Overview

After Rio, shooting’s international federation (ISSF) made rule and program changes that primarily aim to bring more gender equality to the sport. Three events were eliminated from the Olympic program after Rio: men’s free pistol, men’s smallbore rifle – prone position, and men’s double trap. There are three new events since Rio: mixed air pistol team, mixed air rifle team, and mixed trap team.

Shooting at the Tokyo Games includes 15 events (six for men, six for women, three for mixed teams):

  • Men’s 10m Air Rifle
  • Men’s 50m Rifle, 3 Positions
  • Men’s 10m Air Pistol
  • Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol
  • Men’s Trap
  • Men’s Skeet
  • Women’s 10m Air Rifle
  • Women’s 50m Rifle, 3 Positions
  • Women’s 10m Air Pistol
  • Women’s 25m Pistol
  • Women’s Trap
  • Women’s Skeet
  • Mixed Team 10m Air Rifle
  • Mixed Team 10m Air Pistol
  • Mixed Team Trap

In addition to these program changes, the ISSF also adjusted the numbers of shots fired in women’s shooting events so they will now be the same as in the equivalent men’s events, which previously had significantly more shots.

Each shooting event consists of a qualification round and a progressive elimination-style final round. In all events, scores from the qualification rounds are not carried over. All scores in the final begin again at zero.

Men’s/Women’s Air Pistol

  • Shots are fired at a target 10 meters away: 60 shots within a time limit of 75 minutes with unlimited sighting shots.
  • The competition in the qualification round consists of 60 shots. Six series of 10 shots will be fired at a distance of 10 meters (32 feet 9¾ inches).
  • The top eight competitors compete in a 24-shot final, beginning with two series of five shots each, with 250 seconds (4 min. 10 seconds) allowed for each series. After that, the competitors shoot 14 single shots in a row, with 50 seconds allowed for each. After all finalists have fired 12 shots, the lowest-ranking competitor is eliminated every two shots from this point. This continues every two shots until the gold and silver medals are decided, as follows:
    • After 12 shots – 8th place
    • After 14 shots – 7th place
    • After 16 shots – 6th place
    • After 18 shots – 5th place
    • After 20 shots – 4th place
    • After 22 shots – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
    • After 24 shots – 2nd and 1st places (silver and gold medal winners decided)
  • In the event of tied scores between the bottom two competitors after an elimination shot, the tied athletes will participate in a shoot-off. The competitors will shoot tie-breaking single shots until the tie is broken.

Men’s/Women’s Air Rifle

  • Shots are fired standing at a target 10 meter (32 feet 9¾ inches) away, using an air rifle target with 10 rings. The one-ring diameter is 46 millimeters (1.84 inches), the 10-point center ring is just .5 millimeters (.02 inches) across.
  • In the qualification round, the competitors fire 60 shots. The time limit is one hour and 15 minutes. All firing is done from the standing position.
  • The top eight competitors compete in a 24-shot final, beginning with two series of five shots each, with 250 seconds (4 min. 10 seconds) allowed for each series. After that, the competitors shoot 14 single shots in a row, with 50 seconds allowed for each. After all finalists have fired 12 shots, the lowest-ranking competitor is eliminated every two shots from this point. This continues every two shots until the gold and silver medals are decided, as follows:
    • After 12 shots – 8th place
    • After 14 shots – 7th place
    • After 16 shots – 6th place
    • After 18 shots – 5th place
    • After 20 shots – 4th place
    • After 22 shots – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
    • After 24 shots – 2nd and 1st places (silver and gold medal winners decided)
  • In the event of tied scores between the bottom two competitors after an elimination shot, the tied athletes will participate in a shoot-off. The competitors will shoot tie-breaking single shots until the tie is broken.

