New Civilian Marksmanship Program Competition Rules for 2020-2021

CMP New Rules 20-21
The CMP released new rules for the 20-210 season. IMG CMP

U.S.A. -( CMP Competition Rules for the 2021 competition season have now been approved by the CMP Rules Committee and are posted on the CMP website at

The 2020 competition season was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and many 2020 events were canceled, so the CMP still has a substantial inventory of printed 2020 rulebooks. In addition, the changes adopted for the 2020 competition season were not thoroughly tested, plus there was only a small number of changes for 2021. As a result, the CMP decided not to publish new rulebooks for 2021. 2020 Rulebooks will continue to be used and Errata sheets are being provided for each rulebook. The rulebooks posted on the CMP website have been updated with 2021 changes are labeled as “2020-2021” rulebooks.

The options match sponsors and competitors have for using 2020-2021 CMP Competition Rules are:

  • If you already have a 2020 rulebook, download the Errata for that rulebook at and note in your 2020 rulebook where those changes apply.
  • If you keep your rulebooks on your computer, notebook, or cell phone, or want to print your own rulebook, you can download the updated 2020-2021 rulebooks that are posted on the CMP website at
  • Rulebooks that will be issued during CMP training courses or at competitions will be 2020 versions of the rules and they will be issued with printed copies of the Errata for that rulebook.

When reading the 2020-2021 editions of the rulebooks, note that 2020 rule changes are displayed in black underlined text. 2021 changes are displayed in red underlined text. There were not a lot of changes that were approved for 2021. Those changes do, however, include the addition of a new CMP Service Revolver Match in the Pistol Rules and the addition of F-Class and AR-Tactical Mid- and Long Range Matches in the Highpower Rifle Rules. The CMP plans to offer competitions in both of these new disciplines in the 2021 National Matches. Another significant change, which has already been announced because it applies this year, is the authorization that competitors may fire a sixth EIC match in years like 2020 when the National Trophy Individual Match is not held.


One of the most important 2020 rule changes was a requirement that high-power rifle and pistol competitors must wear eye and hearing protection when they are on firing lines. Virtually every shooter knows that repeated exposure to gunfire sounds causes hearing loss and they always wear earplugs and/or earmuffs while firing. A big majority of experienced, knowledgeable competitors now agree that protective eyewear is a must for high-power rifle and pistol shooting, but unfortunately, this safety precaution has not been as universally accepted. Incidents involving high-power rifle and pistol shooting where eye injuries occurred or could have occurred are more common than many realize. This is well-confirmed by the CMP’s evaluation of several such incidents that have been reported to it.

The CMP’s concern in adopting a rule requiring eye and hearing protection stems from the responsibility inherent in its enabling legislation (federal law) that authorizes the CMP “to promote practice and safety in the use of firearms.”

The CMP strives to act as a model shooting sports organization and national leader in making the safety of its competitors one of its highest priorities. The CMP Board and staff have carefully evaluated the pros and cons of this safety requirement and have concluded that mandating the wearing of eye and hearing protection is a wise policy that is a necessary part of fulfilling its responsibility to promote “safety in the use of firearms.”

After this rule was introduced, a vast majority of competitors complied with its letter and spirit. The CMP thanks them for their cooperation in implementing an important new safety rule. Unfortunately, there were a few competitors who did not comply. Some wore shooting glasses to the line and then lowered or removed them while firing. A really strange attempt to evade this rule involved cutting a hole in the part of the shooting glasses lens where the competitor looked while aiming. A few simply refused to comply.

After evaluating experiences with this new safety requirement in 2020, the CMP is taking these additional steps to facilitate compliance in 2021:

    • Rule 3.6.2 (both Highpower Rifle and Pistol) has been clarified to clearly require that “two complete lenses” be worn in front of both eyes while firing. Obtaining shooting glasses or prescription eyewear that complies with the ANSI Z87.1 safety standard is “strongly recommended.”
    • Pre-match safety briefings in 2021 will include specific instructions about the requirement to wear eye and hearing protection while on the firing line.
    • Match officials will give warnings to any competitor who is not in compliance. Refusal to comply with a warning is grounds for disqualification.
    • Match sponsors are advised that their match officials need to monitor and enforce this rule and that results from EIC or other matches where this rule was not enforced may not be accepted.

