The following provides information about the five disciplines in Modern Pentathlon. A web address is provided for each sport giving more information about that sport in its own right. These websites have infomation about clubs and provide useful tips on how to get started.

The swimming event is a timed freestyle race ranging from 50m to 200m depending on age. Youth E and D swims 50m; Youth C and Masters swim 100m; and all other age catagories swim 200m.

Scottish Swimming website lists all clubs throughout Scotland.

In modern pentathlon, athletes fence epee. They fence every other competitor for one hit in one minute. If a hit is not scored within the time, both athletes score a defeat. The epee is fitted with an electronic device which will register a hit on any part of the opponent's body. This is the only discipline where another competitor has a direct influence on an athlete's own score.

Scottish Fencing has information about clubs and events. There are clubs in most cities in Scotland, with some clubs also providing equipment.

The riding phase in pentathlon requires the athlete to ride an unfamiliar horse over a course of showjumps. The top level of pentathlon competition will have obstacles of up to 1.20m in height and 1.50m in width. The course will also include one double and one treple. These heights, and degree of difficulty,will be reduced for younger competitors. The athletes pick their horses "out of a hat" and have up to 20 mintues and five practice fences to warm up.

For more information on where to ride in your area, visit the
British Horse Society website.


Youth A, Juniors,Seniors and Masters run 1500m (biathlon and triathlon). In the combined event, they run 3 x 1000m, with three five-target shoots in between each 1000m, finishing with running.

Youth B runs 1500m (biathlon and triathlon). In the combined event they run 2 x 1000m, with 2 x five-target shoots in between each 1000m, finishing with the run.

All other age categories Youth E run a timed 500m, Youth D 1000m and Youth C 1500m.

In biathlon and triathlon the run is on track. In other combinations, it can be on tar, grass, track or a mix ofall three.

Scottish Athletics website has information about clubs and events. In the winter, there are cross country running events throughout Scotland, where all standards compete. Some successful pentathletes in Scotland compete at cross country events to boost their endurance and fitness through the winter months.


The pistol used in shooting is any 4.5mm (0.177") calibre, withcompressed air or CO2. Athletes shoot 10 or 20 shots, depending on age category,at a distance of 10 metres, towards a standing target that is 155mm in diameter. The target is made up of concentric rings, scoring one point on the outside to 10 points for a bulls-eye. Athletes have 20 seconds to fire each shot. Loaders are only allowed for Youth E, D & C competitors. Youth E & D competitors may shoot two-handed. Youth E, D, C and Masters athletes shoot a 10 shot competition. Other age catagories shoot 20 shoots for triathlon. Apart from Youth C,D,and E, all other age groups shoot a combined shoot/run event for tetrathlon and pentathlon. Youth B's shoot 2 x five targets and run 2 x 1000m, finishing with the run. Others shoot 3 x 1000m, with 3 x five target shoots in between each 1000m, finishing with running.

There are strict safety rules which must be observed at all competitions involving the shooting discipline. These can be found on the PentathlonGB website.


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