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The shooting sports program is one of the fastest growing projects in Illinois 4-H. The program offers five disciplines of focus: archery, rifle, shotgun, pistol, and wildlife/hunting.  Illinois 4-H currently offers State competitions in: Compound Archery; Recurve Archery; Air Rifle; Small Bore Rifle; Air Pistol; Small Bore Pistol and Shotgun. 

2020 State Shoots

  • Archery: September 19 - Pekin Archers, 2501 Edgewater Drive, Pekin, IL  61554
  • Shotgun - September 26 - Bunker Hill Shooting Park, 11374 Prairie Dell Rd, Bunker Hill, IL  62014                                     
  • Rifle– October 10 - 11 – Central Illinois Precision Shooters, 6125 County Rd 1175 N, Bloomington, IL 61705 
  • Pistol – October 11 – Central Illinois Precision Shooters, 6125 County Rd 1175 N, Bloomington, IL 61705      

General Rules 

Upon arrival to the property, please take your equipment and ammunition/arrows to the registration site.  All shotguns, air rifles, small bore (.22) rifles and compound bows must be unloaded, cased or similar.  Recurve bows must be unstrung.

Since each State Shoot will fall on a different Saturday, eligible 4-H members will now be able to compete in multiple state events rather than only one.

Entry Requirements

  • Eligibility: The state shoot is open to youth who will be 4-H members during the 2020-21 4-H year and are members of a certified 4-H Shooting Sports 4-H Club in their county.
  • Minimum Age: Youth must be at least 14 years of age by Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Maximum Age for State Contest: Youth cannot be 19 years of age or older by Sept. 1, 2020.
  • Maximum Age for National Team: Youth cannot be 19 years of age by Jan. 1, 2021. Youth in their last year of 4-H who were 18 on Sept. 1, 2020, but who turn 19 in September, October, November, or December of 2020 may participate in the state contest but cannot be selected for the national contest.

Our State Shoots are intended to provide an opportunity for our Illinois 4-H members to compete with those with like interests from throughout Illinois. First, we wish to provide a very safe environment and expect that all participants follow all rules and polices of the State Shooting events.  The events that will be offered at the State Shoots are difficult as they are the same events that the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships offer.  The events will also provide the opportunity to select State Teams that will compete at Nationals in June 2021 in Grand Island, NE.

By entry to this Illinois state shooting event the participant, parent and certified leader/instructor is verifying that the youth has demonstrated basic safety, and possess basic knowledge and skills required to participate in this State event.  Any participant, which, in the opinion of the range official, does not exhibit this basic knowledge and skill set, will be excused from the competition.

Registration for all State Shoots will be done electronically.  Each State Shoot you are participating in, you must register separately.  All fees must be paid by credit card at the time of registration.

Following the registration deadline, counties that have youth registered will be contacted to verify the participants’ eligibility (enrolled in the project and in good standing in the 4-H Club) 

Each contestant must also meet any and all other requirements set by the State Shooting Sports Advisory Committee, State Coordinator or requirements set forth by their County for eligibility to compete in State contests.


Any violations of accepted safety rules are grounds for immediate disqualification.  No Warning Required!  Each participant, coach, range personnel, or parent on the firing line will also wear appropriate eye and/or ear protection for all shooting events. Alway stay outside any staked yellow caution taped area!

  • Eye Protection – shooting glasses or equivalent prescription glasses are required for all events involving air or powder driven projectiles.  They are recommended for archery as well but are not required.  ISU or UIT glasses may be worn only if both eyes are adequately protected.  All persons on or near the firing line are required to have eye protection.
  • Ear Protection – In any event where noise is a recognized hazard to future hearing (i.e. if it goes ‘bang’) hearing protection is required of all persons on or near the ranges.  Ear plugs or head style ear muffs may be worn at the discretion of the shooter, range officer or coach: but proper hearing protection is required.  Such equipment may be used in air or archery events if the shooter desires, but is not required.
  • Cased Requirement: All firearms, air guns, and bows, must be in case at all times – range officials will give the final command for uncasing.  Recurve bows to be unstrung.
  • Open and Empty:  All firearms will remain open and empty until the shooter is on the range and the command to load or fire, is given.
  • Indicators:  Safety Procedure for Air Rifle, and Smallbore Rifle – while in the case and when brought to the firing line.  Air rifles shall have a weed eater string (of bright color) in the barrel and protruding a minimum of six inches out of the muzzle and out of the action (Clear barrel indicator-CBI).  Small bore rifles should use some type of Open Bolt Indicators (OBI). 
  • Muzzle Control:  Shooters must maintain control of their muzzles at all times.  Firearms must be carried in the muzzle up position whenever uncased on the range unless the action is hinged and broken open.  Regardless of condition, muzzles may not be pointed toward or rested upon any part of the body of the shooter or another person.  Violation of this rule may result in a warning, disqualification from a round, or disqualification from a match. 
  • Audio headphones or ear pieces and cell phones are not permitted on the firing line or the field.  Once an individual or team is called to compete, ear pieces or headphones must be removed and remain off during the competition. Spectators should also be sensitive to the shooters and turn off ringtones when near the competition.
  • Range officials have the right to check all firearms and archery equipment prior to its use in competition to determine that it meets qualifications and/or that it is safe. Equipment determined to be unsafe will not be allowed on the range.  

