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Wheelchair/Para Shooting

international paralympic committee logoa Summer Games Paralympic Sport

Paralympic shooting, also known as shooting Para sport, is an adaptation of shooting sports for competitors with disabilities. Shooting is a test of accuracy and control, in which competitors use pistols or rifles to fire a series of shots at a stationary target. Each shot is worth a maximum score of 10.9 points. Athletes use .22 caliber rifles, pistols and .177 caliber air guns (compressed air or pneumatic).

Competitions are open to all athletes with a physical disability. Shooting utilizes a functional classification system, which enables wheelchair users and ambulant athletes from different disability classes to compete together either individually or in teams.

Athletes compete in rifle and pistol events from distances of 10, 25 and 50 meters, in men’s, women’s and mixed competitions. Of the 12 Paralympic Shooting events, six are open to both women and men, three are open to women only and three are open to men only.

The sport is governed by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and co-ordinated by the World Shooting Para Sport Technical Committee following the modified rules of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). These rules consider the differences that exist between shooting for the able-bodied and shooting for persons with a disability.

In November 2016, IPC changed the official name of the sport to “shooting Para sport”, and renamed the coordinating committee from “IPC Shooting Sport Technical Committee” to reflect this change.

History of the Sport:

Paralympic shooting first appeared in the Summer Paralympics at the 1976 Toronto Games.

The IPC World Cups held mostly in Europe and North America are well attended Paralympic Games qualifiers. The ASIAN Para Games, formerly known as the FESPIC Games and the Jikji Cup Asian Open Championships in Korea are the main Paralympic shooting events in Asia.

Rules – How to Play the Sport:

Classification system
Only SH1 and SH2 classes are represented in the Paralympic Games, based on World Shooting Para Sport Classification Rules and Regulations.

  • SH1 – Shooters able to support a firearm without a stand
  • SH2 – Shooters requiring a firearm support to shoot
  • SH3 – Blind Shooters (sights seek sound-emitting targets)

Sub-classifications A, B and C define wheelchair backrest height depending on back and pelvic strength per athlete.

Equipment adaptations
Disabled shooters use the same firearms and clothing as able-bodied shooters. Adaptations are equipment specific :

  • Separate shooting table for ambulant competitors or integrated table for wheelchair users in prone or 3-position events.
  • Shooting chair for ambulant competitors or wheelchair for users in prone or 3-position events.
  • Shooting jacket shortened for seated competitors – jacket edge terminate atop shooters’ thighs when seated.
  • Rifle stand with spring tension dependent SH2 shooter’s degree of ability to support a rifle.

The World Shooting Para Sport rules are adapted partially from ISSF rules. In 10m Air Rifle Prone and .22 Rifle Prone, slings are required for SH1 shooters while SH2 shooters are not allowed to use a sling. Ambulant and wheelchair users have very specific equipment instructions in the World Shooting Para Sport rulebook.

Rifle events
Both SH1 and SH2 class shooters use the following positions depending on event, with the 3-position (Standing, Kneeling, Prone) involving all three.

  • Standing (standing or seated, shooting table support not allowed)
  • Kneeling (Seated, single elbow support on shooting table plus use of a sling)
  • Prone (Seated or prone, both elbows supported atop a shooting table plus use of a sling)

The Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) for Regional and World Championships (MQS, 2012 LON Paralympic Games).

SH1 Class

Event Discipline Gender MQS
R1 10m Air Rifle Standing Men 545
R2 10m Air Rifle Standing Women 355
R3 10m Air Rifle Prone Mixed 575
R6 50m Rifle Prone Mixed 560
R7 50m Rifle 3-position 3×40 Men 1060
R8 50m Rifle 3-position 3×20 Women 525

SH2 Class

Event Discipline Gender MQS
R4 10m Air Rifle Standing Mixed 570
R5 10m Air Rifle Prone Mixed 575
R9 50m Prone Rifle Mixed 560

Pistol events
The Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) for Regional and World Championships (MQS, 2012 LON Paralympic Games).

SH1 Class

Event Discipline Gender
P1 10m Air Pistol Men 535
P2 10m Air Pistol Women 340
P3 25m Pistol Mixed 530
P4 50m Pistol Mixed 490
P5 10m Air Pistol Standard Mixed 310

Competitions consist of “Co-ed” or “Mixed” male and female shooters competing together in certain events. Shooting is conducted in 2 stages: Qualification and Finals. In the 2013-2016 ISSF Rules, Air Rifle Prone (R3) and .22 Rifle Prone (R6) competitors for example, have unlimited sighters 15 minutes before the 60 competition shots due within 50 minutes. The new Finals are also conducted with the top 8 shooters starting from zero, with a focus on the decimal duel to clearly determine medal winners.

Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS)[3] prescribed by the Paralympic Games host country are participation criteria required for IPC recognized shooting competitions such as Regional and World Championships. Competitions are conducted under IPC Shooting/ISSF Rules and Regulations and IPC Shooting Classification Rules and Regulations.

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