Men’s/Women’s Smallbore Rifle, Three Positions

  • The 50 meter or smallbore rifle (three positions) competition will be fired at a distance of 50 meters (164 feet), using international 10-ring targets where the 10-ring is 10.4 millimeters (.4 inches) — about the size of an aspirin. This event is fired in three positions: prone, standing and kneeling. For the qualification round, four series of 10 shots will be fired in each position. Time limit for all 120 shots is 2 hours, 45 minutes.
  • The top eight competitors compete in a 45-shot final, beginning with three series of five shots each from the kneeling position, with 200 seconds allowed for each series. After that, the competitors shoot three series of five shots each from the prone position, with 150 seconds allowed per series, followed by two series of five shots each from the standing position with 250 seconds allowed per series. The two competitors with the lowest scores are eliminated at this point (8th and 7th place).
  • The final continues with five single shots from the standing position (50 seconds allowed per shot), with the lowest-ranking shooter being eliminated after each shot until two athletes remain to fire the last shot to decide the gold medal winner, as follows:
    • After 41 shots – 6th place
    • After 42 shots – 5th place
    • After 43 shots – 4th place
    • After 44 shots – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
    • After 45 shots – 2nd and 1st places (silver and gold medal winners decided)
  • In the event of tied scores between the bottom two competitors after an elimination shot, the tied athletes will participate in a shoot-off. The competitors will shoot tie-breaking single shots until the tie is broken.

Men’s/Women’s Skeet

  • Skeet shooting and trap shooting are similar in that shooters use a shotgun to hit clay targets that are thrown into the air, with some key differences. In skeet, the shooter knows from where the targets will be released, with only two possible release points. Also, the shotgun, a 12-gauge, must be held at the hip until the target is launched (as opposed to the “ready” position).
  • When competing, skeet shooters call for the targets. Clay targets are released from two separate “houses” at either end of a semicircular shooting range. There is a set shooting order for each round involving both single and double targets thrown from the two houses, a “low house” and a “high house.” The clay targets are thrown either singly or doubly from the two buildings. A “regular double” is when the high house releases first; in a “reverse double,” the low house releases first.
  • Skeet uses eight shooting stations: seven on the circumference of what is virtually a semicircle, and one in the middle. All scoring is hit-or-miss.
  • Between the call for a target and the release is a variable delay of up to three seconds. The shooter must hold the shotgun at hip level until the target appears, whereupon he raises the shotgun to shoulder and fires. Competitors are permitted only one shot at each target.
  • The qualification round consists of 125 targets, shot in five rounds of 25 over two days — three rounds on Day 1, two rounds on Day 2. A perfect score in the qualification round is 125. After 125 targets, the six best shooters will advance the final, where scores are reset to zero.
  • The six finalists will shoot a round of 20 shots (5 regular doubles and 5 reverse doubles) rotating on stations 3, 4, and 5. After 20 shots, the lowest-ranked finalist will be eliminated (6th place). Following that, one competitor is eliminated after each round of 10 targets as follows:
    • After 30 shots – 5th place
    • After 40 shots – 4th place
    • After 50 shots – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
  • In the event of a tie for the lowest-ranked competitor for any of the above eliminations, the athlete with the lowest qualification ranking will be eliminated.
  • When only two shooters remain, they will each shoot at 10 targets to decide the gold and silver medal.
  • If the top two finalists are tied after the final 10 targets (60 total), the athletes will participate in a shoot-off: They alternate shooting a regular double, then a reverse double, rotating on stations 3, 4 and 5, until one of the doubles breaks the tie.
  • This is a new format since Rio. Previously, the final round consisted of a semifinal followed by medal matches.

