Rain Stopped Play

Usually, in shooting, rain doesn't. The weather is the big variable in this highly-competitive sport, and the more weather, generally, the better to sort out the great from the merely good.

There are exceptions: thunderstorms are best avoided, especially when holding a large, wet, long, piece of steel, and lying in a nice wet puddle. No matter that your wind-coach is just as wet, is using a higher piece of steel to hold up his spotting scope, and presents a higher target. Any decent lightning strike is going to get you both. So, in thunderstorms, shooting is normally abandoned.

Sometimes the rain is just so heavy the targets can't be seen; sometimes there is ground mist. Shooting stops for safety reasons, not concern for scores. If a shooter can't see the target to aim at it, and instead shoots at something else, that round could be going anywhere.

While stopping shooting because it's too hot isn't unprecedented in Australia, it's rare. Slightly less rare is stopping shooting because the wind is just too strong - the Tasmanian Queen's Prize in 2009 comes to mind. On that occasion the bullets were being blown onto the neighbouring targets and beyond, with 25 minutes of deflection already wound on, and the risk of a bullet being blown beyond the width of the butts meant that shooting had to stop.

Open water on the range is another reason for calling a halt - not seen at Malabar due to "the canyon", but sometimes seen elsewhere. Again for safety reasons - bullets dropping short and hitting the water can ricochet in strange directions.

Otherwise, we just carry on, and trust that our techniques for nasty weather are better than the other shooters'.