Shooting Para Sport is a Paralympic sport consisting of shooting sports for athletes with physical disabilities. The sport originated after World War II, when wounded soldiers started shooting as part of their rehabilitation. Since then, it has grown into an international sport practised by athletes from all over the world.
There are different types of shooting sports within Shooting Para Sport. In all disciplines, the aim is to shoot as accurately as possible at a target. Athletes shoot from different positions and at different distances, depending on the discipline.
Sport shooters with a physical disability can practise all regular shooting sport disciplines (Rifle, Pistol, Clay Pigeons), with the exception of visually impaired for whom only the 10-metre Air Rifle discipline is possible. To participate in competitions as a sports shooter with a physical disability, it is necessary to be classified. Besides being classified by category (Men, Women, Mixed, etc.), in Shooting Para Sport, sport shooters are also classified according to their physical disability in different classifications.
At the European Para Championships, shooting will take place exclusively with Air Guns (10-metre Air Rifle standing and lying and 10-metre Air Pistol), for which the following classifications apply:
- Classification SH1 Pistol/Gun is characterised by the athletes/sport shooters shooting freehand (without gun support).
- Classification SH2 Rifle is characterised by the fact that the athletes/sport shooters do use weapon support. Also, SH2 Rifle shooters may use an assistant when they cannot set or load their rifle independently.
- Classification SH3 (SH-VI) is for visually impaired athletes/sport shooters and they only shoot the discipline 10-metre Air Rifle (standing and lying down) and may also use an assistant. Sport shooters with this classification fire based on sound produced by a special ‘scope’ on the rifle. This scope records the position on the target during aiming and converts it to sound heard by the sport shooter through headphones. The higher the beep’s pitch, the closer the shooter is aiming to the ten.
A shooting sports discipline is determined by the type of weapon, stance and shooting distance, among other things.
- The standing stance Rifle (disciplines R1, R2, R4 during the European Para Championships) can be shot either standing or sitting.
- The reclining stance Rifle (disciplines R3, R5 during the European Para Championships) is shot sitting down.
- Pistol (disciplines P1 and P2) is shot in the standing position, and can be shot either standing or sitting.