ISSF gets strict on Thick Shooting Clothing

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) is multinational organization that governs international shooting sports and while far from the only such organization, it is the one that is a member of the International Olympic Committee and so it is in charge of the Olympic shooting events.  The ISSF is truly at the forefront of shooting diplomacy and is made up of an impressive array of international members and leadership.

For 2011, the ISSF recently passed down a new set of criteria for rule interpretations regarding competition attire; stuff like shooting pants, coats, shoes, and headgear. Rules already on the books limit how stiff or thick clothing can be, but, possibly due to lax enforcement, shooting outfits have gotten gradually thicker over the years.  In response, the ISSF is adopting stricter and better defined procedures for policing clothing standards (and body taping which is now illegal).  Here is the full statement from the ISSF and an enumerated list of the rules:

ISSF Statement Concerning Shooting Clothing

The ISSF urges all National Federations to study these rule interpretations carefully to ensure that their athletes and coaches who will compete in the 2011 World Cups are prepared for them. For rifle shooters whose shooting jackets, trousers and boots were in full compliance with ISSF Rules during 2010 competitions, these rule interpretations should not require them to make any significant changes.

For shooters who try to use jackets and trousers that measure at or near the maximum stiffness of 3.0mm, they will need to make sure their clothing is somewhat more flexible since stiffness measurements below 3.0mm and thickness measurements greater than 2.5mm are not acceptable. The small percentage of rifle shooters who have persisted in walking stiff-legged and flat-footed must learn to walk normally when they wear their trousers and boots. Competitors with any clothing item that has small panels or large pads that make it impossible to find a 60mm area to measure stiffness must be aware that measurements of those panels will now be made over the pads, seams or letters if necessary. Any athletes who may have tried taping techniques need to know that this is illegal and will be checked.

ISSF Clothing Standards:

1. Stiffness Rule — Jackets and trousers will be tested for stiffness both before competitions and after matches. The amount of flexibility must measure 3.0mm or higher in 60 sec. Clothing with stiffness factors below 3.0 will be rejected.

2. Thickness Rule — During Equipment Control jacket and trouser thickness testing, both before competitions and in post-competition checks, all clothing panels must measure 2.5mm or less in thickness. No measurements above 2.5mm will be accepted.

3. Trouser Limits — The top of the trousers’ seat pads must be at least 150mm below the top of the waistband/trousers. Stiffness may be measured over the seat pad if necessary. There can be a maximum of 7 belt loops with at least 80mm between belt loops.

4. Shoe Flexibility — A walking test to demonstrate the flexibility of the shooting shoes and trousers will be enforced by Juries anywhere on the range. Violators will first receive a warning, then a 2-point penalty for a second offence and disqualification for a third offence.

5. Body Support Taping Prohibited — Kinesio taping and medical taping is contrary to ISSF rules and is not permitted. Shooters will be subject to post-competition testing to ensure compliance.

6. Headgear — No part of a cap or visor may touch or contact the rifle sight or rifle.

You can learn more about the ISSF and their other new iron-fisted rules and regulations here.