IPSC Practical Shooting one step closer to becoming an Olympic Sports

    Picture by Chris Jonkers

    I have a dream! A dream to compete in IPSC Practical Shooting in The Olympics before I die (better hurry!)

    This dream came one step closer, as The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was officially granted observer status by the GAISF Council when it convened recently.

    GAISF is short for Global Association of International Sports Federations.

    I know that the IPSC Executive Committee has this goal on top of their list “to do”.

    Already in 2000 the exploration began to become a member and in 2003 the first application was submitted. This was rejected in 2005 and a long path of submissions and rejections started. In 2015 the 3rd application was submitted and now, in 2019, the Observer status was granted.

    The Observer Status lasts for 2 years and can be renewed once for another 2 years period. The Status gives rights and benefits but also duties to respect – check here for more details.

    Why is this important you ask?

    First of all it gives a better overall recognition for shooting as a sport.

    It is also an important step to help competitors keep their firearms in some regions, and to bring in new shooters and “fresh blood” into the community. If your kids cannot inherit your firearms, things will come to a halt all too soon.

    For instance, the European Union and the new EU Firearms Legislation (also called The EU Gun Ban) states that there are possibilities for exemptions in the legislation for “Internationally established and Officially recognised Shooting Sport Federations”.

    Jerry Miculek at the IPSC World Shoot in 2019, Sweden.

    Below is a reference to the official news:

    The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was officially granted observer status by the GAISF Council when it convened earlier this week.

    Meeting ahead of the 2019 IF Forum, the Council discussed a number of key topics, with the applications of the two new observers high on the agenda.

    Practical shooting is a set of shooting sports where competitors must unite the three fundamental principles of precision, power and speed, aiming to score as many points as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    Getting a shooting sports like IPSC into The Olympics could be great for watching TV as well.

    To be honest, and in my perhaps not so humble opinion, most of the current Olympic shooting sports are not that interesting to look at. That doesn’t mean I have anything against these sports, I just don’t enjoy watching them as the appear boring to me, just like electrical Formula cars versus high revving petrol engines. You can find a list of the them all here, and please let us know your opinion in the comments below.

    From Olympic.org, describing the current programme:

    There are 15 events in the Olympic programme, divided into three different groups: rifle, pistol and shotgun. The rifle and pistol competitions are held on shooting ranges, where marksmen aim at targets at distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres. In the shotgun event, competitors shoot at clay targets propelled at a series of different directions and angles.

    Medals from various IPSC World Shoot competitions.

    There also seems to be a movement into using air rifles, small calibers and lasers, instead of “real” firearms that use gun powder and major calibers. Hopefully this could be a movement against this trend.

    Today the highest level of competition within the IPSC is 5, which means a World Shoot. I have personally done five Level 5s, all with long guns. I look forward to seeing the IPSC Rule Book add The Level 6, which would be The Olympics.

    In similar news: Shooting Sports will be part of Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

    (All pictures by the author, except the top picture by Chris Jonkers, used with permission)

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too. TCCC Certified medic.