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Junior Rifle Programs

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What is a “junior”?

Like many competitive sports, the ability of an athlete can vary greatly with age.  The shooting sports are no different.  In order to maintain a degree of competitive fairness and to match like abilities, youth shooters are separated and compete in accordance with their age group.

When it comes to competitive target shooting, the Shooting Federation of Canada (SFC) and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) have designated two Junior categories for competition for the youth athlete shooter.  Currently there are two categories of the “Junior” division for youth athletes to compete in, both with Air Rifle and Smallbore Match or Sporting Rifle. The two categories are:

1: “Sub Junior” for shooters, boys and girls, who compete under the age of 16 on December 31st of the year in which he/she is competing in.

2: “International Junior” for shooters, boys and girls, who compete above the age of 16 and under the age of 21 on December 31st of the year in which he/she is competing in.

Any shooter aged 21 and above in the year in which they are competing will shoot in the adult classifications.

ASRA recognizes one additional age category – “Junior” for shooters, boys and girls, who compete between the age of 16 and under the age of 18 on December 31st of the year in which he/she is competing in.

All shooting match registration forms will list the Junior classifications available for each specific match in which a Junior shooter can register.

Always consult with the Match Director for clarification on categories if you have any questions or concerns regarding age or eligibility.

It’s important that your son or daughter compete in the correct classification according to age.

For complete rules regarding categories for shooters, please read the SFC policy regarding classification:  SFC Competition Classification & registration Policy

Juniors after a day of smallbore rifle at Steve Johnson Range, Calgary AB.

Junior Rifle Programs – Where are they?

There are many junior rifle programs throughout the province; they can be found affiliated with other shooting clubs, fish and game associations, and cultural clubs.

What do I do to get started? – An example:

Let’s say you live in the Calgary area and you have a child who expresses an interest in competitive rifle shooting.

What’s involved?  Where do you start?

First step would be to contact the person in “Zone 2 & 3” of the Alberta Gaming Zone (Calgary & area) – he is listed on the “Contact us” page of this website. The next step would be enrolling at a local club of your choice that offers a junior program.  In this particular example it would be the Calgary Rifle & Pistol Club (CRPC) in order to become a member who can utilize the CRPC range facilities and programs. Some equipment and certified rifle coaching is available through CRPC.  The subsequent step would be becoming an ASRA member where you would have access to the use of even more ASRA rifle equipment and ASRA NCCP certified rifle coaches.  The the aim of the game is for your child to have fun in the target shooting sports while he or she develops as an athlete and begins to excel in the sport.  You can expect your child to thrive and develop as an athlete in the target shooting sports just as in any other physically & mentally demanding sport.

An Air Rifle and Air Pistol team from Alberta attended the 2011and 2015 Canada Winter Games Halifax, Nova Scotia and Prince George, British Columbia and recorded great success capturing several medals. Check out the photos of the juniors who attended and compete in our Picasa Web Album.

How much will this sport cost me?

Like any sport it is quite possible to spend a small fortune on good, quality equipment for your child to shoot.  Furthermore, quality target shooting equipment is not widely distributed through large, main stream, sporting goods retail outlets.  The “Manufacturers” and “vendors” pages (under the “Equipment” tab on the homepage header) will provide you with more detail on particular shooting equipment.

ASRA’s suggestion right now is: “Stop wait!!”  Don’t buy anything just yet.  There is equipment (rifles) available for ASRA members to use – it is part of the small, annual membership fee that will secure you free access at certain locations.  Use of the equipment is also part of the coaching program that is available from ASRA NCCP certified shooting coaches at certain locations.  So, try out some of the Association’s (and local club’s) equipment FIRST with some guided lessons from our coaches before you make any purchases.

Once your son or duaghter has decided that he/she wishes to become a competitive target shooting athlete in Air Rifle or Smallbore Rifle, then your ASRA coach will help you determine your equipment needs and what best suits you.  With that in mind, head over to the “vendors” page and check out some of our trusted Canadian dealers and distributors of specialized target shooting equipment.

For more details on ASRA’s NCCP cerified coaches and what they have to offer, please see the “Coaching Program” tab of this website.

For details regarding the availability of coaches, equipment and junior rifle programs in your specific area, please get in contact with the people on the “Contact Us” list in your specific Alberta Gaming Zone.

For more information regarding the possession and acquisition of firearms for “youth” in Canada (under the age of 18), please visit the “Canadian Firearms Program (CFP)” website hosted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at:  Canadian Firearms Program – Firearms users younger than 18.




LA HotShots Target Shooting Club

Community: Lethbridge, Alberta

Facility: Lethbridge Fish and Game Shooting Sports Facility

Contact: Stan Wills: (403) 328-1442 or email: jaden.neil@outlook.com

Programs: Check out their Facebook Page

MemberIntroduction to Shooting Wednesday evening


2012 Alberta Airgun Provincials January 20-22

2014 Southern Alberta Summer Games, Raymond

2016 Southern Alberta Summer Games, Lethbridge

2018 Southern Alberta Summer Games, Taber (at MD of Taber Sport Shooting Range)


Junior Air Rifle Program with LA HotShots in Lethbridge


Calgary Rifle & Pistol Club

Community: Calgary, AB

Facility: Calgary Rifle & Pistol Club (CRPC)

Contact: Junior Program Coordinator – Jeff Hunter or Karl Schultz at info@crpc.ca

Programs: Junior Program runs every Friday evening during the school year (except holidays and competitions)
Timings: 7:00PM – 9:00PM using paper and Megalink targets.
Notes: There is no organized or formal training during the week (except for the Friday evening program). By convention, air guns (pistol and rifle) practice on Mondays and Wednesdays when only smallbore is permitted at CRPC.

Wapiti Shooters Club

Location: Grand Prairie, AB

Facility: Wapiti Shooters Club

Contact: Pat Gustafson at gustafsn@telusplanet.net

Junior Program Details on the Wapiti website:  Wapiti Juniors.


Eldorado Air Gun Club, St Paul

Junior Air Rifle – Wednesday evenings 6:30-8

Coaches: Russell Whitford at rjwhit61@gmail.com and Gordon Smereka

Paper targets, 7 crank shooting lanes


Not Too Bad Shooting Range, St Paul

Hunting and sporting rifle combined event / 4 per year

Operator/coach Russell Whitford

Weekly practice sessions each summer

50m approved private range



Video Examples of World Class Youth Target Shooting Athletes: 


A YouTube video of interviews with some members of the USA Shooting Team regarding their experiences as developing high performance athletes: Can I be that good?

Here are some links to a few YouTube video examples of competitive youth air rifle shooting.

These are a fine illustration of the air rifle & smallbore rifle target shooting disciplines at the very top level of international youth competition.

2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games Men’s 10 meter Air Rifle Finals: Men’s video.

2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games Women’s 10 meter Air Rifle Finals: Women’s video.

2010 ISSF 50 meter 3-Position smallbore rifle finals – ISSF men’s junior final:  Men’s video.

The next Youth Olympic Games is scheduled for 2012 in Innsbruck.  Check out the official website:  YOG.