By Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus
Three Position Air Rifle (3PAR) shooting is the most popular youth rifle program in the US. Its massive participation base includes more than 2,000 JROTC high school programs, hundreds of shooting sports clubs, 4 -H and several hundred youth rifle clubs. An estimated 250,000 to 300,000 young Americans participate in three-position air rifle marksmanship programs annually, with most also participating in some form of competitive shooting. The main governing body for this important youth sports program is the National Three Position Air Rifle Council. The Council governs the conduct of Three Position Air Rifle competitions through its rule book, the Standard National Standards for Three Position Air Rifles.
the national standard rules they are revised and republished semi-annually. The latest version of the Rules, 14the Edition 2022-2024, has just been released. An electronic version of the new rulebook is posted on the CMP website at http://thecmp.org/air/national-standard-three-position-air-rifle-rules/. Printed copies will be available in a few weeks.
The CMP provides staff support for the National Council’s youth air rifle programs. Vicki Donoho is the Program Coordinator and serves as Secretary to the Council. You can reach her at 419-635-2141, ext. 702, or by email at [email protected].
Rule changes begin with questions and recommendations received at CMP Headquarters or received from participants in 3PAR Championships. Previous Regulation 2020-2022 was released in the fall of 2020, but a August 2021 update to these standards was issued. Feedback received during this rule cycle focused on refining existing rules. There have been no calls for major rule changes. After evaluating all comments, a new draft of the rules was prepared and distributed to Council members for their review and comment. Council members approved the publication of the new rule book.
A summary of the rule changes in this 14the 2022-2024 Edition National Standard Rules follow. Rule numbers are listed in the summary to help locate them.
Rule 3.4.3. Age Group Categories. This change defines the three age groups by dates of birth instead of by year of birth. This brings the age group definitions in line with the age group definitions now used in the ISSF, USAS and other CMP rule books.
Rule 4.2.1. Homologated Sporter air rifles. The new Crosman CH2021 is listed as a new approved Sporter Class air rifle, even though it was provisionally approved in the August 2021 update.
Rule 4.2.4 c). sports actions. Prohibits special shaping or placement of index marks (rubber bands, tape, etc.) on Sporter cheek pieces. See also Rule 4.4.8.
Rule 4.2.4 g). Sporter front turrets. Clarifies how aftermarket front end risers can be built and added to earlier model Crosman or other approved Sporter air rifles.
Rule 4.4.8. Sniper Rifle Special Features. Clarifies that sniper rifle cheek pieces cannot have any special shapes or index points added for head positioning, such as elastic bands, tape, etc.
Rule 4.7.3. terrestrial telescope. He clarifies that the telescope mounts can be placed in front of the firing line, but not in front of the firing line benches or tables.
Rule 4.7.4. rifle stand. The rifle mount rule is rewritten; clarifies that bleachers can be placed in front of the shooting line.
Rules 5.3.2 and 5.3.3. three position events. A new 3×10 or 3×20 event alternative gives competition sponsors the option of conducting competitions in the traditional prone-kneeling position order, or using the now-standard shooting position order of the ISSF/USA. USA, on your knees-face down. A statement of intent at the end of Rule 5.3.3 explains that the ISSF position order, which is now the international standard, could be adopted as the standard position order in the future if match sponsors and athletes and coaches from 3PAR have good experiences with it. .
Rule 5.3.4. Air Rifle Standing Event. The 40-shot stand-up event was dropped because all junior men’s and women’s air rifle stand-up events are now 60-shot events.
Rule 7.3.1. Pre-competition tests. Clarifies that rifles or equipment that fail pre-competition testing may be corrected and retested.
7.14. Sports Presentation and Music. Clarifies that music may be played at appropriate levels during all phases of competition events.
7.15.10 Shot denied. Establishes a new procedure for handling a disallowed shot. The Range Officials may order the firing of an additional shot which may be counted if subsequent investigation confirms that the disallowed shot was not taken by the competitor.
Rule 7.18. late arrivals. Clarifies how late arrivals to a competition will be handled.
Rule 8.1.4. inner tens. Adds a corrected definition for an internal ten on the 10m air rifle target when using VIS or EST scoring.
Rule 10.1.1. endgame options. Added note encouraging ranges that are now acquiring electronic ranges to consider running finals from scratch in their match schedules.
Appendix D. Junior EIC Awards Program. There are no changes to the EIC/Distinctive Junior Distinguished Program. The qualification rules for the popular Junior Distinguished Badge that have prevailed for the past two years will continue.
New developments in three position air rifle. The launch of this new 14the The issue of the Three Position Air Rifle Official Rulebook is also an appropriate time to share information about how this popular youth shooting discipline is changing. What are the current and future developments:
One aspect of three-position air rifle shooting has not changed. The original goal of the 3PAR Sporter Class was to bring rifle marksmanship competition to as many schools, youth clubs, and individuals as possible by providing a competition class in which no expensive equipment is required (no shooting jackets, etc.) and Airgun costs are limited (the current maximum is $650). Crosman, Daisy and Champions Choice (Air Arms) have cooperated with the Council to keep the costs of Sporter air rifles within this limit. One major advance has been the replacement of thousands of the original pneumatic pump air rifles that were so effective in starting this program with Sporter Class air rifles. The new 2021 Crosman CH is the latest example of this change.
Visual Image Scoring (VIS, Orion) has revolutionized the way 3PAR targets are scored. The Council/CMP has sanctioned 233 parties so far in 2022; 151 of those matches were scored with Orion, 82 were on electronic dartboards, and only one was scored manually (with scoreboards and meters). Marking targets by hand is a thing of the past.
Electronic targets are being installed in more and more 3PAR ranges and are making 3PAR competitions more exciting for the participants. They are also making shooting a true spectator sport. All 3PAR National Championships are now held on electronic targets at fields at Camp Perry, Anniston, CMP Mobile Range, the Olympic Training Center, or Fort Benning. Until two years ago, when the affordable Athena electronic targets were introduced, only a few youth air rifle programs had electronic targets. Designed and manufactured in America, Athena targets have already made the benefits of electronic targets available to 250 10-meter ranges throughout the US Electronic targets with their instantaneous and accurate display of scores and rankings are the future of junior target shooting.
The rapidly expanding availability of electronic dartboards also means that more 3PAR individual competitions are now being decided in exciting finals from the ground up. The CMP used three-position finishes starting from scratch to decide individual awards in the 2022 Junior Olympic and CMP National Three-Position Air Rifle Championships. The responses from athletes, coaches, parents, and spectators were overwhelmingly positive.
The changes that are taking place in youth shooting with a 3-position air rifle are especially important in a sport that attracts young people. Using technology, doing more to make shooting a spectator sport, and staying abreast of the changes that are occurring in the sport around the world are all part of keeping this popular youth sport discipline growing and responding to the interests of today’s youth. .
Anyone with questions about any three-position rule or program should contact Vicki Donoho at [email protected] or 419-635-2141, ext. 702. If you have not already downloaded your copy of the 2022-2024 rulebook, you can do so at http://thecmp.org/air/national-standard-three-position-air-rifle-rules/.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearms safety and marksmanship training and the promotion of marksmanship competition for United States citizens. To learn more about the CMP and its programs, log on to www.TheCMP.org.