The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has finalised the selection policy for rifle and pistol after a lot of discussion between the members of the sub-committee in the technical committee, which recommended a refined idea, keeping in mind a lot of finer points.
However, the formula will be operational only when the domestic shooters have six scores against their names, starting with the National championship conducted recently. Till then, the selection for the first two World Cups will be based on the performance of the shooters in the National championship and the two trials to be conducted shortly.
With the National scores being tabulated in old format, and the new scores to be noted in decimal format as per the new rules, in some of the events like air rifle and men’s prone events, the NRAI has made it mandatory to keep the National score and consider one of the two trial scores to arrive at a final average.
Though shooters like Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang may shoot in international competitions in Germany soon, their scores may not count towards selection at this stage. Narang did not shoot in the National championship owing to a knee injury.
From the ‘points-based ranking system’, the NRAI has moved towards ‘moving average method’ which has been further tuned to consider the current form, in terms of the average of the last two scores. The shooters will also not be able to drop the scores or performances at their will as was the case earlier.
A major aspect of the new policy is the provision to improve the score with the performance in the finals. It will be quite significant as the finalists will start from zero from this year in all events in all competitions.
For example, the gold medal will fetch three points in World Cups, Asian Games, Asian championship and the National championship, and two points for other National and International competitions. This will be apart from the merit points to be added to the final average for positions in the Olympics and World Championships, as well as performances that help a shooter clinch an Olympic quota.
The International ranking will also fetch merit points.
The new formula for selection was drafted after a lot of deliberations by seasoned shooters Deepali Deshpande, Jaspal RanaSheila Kanungo and the secretary of NRAI.
The practical application of the policy will be studied through the season, and may be fine-tuned further before the next National championship.
The points to be awarded for the world championship and Olympic quota-winning efforts have not been decided and would be done in due course. The shotgun selection policy will continue as followed before the London Games.