The Scottish Smallbore Rifle Association is the Scottish governing body for the Olympic and Commonwealth sports of smallbore and air rifle target shooting. There are three disciplines within that remit - Smallbore Prone Rifle, Smallbore 3-Positions Rifle and Air Rifle - each held separately for men and women at international level.
The Association was formed in 1966 following the introduction of shooting to the Commonwealth Games programme that year. Although left out of the Games in the Scottish Capital four years later, shooting has been part of every Commonwealth Games since, and a very successful one for Scotland at the majority of those events.
While originally formed to take responsibility for team selection, these days the SSRA's responsibilities are much wider. As well as being responsible for the development of the sport in Scotland including the education of coaches and the training of volunteers, there are more international matches to prepare teams for, a wide range of domestic competitions to run, and considerable work in dealing with outside agencies such as sportscotland and the various UK governing bodies. SSRA is also involved in developing and promoting a facilities strategy which includes the development of further regional facilities round the country.
The SSRA is also a member body of the Scottish Target Shooting Federation (STSF) - formerly the Scottish Shooting Council - an umbrella organisation which was set up to be the central point for communication with the sportscotland (formerly the Scottish Sports Council) and the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland. The other member bodies of the STSF are the Scottish Clay Target Association (SCTA), Scottish Rifle Association (SRA) and Scottish Pistol Association (SPA), which govern clay target, fullbore rifle and pistol target shooting respectively. STSF's responsibilities have increased in recent years, and it is now the co-ordinating body for financial applications to sportscotland, facility development as well as being the nominating body for Commonwealth Games team members.
Despite this workload, the SSRA and the other Scottish shooting organisations continue to be run entirely by volunteers. The SSRA is run by a council consisting of five office bearers and up to eight ordinary members - with restrictions on the total number of members from each geographical area. The current council is:
The current members of the Council are:
At the present time the SSRA runs individual membership and club affiliation schemes. Individual shooters resident in Scotland - regardless of nationality - are eligible to join, along with those living outside who are eligible to represent Scotland by birth or parentage. SSRA membership is mandatory for those wishing to be part of any Scottish team or national squad. Club affiliation is available to clubs with a home range in Scotland.
In International terms, the Commonwealth Games is the highest level a shooter can aspire to while representing Scotland. Unlike in Football or Rugby Union, Scotland is not recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) as a country, and to compete in World Cups, European and World Championships, or the Olympic Games, Scottish shooters must become part of the United Kingdom team.
There are smallbore rifle clubs throughout Scotland, with County Leagues and Associations representing Orkney, Caithness, Moray & Nairn, Banffshire, Aberdeenshire, Dundee & Angus, Perthshire, Fife & Kinross, Lothian, Southern Scottish Counties, Ayrshire and - the latest addition - Forth & Clyde which covers the Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dumbartonshire, Argyll & Bute and the City of Glasgow. Regrettably there are areas where there is no County Association - most notably from Fort William up through Inverness to the towns on the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths. The vast majority of clubs cater for smallbore prone rifle shooting on indoor 25, 20 and even 15 yard ranges. Some clubs and associations have outdoor ranges, catering for 50m and 100yds shooting, again usually prone. Air Rifle shooting is catered for by a few clubs, with 3-Positions even more rare.
UK Structure and Relationships
For historical reasons going back to the formation of the SSRA, the Scottish Leagues and County Associations are not in any way affiliated to the SSRA, but remain tied to the UK governing bodies - usually the National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA), but in some cases the National Rifle Association (NRA). Individual Members of the NSRA, the affiliated clubs, leagues and counties all have votes at the NSRA AGM, and the counties form a large part of the NSRA Shooting Council which meets to approve NSRA policy.
The NSRA provides a number of services to their affiliated members not available from the SSRA, such as insurance. It also runs the Scottish Meeting - by far the largest annual smallbore competition in Scotland - which moves around the country from year to year (recent venues include Fort William, Forres, Lauder, Blairgowrie, Arbroath & Tain) and attracts around 300 competitors for a week's competition at 50m and 100yds. In addition the NSRA runs a number of competitions restricted to Scottish shooters, clubs and counties.
A level up from the NSRA lies the Great Britain Target Shooting Federation - a body with responsibility for the selection and training of British International teams. The various UK governing bodies - NSRA, NRA etc are members of this Federation, as are the four Home Country Federations (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales), and it is here that SSRA has its main voice (through the STSF) in UK shooting.