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Peter Wallace


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The committee generally makes a decision very swiftly, so there should be no long wait for a result, although they might request clarification or further information. The key consideration for the committee is whether what is proposed will be fair to all concerned. What constitutes “fair” might be problematic for some people, but the committee takes a pretty robust view. Usually, something that might be perceived by others to confer an advantage is actually only going to remove a disadvantage. Most people with any type or degree of disability suffer in ways that are not apparent to the observer; pain, muscle spasms, weakness and fatigue are all invisible to the onlooker, but these are all factors that will be taken into account in trying to level the playing field for applicants.


The commonest permitted


and techniques if they first obtain permission (generally known as “a dispensation”) from the Association. The relevant rules (downloadable from the Reference section of the Association’s website: www.nsra.co.uk), are in Section 4 – Shooters with Physical Handicaps.


The rules explain how to apply, and the procedure is very straightforward. It must be in writing (there are no forms – a letter is fine), giving a very brief note of the disability that is involved, plus an explanation of what the shooter wishes to do. Photographs are also needed, showing clearly the modified position, and/or how special equipment is used. Everything should be sent, in duplicate, to the Secretary to the Referees’ Committee at the NSRA offices. There is


76 Target Shooter


modification is shooting from a wheelchair – sometimes combined with the use of special equipment. Many dispensations allow shooters who can no longer cope with standing or prone positions to shoot from a chair or stool, including “prone from a table”. Permitting the use of stand or support (usually a Belgian spring stand) for those who cannot manage the weight of a gun unaided is also common. Some pistol shooters are allowed to use a two-handed grip. For those with missing limbs the dispensation can allow a prosthesis to be used.


There are several solutions for elbow problems experienced by prone shooters, including additional padding or foam rings to provide support. Weak joints and damaged ligaments may be helped by using a surgical brace or support. Those with vision problems may be permitted to use a combination of lenses that is otherwise prohibited because it has a magnifying effect.


If a shooter needs someone to help him with loading, etc. then he does not need a dispensation specifically for that unless it is the only non-standard aspect of his shooting. Organisers of shoulder-to- shoulder matches ought to leave the adjacent firing point vacant so that there is room for the assistant to


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