Sport logo.

Articles: Shooting


Shooting is an Olympic sport during which contestants use firearms to hit targets. The sport is categorized by the type of firearm used; pistol, rifle, or shotgun, as well as the distance at which the targets are placed.

The sport can trace its origins back to 1860 in the United Kingdom, with the formation of the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom. In the United States, it origins are traced back to 1870 and the formation of the National Rifle Association. The first shooting range was established in New York at Creedmoor in 1872. The sport became very quickly popular and was inducted in the first Olympics with five events. This is due to the fact that Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics, was a renowned pistol champion. Shooting always holds the honor of being the first event to be awarded medals at the Olympic Games.

The modern sport is popular worldwide and is considered one of the fastest growing sports. It is popular across Europe, North America, and the Middle East. It is particularly popular in China, the USA, and Germany. Due to different firearm restrictions in various countries, there are multiple versions of the many shooting disciplines designed to accommodate local legislation.

The sport of shooting

Shooting is played by both men and women of all ages, and there are international competitions for various age groups in almost all the disciplines. Whilst there are many weapons and disciplines used in shooting, there are only a few that are in the main stay of international sport shooting and included in the Olympics. These are the pistol, the rifle and the shotgun. Most rifles and pistols used in sport shooting look quite dissimilar to what the general public precise a weapon looks like, since they are not considered weapons but precision completion tools.

Shooting is conducted both indoors and outdoors on various ranges; the length of the range varies depending on the weapon being used, with pistol competitions having ranges as short as 10 meters, and rifle shooting having ranges up to 300 meters long. Additionally, for shotgun competition, there is a clay pigeon launching device which fires clay disks into the air for the shooters to use as targets.

Shooters tend to wear trousers and a jacket that is padded around the elbows and shoulders to protect the shooter form the extra wear and tear of using the firearm. Additionally, shooters may opt to wear gloves to steady their grip on the weapon.

Shooting targets are circular with several concentric coloured rings. They vary in size depending on the type of competition. The sport of shooting is generally officiated by several referees, with each referee being in charge of one lane in a shooting range for an allotted time period.

Beginning of play

Shooters are given a time slot drawn by lots; a shooter heads to his lane in the range and then has a specific time frame to make his allocated shots. Both the time and number of shots executed by the shooter are dependent on the type of competition.

Game flow and tactics

Shooting competition has very limited tactical flow, since shooters will always go out and try and achieve the best score they can. Most coaching is based around the psychological of helping the shooter get in “the Zone”, and the technical advice in terms of wind and other environmental conditions.

Shooting competitions

The pinnacle of shooting competitions is the Olympic Games held every four years; besides that, there are several world cup events held around the world that culminate with the annual World Cup. All these competitions are precision shooting competitions, and are governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) which was founded 1907.

Most ISSF shooting tournaments have a qualification round, in which the shooters aim to qualify for the final match round. The final match round is between as many shooters as the range can handle and the winner of the round is the winner of the tournament. In Olympic sanctioned shooting events, there is a final round with the top eight shooters shooting again to decide the winner. There are no ties in shooting, and in the case of a tie, a shoot off between both players occurs. The exact number of shots is dependent on the type of event being contested.

Most professional shooters are sponsored through their national associations, although some shoot other types of firearms to compete in lucrative competitions. There is no set route for becoming a professional shooter, it is merely an issue of practice and participation in tournaments until the individual is winning and placing regularly.

Betting on shooting

The market for betting on shooting is generally restricted to the major shooting tournaments. Most bets on shooting tend to be straight up bets on competition winners, although there is some minor betting on total points scored.