Double trap: to be or not to be?!

As you know from the previous article, our discipline is endangered: in an attempt to strictly obey the IOC recommendations concerning the gender equality at the Olympic Games 2020, ISSF did not find a better solution than to propose to substitute double trap men for trap mixed team.

Well, while this proposal is under discussion, let us discuss it as well!

This question is a rhetoric one for me, the same as for hundreds of athletes, hundred thousand of fans of double trap. The answer is unambiguous: TO BE!! I will attempt to explain why.

2020 is our nearest future and with allowance for the global trend in sports, only spectacular, vibrant and attractive disciplines easily understandable to a spectator will remain. Only such sports, which make it possible to create a highly marketable TV product beneficial for all involved parties, have the right to survive and not to be substituted for another discipline. It suffices to remind you that the audience of television viewers of the double trap final at Olympic Games 2004 exceeded 5 000 000

Vasily Mosin -qualification DT discipline
Olympics 2012 London, United Kingdom. Qualification in the DT men discipline, Vasily Mosin, Russian.

Another very topical advantage of double trap for the future is its relative cheapness. To start the development of double trap from scratch, any shooting federation, club or initiative group needs investments five times less than those for trap! This fact is particularly attractive bearing in mind the IOC criteria for Olympic Games 2020: the availability of a sports discipline for all participants of the Olympic Movement.

Independent of the IOC recommendations, such criterion as environmental friendliness is crucial even now and even more so in the future. Fixed trajectories of target flights and, respectively, directions of shots allow shooting clubs to easily collect fragments of broken targets, plastic ammunition containers and lead pellets! According to data of a shooting range in Italy, the annual income of a club after the reuse of lead varies within 100 000 - 150 000 EUR!

Vasily Mosin at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Olympics 2012 London, United Kingdom, Vasily Mosin, Russian.

Dear reader, I will introduce you in short to the history of double trap women, after all, at the current stage of the development of double trap one gets a general impression that it is a discipline exclusively for men. On the contrary! Double trap women was included in the program of the Olympic Games 1996 in Atlanta as the first individual discipline women in history. Immediately double trap women was developed strongly according to the allowed number of participants in the Olympic Games. 

It suffices to say that the number of female participants at the World Championship 1995 in double trap was 46, while it was 17 in the then non-Olympic trap! 

One of arguments used by ISSF in the discussion about the future of double trap is its seeming unpopularity. The fact is that this unpopularity is artificial. To specify, the number of participants in the Olympic Games in various shooting disciplines differs dramatically. It is obvious that the main stimulus to the development of any Olympic sport is chances of the participation of a representative of a national Olympic Team in the Olympic Games. In double trap these chances are minimal! The competition in double trap is the most severe. In order to win an Olympic license, double trap athletes need only the victory at World Cups, European and World Championships!

Concerning the numbers, 18 double trap athletes participate in the Olympic Games, while there are 24 athletes in trap and 24 athletes in skeet. If you were a minister of sports, a sponsor of Olympic team, in what shooting sports you would have invested?! The answer is obvious: in the sports, where the chances of the participation in the Olympic Games are the highest. This is the origin of the relatively lower popularity of double trap! It simply means that the economic balance of the size of the investment and the obtained effect is achieved.

The tendency of ISSF to achieving the gender equality reveals another interesting problem hidden inside. It is the problem of the equality between shooting disciplines concerning the number of licenses for the participation in the Olympic Games. 

To remind you, the total of shooting disciplines is 15 and the maximum possible number of participants in the Olympic Games in shooting sports is 390. It is easy to calculate that applying principles of the Olympic Charter concerning the equality of chances for the participation in the Olympic Games for all athletes, we obtain 26 athletes in each shooting discipline! 

See below data of the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio:

  • 10 m air rifle men 50 participants
  • 50 m rifle three positions men 44 participants
  • 50 m rifle prone men 47 participants
  • 10 m air pistol men 46 participants
  • 25 m rapid fire pistol men 26 participants
  • 50 m pistol men 41 participants
  • trap men 33 participants
  • skeet men 32 participants
  • double trap men 22 participants

Where is equality? Probably, here is also a field of work for ISSF reformers?

I presume you agree that with respect to the above, our proposal to modify double trap men into double trap mixed team is quite modern and harmonic. We preserve a beautiful discipline, double trap, return to life in sports female athletes in double trap, who participated in three Olympic Games in this discipline, and popularize shooting sports simultaneously improving the men-to-women ratio in the shooting sports in accordance with the IOC recommendations!

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