Men’s/Women’s Trap

  • Skeet shooting and trap shooting are similar in that shooters use a shotgun to hit clay targets that are thrown into the air, with some key differences. In trap, which is named after the device that fires the clay targets into the air, a bank of three traps set at different heights and angles sits within the trench in front of each shooter. The marksman does not know which of the three traps will release next.
  • Squads of six athletes move through a series of five shooting stations. At each station, with the gun held at the shoulder (“ready” position), the competitor calls “pull,” which activates one of the three trap machines at that firing point. In each round, each athlete will shoot at five targets from each of the five stations – two left, two right, one center in random order. The shooter is allowed two shots at each target. All scoring is hit-or-miss.
  • The match consists of 125 targets, shot in five rounds of 25 over two days — three rounds on Day 1, two rounds on Day 2.
  • After 125 targets, the six best shooters will advance the final. In the final, only one shot is permitted per target and scores restart at zero.
  • The six finalists will each shoot a normal round of 25 (same format as qualification round, five shots at each station), after which the lowest-ranked athlete is eliminated (6th place). Following that, one competitor is eliminated after each round of five targets (two left, two right, one center) as follows:
    • After 30 shots – 5th place
    • After 35 shots – 4th place
    • After 40 shots – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
  • In the event of a tie for the lowest-ranked competitor for any of the above eliminations, the athlete with the lowest qualification ranking will be eliminated.
  • When only two shooters remain, they will each shoot at 10 targets (4 left, 4 right, 2 center) to decide the gold and silver medal.
  • If the top two finalists are tied after the final 10 targets (50 total), the athletes will participate in a shoot-off: The athletes must line up behind Station 1 in bib number order. Starting on Station 1, they must each shoot at regular targets until the tie is broken according to the following sequence: Station 1 left target, Station 2 right target, station 3 left target, Station 4 right target, Station 5 left target, then Station 1 again (this time shooting at a right target) and so on. Only one shot is permitted at each target.
  • This is a new format since Rio. Previously, the final round consisted of a semifinal followed by medal matches.

Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol

  • In qualifying, two stages of 30 shots (six series of five shots each stage) are fired at groups of five targets 25 meters (82 feet) away. In each stage, the first two series must be completed within a time of eight seconds per five-shot series; the second two within six seconds; and the last two within four seconds.
  • Targets are placed in groups of five, with the targets spaced 75 centimeters (30 inches) apart. During the qualification round, scoring values range from six to 10. The diameter of the bull’s eye is 10 centimeters (3.94 inches). A perfect score for the qualification round is 600 points. The top six shooters make it to the final round, where they all start from a score of zero.
  • Scoring in the final is based on a “hit-or-miss” system, in which a “hit” corresponds to 9.7 points or better on the target surface. The final round consists of eight five-shot series (each series to be completed in four seconds) with elimination of the lowest scoring finalists beginning after the fourth series.
  • After all finalists have fired the fourth series, the lowest ranking shooter is eliminated (6th place). One additional athlete is eliminated after each series that follows:
    • After 5 series – 5th place
    • After 6 series – 4th place
    • After 7 series – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
    • After 8 series – 2nd and 1st places (silver and gold medal winners decided)
  • In the event of tied scores between the bottom two competitors after an elimination series, the tied athletes will participate in a shoot-off. The competitors will shoot additional 5-shot, 4-second series until the tie is broken.

Women’s Sport Pistol

  • The sport pistol competition will be fired at a distance of 25 meters (82 feet) — it is also sometimes referred to as the 25-meter pistol.
  • The qualification round has two stages, the precision and the rapid-fire. In the qualification round, 30 shots are fired in the precision stage and 30 shots in the rapid-fire stage.
  • In the precision stage, athletes have five minutes each for six series of five shots. The rapid-fire stage is six series of five shots each at a turning target that faces the shooter for three seconds and is edged for seven seconds. Shooters must fire one shot during each three-second facing sequence. This stage is fired one shot at a time and continues until the shooter has fired six five-shot series. The shooter must begin with the pistol held down at a 45-degree angle and may not raise it until the target begins to turn.
  • The top eight shooters advance to the final, in which scoring is hit-or-miss, with a “hit” being any shot that scores a 10.2 or higher on the target. The final round consists of ten five-shot rapid-fire series, with elimination of the lowest scoring finalists beginning after the fourth series.
  • After all finalists fire the fourth series, the lowest-ranking athlete is eliminated (8th place). One additional athlete is eliminated after each subsequent series:
    • After 5 series – 7th place
    • After 6 series – 6th place
    • After 7 series – 5th place
    • After 8 series – 4th place
    • After 9 series – 3rd place (bronze medal winner)
    • After 10 series – 2nd and 1st places (silver and gold medal winners decided)
  • In the event of tied scores between the bottom two competitors after an elimination series, the tied athletes will participate in a shoot-off. The competitors will shoot additional 5-shot series until the tie is broken.
  • This is a new format since Rio. Previously, the final round consisted of a semifinal followed by medal matches.

