UBC Junior Competitions
- Credit: Archant
Calling all juniors! There’s a great new shooting opportunity here!
The Umarex Boys Club (UBC) is all about fun and safe shooting for everyone involved, young or old, and as a club we firmly believe that the earlier safe airgun handling is taught, the better. Familiarity with airguns as well as training in gun safety and gun handling reduces the natural curiosity about them and children can be shown how to behave safely, for their benefit and those around them. Not only that, we believe that safe gun handling is a genuine shooting skill like any other, and that mastering it can only increase the pleasure of taking part in the shooting sports. We’re big on safety in the UBC, and we teach everyone that safety is the responsibility of us all, not just a job for the range marshals.
With all this in mind we started the UBC Junior Membership Scheme to promote safety and encourage younger shooters to come into the sport, and to have a great time learning about it. At the moment our membership is largely based in the UK, although we have just signed up our first international junior member from Canada, so hopefully we can continue to spread the word. The UBC junior membership and the junior competitions are open to anyone under 14 years of age who wishes to join in, and the current ages of our members are from 6 to 13 years old. Each junior member receives a numbered, personalised membership card and dedicated membership patches are available for sewing onto shooting shirts or jackets.
Hopefully, as the junior membership increases the number of competitions will expand to include junior versions of core UBC competitions such as the UBC Police Pistol and Police Rifle. However, at the moment we decided to start by concentrating on two monthly competitions, one pistol-based and one rifle-based, along with a skill-based junior award scheme.
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Targets and Rules
In the same manner as the main UBC competitions, junior competition targets and rules are available to download from a dedicated Junior Competitions website. One main requirement for the junior competitions is that a responsible adult must be present at all times when juniors are shooting and that adult must sign the scorecard as well as the junior shooter to ensure compliance with the existing regulations relating to shooters under the age of 14.
For those who may be new to the sport, or may not have read the laws relating to junior airgun shooters, it is a legal requirement that any airgun shooter under the age of 14 must be supervised by someone over the age of 21. The supervising adult is fully responsible for the actions of the junior shooter, so it’s strongly recommended that ‘supervision’ means being close enough to the junior shooter to control his or her actions, should that be required.
We don’t believe that proper supervision is just letting the junior get on with things in the back garden, while ‘supervising’ via the occasional glance through the kitchen window. As ever, common sense is all that’s required here.
Junior 6-yard Pistol Competition
This is based on the popular UBC 6-yard competition but with no requirement for single-handed shooting. There is an option for the more experienced juniors to shoot at least part of the competition single-handed so that they can continue to challenge themselves, but the main aim is to encourage them just to have a go. The competition consists of one round a month from the first Saturday to the last Saturday, with the results and leader board published monthly.
Junior Benchrest Competition
This is based on the current UBC benchrest competition. The junior competition uses the same targets and scoring but with simplified categories. With it being a benchrest competition all rifles must be shot from a bench, seated or standing (supported). Bipods and shooting cushions are allowed which makes it much easier for some shooters to participate as they don’t have to support the rifle on their own. The two categories in this competition are Budget/Airsoft/6mm Air Rifle shot over 6 yards using open sights, or Budget/Airsoft/6mm shot over 10 yards using optical sights. Again, the competition consists of one round a month from the first Saturday to the last Saturday with the results and leader board published monthly.
Junior Marksman Award Scheme
The idea for JMAS came out of the success of the current UBC Marksman Award Scheme (MAS) and newly commenced Advanced Pistol Marksman Award (APMA).
It is intended to provide those juniors wishing to take part with a clear progression as they develop their safe handling and shooting skills; initially developing these with rifles and then moving on to include pistols.
There are six levels or awards within JMAS starting with the Junior Marksman 3rd Class and finishing with the Junior Distinguished.
Junior Marksman 3rd Class
Junior Marksman 2nd Class
Junior Marksman 1st Class
Participants can start on the first level at any time but can only submit scores from one level each month for entry. The award manager maintains a database of member’s achievements that can be viewed via the junior competition website.
The levels are designed to be shot using open sights over 6 yards and gradually increase in difficulty to develop skills. The first four levels focus on developing the shooter’s handling and skill with rifles and the last two introduce the shooter to pistol shooting while still continuing the development of rifle skills. All participants receive certificates on successful completion of each stage with the option of purchasing a stage patch.
Full details of the Junior Membership scheme, competitions and JMAS can be found on the dedicated UBC Junior competitions website http://ubc-junior-competition.btck.co.uk/
Like most people who are involved in the promotion of the shooting sports, we of the UBC believe that the future relies on our junior shooters. We also believe that this new scheme of ours could provide an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable entry into the best sport in the world, so if you’re a junior, or you know of any who might like to take part, please pass on this article to them. The more, the merrier!