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Bobsled 101: Rules

Bobsled in Sochi
USA TODAY Sports

Bobsled 101: Rules

Learn more about the rules of Olympic bobsled

Two-Man

The sled is pushed and ridden in by two athletes: a driver and a brakeman. The event consists of four runs over two days, with the final rankings determined by the fastest aggregate time. 

Four-Man

The sled is pushed and ridden in by four athletes: a driver, two push athletes and a brakeman. The event consists of four runs over two days, with the final rankings determined by the fastest aggregate time.

Women

The sled is pushed and ridden in by two athletes: a driver and a brakeman. The event consists of four runsover two days, with the final rankings determined by the fastest aggregate time. 

How is bobsled timed?

Runs are electronically timed to the hundredth of a second. The timing begins when the front of the sled passes the electric eye. If two team are tied after all runs, they are awarded the same place. 

Do men and women compete on the same track?

Yes. Bobsled and skeleton athletes compete on a course that is the same length for both genders, unlike luge. 

Are women allowed to compete in four-man?

Yes. Since the Sochi Games, bobsled rules have been changed to make four-man an open event, making a mixed gender team possible. 

Is there a weight limit?

The minimum weight for the sled including the runners and without the crew: 170kg (375 pounds) for 2-man bobsled, 210kg (463 pounds) for 4-man bobsled and 165kg (364 pounds) for women’s bobsled.  

The maximum weight for the sled including the crew, runners and other equipment: 390kg (860 pounds) for 2-man bobsled, 630kg (1,389 pounds) for 4-man bobsled and 325kg (717 pounds) for women’s bobsled.  

The sled minimum weight for women’s bobsled is 5kg (11 pounds) lighter than it was in Sochi. 

Are athletes allowed to be substituted?

Pilots cannot be changed, but push athletes can be substituted in the case of injury or illness. 

What happens if team loses its sled?

All team members must cross the finish line with the sled for the run to count. The sled is allowed to be on its side or upside down, as long as all competitors cross the finish line with the sled. 

If a sled crashes and is unable to finish a run, it is disqualified from the competition. 

Bobsled

Everything you need to know about bobsled at the 2018 Olympics

Basics | Rules | Origins and Olympic history | Glossary | Equipment | Venue | Qualification

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