Mixed Air Pistol Team Event

  • Each team consists of one man and one woman from the same nation. The teammates will shoot next to each other. This mixed air pistol team event consists of two qualification rounds followed by gold and bronze medal matches.
  • The qualification round is scored using the “full ring” system, in which each ring of the target has a round-number value from 1 to 10, with 10 being the bullseye or “inner ten.”
  • In the first qualification round, each shooter has 30 minutes to take 30 shots, for a total of 60 shots per team. Using the “full ring” scoring system, a perfect score in this round would be 600 per team. The top eight teams advance to the second qualification round. There is a 10-minute break between the two rounds.
  • Scores reset to zero for the second qualification round, during which each shooter has 20 minutes to take 20 shots, for a total of 40 shots per team.
  • Any ties during the qualification rounds will be broken by the highest number of inner tens.
  • The top two teams from the second qualification round will advance to the gold medal match, and the next two ranked teams will advance to the bronze medal match. The bronze medal match will be shot first.
  • Medal matches use decimal scoring, meaning each ring on the target has been divided into sections that correspond with ascending decimal points – from 0.1 to 10.9.
  • In medal matches, the competing teams will line up against each other. Each team member will take one shot (total 2 shots per team) within 50 seconds for each round in the match. After each round, the team with the higher combined score (using decimal scoring) will receive two points. If there is a tie, each team receives one point for that round. The first team to 16 points wins the match.
  • If the teams reach 16 points at the same time, they will continue the same two-shot rounds until the tie is broken.

Mixed Air Rifle Team Event

  • Each team consists of one man and one woman from the same nation. The teammates will shoot next to each other, and don’t take turns – simply take the prescribed number of shots in the allowed time each round. The mixed air rifle team event consists of two qualification rounds followed by gold and bronze medal matches.
  • The qualification rounds and medal matches are scored using decimal scoring, meaning each ring on the target has been divided into sections that correspond with ascending decimal points – from 0.1 to 10.9.
  • In the first qualification round, each shooter has 30 minutes to take 30 shots, for a total of 60 shots per team. Using the “full ring” scoring system, a perfect score in this round would be 600 per team. The top eight teams advance to the second qualification round. There is a 10-minute break between the two rounds.
  • Scores reset to zero for the second qualification round, during which each shooter has 20 minutes to take 20 shots, for a total of 40 shots per team.
  • Any ties during the qualification rounds will be broken by the highest score of the last ten-shot series.
  • The top two teams from the second qualification round will advance to the gold medal match, and the next two ranked teams will advance to the bronze medal match. The bronze medal match will be shot first.
  • In medal matches, the competing teams will line up against each other. Each team member will take one shot (total 2 shots per team) within 50 seconds for each round in the match. After each round, the team with the higher combined score (using decimal scoring) will receive two points. If there is a tie, each team receives one point for that round. The first team to 16 points wins the match.
  • If the teams reach 16 points at the same time, they will continue the same two-shot rounds until the tie is broken.

Mixed Trap Team Event

  • Each team consists of one man and one woman from the same nation. The teammates will shoot next to each other, with the man shooting first and then the woman.
  • The event consists of one qualification round followed by bronze and gold medal matches.
  • In qualification, each athlete will shoot three standard rounds of 25 targets, with two shots allowed per target (like in individual trap events), for a total of 150 targets per team. Scoring is hit-or-miss with a perfect team score being 150.
  • The top two teams will advance to the gold medal match, and the following two teams will advance to the bronze medal match. If two or more teams have the same scores, rankings are decided by the combined score of the team members in the last round of targets, then by the next to the last round, etc. until the tie is broken. The bronze medal match will be shot first.
  • In the medal matches, each athlete will shoot one round of 25 targets (5 shots from each station with two right, two left, one center, as in the individual event), for a totally of 50 targets per team. Only one shot is allowed per target. The team with more “hits” wins the match.
  • If there is a tie in a medal match, the teams will participate in a sudden-death style shoot-off. Each team will designate the order in which they will shoot. The first member of the first team will get one shot at a single target, then the first member of the second team will do the same. If this doesn’t break the tie, the second members of the teams will each shoot one target. This will go on until the tie is broken

More information:

Official Tokyo site – Shooting

USA Shooting

International Federation