May 14, 2024

National 4H Shooting Sports

By Scott Stuhr - National Coordinator - National 4H Shooting Sports

One of my favorite events of the year is quickly coming up. The 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships will be held June 23 to June 28, in Grand Island Nebraska. This will be the 24th National Championships, and the 14th time being held in Grand Island. There is just something about this event that is unlike anything else I have experienced. It has a profound impact on our youth, volunteers, coaches, and spectators.

Imagine a gathering of over 700 competitors, 300 coaches, and 2000 enthusiastic spectators from all corners of the country converging in one place. This isn’t just a shooting competition; it’s a celebration of skill, dedication, and camaraderie. Athletes in nine different disciplines will compete in 27 different events that will test their precision, focus, and sportsmanship.

Heartland Public Shooting Park will host compound and recurve archery, smallbore rifle, smallbore pistol, shotgun, muzzleloading, and hunting skills competitions. The Pinnacle Bank Expo Center will host the air rifle and air pistol competitions. Opening ceremonies is truly something to experience. Think of the Olympic opening ceremonies where the competitors come marching in, by state, to the cheers of the crowd. The Heartland Events Center will be the location for opening and closing ceremonies along with awards to be held in the evenings.

What makes this event even more special is the diversity it represents. Participants from about forty states are expected to join us, each bringing their unique style, techniques, and stories. This diversity not only enriches the competition but also fosters a sense of unity and mutual respect among our young athletes. Lifelong friendships are made during this event.

I have been a part of the Championships since 2008 and it is awe-inspiring to see how far we have come. When the Championships first started, there were less than twenty states and around 300 c0mpetitors. We have witnessed exponential growth, breaking records in 2023 with 42 states and 718 competitors participating. It is important to realize that a participant can only attend the Championships one time in a discipline. They can potentially return in a different discipline, if selected by their state. This remarkable growth speaks volumes about the passion and dedication of everyone involved in making this event a success.

Behind every successful championship are the unsung heroes – the volunteers. To pull this size and quality of a competition off, we need around 300 volunteers. Our volunteers selflessly contribute their time, expertise, and passion to ensure a seamless and memorable experience for all. Trom the Chief Range Officers orchestrating the events to the volunteers providing scoring and general assistance, their commitment is the backbone of this championship. We are always looking for more volunteers willing to share their time and talents, helping to ensure the future of our sport and cheering on our young people.

Looking ahead to 2024, we are committed to enhancing the participant experience. One significant initiative we have is the expansion of our 3-D target ranges. With the growth of the compound and recurve disciplines, along with the hunting skills discipline (which also shoots 3-D), and the age and condition of our targets, we are needing to obtain about 75 new targets in the next couple of years.

I am excited to share that Steve Pritchard, Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator, is returning as our esteemed National Match Director. Steve has served as the Match Director the entire time the event has been held in Nebraska. His unwavering dedication to nurturing champion qualities in our youth and fostering a culture of sportsmanship and integrity has been instrumental in shaping the championship’s success over the years.

As we prepare to welcome participants, coaches, families, and supporters to Grand Island, I extend a heartfelt invitation to join us in celebrating the spirit of 4-H Shooting Sports. Whether you want to volunteer to lend a helping hand, want to have a booth to show off your product or services, or just a spectator cheering on the sidelines and experiencing this wonderful event, your presence adds immeasurable value to tis family experience.

Let us embrace the values of teamwork, perseverance, and respect that define 4-H Shooting sports. Together, we can create moments of joy, camaraderie, and achievement that will be cherished for years to come.

For volunteer opportunities at the National Championships, please visit

For more information on 4-H Shooting Sports, go to

For information on having a booth, sponsoring an event, or becoming a donor, please contact Scott Stuhr, at