Numerous opportunities exist for young people interested in pistol shooting sports. The Olympic events include Men’s and Women’s Air Pistol and Smallbore (.22), Men’s Free and Rapid Fire Pistol events as well as the Women’s Sport Pistol event. The junior event created to lead to these events is called Junior Progressive Position Air Pistol (PPP). USA Shooting and the National Rifle Association both support this event and hold a jointly sponsored National Junior Progressive Position Air Pistol Championship annually.
PPP is a great introduction to shooting sports as equipment, particularly the ammunition, is cleaner, quieter and inexpensive. Temporary ranges can easily be set up in any large area (for instance a gym), as these guns do not require a permanent backstop or special ventilation system. The firing distance is only 10 meters (just under 33 feet). The rules provide for a logical progression in positions from fully supported with the pistol fully resting on a table and using both hands, up to the International one-handed position. By providing appropriate support for developmental level young athletes, they can experience early success while learning proper technique.
The PPP program is designed and intended to be a developmental vehicle that allows junior athletes the opportunity to learn the foundation skills of shooting sports and have the opportunity to participate in competitions. This provides the opportunity for the development of confidence and knowledge at an early age with a minimal investment. There are three positions in this program: the basic supported position, standing supported position, and the International position. The supported positions should be used as transitional tools along the path of athletic development while the athlete develops the upper body strength and skill level needed to shoot in the unsupported standing position which is the foundation of all international and conventional shooting sports. The rules of the first position are written very broadly, so coaches can progress athletes incrementally within the position without being forced to go to the next position before they are ready.
Supported positions are not intended as an end in themselves. Coaches should encourage their athletes to progress to the standing supported position and then to the one-handed standing position as they become proficient with basic skills and their hands are large and strong enough to do so safely.
Basic supported position- an athlete may be seated or standing, with 1 or 2 hands on the grip. Athletes are encouraged to progress to a one-handed position as soon as they may safely do so considering the size of the grip and weight of the pistol. The grip (and hands) may be rested on a firm support or a counterbalanced T-stand. If a firm support is used, the shooter may rest any part of either or both hands and the butt of the pistol on the supporting material. The firm support should be designed to provide an erect position with proper sight alignment and an extended arm. If the T stand is used, the support point may be anywhere between the elbow and muzzle. The competitor’s shooting arm should be fully extended with the sights at eye level. The non-firing hand may provide support for the firing hand or the butt of the pistol. The maximum age is 13.
Standing Supported- an athlete must be standing with one hand on the grip. A T-stand may provide counterbalance support between the elbow and muzzle. The athlete’s shooting arm must be fully extended, with the sights at eye level. There is no official minimum age, however, a club or other governing body may establish a minimum age within its jurisdiction. The maximum age is 15.
International- an athlete must shoot standing, unsupported with one hand on the grip. The suggested minimum age is 13.
Men shoot (3x20) - 3 targets 20 shots & Women shoot (2x20) - 2 targets 20 shoots
Teams consist of three members of either or both sexes. Teams may be broken into the following categories:
Supported Position Teams- consist entirely of members who are in the supported categories.
Mixed Position Teams- must have one member who shoots in a supported category. The other two members must shoot in the International category.
Unsupported Position Teams- are composed entirely of members who shoot from the International position.
Electronic or paper targets may be used - Authorized paper targets will have the logo of the ISSF, USA Shooting, or the NRA printed on them. If paper targets are used, either B-40 (single bull) or B-40/4 (four bull) targets may be used.
Target Heights - seated 36” & standing 55” to center of paper.