Hevay snowfall has forced organisers to reschedule events at the World Cup in Ruhpolding ©IBU

The start of the next leg of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup season has been pushed back to Thursday (January 17) after the administration in Traunstein confirmed a state of emergency following heavy snowfall would stay in place.

The event in Ruhpolding in Germany was due to begin with the men's 10 kilometres sprint tomorrow.

It will now be held on Thursday at the earliest following confirmation that the state of emergency would remain in place until at least tomorrow.

In a statement, the IBU said it was hopeful all races would be held as planned despite the heavy snowfall in the Upper Bavarian region.

It remains possible, however, that the event could be rescheduled again if conditions do not improve.

"The IBU together with the Ruhpolding Organising Committee are positive that all planned competitions can be held in the Chiemgau Arena in Ruhpolding," said IBU race director Borut Nunar.

"However, the competition schedule needs to be adapted due to the situation in the district of Traunstein."

Last week, the IBU had reassured athletes and spectators that the Ruhpolding World Cup leg would go ahead and praised local organisers for their "incessant work under extreme conditions" to ensure the competition was not cancelled.

The men's 10km sprint is set to be staged before the women's 7.5km race.

The event in Ruhpolding is due to run through until Sunday (January 20).