The CMP is committed to providing competition rules and competition administration that take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone who participates in its competitions. The CMP thanks the many competitors who are already in compliance with this safety rule and it appeals to all competitors to do the same in 2021.


Here is a summary, by discipline, of rule changes adopted for the 2021 competition season:

    • Pistol Rules (Events for Service Pistol, Match Pistols [2700], and Revolvers).
      • Added a new CMP Service Revolver Match, expanded rules for revolvers, with the expectation that Revolver Matches will become key events in 2021 and future National Matches programs. P1.4, P4.1.5 and P5.2.7
      • The requirement that Pistol EIC Matches must have turning targets was dropped. Turning or electronic targets are still required for National Matches and National Championship Pistol events. P3.7.3
      • 22 Rimfire Pistols can now have fiber optic or light-enhancing front sights (same as for Service Pistol). P4.1.6
      • Disabled pistols can now be replaced with any pistol that is legal for the match being fired. P4.3.5
      • The 1000-point National Service Pistol Aggregate was modified to allow the firing of a second 30-shot individual National Match Course in lieu of a 30-shot team match. P5.3.1
    • CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Rules (Events for Vintage Military Rifles and Pistols).
      • Verifiers on electronic target ranges are now required to call out shot values to their competitors, unless the competitor instructs them not to do so. G1.8.7 d)
      • The M1923 military leather sling was added to the list of slings that are legal for use with Vintage Military Rifles. G3.6.1
      • The 2-minute pre-prep period (before the 3-minute preparation period) will be deleted when a new stage is fired in the same position as the previous stage.  G3.7.2
      • The 10.5 lb. weight limit for Unlimited M1 Garands was deleted. There is now no weight limit for Unlimited Garands. G5.2.6
    • Highpower Rifle Rules (Events for Service Rifle, Match Rifle, Long Range Rifle and new F-Class and AR-Tactical Rifles).
      • Verifiers on electronic target ranges are now required to call out shot values to their competitors, unless the competitor instructs them not to do so. H3.2.7 d)
      • The prohibition against billeted AR15-Type uppers and lowers was deleted, with a proviso that lowers with integral trigger guards may not be used.  H4.1.1 b) ii)
      • Optical sights were authorized for M14/M1A-Type Service Rifles in 2020; the rule for this rifle now authorizes the attachment of a cheek pad or cheek-piece if optical sights are used. H4.1.3 g)
      • Optical sights and the attachment of a cheek pad or cheek-piece are now authorized for M1 Garands when fired in Service Rifle Matches. M1 Garands fired in As-Issued Military Rifle Matches governed by CMP Games Rules may not have optical sights. H4.1.4
      • The limitation on the number of EIC Matches that can be fired in one year (5 EIC Matches and the National Trophy Individual Match) was changed to provide that in years when the National Trophy Individual Match is not held, competitors can fire in six (6) EIC Matches. H9.2.2 b)
      • Detailed rules for Mid-Range and Long-Range F-Class and AR-Tactical Matches are included in the 2021 Rules. Those rules identify the events that may be fired with these rifles (Rule 1.5 and Rules 5.11-5.14), the rifles and rests that me be fired (Rules 4.1.7, 4.1.8 & 4.1.9), and the targets to be used (Rule 4.6.4).
    • Smallbore Rifle Rules (Events for Smallbore Rifle Position and Smallbore Rifle Prone events).
      • Added a new rule that allows smallbore rifle competitors with disabilities to participate in the Distinguished Marksman program.
      • Allow competitors who are 55 years of age or older to use a second kneeling roll placed between the heel and buttocks in the kneeling position.

The new 2020-2021 Rulebooks and 2021 Errata are now ready to be downloaded from the CMP website at Anyone with questions regarding 2021 rule changes or other CMP rules may contact the CMP at [email protected] or 419-635-2141, ext. 729.

About the Civilian Marksmanship Program

Civilian Marksmanship Program

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto

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Ryben Flynn

I wish I could go with my 1955 Springfield Armory M1 Garand.
I don’t even know where it is held.