The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has made drastic changes to the competition format in the next Olympic cycle from 2013 to 2016. It has announced that all finals would start from zero and end in a duel for the gold,
The changes, which were viewed with great concern by the leading shooters around the world when the proposal was made, were “unanimously approved” by the ISSF Administrative Council recently, according to a release from the ISSF.
For the London Games, only the men’s rapid fire pistol event had the format in which the top six shooters made the final and started from zero in a hit or miss knockout drill. Now, all the Olympic events will have a similar format with some changes.
The qualification scores will not be added any more to decide the final positions.
In men’s double trap, there will be five preliminary rounds of 30 birds each, instead of three rounds of 50 birds each. In skeet, the target throwing distance will be increased by two metres to 68, and the two station-4 doubles will be shot after station-7 to ensure higher degree of difficulty towards the end.
In air rifle for both men and women, as well as 50-metre rifle prone event for men, it has been decided to have decimal scoring in qualification on a test basis in the World Cups for 2013.
A decision will then be made about continuing with decimal scoring for these events, or about having decimal scoring in qualification for all 10-metre and 50-metre events. Each shot will have a maximum of 10.9 points instead of 10, which was only used for the finals so far.
In the 50-metre 3-position event, the order has been revised to kneeling-prone-standing instead of prone-standing-kneeling.
The final will also be shot over all the three positions, instead of only standing as was the case so far.
“Change is necessary, to keep our sport on top. And with the new finals we made an important step forward to keep that leading position,” said the ISSF president, Olegario Vazquez Rana.
Hit or miss scoring
Quite significantly, the 25m pistol events for men and women will use the “hit or miss” scoring to “encourage more spontaneous spectator reactions.” To further avoid confusion for the spectators, the ‘preparation and sighting period’ will be for the 15 minutes before the actual competition.
Earlier, the shooters could continue with ‘sighters’ even during the regular competition period, and had to just press a button on the computer to start their competition shots.
There will also be many changes in the rules regarding rifle clothing and equipment. The objective was to limit the use of performance-enhancing clothing and equipment while maximising the tests of skill, training and performance. And also to keep the competition conditions as equal as possible for all rifle shooters. The ISSF had felt that the development of rifle clothing, equipment and accessories had reached dangerous proportions in terms of performance-enhancing capabilities.