What causes an Olympic event to get scrapped?

Asking this because one one my favorite events, the 50 meter free pistol, will not be included in the 2020 games. The reason given: to equalize the shooting events more in terms of gender (:confused::confused::confused:). In its place there will be a mixed gender 10 meter free air pistol event.

Now I know that the two most attended events are the 10 meter air pistol, and the 50 meter free pistol. They are the “purest” shooting events, focusing solely on accuracy and precision. Maybe that was seen as redundant. But they are quite different disciplines and require specialized weaponry. The 50 meter event is also one of the oldest non-track and field event in the modern Olympics, with only a few modifications in rules.

When an event is scrapped, you usually hear moans and complaints from the practitioners themselves and that’s it. But in the case of the 50-meter event, it’s especially sad because you have so many hopefuls around the world, eager to join this heavily participated event.

I’m sure that, when any particular event gets removed from the Olympics, there are many hopefuls who see their dreams ended.

In the case of this event, I think that “heavily participated” may be a bit of a stretch, at least in terms of how many athletes competed at the Olympics. This Wikipedia entry notes that a total of only 41 athletes competed in 2016, and when you look at the countries that they represented, it’s predominantly Eastern Europe and eastern / southeastern Asia (only eight were from the Western Hemisphere, by my count).

Geographic representation (or the lack thereof) may well be part of the reason why; I know that that’s one of the reasons why baseball was removed a few years ago.

Shooting has the third most number of events held for a sport after athletics and swimming, and ties with judo.

You had 41 qualified competitors who made at least 560 points out of a possible 600 points before the games. Still a big number.

So, there was 15 shooting events before, and there’ll be 15 now, correct? It looks, from this page, that they dropped three male events, to add three mixed-gender team events, for 2020.

It also looks like this change left the Olympics with six male events, six female events, and the three mixed-gender team events. I’m going to hazard a guess that they did it to give more opportunities to female shooters, while not increasing the net number of shooting events.

Which is why i can’t understand why they should scrap a very old event. If gender participation is the issue, then you’re suppose to ADD events. A 50-meter free pistol weights less than 1 kg and is hardly taxing to a female shooter. Well, you’ve given useful inputs, thanks. I just feel bad is all.

I suspect (though I may be wrong) that the Summer Olympics are operating under the principle that they are at or near their maximum, as far as total number of events. So, getting a new event added probably requires having another event removed.

in some cases if one country keeps winning they factor that into the scrapping. For example that was a reason stated when they got rid of softball - the US was too dominant. They are bringing back softball in 2020 so they changed their mind.

How is 50 m free pistol gender-biased? There is no earthly reason why women cannot shoot as well as men in the Olympic disciplines.

Sloe, this is probably more easily explained that most countries are becoming more and more deathly afraid of firearms. Even .22LR. And let’s not discuss the 7.62 events they used to hold as recently as Mexico City. Ergo, many events are going to air-powered. Like 10m Air Rifle, or Air Pistol.

Frankly, I’m more and more surprised the Olympics puts on shooting events at all.

EDIT: An air-powered Skeet (or Trap!) would be something to see. You’d need something like the air rifles Lewis and Clark took on their expedition.

The way I remember it was that softball was eliminated because of regional popularity. Yeah, the US was dominating. That was not necessarily the case with baseball, it’s a much more global sport. But when softball got the axe, baseball did also to prevent a significant imbalance of male events.

But girls shoot like girls!
(I kid.)

I’m guessing that sports get cancelled when the International Olympic Committee realizes they don’t contain enough opportunity for graft…

Sorry for the hijack, but when the deadliest school shootings in Finland, for instance, were commited with .22LR pistols, there’s a pretty good reason to “be afraid” of the small-bore, low-power firearms.

Softball was dropped at the same time as baseball, and largely because the votes simply voted the same way either way, and obviously they didn’t drop baseball because of US dominance - certainly the USA is the best at baseball, but there is a lot of fierce competition even if you’re comparing professionals. In fact, US dominance of softball wasn’t even all that bad by Olympic standards; they won three out or four golds but Japan won the last one in 2008. That was kinda flukey, sure, but if the IOC wants the sport there they happily overlook one or two countries dominating. They still have ping pong in the Olympics despite China completely owning the event and there being no obvious reason why ping pong should be there over any number of other sports. Why is that? Because making the Chinese market happy is important. South Korea dominates archery, the USA has always dominated basketball, and Kenya pretty much owns an event called the 3000-metre steeplechase, but on those events go.

