The ISSF recognizes shooting sport events in four disciplines:
- Running Target
In 2013, a new discipline called “ISSF Target Sprint” has been introduced. ISSF Target Sprint is a combination of Air Rifle shooting at falling targets and mid-distance running.
All events can be conducted as individual and team events (three members per teams) for men, women, men junior and women junior.
Competition: In all the Rifle events, competitors earn points by shooting at a 10-ring target.
Olympic Rifle events consist of a Qualification phase from which the top-eight shooters qualify to the Final phase.
No qualification score is carried forward: all Finals start from zero.
All Rifle finals are knock-out style: after a given number of shots in the Finals (depending on the event), the shooter with the lowest score has to leave the match, while the others continue to shoot, and so forth until the medals are assigned.
Distances: ISSF Rifle competitions include 10 meters, 50 meters and 300 meters Olympic and non-Olympic events.
Positions: Shooters fire from standing, kneeling and prone positions, depending on the event and on the stage of the competition. In the standing position, the rifle is held with both hands and rests on the shoulder, and the left arm may be supported on the chest or hip. When kneeling, the right-handed shooter may touch the ground with the toe of the right foot, the right knee and the left foot. In the prone position, a shooter cannot let the rifle rest against, or touch, any object. The right-handed shooter's left forearm must form an angle of at least 30 degrees from the horizontal.
Rifle Sights: Only "metallic" sights are permitted, which have no lenses or system of lenses. Color filters are permitted and the rear sight has fine adjustments for windage and elevation.
Competition: Olympic Pistol events consist of a Qualification phase from which the top six or top eight shooters (depending on the event) qualify to the Final phase. No qualification score is carried forward: all finals start from zero.
The Finals of 10m Air Pistol Men and Women, 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men and 50m Pistol Men events are knock-out style: after a given number of shots (depending on the event), the athlete with the lowest score has to leave the match, while the others continue to shoot, and so forth until the medals are assigned.
The Finals of the 25m Pistol Women event consists in a Semi-Final and two Medal-Matches.
During 25m Pistol Women and 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men finals, targets are set to record “Hit or Miss” scores, the size of the hit zone being within the 9.7-point zone. All other pistol events are scored on 10-ring targets.
Distances: ISSF Pistol competitions include 10 meters, 25 meters and 50 meters Olympic and non-Olympic events.
Positions: Pistol shooters use a standing position and must hold and fire the gun with one hand, with the wrist clearly free of support.
Pistol sights: Only "open" sights are permitted. The open sights consist of a post or blade sight at the front and the notch at the rear. Optical, mirror, telescope, laser beam or electronically projected dot, sights are prohibited. The rear sight usually has fine adjustments for windage and elevation.
Competition: In the Running Target events, competitors shoot at a moving target. The event involves a "slow run" and a "fast run" stage. A third event will be shot as “mixed” event.
Distances: ISSF Running Target competitions include 10 meters and 50 meters events. All Running Target events are non-Olympic.
Position: The shooter stand unsupported and shoots in a standing position, starting with his rifle at hip level and raising it only after the target appears.
Sights: No optical sights are permitted.
Competition: In all three Shotgun events (Trap, Double Trap and Skeet) the shooters, drawn in Squads of 6, must stand on designated shooting stations to shoot at clay targets which are released on or after the shooter’s command. A “HIT” is declared when the target is shot at according to the rules and at least one visible piece is seen by the Referee to fall from it.
For Olympic events, Shotgun competitions are divided in Qualification, Semi-Finals and Medal Matches.
The top-six athletes after the Qualification advance to the Semi-Final.
The top-two athletes after the Semi-Final compete in the Gold medal match.The 3rd and 4th ranked athletes after the Semi-Final compete in the Bronze medal match.
Shotguns and cartridges: Shotguns must be smooth bored. They are invariably 12-gauge and of the single trigger “over-under” type (one barrel above the other) and fire cartridges loaded with pellets. The weight of the pellet load must not exceed 24.5g and each pellet must not exceed 2.6 mm diameter. Guns and cartridges are subject to official checks during the shooting program. The maximum effective range of such a clay target shotgun is considered to be about 50m. Modern shooting ranges provide lead-recoil infrastructure and technologies.
Clay targets: The flying clay target is about 110mm (4 inches) in diameter and about 25mm (1 inch) in height. Modern targets are actually not made of clay but is a mixture of ecological materials. It is bright orange for better sighting and the targets used in Semi-Final and Medal Matches also contain a powder that is more easily seen by spectators and on television when the target is hit (these clays are called “flash target”).
Clay target launching machines: These are called “traps”. They are sophisticated automatic machines that are capable of throwing a clay target the trajectories and distances required for each event. The target is released from the trap (Double Trap and Trap) or from the houses (Skeet) via a microphone system that responds to the call of the shooter.