junior athletes, while the Youth List will include only youth athletes.

YJWCH Selection Criteria

IBU Youth and Junior WCHs 2023 - Schuchinsk, Kazakhstan (March 3 – March 12, 2023)

Juniors (born 2003, 2002 and 2001)

Team size: up to 4 athletes per gender

●      Any athlete who placed in the top-6 at the 2022 Youth & Junior World Championships will be pre-qualified for the 2022 event.  No athletes met this criteria.

●      Up to two junior athlete(s) who are selected for the senior IBU Cup team this season will be pre-qualified.  If a Youth athlete(s) qualifies for the IBU Cup in front of a junior on the points list, the youth athlete will count against the juniors, and fewer junior athletes will be selected via this bullet point.

●      The top two athletes on the Primary List from the Team Trials will be selected for each gender. If the first and/or second athlete(s) on the Primary List is/are youth, they will count against the juniors, and fewer junior athletes will be selected via this bullet point.  If fewer than 2 Junior athletes pre-qualify via the senior IBU Cup standard, then the top three athletes on the Primary List will be selected for each gender. If the first, second, or third athlete on the Primary List is/are a youth, they will count against Juniors selected via this bullet point.

●      Additional junior athletes may be selected up to the maximum team size by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection.

●      The JWCH team will be announced within 24 hours of the last race at Trials unless the ICC needs additional time.

Youth (born 2004 through 2007)

Team size: up to 4 athletes per gender

●      Any athlete who placed in the top-6 at the 2022 Youth & Junior World Championships will be pre-qualified for the 2022 event. No athletes met this criteria.

●      Up to two youth athlete(s) who are selected for the senior IBU Cup Team this season will be pre-qualified. If a junior athlete(s) qualifies for the IBU Cup in front of a youth on the points list, the junior athlete will count against the youth, and fewer youth athletes will be selected via this bullet point.

●      The top two youth athletes on the Youth List from the Team Trials will be selected for each gender. If fewer than two youth athletes qualify for a senior IBU Cup team, then three youth athletes will be selected from the Youth List.

●      Additional youth athletes may be selected up to the maximum team size by the ICC in consultation with US Biathlon staff, in accordance with the USBA Principles of Discretionary Selection, with particular attention paid to athletes demonstrating competitive ski speed.

●      The YWCH Team will be named within 24 hours of the last race at team trials in Anchorage, Alaska unless the ICC needs additional time.

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 athlete shall receive a percent-back of 100%. In the case of pursuit races held at a trials, net times will be used to calculate percent-back scores. Net time is the finish time minus the start time.

2. 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. Note: This list is not in any order of priority:

1.     History of performance in a specific competition type (e.g., Relay or Individual) over the current and previous two 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.     Performance/participation in the qualification process effected by illness or injury as confirmed by USBA

5.     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.

3. Contingency Procedures for Trials Events

In the event that weather conditions or other issues prevent a trials series or other races listed herein 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 or fewer 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.

4. Funding and Self-Pay Policy

US Biathlon will cover joint expenses of the event (coaches/staff travel, etc) as well as the direct travel expenses of athletes who qualify for full funding as follows:

2023 YJWCH Schuchinsk, Kazakhstan

US Biathlon will cover joint expenses of the event as well as the individual travel expenses of athletes as follows:

●  100% funding for athletes who are prequalified for the event either by way of their results at the 2022 YJWCH event (a top-6) or who are selected for the 2022-2023 IBU Cup team.

●  100% funding for the top athlete of each gender on the Primary List, regardless of whether those athletes are a youth or junior athlete.  If more than one Junior athlete pre-qualifies via the IBU Cup, then no Junior athlete will be funded via the primary list.

●  100% funding for the top two athletes of each gender on the Youth List. If the top athlete on the Primary List for a gender is a youth athlete, then that athlete will count against the financial support allocation for both classes.

●  Self-pay for all other athletes.

Participation grant money from the IBU will be used by US Biathlon to pay for joint expenses and organizational overhead, and not paid or shared with athletes. US Biathlon estimates that the cost-share expenses for ground transport, hotel, and other direct costs for affected athletes will total $2,000 each.

5. USBA International Competition Committee (ICC)

Quoted from US Biathlon By-Laws; Sept. 2010:

Section 9. International Competition Committee

a)             With approval by the Board of Directors, the International Competition Committee shall consist of five (5) members, selected as follows:

i)        one (1) individual who shall be appointed from the Board of Directors and will serve as Chair;

ii)       one (1) individual who meets the definition of “athlete representative” set forth in USOC By-law Section 8.8.2 selected by the three (3) athlete representatives on the USBA Board of Directors;

iii)      three (3) individuals appointed by the Chair, one each from among the Group “B” membership category, the Group “E” membership category, and the USBA Coaching Staff.

b)             The International Competition Committee shall meet as required, in person or by telephone conference for specific issues, and shall be responsible for providing recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval of:

i)        team selection criteria for domestic and international events and activities, to include all levels of international participation;

ii)       confirmation of team selection criteria outcomes ;iii) proposals on issues of USBA National Team selections and levels of individual support as provided by USBA budgetary actions;

iv)  guidance concerning potential disciplinary actions for noncompliance

of team directives and/or violations of USBA Athlete

Code of Conduct; and

v)   formulating the developmental and competitive strategies designed to meet the goals of the USBA High Performance Plan.

ICC Members are:

Chair: Jay T. Kearney

USOPC Athletes’ Advisory Council Athlete Rep: Kelly Kjorlien

USBA Director of High Performance: Lowell Bailey

National Guard Biathlon Coach: Drew Gelinas

USBA Director of Athlete Development: Tim Burke