FEB 4 – 20


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Weirdest rules of the Olympic Winter Games

A skeleton athlete uses their feet to slow themselves down on the icy track.
Canada's Mirela Rahneva competes in the women's skeleton run during PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Every game has rules… but some of them are pretty unusual. Have a look at some of the unique rules at this year’s Winter Olympics events:

Figure Skating

There are so many jumps and twirls in a figure skating routine. You might think that anything goes, but that’s not true. Doing a backflip during your routine is considered illegal. That's because you land on two feet instead of one.


In skeleton, you ride a sled head first down an icy hill. It’s pretty scary! Did you know that the rules say that you are allowed to get off your sled to push it or move it? Just as long as you cross the finish line on top of it.


You need to carry a special thermometer if you want to be a bobsledder! There’s a rule about the temperature of the ‘runners.’ These are the blades at the bottom of the sleigh. Officials actually measure how hot or cold they are. If they’re not within four degrees of the set of reference runners, the team is disqualified.


It’s fun to watch athletes hurl stones down a length of ice while shouting and sweeping with brooms! But what if, for some strange reason, the stone was to break while being played? There’s a rule called the “Spirit of Curling” to decide where the replacement stone should be put. If the teams can’t agree on where to put it, the play starts again.


All you need for luge is a sled, a helmet and a tremendous amount of bravery to slide at high speeds down an icy slope! It also takes weight — a minimum qualifying weight to be exact. Men have to weigh at least 90 kilograms. And women have to weigh at least 75 kilograms. But don’t worry if you’re too light. There’s a rule that allows you to attach weights to yourself so you can hit the minimum amount.

Ice hockey

Like playing hockey with a big curved blade on your stick? You won’t be allowed to play with that stick in the Olympics. No banana curves here. Players are only allowed a curve maximum of 1.5 centimetres. That could be super tricky for players who are used to having a big scoop.


In the big air snowboarding event, athletes are judged on one single big jump with tricks! Sounds cool, but in the finals there’s a catch. The athletes get three tries to do their best trick. But they must spin in opposite directions on the jumps that are marked. So if the first trick is a frontside spin, then the other trick that would count for points must be a backside spin.

Ski jumping

No handsies! It’s awesome to watch ski jumpers fly through the air off a giant ramp. But when they land, they are not allowed to touch the ground with their hands, even for a second! If they do, points are deducted from their score.

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