Earning Junior Olympics Invitations

USAS JO Logo

There are two completely different “Junior Olympic” national championships which complement each other. What are they and how does an athlete earn an invitation to participate?

The first program is the USA Shooting championships for the Olympic events in rifle (precision air & .22), pistol (air & .22), and shotgun. USA Shooting (USAS) is the national governing body for Olympic target shooting in this country, who develops and selects World Cup, Olympics, and other international teams. This program is open to all junior (under age 21) shooting athletes.

The second program is the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Junior Olympic championships for the youth development (non-Olympic) event of three position air rifle (sporter and precision). The CMP offers this championship in cooperation with USA Shooting. This program is open to all scholastic (high school age and younger) three position air rifle shooting athletes, club teams, and scholastic (school) teams. In conjunction with this event, the CMP also offers their own CMP National  3P Air Rifle National Championship.

Shotgun: Please see the comments to this post for information about the shotgun discipline.

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The USA Shooting National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship (NJOSC) is a very popular and hotly contested competition. The national events are held at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Participating in the NJOSC is a very exciting and inspiring event in a junior athlete’s life.

There are separate men’s and women’s events for air rifle (unsupported standing position only), smallbore (.22) three position rifle (kneeling, prone, standing), air pistol (unsupported standing position only), and sport (.22) pistol. Men’s free (.22) pistol also used to be offered, though is not currently on the NJOSC program. (This blog post will address rifle and pistol, although the information link above also applies to shotgun.)

Athletes earn invitations to the national event by posting qualifying scores at State Junior Olympics Championships. All invitations to the national event are based strictly on score.

There are three ways to earn invitations:
– State Champion
– Automatic
– At-Large
These three qualification methods, and their related cut-off scores are listed at the end of this blog post.

State events are held during November through January. Host sites for this year’s cycle were announced by USA Shooting on Fri 17 Oct 2014. See the National Junior Olympic Program information page, which includes a link to the 2014-2015 host sites (with contact information so you may request a program and entry information) and the complete schedules for the USAS JO national championships. Note that registration for state events is NOT online with USA Shooting. Contact the appropriate state match host via phone or email.

This year, the national events will be held in late April through early May 2015. Women’s Rifle: April 18-23; Pistol: April 24-29; Men’s Rifle: April 30-May 6. **Note that these dates are subject to change!

See also the Georgia – State Junior Olympics – Rifle & Pistol blog post for details on the events we are hosting in January 2015.

All athletes, regardless of experience or skill level, are encouraged to enter the state level championships each year. Athletes, coaches, and parents who believe that the athlete shouldn’t participate unless they have an excellent chance of winning or earning an invitation are actually holding back the athlete’s development – and diminish the athlete’s internal desire and self-motivation in the sport. The ones who participate are the ones who excel the most.

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Print

Hosted and run by the CMP, the National Junior Olympic 3P Air Rifle Championship is a very popular program involving thousands of three position air rifle athletes (sporter and precision) from all over the country. Because many athletes are only involved in 3P air rifle, they are unaware of the Olympic events and the USAS Junior Olympics discussed above. They should participate in both programs if shooting precision air rifle.

Qualifying is via state championships.

State events are held February through March.

Qualifying for either of the CMP national events allows the team or individual to compete in BOTH CMP championships. Both events usually include generous cash prizes.

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cmp national logo with no year_s

In conjunction with the National Junior Olympic 3P Air Rifle Championship, the CMP also offers their own CMP National  3P Air Rifle Championship.

Qualifying is via postal championship or state championships followed by regional championships.

The postal event and state events are held November through January. The regional events are typically held in late March or early April.

Qualifying for either of the CMP national events allows the team or individual to compete in BOTH CMP championships. Both events usually include generous cash prizes.

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USA Shooting National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship
National Qualification Methods & Scores

NATIONAL INVITATIONS

USA Shooting will issue invitations to the National Junior Olympics Shooting Championship (NJOSC) events based on scores fired in state qualifier events. There are three ways to earn an invitation.

