Encouraged by the success of the international online shooting championship, organiser Shimon Sharif now plans to host it in a league format over a one-month period, with top international players taking part.

It will be the first ever online league for an Olympic sport, according to Sharif, a former India shooter who pioneered the online tournament after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the shooting calendar.

“The league will not be restricted to India and will have some of the international teams competing for the top honours,” said Sharif, who competed in the ISSF World Cup in Korea in 2003.

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“Austria has already confirmed a strong team, which includes Tokyo Olympic quota winner Martin Strempfl, while teams from France and England have also shown interest in the league.”

The teams will be allowed to include up to two shooters from other countries.

“To start with, we don’t want more than six-eight teams in the inaugural edition. The teams will compete on weekends in the month-long competition, which will be streamed live. The league is designed in such a way that both rifle and pistol shooters will form the team.

“This is the first time the sport will witness such a unique combination of rifle and pistol shooters competing as a team. Every team will comprise of four shooters, two rifle and two pistol, and a coach who will all log in through the Zoom platform from their respective locations,” said Sharif.

Since it is an online event, team members do not necessarily have to shoot from the same location. They can shoot from anywhere, even from different countries.

The teams will be put in two pools and the ones with the lowest score in their respective group will be eliminated after the qualification stage over the first three weekends, while the others will advance.
“The match will be held in a points system where a team which registers a higher total after each round of one shot gets a point and whichever team reaches 10 points first is the winner. We call this the ‘Race to 10’; it is a very high-pressure format.

“This will also be very interesting for the viewers as it’s very easy to follow with the commentary,” added Sharif.

With PTI Inputs