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New rifle clothing rules 

Jan 14. ISSF Rifle Clothing Commission Announces New Rifle Clothing Rule Enforcement Measures for 2011/2012

The ISSF Special Commission on Rifle Shooter Clothing met in Munich, Germany on the 8-9 December 2010, where it developed a series of rule interpretations regarding rifle shooter clothing that will be enforced in 2011 and 2012. The Commission, which was established by the ISSF Administrative Council in 2004 to guide the development and interpretation of ISSF rules regarding rifle clothing issues, is a diverse 14-member body that includes athlete, coach and industry representatives as well as members of the ISSF Executive Committee, Administrative Council and Rifle Committee. ISSF Vice President Gary Anderson, who is a former Olympic and World rifle champion, chairs the Commission.

Anderson said, “our meetings in Munich were extraordinarily successful in developing a series of rule interpretations where athletes, coaches and ISSF officials were all in agreement. With these agreements, we now have a plan of action that will allow the ISSF to enforce existing rifle clothing rules more strictly and uniformly without having to press forward with rule changes that mandate increased clothing restrictions.”

The meeting concluded with all members of the Commission agreeing on a list of “Rule Interpretation and Enforcement Measures for 2011/2012.” This list subsequently received full approval from the ISSF Rifle Committee when it met in Munich on 12 December. With the established authority of the Rifle Clothing Commission and Rifle Committee to issue rule interpretations and enforcement procedures for existing rules, the ISSF announces that the following rule interpretations will be enforced in all 2011 competitions that are governed by ISSF Rules, including all 2011 ISSF World Cups and 2011 Continental Championships. During the IWK International Air Weapons Competition in Munich in January, testing will be done according to these standards and athletes whose jackets or trousers will not meet the new requirements will be informed.

1. During Equipment Control jacket and trouser stiffness testing, both before competitions and in post-competition checks, all clothing panels must measure 3.0mm or higher in flexibility within 60 seconds. No measurements below 3.0mm will be accepted.

2. 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. It is the responsibility of the competitor to use clothing that has sufficient tolerance in its stiffness and thickness measurements so that it will not fail even if it changes slightly during the competition. Shooters who try to use jackets and trousers that measure at or near the maximum stiffness of 3.0mm need to make sure their clothing is somewhat more flexible since no stiffness measurement or tolerance below 3.0mm is acceptable.

4. In Equipment Control stiffness testing, every part (panel) of the jacket or trousers must be capable of being measured with the 60mm measuring cylinder. If a part of the jacket or trousers is too small for normal testing (if there is no flat area 60mm or larger), testing must be done over the seams.

5. The ISSF considers the placement of names, national flags or symbols and sponsor signs on shooting clothing as positive and desirable. However, these markings cannot be used to increase the clothing stiffness or to prevent the measurement of clothing panels. Stiffness and thickness tests will ordinarily not be done over these markings, but if the panel where the letters or markings are located does not provide a flat 60mm or larger area to measure, stiffness testing will be done over the letters or markings.

6. The top of trousers seat pads must be at least 150mm below the top of the trousers waistband. Stiffness may be measured over the seat pad if necessary. This requirement replaces the test that was used in 2010 where the height of the seat pad was measured while shooters were seated with their trousers closed.

7. All rifle shooters must walk normally while wearing their shooting shoes and trousers anywhere on the range. Normal walking means heel down first—then heel up (the heel lift off of the floor must be visible) before lifting the toe. Normal walking also means bending the legs at the knees while walking. ISSF Juries will enforce this test for the flexibility of the shooting shoes and trousers by giving a warning for the first offence, a 2-point penalty for the second offence and disqualification for the third offence on any competition day.

8. Shooting trousers may have a maximum of 7 belt loops, but there must be at least 80mm of space between all belt loops.

9. Kinesio and medical taping are contrary to ISSF rules (Rule 6.4.2.1.1) and are not permitted. Post competition testing will now require selected shooters to undress to confirm that they are not using banned taping.

10. Shooters’ underclothing will also be checked for compliance with the 2.5mm thickness restriction as part of the post-competition testing.

11. Post-competition testing will require escorts to ensure that selected shooters have no opportunity to change or remove clothing. Judges who are women will be available to do the post-competition checks on women athletes for taping and underclothing.

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 tolerance must now be in the shooters’ clothing, not in the measurements. The small percentage of rifle shooters who have persisted in walking stiff legged and flatfooted 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.

The Commission is concerned that shooting boot soles and shooting gloves are becoming stiffer and less flexible and that some of these clothing items are not in compliance with ISSF Rules (7.4.6.2 and 7.4.6.3.2) that require them to be “flexible.” The walking test will be enforced in 2011 as one means of ensuring that boot soles are more flexible, but the Commission is also seeking new methods of measuring these items to more accurately check their flexibility.

Several other rule change proposals were discussed during the meeting and the Commission agreed on some rule change proposals that could go into effect starting in 2013. These were forwarded to the ISSF Rifle Committee for their consideration. The Commission emphasized that the major emphasis in 2011 and 2012 must be on stricter enforcement of existing rules. The ISSF will release additional information in a continuing effort to educate all athletes, trainers and judges regarding these stricter rule enforcement measures that will be applied starting with the first World Cups in 2011. indianshooting.com

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