An Introduction To Olympic Shooting

If you're feeling inspired by Olympic shooting or a local shooting event and want to get involved, check out this quick guide.

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Our introduction to Olympic shooting will tell you everything you need to know to get started in the sport, including the rules and what kind of equipment you'll need.

Shooting is a sport that requires good physical and psychological conditioning. As shooters strive to achieve technical perfection, a steady hand and nerves of steel are a must for success. At elite level, Olympic shooting competitors have normally put in many years of practice and training to reach the exceptionally high standard required for competition shooting.

However, competition aside, shooting is a sport that is open to people of all ages and it is not unusual to find talented teenagers competing against people old enough to be their grandparents at some local events.

History of the sport

Shooting has been contested at most of the Olympic Games, appearing first in 1896. Women were first allowed to compete alongside men in Olympic shooting in 1968 and in later years, separate women’s events were introduced. In addition, several of the events on the program remained mixed – open to both men and women.

By 1996 in Atlanta, the shooting program was segregated, with men’s events being completely separated from the women’s.

The events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China contained just 15 of the Olympic Shooting Sport disciplines, instead of the previous 17. The 10m Running Target Men and Double Trap Women were omitted from the program and will not be continued at future Olympic Games.

The remaining 15 Olympic shooting events are divided into three main groups:

  • Shotgun
  • Rifle
  • Pistol

The shotgun events see competitors shoot at clay targets propelled in different directions and the rifle and pistol events are held on shooting ranges with competitors aiming at targets from distances of 10m, 25m and 50m.

Picture Credit: A.RICARDO /