Female shooters will fire the same number of shots as men under the new rules ©Getty Images

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has approved new rules that will come into force on January 1.

Members of the governing body's ruling Administrative Council rubber-stamped the changes at a meeting in Munich today.

Shooters will compete under the new rules at all ISSF events from 2018 through to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

A significant change will see an equal number of shots being fired by men and women for the first time.

This will see the women's 10 metre air rifle and air pistol events increase from 40 to 60 shots, and women's 50m and 300m rifle three positions competitions going up from 60 to 120 shots.

In women's trap and skeet events, the number of shots will now match the men by going up from 75 to 125, while female running target shooters will now fire 60 times instead of 40.

The changes to women's events comes with the ISSF forced to introduce gender equality to meet International Olympic Committee demands.

Mixed team competitions in 10m air rifle, 10m air pistol and trap will replace the men's 50m rifle prone, 50m pistol and double trap events at Tokyo 2020 so there can be an equal number of male and female athletes and disciplines.

The governing body has clarified the format for the new mixed team events.

In qualification for rifle and pistol, each team member will shoot 40 shots in a 50-minute time limit. 

The ISSF have been forced into gender equality measures ©Getty Images
The ISSF have been forced into gender equality measures ©Getty Images

The top five teams will advance to the final which will begin with each team member shooting three five-shot series. 

Each team member will then shoot single shots, with eliminations after 17, 19 and 21 shots.

The final two teams will continue until each has fired 24 times, when the gold and silver medallists will be determined.

In trap, each team will shoot at 75 targets in qualification with the top six reaching the final.

There will then be alternate shooting by team-members of a series of five targets, with the sixth-place country eliminated after 25 shots.

Eliminations will then continue after every series of five, after 30, 35 and 40 targets.

The final two will carry on to 50 targets to decide the winners. 

Other rule changes include a clarification on shotgun shell inspection, which confirms the use of coloured wads will result in a warning and overweight shot charges will result in disqualification. 

A new method of checking skeet marker tape locations was adopted, while safety side blinders for shotgun athletes may now extend up to 30 millimetres forward of the centre point of the forehead.

The full ISSF rules can be read here.