A uniform style of competition in the knock-out phase will be enforced for the next Olympic cycle as per the rule changes announced by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).

The new rules, which were introduced in discussions in November 2015 and debated till approved in June 2016 by the ISSF Council, will be effective from January 1, 2017.

The air rifle events will have 24-shot final instead of 20, as the two sets of three shots at the start have been increased to five each. The time limit will be 250 seconds for the five shots in air rifle, and 150 seconds for the rifle prone event. In the women’s 25-metre sports pistol, there will not be any semifinal. Like the men’s 25-metre rapid fire pistol, the top eight from the qualification phase will compete in a format of progressive elimination after four sets of five-shot series.

There will not be any semifinals in the shotgun competition any more. Instead, all the trap finalists will shoot 25 targets, and the elimination will be after 25, 30, 35, 40 and 50 targets in identifying the gold medallist.

The double trap finalists will shoot 15 doubles and the elimination will take place after 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 doubles. The skeet final will be based on 10-target sequence spread over the third, fourth and fifth stations. The eliminations will happen at 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 targets. Before the last cycle, the finals used to be over 25 birds for trap and skeet, while double trap used to be 50 birds.

Eco friendly

In a drive towards paperless operation, the organisers would be encouraged to use wireless communication to provide start lists, results etc. to all the teams, shooters and electronic display systems.

All finals will feature music and commentary. The ISSF has also advised the use of music during the elimination and qualification phase of the competition, wherever possible.

The use of biodegradable eco-friendly clay targets will be encouraged in all ISSF competitions and will be a mandatory requirement for the World Championships and the Olympics.

Shooters will not be allowed the use of mobile phones, hand-held, or wrist-worn, when they are on the firing points or shooting stations. The new rules will allow non-verbal coaching in all events.

All the shooters will be allowed the use of front blinder with a specification of 30 mm maximum width. However, only shotgun shooters will be permitted to wear side blinders of 60 mm maximum depth. The rifle and pistol shooters will no longer wear side blinders.

The rifle clothing rules will remain unchanged, with the strict no-tolerance, post competition testing for stiffness and thickness.