There are four bobsled events on the 2018 Olympic program: the two-man, four-man and two-woman and women's monobob.
All four bobsled events will consist of four runs timed electronically to 1/100th of a second. Each event will be contested over two days, with two runs on each day.
The final standings for all the events will be determined by the total time over all the runs; the winner is the sled with the lowest aggregate time. If two teams complete the competition in a tie, they are awarded the same place.
The 10 pilots with the highest International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation ranking choose start numbers 4 to 13 in each event, with the highest-ranked pilot choosing first. The first three starting numbers will be drawn from the last 10 ranked pilots in the field. The remaining pilots start in order of their IBSF ranking.
The second heat’s starting order is based on the results in the first heat. The 20th-ranked pilot will start first, 19th-ranked will start second, etc., with the top-ranked pilot starting 20th. In the men’s events, which have more than 20 pilots, those who finished 21st or worse in the first heat will start in that same position in the second heat (21st -ranked starts 21st , etc.).
In the third heat, the competitors will start in order of their combined rankings from the first two heats, with the top-ranked pilot starting first, etc. Those with a combined ranking of 21st or lower after the third heat are not eligible to advance to the next heat.
In the fourth and final heat, the competitors will start in reverse order of their combined rankings from the first three heats: the 20th -ranked pilot will start first, the 19th -ranked pilot starts second, etc., with the top-ranked pilot starting last.
The start is authorized by an audio and visual signal and from that point, the team has 60 seconds to start its run. Typically the starting block is approximately 50 feet behind the starting line, which is where the electronic eye that triggers the clock to begin is located. The timing begins when the front of the sled passes the electronic eye.
Teams may push their sleds as long as they want, but any additional help in the starting procedure is prohibited.
For a run to count, all team members must cross the finish line with the sled. If a sled crashes, it is usually eliminated from competition, as the failure to finish any single run results in disqualification from the competition. The run, however, will count as long as all the competitors cross the finish line with the sled, regardless of whether it is on its side or upside down.