Equipment: Contestants are responsible for providing their own ammunition, equipment, safety glasses and ear protection. ‘Own equipment’ could mean personal, county or other means of using equipment. The State 4-H Shooting Sports Program will not be offering equipment. Some equipment borrowing will be allowed. (Shotgun shells - 12 and 20 gauges will be available for purchase at the facility, if not bringing your own. )

Spotters: Use of spotters - check individual shooting disciplines.

Dress Code: Participants are expected to dress appropriately. Team uniforms or shirts with the use of the 4-H logo are encouraged, but not required. Both young people and adults should wear attire appropriate for the weather while remaining modest and socially acceptable.    

All shooters and coaches should remember that their photographs may be taken or an individual be asked to interview for the media.  Remember that you represent all of 4-H Shooting Sports - Make it a positive image. Clothing with alcohol or tobacco advertisements, sexual connotations, inflammatory & other inappropriate messages or images as determined by match officials are prohibited. No open toed shoes are permitted on the firing line.  The footwear must completely cover the foot.  Crocs, flip flops, sandals, etc. are not permitted.

Disabilities/Special Needs: In the event that any participant is physically incapable of complying with the general rules or specified discipline rules, the event staff will make every reasonable effort to accommodate that individual, allowing them to compete. Any accommodation made must not jeopardize range safety. Specific arrangements must be made and approved IN ADVANCE, prior to pre-registration, with the State Coordinator. The Chief Range Officer must also be notified prior to relay on the day of the state shoot. 

County Teams/Squads: Counties may have as many individuals as they desire within the shooting events. Teams/squads will consist of 4 individuals. In the event a county has more competitors in a discipline category than required to fill a team then the county may have more than one team/squad. High team/4-H Club scores will be based on the scores from the top four, 4-H Club shooters from the 4-H Club.

Scoring:  Individual scores will be tabulated at the completion of each event. When possible, scores will be posted as targets are scored and tabulated. Please leave scoring personnel alone so scores can be posted as soon as possible. After targets are scored, youth shooters may review under supervision of the scorer. Each shooting discipline scoring system will be determined by the State 4-H Planning Committee. 

Appeals/challenges - Scoring:  Competitors only (not adults) may challenge their score in an event. Score keepers will not listen to an adult only the shooter. The first challenge must be done within 30 minutes of the announcement or final posting of scores.  If not satisfied after the ruling on the challenge, the shooter must immediately ask to appeal. That appeal will be handled by the Chief Range Officer and/or the Chief Scorer.  No scoring challenges are allowed after targets leave the official scoring area unless at the specific request of the range official.

Other grievances should first be addressed to the line officer or range officer – by the shooter NOT by an adult. The Chief Range officer will make a determination on the grievance. A final appeal of a decision or ruling by a Chief Range Officer must be directed to the match director within 30 minutes of the ruling and must be accompanied by a $50 fee. If the appeal is upheld and the decision reversed, the $50 will be returned. If not, the $50 stays with Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports.

Spectator Interference: Disruption or interference by parents, coaches or other individuals will not be permitted; this includes parents hovering over the scorers. There is no contact/discussion allowed with the participant by the coach, parents, or anyone during the shooting activity. Sanctions ranging from a warning to ejection from the grounds or disqualification of an entire team will be imposed for interference with the operation of the match or disruption of the events on a firing line or field. Every effort will be made to keep these events fair, child-centered and positive.

Coach Removal: 4-H reserves the right to remove any coach from the range or firing line in the event that his or her behavior is deemed detrimental or distracting to their own shooter or others. Coaches should remain positive and supportive being careful not to disrupt other shooters. In the event that a coach is removed from the firing line, another coach may substitute for him/her at the discretion of the range officer. 

Sharing of Equipment: Sharing equipment is allowed, but no more than two people on a team may share a piece of equipment. This is an allowance that helps those teams and individuals with limited resources, while at the same time, helps match efficiency by limiting the number of relays that must be conducted.

Alcohol/Tobacco Policy: No alcoholic beverages may be consumed on the grounds during this event. The use of tobacco is also prohibited. Violation of this policy is ground for ejection from the premises.