The equipment that is used for bobsledding is designed specifically to withstand the rigors that the sleds and the participants undergo. The participants' shoes have special spikes that give them a good grip when they sprint at the beginning of the race - the maximum length of the spikes is specified. Their clothes need to be skintight to give them an advantage in terms of speed. Helmets, it goes without saying, are compulsory. The lead participant known as the driver is required to wear goggles. The sleds used also need to adhere to specifications regarding length, weight, and material that it is made of. Early sleds used to be made of wood and had no brakes. Later they were made of steel and modern technology was used to give it a design best suited for the purpose.
A competition requires each participating team to undertake training runs and then a couple of heats. The time taken by them is clocked and the team with the lowest combined time is declared the winner. There are two types of events - two man runs and four man runs. A maximum limit for the combined sled and team weight has been laid down for each event.
There is an international organization that sets down guidelines and standards to be followed. These standards cover all aspects of the game like course length and design, equipment used and other rules governing the competition. These guidelines are very essential as bobsledding involves a lot of risk and many accidents have been known to occur. The winner is often determined by a difference of a mere fraction of a second. Electronic clocks are used for accuracy.
Bobsledding is a part of the Winter Olympic Games. The other international events that are held are the World Championships and the Annual World Cup.
Bobsledding definition-Bobsleigh, bobsled or bobsledge is a winter sport invented by Englishmen in the late 1860s in which teams make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled
Scoring-The team with the fastest time down the hill wins the race.
The venue for this event this year is at Whistler Sliding Centre on Blackcomb Mountain.