Washington State 4-H Shooting Sports Plan
(May 2010 ver.)
Youth development is the number one goal of the 4-H Shooting Sports Program. 4-H Shooting Sports are an excellent way to provide life-skill development and to establish a caring relationship with an adult mentor. Since approximately two-thirds of the homes in the United States have firearms, teaching safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment is vital to preventing accidents in the home or in the field. The Washington State University Extension 4-H Shooting Sports Program provides instruction in the safe handling of firearms and archery equipment, develops responsibility, ethical decision-making, and leadership skills in 4-H participants. Additionally, youth and adults gain an appreciation for the ecology and science of natural resources and wildlife management.
1. To develop life skills in youth that include but is not limited to self-esteem, decisionmaking, communications, concern for community, and critical thinking skills.
2. To deepen understanding of the science, engineering and technology of natural resources, and related natural science programs.
3. To provide a safe, controlled environment for the learning of safe and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment.
4. To promote the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior.
5. To enhance family communication and quality time together.
6. To promote awareness and appreciation of the broad spectrum of shooting sports and related activities as life-long leisure and career opportunities for youth and families.
7. To provide positive competition opportunities for participants that desire to compete, both through self-competition and competition with others.
8. To provide 4-H training and certification in the various shooting sports disciplines for adult volunteers.
9. To develop leadership qualities in youth and adults.
10. To complement and enhance the impact of existing safety and hunter education programs.
Instructor Certifications and Training Requirements
The Washington 4-H Shooting Sports Program requires the use of National or State Trained & 4-H Certified Instructors at the county level (in the appropriate discipline) to operate a live-fire range or to conduct any class in which firearms or archery equipment are handled. 4-H volunteers and faculty/staff who attend and become nationally certified in the shooting sports are expected to teach in their discipline at least once per year (twice is recommended). In order to be certified as a 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor in any discipline (rifle, shotgun, pistol, muzzleloader, archery, and hunting) the following requirements must be met:
1. Instructors and Assistant Instructors above 4-H age must have been screened, trained, and appointed as a current 4-H Leader through a local county Extension office. Screening shall include: Washington State Patrol background check, criminal history disclosure, and character reference form.
2. The age requirements for shooting sports instructors, assistant instructors, and teen leaders is as follows:
a. Instructor—minimum 21 years old.
b. Assistant Instructor— minimum 18 years old; must have a minimum of one year as a 4-H member in shooting sports discipline, experience in the discipline per instructor’s approval, or have attended a state training; can only instruct youth under the direct supervision of an instructor that is present during the instruction; may be in charge of a live range only under the direct supervision of an instructor.
c. Teen Leader—minimum 14 years old; per leader approval and only under direct supervision of an instructor that is present during the instruction. The teen leader is not to be in charge of a live fire range.
3. Successfully complete Instructor Training administered and sanctioned through the Washington State 4-H Office. A minimum of 11–15 hours in discipline instruction, use of the National 4-H Shooting Sports Curriculum, safety, risk management, teaching methods, and the 4-H program management will be taught at a State 4-H Sanctioned Instructor Training. National 4-H Trained and Certified Instructors are to do the instruction at the State Level Training Sessions. They can also conduct training sessions at the county level. Instructors teaching the hunting curriculum with a focus on shooting activities must be dual certified in hunting and the shooting discipline on which they will focus (rifle, pistol, shotgun, archery, or muzzleloading).
4. County 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors must be trained and certified in the discipline (rifle, shotgun, pistol, muzzleloader, archery, and hunting) that they are teaching at the county level. State instructors must be trained and certified at a National 4-H Shooting Sports Training in the discipline (rifle, shotgun, pistol, muzzleloader, archery, and hunting) that they are teaching at the state or regional level and it is recommended that all instructors have a current First Aid and CPR Card.
5. As of October 1, 2005, all shooting sports instructors need to meet the training and age requirements as outlined in the Washington State 4-H Shooting Sports Plan.
Risk Management Plan
All 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors are required to have a risk management plan in place prior to conducting a shooting sports activity. Elements of the plan should include, but are not limited to:
• Age of youth/experience level
• Adult/youth ratio
• Specific requirements (background checks, screening, etc.)
2. Insurance Issues
• Health history/parental consent
• Health/accident insurance
• Liability/vehicle insurance
• Equipment insurance
• Facility insurance
3. Emergency Procedures
• Transportation/emergency vehicle
• Communication/access to phone/public relations (person, statement, etc.)
• First Aid person and kit on site
• Parental notification
Also have a separate plan for each of the following situations: range accident, lost child, misfire, animal/insect/plant related injury, weather disaster, car accident, and other.
4. Equipment and Supplies
• Safety check procedures
• Safety inspection
• Safety procedures (signage, berms, lines)
• Distance from targets/open field/berms/objects, etc.
State Competition Plan
To provide positive competition opportunities for participants that desire to compete, both through self-competition and competitions with others. The Washington State 4-H Shooting Sports Plan calls for progressive state-wide competition that would result in the formation of an overall state team for each age group (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior) of each discipline. An organized procedure to accomplish this is as follows: Each County within the state that supports an active 4-H Shooting Sports Program will host or make available a county level shooting sports event that would establish a county ranking in the shooting sports disciplines enrolled by their 4-H membership. The county level ranking will aid in the formation of county teams. The 4 top scoring qualified members in each age group of each shooting sports discipline offered will be eligible to advance to the next level of competition. Previous year winners in the Senior Division will only advance if there are no other competitors, or they did not participate at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Invitational the prior year. Each District within the state supporting an active 4-H Shooting Sports Program should host or make available a district level shooting sports event that would establish a district ranking in the disciplines that counties within the district or districts are eligible to compete. The district level ranking will aid in the formation of district teams. The 4 top scoring members in each age group of each shooting sports discipline offered will be eligible to advance to the next level of competition. Previous year winners in the Senior Division will only advance if there are no other competitors, or they did not participate at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Invitational the prior year. The Washington State 4-H Shooting Sports Program should host or make available a state level shooting sports event that would establish a state ranking in the disciplines that established district teams are eligible to compete. The state level ranking will aid in the formation of state teams. The 4 top scoring members in each age group of each shooting sports discipline offered will be recognized as the Washington State 4-H Shooting Sports Team. The 4 top scoring members in the Senior Division of each shooting sports discipline may be eligible to advance to the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational. The 4-H Shooting Sports National Invitational will host a national level shooting sports event, open to only State Team Participants in the Senior Division that meet the National Invitational Eligibility Requirements. To maintain consistency, all competitions sanctioned by the Washington State 4-H Shooting Sports Program will utilize the format and competition rules used at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Invitational.
State 4-H Shooting Sports Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee serves to advise State 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinators on shooting sports policy and procedures. Advisory Committee members may include representatives from nationally certified shooting sports instructors, state certified shooting sports instructors, district shooting sports coordinators, 4-H youth specialists with shooting sports responsibilities, county shooting sports coordinator, county based faculty or staff, and teen representatives. The Advisory Committee members are selected through an application and review process. The Advisory Committee will meet as necessary; it is recommended one time per year face-to-face and other times as deemed necessary via conference call. For additional information regarding the State 4-H Shooting Sports Program, refer to the state 4-H website and the state 4-H Office.
This plan was developed by Janet Schmidt and Paul Carter and the State 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinators. Nov. 2009