– 1) State Champion – The athlete with the highest score in an event in each state is automatically invited as long as their score meets or exceeds these minimum standards:

Women’s Air Rifle 300
Men’s Air Rifle 500
Men’s & Women’s Smallbore 500
Women’s Air Pistol 300
Men’s Air Pistol 490
Men’s & Women’s Sport Pistol 500

– 2) Automatic – All athletes who meet or exceed these score standards are automatically invited. These score standards are purposely set very high to ensure that capacity at the national match is not exceeded.

AIR RIFLE
Automatic Invitation Score:
Women 40 Shots: Men 60 Shots:
J1 390 580
J2 385 575
J3 370 560

SMALLBORE RIFLE
Automatic Invitation Score:
Women 3×20: Men 3×20:
J1 575 575
J2 565 570
J3 545 550

AIR PISTOL
Automatic Invitation Score:
Women 40 Shots: Men 60 Shots:
J1 360 550
J2 350 530
J3 340 520

SPORT PISTOL
Automatic Invitation Score:
Women and Men 60 Shots:
J1 540
J2 520
J3 500

– 3) At Large – Once all the State Champion and Automatic qualifiers are identified, then additional At-Large invitations are extended starting with the highest scores nationwide within each of the three age groups and working down until capacity is filled for each event. There are often two waves of At-Large invitations issued, though this can vary from year to year.

The actual minimum cut off scores vary each year based on how everyone shoots. Note that Sport Pistol did not have any At-Large invitations the last two years, though that can change year to year as with all the events.

Last year’s (Spring 2014) first wave At-Large cutoff scores are shown here, though are subject to change each year as scores come in. Note that there was a second wave of invitations in many events, so some lower scores did qualify. By definition, this year’s (spring 2015) scores cannot be known until all invitations are determined. The scores below are merely a rough guide. At-Large invitations, and the related cut off scores, are at the sole discretion of USA Shooting based on range capacity, dormitory space, and other match logistics.

AIR RIFLE
At-Large Invitation Score:
Women 40 Shots: Men 60 Shots:
J1 380 572
J2 379 562
J3 362 519

SMALLBORE RIFLE
At-Large Invitation Score:
Women 3×20: Men 3×20:
J1 567 565
J2 558 558
J3 500 542

AIR PISTOL
At-Large Invitation Score:
Women 40 Shots: Men 60 Shots:
J1 303 490
J2 280 481
J3 273 455

SPORT PISTOL
At-Large Invitation Score:
Women and Men 60 Shots:
J1 540
J2 520
J3 500

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Your comments and responses are always welcome.

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8 thoughts on “Earning Junior Olympics Invitations

    • Thank you for your excellent suggestion. I had not originally included shotgun in the blog post because 1) I am not involved with shotgun at this time, 2) the timing is very different (2015 information is not available for another 3 months), and 3) the selection process is completely different. However, your suggestion is still excellent!

      I looked at the 2014 host information on the USA Shooting National JO program web page. The comments below are based on the 2014 program. The 2015 program, which may or may not be the same, will likely be available around the beginning of January 2015.

      There are no score criteria for shotgun. Shotgun has an ENTIRELY different selection process when compared to rifle and pistol.

      Step 1: Participate in a state JO qualifying competition. Then:

      For skeet and trap, the top 3 finishers (male and female combined) state-wide earn automatic invitations.

      For double trap, all participants earn automatic invitations.

      All members of the Junior Olympic Shotgun Team and National Junior Shotgun Team will receive an automatic invite.

      USAS will also have 150 open slots that are available to ANYONE who has competed in a USAS sanctioned State JO. These slots will be filled on a first come first serve basis, with registration done via Rail Station (USAS’ online registration program).

      Beyond the automatic invites and the 150 open slots, a waiting list will be formed for those who did not qualify in any of the above processes’. The waiting list will also be a first come first serve signup process as well.

      Remember: This information is based on the 2014 competition, which is completed. The 2015 information may or may not be the same.

      As with rifle and pistol, if your email address is missing, incorrect, or you do not check it regularly, you may miss your invitation and not be able to participate.

      Hope you all get a “Nice bust!” on your next shot!

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