Chairman Anthony Kissik AJKissik@yahoo.com (334) 202-2812
About the Junior Shooting Sports Program
American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program teaches youth rifle safety, proper firearm handling procedures, and permits youth to participate in an Olympic skill sport while fostering healthy competition. Athletes are educated and trained to use a .177 air rifle and levels vary from beginners learning safety basics to winners of the American Legion National Championship, which consists of regional champions competing in shoulder-to-shoulder matches. We hope to promote this program in the State of Alabama, by educating youth on firearm safety and proper use of a firearm and to elevate the visibility and accessibility of competitive shooting sports in the local community. The American Legion JSSP is accessible to youth regardless of gender, race, or physical ability. Our goal is to raise awareness of this rewarding and engaging sport as a viable option for teen athletes.
In Alabama, organized rifle club opportunities for youth are surprisingly limited compared to other states. We would like to change this by increasing the rate of participation through the American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program which currently supports over 300 youth statewide and encouraging Posts to educate and promote the program in their local community. In April of 2016, the Department of Alabama revitalized their Junior Shooting Program by standing up two teams, one in Millbrook, AL and one in Helena, AL. Since that time, the Department has grown to almost 24 Post sponsored rifle teams. The sport is rapidly gaining in popularity among youth nationwide and it is important Alabama be part of this growth. The mission of the American Legion, Department of Alabama Junior Shooting Sports Program is to support not only the overall program, but individual Posts in their team development process.
A great source of information for the program is located at http://www.legion.org/shooting
Sponsoring a Jr. Shooting Team
Sponsoring a Junior Rifle Team allows the team to participate in the American Legion National 3Position Air Rifle Tournament and the Alabama American Legion Commanders Cup. Both events are invitational matches and participation is exclusive to American Legion affiliated teams. Alabama American Legion Junior Rifle Teams are expected to compete in both American Legion matches and it is highly recommended they participate in as many shoulder to shoulder matches as they can. It is important teams do more than just practice.
By partnering with a mature JROTC organization, the cost to the Post should be minimal. A common practice for Posts sponsoring shooting teams is for the Post to purchase t-shirts and pay for the National Tournament (~$15.00/shooter/round and ~$25/shooter for the Alabama Commanders Cup).
If all parties are comfortable with the partnership, both organizations shall agree on how the Junior Shooting Team will help the Post to show their appreciation for the partnership and the opportunity to compete in the National Tournament and the Commanders Cup. The terms of agreement are totally up to both organizations. There is no template for this agreement, only that there is an agreement. It could range from nothing at all to everything under the moon.
An American Legion affiliation form is required for the Post sponsored shooting team to participate in the American Legion National Championship and the Alabama American Legion Commanders Cup. This form requires basic contact information.
American Legion Junior Three Position Air Rifle Tournament
Competitive shooting is a popular recreational activity and can be a pathway to the U.S Olympic Team. Since 1991, The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program has provided rifle safety, marksmanship training and shoulder-to-shoulder competitions for young people through local post-affiliated clubs using .177 caliber air rifles.
The American Legion Americanism Division annually presents its Junior Three Position Air Rifle Tournament. This competition provides American Legion affiliated youth competitors an opportunity to test their marksmanship ability in competition with other junior competitors throughout the nation. Over 1,500 individuals and 200 teams participate annually.
The competition begins November 1 and ends February 1. Competitors shoot Postal matches on their home ranges using targets provided by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Once team complete their Postal match, they send their targets back to The Civilian Marksmanship Program for scoring and competitor ranking.
The Team Tournament (two rounds) are postal competitions and the Individual Tournament (three rounds) is a combination of postal and shoulder-to-shoulder competitions. The Team Competition allows four shooters per team and a Post can enter multiple teams. The Individual Tournament first round (State) and second round (Qualification) are postal competitions and the third round is the American Legion Individual Three Position Air Rifle National Championship. The Championship is a shoulder-to-shoulder competition held in July at the USA Shooting range facility located at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The winners in both the Precision and Sporter category will receive a $5,000.00 college scholarship provided by The American Legion and The Sons of the American Legion. The American Legion honors the two winners as part of the Youth Champions Delegation during the American Legion National Convention. Additionally, a $1,500.00 college scholarship to the second place finishers in both categories.
The American Legion, Department of Alabama Commanders Cup
The American Legion, Department of Alabama Junior Shooting Sports Program hosts a Commanders Cup every spring in Anniston, AL at the Civilian Marksmanship Program Facility. Events include a 60 shot standing and 60 shot prone match, and a 3-Position Air Rifle (3x20) sanctioned match using electronic targets. Medals are presented to the top sporter and precision athletes and Commanders Cups are presented to the top shooting sporter and precision teams. The event has been attended by the Department Commander, Senior and Junior Vice, Adjutant, Division, District, and Post Commanders have all attended previous Commanders Cups.
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