NEW DELHI: A strict dress code has been enforced at the ongoing 54th National shooting championship at the Karni Singh range here. The shooters are not allowed to wear jeans and sleeveless shirts. This new rule, brought in by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF), has been implemented for the first time in a national championship in India.
“The new rule was implemented in the World Cup finals last year. The ISSF rule clearly states that shooters cannot wear jeans and girl shooters cannot wear sleeveless shirts. Earlier, shooters would come wearing torn jeans, baggy jeans with loose pockets, half pants and sleeveless shirts which looked shabby and indecent. This rule will help maintain the standard of game and make the shooters look more presentable at the range while shooting. We turned back many shooters in jeans at the ongoing national championships. We asked them to come back in tracks,” Sunny Thomas, official coach of Indian shooting team, told TOI.
This rule has upset some shooters. Shimon Sharif, who has been on the circuit for a while, said: “This is my 15th national championship. I have always worn jeans, even during the World Cup. I feel jeans are the best outfit for shooters at the range. As a rifle shooter you need to wear a special pair of trousers and jacket. Jeans is comfortable.”
Rifle shooter Avneet Sidhu, who will be seen in action on Friday, said: “Frankly there is no problem wearing tracks as it is only required during the matches. We can change after the match and put on our jeans. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. As a rifle shooter we need to wear special jackets and trousers, so it hardly makes a difference. I guess it can cause problems for air pistol shooters. Sleeveless shirts were not seen on the ranges anyway, as it distracted other shooters.”