Update IBU Rule Change – Junior Age Categories

Changes to Junior Age Category

September 19, 2018


At the IBU Congress in Poreč, Croatia, September 5-9, 2018 it was decided that the junior age category would be extended by one year. The changes will be in effect as of this season (2018-2019). Therefore, in 2018-2019 the Junior category will include athletes born in 1997, 1998, and 1999; while the Youth category will remain 2000-2003; and Men and Women will be 1996 and older. Previously, the Junior Category only included athletes born in 1998 and 1999, and this year it will be extended to three years of eligibility, including athletes born in 1997.

Impact of this change:

  • Athletes born in 1997 who are eligible and are selected to a World Cup and/or IBU Cup: The National Team Program for 2018-2019 (NTP) reflects the extension of the Junior age category and the possibility that an athlete born in 1997 may compete at an IBU Cup/World Cup and also at Junior World Championships or Junior IBU Cups (the 2018-2019 NTP will be released later this week). In the event that an athlete has qualified for a World Cup/IBU Cup and this conflicts with Junior World Championships and/or a Junior IBU Cup that the athlete has also qualified for, the athlete and coach will decide which event to attend based on what is best for the athlete’s development.


  • Athletes born in 1997 racing in NorAm Cups, Eastern Canadian Championships, Western Canadian Championships, and Nationals: Age categories are outlined in Biathlon Canada’s Hosting Manual. The hosting manual for the 2018-2019 season has not yet been published; however, you can expect that the age category for Junior will include athletes born in 1997 to mirror the change from the IBU. Biathlon Canada is currently working to update these documents.


  • 2019 Canada Winter Games: No impact. The eligibility for the 2019 Canada Winter Games is prescribed by the Canada Games Council and can be found HERE. Eligibility is limited to athletes born from 1998-2002 and the IBU change in Junior category mentioned above will have no impact on 2019 Canada Winter Games eligibility.


  • Athletes racing in Divisional races and championships: Please allow time for your Division to make any necessary changes to their hosting policy.


  • Youth athletes: The youth IBU category remains the same, 2000-2003. Biathlon Canada’s Canadian hosting policy (Eastern Canadian Championships, Western Canadian Championships, and Nationals) currently has a 16-18 youth eligibility age (Year of Birth 2000-2002). We are reviewing our hosting policy and will publish an updated version by November 1, 2018.


  • Divisional Event organizers: Please ensure your hosting manual is up-to-date. Please check the age eligibility for each category and email jakerman@biathloncanada.ca if you have any questions.


If you have any questions about NORAMs, Eastern Canadian Championships, Western Canadian Championships, or Nationals please contact jakerman@biathloncanada.ca.

For Divisional races please contact your Division.