Biathlon was introduced in Innsbruck in 1988 for athletes with a physical impairment, and in 1992, athletes with a vision impairment also became eligible to compete.
The events consist of a 2.0 or 2.5 km course skied three or five times in the free technique for a total race distance between 6-15 km. Between the two stages athletes must hit two targets located at a distance of 10m. Each miss is penalised by an increase in the overall route time.
The most important success factor lies in the capability of alternating the skills of physical endurance and shooting accuracy during the competition.
Athletes with vision impairment are assisted by acoustic signals, which depending on signal intensity, indicate when the athlete is on target.