4-H member lines up her sights in an archery competition

4-H Shooting Sports


The 4-H Shooting Sports Program is a youth development education program which uses a prevention education model that strongly emphasizes positive youth-adult interaction and peer leadership. It uses skills and disciplines of safe shooting and wildlife management to assist young people and their leaders in attaining knowledge and developing essential life skills.

The program can enhance family communications and quality time together. It creates an environment for a caring relationship between a young person and a significant adult, whether this is a family member, other adult, or teen volunteer. These activities provide the opportunity for immediate gratification to the youth and satisfaction and self-worth to the adult/teen volunteer who acts as teacher and role model for younger 4-H youth members.

About 4-H Shooting Sports


The 4-H Shooting Sports program

  • Provides fun and engaging experiences
  • Helps build youth self-confidence
  • Instills responsibility, teamwork, problem-solving and sportsmanship
  • Teaches safe, appropriate and responsible use of firearms and archery equipment under the close supervision of certified instructors


Our instructors believe that quality firearm education reduces potential accidents. Hunting and shooting are long-held American traditions. We strive to strengthen family relationships by building on these traditions and shared interests.



To teach the knowledge, skills and attitudes in using firearms and archery equipment that enable youth, parents and adult volunteers to be responsible, self-directed and productive members of society.



  • Encourage participation in natural resources and natural science programs through shooting, hunting and related activities
  • Develop self-concept, character and personal growth through involvement in safe, educational and socially acceptable shooting activities
  • Teach safe, responsible use of firearms and archery equipment including sound decision-making, self-discipline and concentration
  • Promote highest standards of safety, sportsmanship and ethical behavior
  • Expose youth to a broad array of vocational and life-long avocational shooting-related activities
  • Strengthen families by participating in life-long recreational activities
  • Complement and enhance impacts of existing safety, shooting and hunter education programs using experiential education methods and progressive development of skills and abilities.


Delaware 4-H Shooting Sports Plan

This document lists state and national 4-H program requirements as they pertain to the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Where feasible, we mirror the policies and procedures set forth by the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee.

Delaware 4-H Shooting Sports Plan


Delaware 4-H Shooting Sports Structure

Shooting sports requires an extensive network of personnel, volunteers, parents and members statewide to achieve success. Within each of the four UI Extension districts, a coordinator helps advise, plan and/or conduct Level 1 volunteer instructor trainings within that region.

These individuals, plus at least one nationally certified (Level 2) instructor for each of the six disciplines, comprise the 4-H Shooting Sports Advisory Team. This team provides valuable input on policy recommendations, development of educational and informational materials, lends leadership and support for the state 4-H Shooting Sports events, plus other trainings and outreach efforts as appropriate.

Getting Started


Youth Member Eligibility

Youth must be:

  • Registered 4-H members in a shooting sports project. Contact your local county office for clubs and programs.
  • Age 8–19 as of Jan 1 of current 4-H year. (The 4-H year runs from Sept 1 to Aug 30.)
  • Able to handle shooting sports equipment in a safe, responsible manner. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from that project discipline.



Delaware 4-H offers projects in:

  • Archery
  • Pistol
  • Hunting
  • Muzzleloader
  • Rifle
  • Shotgun 

Firearm discipline programs are limited. Not all clubs and/or counties have certified instructors available in all disciplines. Please check with your county 4-H office to find club offerings.



Providing your own equipment is recommended, but may not be required; some clubs have a limited supply of equipment for loan. We encourage that club and county-owned equipment be inspected at least once a year by a certified technician.

Most members quickly discover that they want their own equipment. This allows them to choose equipment that fits well, maintain personal sight settings and in some cases to practice between meetings. Ask your instructor for specifications before buying equipment. Below are basic equipment requirements:

  • Archery uses recurve or compound bows with a maximum draw weight of 60 pounds; arrows must have field or target points.
  • The handgun/pistol and rifle disciplines have divisions for air (.177 caliber) and small bore (.22 caliber rimfire) firearms.
  • Shotgun uses any firearm 12 gauge or smaller.

Refer to the Shooting Sports Rules (PDF) for more specific details regarding equipment for each discipline.


Parent Involvement

We encourage parental involvement and support. Parents can help the certified instructor, including monitoring safety. For safety and liability reasons, all members and parents must follow the certified instructor’s directions.

Become an Instructor

Instructor Leadership Levels



  1. Must be at least 21 years of age, as of Jan. 1 of the current 4-H year.
  2. Must successfully complete all steps of the Delaware 4-H volunteer certification process (including application, background check, protecting minors training, etc.) and be appointed as a current 4-H volunteer through their Extension county office.
  3. Must successfully complete state-sanctioned (Level 1) training and certification for each discipline in which they will be providing instruction.


Assistant Instructor

  1. Must be at least 18 years of age, as of Jan. 1 of the current 4-H year.
  2. Must have at least one year of 4-H member experience in that shooting sports discipline, or have sufficient equivalent experience with the instructor’s approval.
  3. Can only provide youth instruction under the direct supervision of the instructor and only when the certified instructor is physically present during the instruction.


Teen Volunteer

  • Must be at least 14 years of age, as of Jan. 1 of the current 4-H year.
  • Must have the approval of the certified instructor.
  • Can only assist under the direct supervision of the instructor and when that the certified instructor is physically present.
  • Cannot be placed in charge of a live-fire range.

Who can Participate


4-H Shooting Sports Programs are open to all youth 8 to 18 years of age (as of Jan. 1 of the current year) without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, religion, age or national origin.

Enrollment will be through the 4-H shooting sports Youth Development Extension Agent for your county. See the "Contact Information" section to locate your county Agent.



Delaware 4-H Indoor Archery State Championship



Resources for Leaders and Members



Recreational Shooting Sites With Certified 4-H Instructors


Great News for the Delaware 4-H Shooting Sports!

The NRA Foundation has provided equipment and funding for 4-H Shooting Sports to support youth and family air rifle and small bore .22 activities that are safe, well structured and recreational. Without the support of the NRA Foundation and the Friends of the NRA fundraising banquets, programs like this would not be possible.

Archery targets.

Competitive and Non-Competitive Events in Shooting Sports

  • Archery Competition at the Delaware State Fair

  • Upcoming 4-H State Archery Match

  • National 4-H Shooting Sports Leadership Institute

Learn more about
Events in Shooting Sports

Forms and
Project Materials

Delaware 4-H Shooting Sports Plan

Minimum Standards and Best Practices

General 4-H Shootings Sports Guidelines

Risk Management Guide

STEM Activities







Instructor Quick Reference Manual

Certification (Level 1) Training Request 

Completed by local Extension personnel


National (Level 2) Instructor Training Interest Request

For instructors wanting to become state trainers

Accident/AIL Incident Report

Complete and submit to local Extension and UI personnel within five days


Adult Medical Emergency Information

Complete form if not already a certified 4-H volunteer


Risk Management Activity Checklist

Guide for assessing training/event facilities


Risk Management Plan Template

Customize for club/group settings


Shooting Sports Activity Log

Track participation at meetings/events

Annual Activity Report — County

Submit annually by Dec. 1


Annual Activity Report — Instructors

Summarizes instructor contacts, file annually to county Extension office by Nov. 15


County Annual Activity Report Compiler

Helps counties summarize local individual instructor reports


Instructor Teaching Tracker

Instructors can record daily contacts and prepare annual activity report

Contact information


For information and questions regarding Delaware 4-H’s Shooting Sports program, please contact: