New USAS Junior Categories

The International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) has changed the way they determine junior athletes in competition and are implementing this change for the first time at the 2021 Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru. They refer to juniors as U21 (under 21) based on an athlete’s age on the opening day of a competition.  

This information can be found in Section 7 of the most recent version of the rulebook ( 

USA Shooting will implement this same system to include: 

U21 (under 21), formerly J1 

U18 (under 18), formerly J2 

U15 (under 15), formerly J3 

At USA Shooting matches, junior categories will be determined by a competitor’s age on the first day of record fire. For example, if the first day of record fire is March 1 and a competitor is 17 years old on March 1, the competitor is in the U18 category. If that competitor turns 18 on March 2, they are still in the U18 category because they were under 18 years old on the first day of competition. 

These new categories will be used for the 2021-2022 Junior Olympic Cycle, including 2022 National Junior Olympic Championships. When the dates for the National Junior Olympic Championships for each discipline is announced, it will include the “first day of competition” determination for the match. 

These new categories will also be in effect at 2021 Winter Airgun National Championships.  

USA Shooting welcomes this change as it provides athletes the opportunity to compete in the junior category for a longer period of time.