Paralympic Shooting first became a medal sport at the 1976 Toronto Games after a successful demonstration at the prior Games in Stoke Mandeville, GBR.
Shooting is divided into eight rifle and four pistol events, using both airguns and .22 caliber. The rules governing Paralympic competition are those used by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Shooting. Those rules take into account the differences that exist between disabilities allowing ambulant and wheelchair athletes to compete shoulder to shoulder. Shooting matches athletes of the same gender, or occasionally both genders, with similar disabilities, against each other, both individually and in teams.
Shooting utilizes a functional classification system, which enables athletes from different disability classes with the same abilities to compete together, both individually and in teams. Depending on the existing limitations (degree of body trunk functionality, balance while seating, muscle strength, mobility of both upper and lower limbs), and on the skills that are necessary in Shooting, athletes are divided into three classes: SH1, SH2 and SH3 (Paralympic Competition currently includes only classes SH1 and SH2). The basic difference between SH1 and SH2 is that SH2 athletes are physically unable to support the rifle and may use a special support spring stand for the rifle, which complies with the IPC specifications. SH3 athletes are visually impaired.
Paralympic shooting competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke.
Shooting classification is divided into three main classes:
SH1: Pistol and Rifle competitors that do not require a shooting stand.
SH2: Rifle competitors who have no ability to support the weight of the air rifle with their arms and therefore require a shooting stand.
SH3: Rifle competitors with visual impairment.
For additional information on eligibility, visit the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) classification web page.
For more information on U.S. Paralympics, please visit their website. For more information on Paralympic Shooting, please visit the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Shooting please visit their website.