The decision to drop baseball and softball was political, and is largely explained by the fact that Europeans don’t like baseball, and they dominate the running of the Olympics. The unwillingness of the major professional leagues to allow the best baseball players to go to the Olympics is the most cited problem, but there’s also the fact that places in London and Rio didn’t want to build baseball stadiums for a sport that would never be played there again.

It isn’t coincidental that baseball and softball are back on the agenda in Tokyo in 2020, in a country where baseball is played and followed with religious fervor, but is NOT guaranteed to be in Paris in 2024, in a country where maybe forty people play baseball.

I know this is a hijack (and I apologize for that) but remember that power from a gunshot has two factors; mass and velocity. The caliber is only going to govern the mass, but if you fling that bullet hard enough it’s going to do a lot of damage. You could even fire an AR-15 in .22LR. A 31 grain .22LR fired at 530 m/s can have 277 J of energy, which is equivalent to a .38 special. In other words, potentially quite deadly, not just for “plinking”.

The IOC wants to have the same number of men as women in the Olympics; it’s not just shooting.

I don’t think that’s as true for baseball (Atlanta turned its Olympic stadium into a baseball stadium; doing the reverse shouldn’t be that hard) as it is for softball; what are you going to do with a stadium where the field is something like 70 yards x 70 yards?

IIRC, when they took the most recent vote to get rid of a sport, it was going to be between modern pentathlon (which is an anachronism now) and canoeing/kayaking, but then a major scandal hit amateur wrestling, and between that and the change to a “best 2-out-of-3-periods” match format, the committee voted to drop wrestling for 2020, only for the wrestling rules to revert back to the previous format, a general replacement of the wrestling executives responsible for the scandal, and the fact that the other two sports in the final vote were, IIRC, baseball/softball and squash.

The pistols themselves are such amazing artistic creations. Since I began shooting a Hammerli has been something I admired. I wonder if a free pistol has ever been featured in a movie?


Hammerli 280
Point Of No Return


Atlanta stadium in 96 was designed to be converted to baseball. And the Braves moved out last year after only using it 20 years , they left downtown for the northern suburbs and a new stadium. They said their fanbase was in the suburbs.

IMFDB doesn’t list many olympic target pistols in their “pistols” category, and the vast majority of those are for rapid fire. Things like the Walther GSP, Benelli MP95, Hammerli 280, etc… There is one listing though for a Russian model of free pistol, the TOZ-35, which was shown in the 1972 movie, Gang War in Naples. http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Gang_War_in_Naples

Funnily enough, modified target air pistols, like the Feinwerkbau C55, have shown up in things as mainstream as Star Wars Episode 1: http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_The_Prequel_Trilogy Even weirder, it’s one of the only target air pistols that’s a repeater (it has a five shot magazine).

Other air pistols have been used throughout movies whenever the director needed an oddball or futuristic looking weapon. The air pistol wiki at IMFDB (http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Air_Guns) is accordingly much larger than I would have guessed.

As to the dangerousness of .22 LR, for a long time in the USA, it held the infamous record of being the cartridge responsible for the most firearms fatalities through crime and accident, both per year and total. Mainly due to the ubiquity of both the cartridge and the inexpensive firearms that could be made to fire it. IIRC, it’s been supplanted, at least in the per year category, by the 9mm Parabellum cartridge.

The thing about a .22LR cartridge is that it does not have enough power to cause hydrostatic shock, so its lethality entirely depends on hitting a critical place on the body. .22LR is a common assassin’s caliber, because a close-range shot to the back of the head will result in almost instant death, and the gun can be very small and relatively quiet.

As a defensive round it sucks, because the way it kills generally does not incapacitate unless you hit the brain or maybe the heart. People have been shot with a .22 and not even realize it until they collapse from internal bleeding or something. I don’t think President Reagan knew he’d actually been hit until they got to the hospital - he thought the secret service might have cracked one of his ribs pushing him into the limo. I’m guessing that most .22 fatalities are bleed outs after an artery is nicked or a direct shot to the head. But unless you are good enough to shoot someone in the head in a panic situation, don’t expect your .22 to stop someone intent on killing you. You may kill them, but it may take some time for them to bleed out - time they can use to kill you first.