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Tuesday, January 1, 2002
Glossary of terms



Arm sling: belt or webbing that hooks into an armband to stabilize the rifle and arms while firing in the prone or standing position
Clicks: Moving the rear apertures in different directions to make slight adjustments for wind and sun angle. The amount of change is measured by clicks turned. The coach at the range might assist the athletes arriving to shoot by calling out sight corrections, such as: three clicks to the right
Clip/Magazine: used to hold five .22 caliber rifle cartridges. Up to four clips can be stored in the rifle stock with the biathlete is skiing the course and are then inserted into the rifle at the range as needed
Declared rounds: In relay events, eight bullets are carried in each clip. Upon entering the range, the biathlete must deposit the extra three rounds in a cup at their shooting point before beginning to shoot. the five rounds from the clip are used to hit five targets. If more rounds are needed, the extra declared rounds may be hand loaded and used
Harness: shoulder straps -- similar to a backpack -- used for carrying the rifle on the back
Prone: a shooting position where the athlete is lying down. In an individual event, the first and third shooting stations are shot in the prone position as is the first shooting stage in a sprint event
Penalty loop: a 150-meter loop that rules require to be skied when targets are missed during the sprint and relay events. One loop is skied for every target missed -- 30 to 35 seconds is considered a fast loop time. Instead of penalty loops, in the individual events one minute is added for every missed shot
Off hand: standing position used in the second and fourth shooting stations of the individual event and the second stage of the sprint competition
Shoot clean: hitting all five targets during one shooting stage
Skate: the technique used while skiing. Longer poles are used to drive skiers forward, gliding out onto the right leg and then back to the left leg. The skier moves in a right to left direction as opposed to being propelled straight down the trail. No ski tracks are used as in the classical technique
Snow guard: a cap used to cover the rifle muzzle that prevents snow from entering the barrel in case of a fall on the course
Target: metal target sizes are 4.5 inches (11.5 centimeters) in diameter for standing targets and silver-dollar size (4.5 centimeters) for prone targets. On a hit, a white metal plate flips up and covers the black target
Zero: time spent before the race shooting at paper targets to align the rifle sights. When zeroed, the rifle is accurate for the particular wind and light conditions on the range at that time

Source: U.S.A. Biathlon