in sports, combinations of physical exercises in one or several types of sports, regulated by international or state sports classifications. Combined events are held to demonstrate the versatile psychophysical qualities and motor skills of sportsmen and gymnasts. The first combined events competitions, the pentathlon (running, jumping, javelin and discus throwing, and wrestling), became part of the ancient Greek Olympic games in 708 B.C.
In present-day sports classification, combined events in one type of sport are conventionally subdivided into three groups: the repeated performance of similar exercises (combined events in acrobatics, bobsledding, diving, trampolining, sailing, sleighing, and figure skating); the performance of similar exercises at different distances or from different positions (skating, archery); and the performance of different exercises under different conditions, on different apparatus, and at different distances (in track and field, gymnastics, equestrian events, water skiing, mountain skiing, parachuting, weight lifting, and all-around swimming). Combined events consisting of exercises in different types of sports are conventionally subdivided into those executed from one starting position (for example, the biathlon) and those executed from various starting positions (the skiing biathlon, the modern pentathlon, and the group of exercises called Prepared for Labor and the Defense of the USSR).
The military and military-applied combined events cultivated in the armed forces of the USSR and the organizations of the All-Union Voluntary Society for Aid to the Army, Air Force, and Navy of the USSR constitute a special group of combined events. Military combined events first appeared in a number of military units after the Civil War of 1918–20, becoming extremely widespread in the Soviet Army during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 as a means of improving the combat training of units of various sizes. Since the mid-1940’s, combined events have been included in the championship programs of military districts, and since the 1950’s in the championship programs of the Soviet armed forces and the games and championships of the Sports Committee of the Friendly Armies.
In 1964, the Military Sports Classification was introduced in the Soviet armed forces; the classification includes the triathlon (shooting, running the obstacle course, grenade throwing), the pentathlon (shooting, gymnastics, swimming, cross-country, and stunt driving), and officers’ combined events (in summer, shooting, cross-country, swimming, gymnastics; in winter, shooting, ski races, gymnastics). The mass development of technical military sports in the USSR between the 1950’s and 1970’s led to the appearance of various combined events in military sports: automobile and motorcycle, radio communications, and naval and submarine; summer military-applied triathlons and pentathlons; the small-scale biathlon; and the military relay race. As a rule, military and sports combined events include exercises from different types of sports; for example, the automobile combined event includes stunt driving, competition for economy of movement, cross-country; shooting, and grenade throwing; the naval, rowing on sea yawls, sailing races on yawls, cross-country, swimming, and shooting. All of the types of military combined events are included in the Uniform All-Union Sports Classification.
K. P. ZHAROV and L. L. CHISTYI