Mike Johnson and Natalie Brunzel - Para Shooting
Mike Johnson and Natalie Brunzel at a Shooting Para sport competition

What is Shooting Para sport?

Shooting Para sport is the sport of shooting for Para athletes who have a physical impairment leading to reduced function in the lower and/or upper limbs.

How do you compete in Shooting Para sport?

In competitions that can last up to three hours, Para athletes must place a series of shots as close as possible to the centre of the target.

Shooters compete in rifle and pistol events from distances of 10m, 25m and 50m.  

Depending on the event and the sport class, athletes compete in a kneeling position, standing (or in a wheelchair or on a shooting seat, when they are unable to stand) or prone (athletes in a wheelchair can use an elbow support table). 

History of Shooting Para sport

Shooting Para sport made its Paralympic debut at the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games.

1976Para shooting was introduced as a medal sport on to the Paralympic programme for the first time at the Toronto Games with three medal events. A total of 37 Para shooters competed, including three women Para athletes.
1984Some 29 medal events featured on the Para shooting programme at the New York 1984 Paralympic Games.
1992At the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games the format moved away from a disability-oriented classification system towards a functional classification system with integrated events.
1994 The inaugural IPC Shooting World Championships took place in Linz in Austria. The event is later established as a quadrennial event.
2012A total of 140 Para shooters from 44 countries competed in 12 medal events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
2014At the IPC Shooting World Championships in Suhl, Germany, 250 Para athletes from more than 45 countries gathered to compete.
2016Three Para athletes represented New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
2021One Para athlete represented New Zealand at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
2022New Zealand hosted its first international WSPS Grand Prix.

Who can compete in Shooting Para sport?

In Shooting Para sport, there are three different sport classes for Para athletes with physical impairments:

  • Sport class SH1 (Pistol)
  • Sport class SH1 (Rifle)
  • Sport class SH2 (Rifle)

Eligible impairments include paraplegia and equivalent, quadriplegia and equivalent, impaired or amputated lower limbs, amputated upper limbs, hemiplegia, short stature. 

For more details, please download the following information sheet.

Shooting Para Sport Information Sheet

Para athletes in their positions at the start of the Shooting Women’s 10m AR Standing SH1 Final at the Asaka Shooting Range, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Photo: OIS/Joe Toth.

Shooting Para sport in New Zealand

New Zealand boasts an outstanding crop of Shooting Para sport athletes led by Michael Johnson, four time Paralympian and the Athens 2004 Paralympic Mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2 champion.

To find out what’s available near you, register with Paralympics New Zealand today.