The Germans have a great word they use for shooting clean in biathlon: Fehlerfrei. The visual below is a brief look into shooting Fehlerfrei and how it relates to shooting and shot times. The interactive version allows you to filter to only men or women, by default both are included.
After reviewing shootings based on over 200,000 shots we can see just over 39% of shootings are Fehlerfrei. The men and woman have a very similar percentage.
When looking at the biathlon nations and Canada, we can see there is not much difference between Canadian men and women, but for the Swedes the women better than the men, where for the French and Norwegians the men do better than the women:
For men and women combined, the Norwegians are doing best with regards to the Fehlerfrei percentage, but the Canadians are the fastest shooters of the group.
Now let’s look at the same data split between men and women:
For the men (left) the Norwegians (red) are shooting clean over 50% of the time, but have been taking more time in the current season compared to previous seasons. The Canadians are improving from last season in both categories but are still on the low end (~35%) of the Fehlerfrei %, even though their shooting is still very fast.
The women (right) tell a different story; Germany, Sweden en Norway are heading exactly in the direction you want to go: bottom right of the chart (which means quick shooting and large percentage of Fehlerfrei shooting). In that second category Canada was in the wrong area in the last two seasons but heading in the right direction this season. Russia is going in the opposite direction.
If these trends continue this season, the Canadian women are looking promising. Although it should be noted, as shown in the first chart, the Canadians have a lot fewer shots as they have less athletes participating, so the success of individuals has a larger and more direct impact on the nation’s data/
The Tableau report contains more details and I am planning to do further analysis in R, depending on time availability. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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