The American Legion Post 175
Junior Shooting Sports Program (JSSP)
The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program (JSSP) is a gun safety education and marksmanship program that encompasses the basic elements of safety, education, enjoyment and competition. Shooters use the .177 caliber air rifle. Both males and females can participate, through Legion sponsorship; disabled youth are encouraged to join, as competitive shooting is a sport that creates an equal playing field for all competitors. The American Legion Post 175 in Mechanicsville hosts a junior shooting program, affiliated with the 4-H organization, whose mission is: "Engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development." The Commander of our Sons of The American Legion (SAL) Squadron is our Post program manager. If you are interested in affiliating with us, please call (804) 754-5860 for more information.
Air Rifle Competition
The annual 3-Position Junior Air Rifle National Championship is a tournament that begins with postal matches. State and/or regional champions are determined and advance to a qualification round (also a postal match) to determine the athletes who will earn expense-paid trips to compete in the national championship. The national championship is a shoulder-to-shoulder match held each July at the USA Shooting range facilities at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Who Can Participate?
In shooting sports, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines: Anyone under 18 (or high school seniors no older than 20) can participate. Physical ability and size are no match for mental toughness and discipline in this co-ed skill sport.
Why Shooting Sports?
After demonstrating knowledge of safety techniques, you will join the centuries of Americans who have mastered marksmanship for survival and sport. But the appeal doesn’t stop at our nation’s borders — the best marksmen from around the globe vie for Olympic gold. In fact, 2002 The American Legion Three-Position National Champion Jamie Corkish won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. As you become a better marksman, you’ll gain responsibility, confidence and self-reliance. To hit your mark, you will also have to improve your ability to concentrate. Plus, you’ll develop a skill you can enjoy and hone throughout your life.
What Will We Do?
You’ll practice and study with our American Legion affiliated club, but get to compete as an individual. (All our Instructors are certified by either the 4-H organization or Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), and in most cases by both.)
Beginner: Safety First
All participants start with rifle safety and fundamentals. The American Legion prides itself on safety. There has never been a rifle-related injury in Junior Shooting Sports Program history. You’ll learn the right way to handle, load, aim and fire a rifle.
Intermediate: Build Skills
Once you have mastered the basics, you can take air rifle courses from the National Rifle Association (NRA) or the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) through our Post. These will help you develop your skills, set personal goals and work to achieve established performance standards.
Advanced: Compete With Others
Our Post may hold competitions among its own members, or it may host or attend regional matches. The two basic kinds of competitions are postal and shoulder-to-shoulder. In a postal match, you and fellow participants shoot at targets and then mail them off to be scored. Shoulder-to-shoulder matches are in-person and scored in real-time. The American Legion Junior Three-Position Air Rifle Tournament begins with postal matches. The best 30 junior marksmen from across the country earn an expense paid opportunity to contend for the National Championship in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the same facility where Olympians train, those junior marksmen will compete in a shoulder-to-shoulder match for the title.
How Much Does It Cost?
Our American Legion Post lends participants gear, including rifles, and/or some equipment. We charge a modest yearly registration fee to cover these costs and the cost of the practice facility. Contact our Sons of The American Legion (SAL) Squadron Commander at (804) 754-5860 for detailed information.
When Can I Start?
If you have questions, contact our Sons of The American Legion (SAL) Squadron Commander at (804) 754-5860 to check on practice dates and course schedules.
Links of Interest:
The American Legion (National) Junior Shooting Sports Home Page
The American Legion (Department of Virginia) Junior Shooting Sports Page
Junior Shooters Guide to Air Rifle Safety
National Standard 3-Position Air Rifle Rules (2020-2022)
4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, & Health) Home Page