If you're thinking about college, you'll be glad to know that there are over 500 shooting programs on college and university campuses across the United States. This is because more and more schools are discovering that shooting programs are considerably less expensive than other types of athletic programs. They're also learning what you've known for years: Competitive shooting is exceptionally safe and helps develop sportsmanship, leadership, responsibility and concentration. Competitive shooting also teaches self-discipline and teamwork. Generally, collegiate shooting programs appear as educational courses, intramural or recreational programs, and intercollegiate competition.
One of the easiest ways to shoot as a college student is to join a marksmanship intramural program. Shooting is a coed sport, and virtually all students on campus can take part. Intramurals are fun and can offer dorms and independent groups the chance to compete with each other and learn about the responsibility of using and owning guns.
At the center of most collegiate shooting programs is competition. Intercollegiate clubs or teams engage in postal or shoulder-to-shoulder matches with their opponents. Collegiate shooting championships are considered some of the most competitive of all college sports. NRA Intercollegiate Sectionals provide rifle and pistol shooters the opportunity to compare their marksmanship skills against their peers nationwide. The Intercollegiate Sectionals are NRA-registered indoor matches held at various locations throughout the United States. Sectional events include Smallbore Rifle, Air Rifle, Standard Pistol, Air Pistol, Free Pistol, Women's Sport Pistol and Women's Air Pistol. A collegiate shooter must participate in an NRA Intercollegiate Sectional in order to qualify for the NRA Championships.
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps program offers another means by which college students can participate in collegiate shooting programs. Many ROTC programs offer scholarships through an officer's commissioning program in one of the military service branches.
The NRA All-American Program, created in 1936, stands out because of its commitment to recognize and honor collegians who have performed remarkable shooting feats through a shooting season. To be named an NRA All-American is the utmost in athletic achievement. It requires consistent, excellent performance. All-Americans are also known for their integrity, respect and responsibility. Therefore, these highly motivated men and women distinguish themselves on another level.
Check out the history of the award here.
NCAA Rifle Championship
To be eligible for the NCAA Rifle Championships, an individual or team must represent a National CollegiateAthletic Association (NCAA)-affiliated school, and rifle must be officially recognized as a championship sport at that institution. To qualify for the championship, an individual or team must compete in an NCAA qualifier. Click here to learn more.
NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championship
The NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships determine the individual and team champions by attracting competitors and schools nationwide. Competitors participate in Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, Air Pistol, Women's Sport Pistol and Women's Air Pistol events. The Intercollegiate Sectional scores determine qualifications for an invitation to the championships. Click here to learn more.
ACUI Clay Target Championship
The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) sponsors the National Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships annually. Open to full-time college students, the championships are the only national tournament in which shooters may compete in six different clay target games in the same program: American Trap, International Trap, American Skeet, International Skeet, Sporting Clays and Five Stand. Click here to learn more.
The NRA has many resources available to potential collegiate shooters. The best resource for finding collegiate shooting opportunities is the NRA Collegiate Shooting Sports Directory online. With hundreds of entries, NRA Collegiate Shooting Sports Directory lists information concerning each shooting discipline offered by a particular college. Each section includes: contact information, team status, ROTC programs, scholarship availabilities, shooting equipment, range facilities, web addresses and more! Check out the directory here.
The NRA Collegiate & Schools Program has recently revised the book called Developing a Scholastic Shooting Program. This book offers 10 chapters of useful information that will be helpful to colleges and universities developing shooting programs. The topics cover everything from choosing the right type of shooting program to creating a budget and writing the proposal. It also includes a brief history of collegiate shooting in the United States, NRA activities and much more. Click here to view the book online.
Register here to host an Intercollegiate Sectional.
For a complete listing and explanation of everything the NRA Collegiate & Schools Programs has to offer, and to find our contact information, check out our website. I know you'll be impressed with all of our shooting opportunities!