February 2 - International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Shooting has introduced a number of new rule changes for 2013 designed to ensure athletes in some events need to be even more accurate with their shots to be successful.
Under the new rules, which also look to make the climax of competitions more exciting and dramatic for spectators, changes have been made to the format of finals whilst a trial of decimal scoring in all 10 metre air rifle and 50m prone events has been introduced.
All changes were approved by the IPC Governing Board last month at a meeting in Bonn and adhere to the 2013 edition of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules.
The new format for finals will see all finalists start from zero points and not carry over their qualification score as they have done previously.
At different stages during the course of a final, athletes with the lowest score will be eliminated until there is a duel between the best two athletes to decide gold and silver medal position.
In addition to making competitions more exciting, it is hoped the trial of decimal scoring in 10m air rifle and 50m prone events will help separate the top athletes in close competitions and provide a more accurate scoring system.
As the standard of the top athletes has improved in recent years, many athletes have regularly posted a maximum score.
This new system awards scores to one decimal place and should reduce the number of equal scores between athletes and virtually eliminate the decisive role that one close shot can play in deciding finalists or medallists.
"These are essential changes to take the sport of IPC Shooting to the next level in terms of competitiveness for athletes and attractiveness for spectators," said IPC Shooting sport manager Sarah Bond.
"Growing the sport is not just about increasing the number of athletes taking part worldwide.
"It is also about making it a more attractive property for spectators and fans which in turn can bring further benefits to the whole sport.
"The trial of decimal scoring is a huge compliment to the improving skill levels of athletes who regularly post maximum scores.
"Many shooting officials, athletes and coaches have recognised that in the air rifle and 50m prone events there are so many high scores, particularly maximum scores of 400 or 600.
"In these events, there can be as many as 15 shooters who are tied on the maximum score, and face a shoot-off to decide who will make the Final.
"Decimal scoring will add up to another 54 points for contention in competition, and will virtually eliminate ties and the decisive role that one close shot can play in deciding finalists."
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