Cross-country Encompasses a variety of formats for cross-country skiing races over courses of varying lengths. Races occur on homologated, groomed courses designed to support classic (in-track) and free-style events, where skate skiing may be employed.
The main competitions are the FIS Cross-Country World Cup and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships (held only in odd-numbered years), and various cross-country skiing events have been incorporated into the Winter Olympics since its inception in 1924. The discipline also incorporates: cross-country ski marathon events, sanctioned by the Worldloppet Ski Federation; cross-country ski-orienteering events, sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation; and biathlon, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Paralympic cross-country skiing and paralympic biathlon are both included in the Winter Paralympic Games.