|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
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.