Three positions

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International Rifle events in Three positions are conducted with an equal number of shots fired from the Prone, the Standing and the Kneeling positions, always in that order.

The International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) recognizes four three position events. Two of these events, both called 50 m Rifle, are shot in the Olympics, one for men, the other for women. The two Olympic events are shot with a rimfire rifle at 50m. The two three position events not in the Olympics, 300 m Rifle and 300 m Standard Rifle, are shot with a centerfire rifle at a distance of 300m.

For the Olympic events, men shoot a 3 X 40, or rather 40 shots in each prone, standing, and kneeling. Women shoot a 3 X 20, 20 shots in each position. This is considered the qualification round. Following the qualification round, the top eight shooters fire an additional 10 shots, one at a time, in a final in the standing position. The winner of the match is the shooter with the highest aggregate in both the qualification round and the final.

The two non-Olympic 300m three position events are shot historically by men only. The first course of fire is with a free rifle, for a 3 X 40. The second course of fire is with a standard rifle, for a 3 X 20. Neither of these events have a final. The 300m events are no longer in the Olympics primarily due to the price of constructing a 300m range.

In the United States, a coalition of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), USA Shooting, JROTC, 4-H, and the American Legion recognize three position events for juniors using air rifles. The course of fire is a 3 X 20, or 3 X 10, depending on the organization and location, with the top eight shooters competing in a final. The winner is again the shooter with the highest aggregate between the qualification round and the final. The CMP manages these matches for the National Three-Position Air Rifle Council, and recognizes the best junior shooters via the Distinguished program.

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