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UIPM releases key Obstacle resources for organisers and judges

Modern Pentathlon
  • Obstacle Catalogue sets out 14 options for competition courses in 2023
  • JCP-registered judges invited to complete Obstacle Module
  • President Schormann underlines ‘vital role’ of LOCs and officials

UIPM has scaled up the integration of Obstacle into Modern Pentathlon with the release of more resources supporting the transition.

The UIPM Obstacle Catalogue provides visual and technical details of the obstacles that will form each of the courses built for the various Modern Pentathlon competitions that will feature the new discipline in 2023.

The Obstacle Module e-learning for UIPM Judges provides guidance on the technical oversight of the new discipline. It is now available in the UIPM Educational Platform for officials who are certified in the other Modern Pentathlon disciplines as part of the UIPM Judges Certification Programme (JCP).


Obstacle Catalogue

All competitions featuring the new discipline in 2023 will include a course comprising eight obstacles over a distance of 60-70 metres.

Local Organising Committees (LOCs) hosting the UIPM Pentathlon World Championships for Junior and Youth age groups will be able to select two of the obstacles from the catalogue, while the other six will be fixed by UIPM for consistency.

The obstacles in the catalogue were selected by the ad-hoc group assigned in 2022 to elaborate and test competition features and technical details. Taken from existing obstacle racing concepts, they were chosen according to the following criteria:

  • To provide elements that challenge pentathletes’ skills
  • To be attractive and appealing for athletes and the public, especially young generations
  • To reduce the cost and complexity of training and competition
  • To be universally accessible
  • To ensure safe conditions for its practice.

The 14 obstacles are:

  1. Steps
  2. Big wheel
  3. 1.5m wall
  4. Over-under
  5. Over-under-through
  6. Rings
  7. Balance beam
  8. Giant steps
  9. Lisbon steps
  10. Wheels
  11. Monkey bars
  12. Swinging globes
  13. Tilting ladders
  14. Finish wall

Obstacle Module  

The Obstacle Module enables judges registered under the JCP to add a new certificate to their profile and to prepare for live officiating duties in the upcoming season.

The module comprises two videos, a theory section and a test and provides detailed advice on the make-up of the Obstacle course, the points and penalties system, safety, equipment regulations and the authorities that will be appointed by each LOC.



The UIPM 2023 Pentathlon U17 World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) from July 12-16 will be the first global competition to feature Obstacle alongside Fencing, Swimming and Laser Run in the new-look Modern Pentathlon.

The release of new resources follows the issuing of the first Obstacle Discipline Competition Guidelines, which will be used to regulate the new discipline until the first Competition Rules are presented to UIPM 2024 Congress, as well as the Obstacle Discipline Training Tips for athletes and coaches.

Obstacle Discipline was added to the UIPM Statutes and UIPM Competition Rules & Regulations by the 72nd UIPM Congress, which took place online in November 2022.


UIPM reaction

Montreal 1976 Olympic champion Janusz Peciak OLY, UIPM Executive Board Member for Sport, said: “I am pleased that all registered judges in our global community now have the opportunity to learn about Obstacle and how the competitions that feature the discipline in 2023 will be overseen.

“Along with the Obstacle Discipline Competition Guidelines, the Obstacle Module is an excellent resource and I encourage all technical officials to complete the online course and add this certification to their profile.”

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “On behalf of the UIPM Executive Board I am delighted to see the release of additional resources that will support the community during this important 2023 season when Obstacle becomes integrated into Modern Pentathlon for the first time.

“Competition organisers and judges will play a vital role in this transitional phase and thanks to these new resources they have a clearer idea about how they can contribute to the evolution of our Olympic multi-sport.

“I commend everybody who has worked hard on the creation of the Obstacle Catalogue and Obstacle Module, especially the ad-hoc group that was created in May 2022 after the historic decision by the EB to select Obstacle for testing as a new discipline of Modern Pentathlon.

“The integration of Obstacle is central to our mission to not only survive in the Olympic Games, but to transform Modern Pentathlon into one of the most dynamic, accessible and popular sports in the Olympic movement.”

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