CMP proposes ‘Virtual Championships’

Ashley Brugnone

With the uncertainty of the condition of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is looking ahead to the 2020-2021 three-position air rifle competition season.
In an attempt to place a supplemental plan for allowing junior athletes to compete in air gun events in the coming months, the CMP has created an altered series of matches where participants fire completely from their home or local ranges.
The CMP “virtual” matches will stand as substitutes for the JROTC Service, JROTC National and CMP Regional Three-Position Air Rifle Championships. Instead of traveling to a location in the north, south or west to compete on CMP’s Mobile Electronic Target Range as in the past, qualifying athletes would stay in their hometowns. 
The competition series of the annual JROTC and CMP Three-Position Championships traditionally begins with a postal match, where competitors fire at their home ranges on official CMP targets and mail them back for scoring once athletes have completed the match.
The new “virtual championships” will be modeled after the postal matches, with some modifications to verify rules and safety measures are followed. As an added measure to ensure the well-being of all competing in CMP events, we emphasize respecting local guidance on COVID-19 while within the range.
The JROTC and CMP Championship Postal events will begin in October 2020 and conclude in February 2021 – an expanded set of time compared to past Postal Matches. This extra time will allow schools and athletes time to address and adjust to current safety and local guidelines.
As of July 2020, several teams are still unable to practice on their school or club ranges, while others are only able to practice at 50 percent capacity. Shared equipment, requiring close interaction, has also presented issues for coaches and athletes. The Postal Matches will extend into 2021 to accommodate schools that may be subject to a later start date for students.
Top teams of the Postal events will be invited to participate in the Virtual Service and Regional Championships. The CMP hopes to be able to host the CMP National Championship in 2021 at Camp Perry, with possible modifications, but that is to be determined at a later date.
Stay informed about upcoming and adjusted events by following CMP’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Learn more about the JROTC and CMP Championships by viewing the “Youth” dropdown on the CMP website homepage,


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