League Competition Rules

Northern Shooting Show  Lincolnshire League

What is Bell Target? Bell Target, in its simplest form is shooting at a circular target 6 yards/18 feet away with a .177 Air rifle or pistol with open sights and without any form of mechanical support. The object of the sport is to shoot a .177 pellet through the 3/8″ hole in the middle of the target and ring a bell. For our league this scores you 5.1 points. If you miss the hole and hit the plate you score 5, 4,3, 2 or zero, there is no 1 score.

You have 5 shots so a possible maximum score of 25.5

Where can I shoot Bell Target?

Is there a minimum age? You need to be old enough to safely handle a .177 Air rifle and they can be quite heavy, other than that just about any age can shoot and we have some very competent under 16 shooters.

What do I need to start?

How much will it cost? Not a lot! There is a yearly affiliation fee of £5.00 and after that you simply pay £2.00 for every practice evening and competition. This fee payable to the team captain covers your pellets, other consumables and running costs. Additionally, as the meetings are normally held in local pubs (Please see the teams tab) You probably need to allow for a glass of orange juice and a packet of crisps or two…

Bell Target Shooting

Match rules – updated 22/08/2019:

A team will consist of up to 8 Shooters numbers to be agreed by captains on the night, shooting is at a distance of 6 yards (18 feet), free standing no rests or optical aids, unless prescription glasses are to be worn, or shooters have a NSRA exemption certificate. The centre of the bell shall be five feet off the floor

Team Captains are to list their team members on the individual team sheet before the match and be signed by both captains

If a team is unable to field a full team of shooters then with consent of the team captains the team member with the lowest score can shoot again, then the next lowest until the team reaches its full complement, if no agreement is reached then the match will be forfeited by the team who cannot field the full compliment

The season will run from the beginning of September until the end of March, all teams will play home and away, it is the responsibility of the home team captain to arrange matches with their opponents.

Each shooter will have 5 shots plus one optional shot (called a sighter) at the start of their shooting. The Range officer* (RCO) will ask the shooter at the start of their set if a sighter is to be used.  If a sighter is used, then the RCO will tell the Scorer* that a sighter is to be used and their subsequent shot will count.  If the slighter is not used the RCO will inform the scorer “first shot to count.”

Where two targets are to be used, if one shooter wants a sighter and the second does not then all sighters must be shot before the match round starts, (all match rounds must start at the same time) any sighters must be painted out and bell setting checked after each sighter

Where one target is used then the home side will shoot first and then away team this will continue till all members have shot

When two targets are used, team captains will toss a coin the winner choosing which target they want to shoot on first, the loser using the other target.

The match will be shot over two rounds with teams changing targets after the first round so both teams shot on both targets.


Scoring from the centre is 5, 4 ,3, 2, 0, please note there is no 1 score, a bell is scored as 5.1. Only round nose pellets are to be used as these leave a dot on the target, this is used to score the shoot, dot on the line you mark up.

It is the home team’s responsibility to provide pellets for the match, individual shooters may use their own pellets, but these must be domed. Any shots made with flat pellets will not count to the team or individual scores

In the event of six or more shots being placed on the target the highest shot will be discounted

In the event of a bell being rang, where two targets are in use, then the second shooter if in position to shoot will be allowed to take their shot before the bell is reset.

The RCO will call cease fire the shooters will put their rifles on the bench and RCO will ask the Markers to go forward and to confirm the score and inform the scorer of the scores, they will then repaint the target and check that the bell is set.

Once every one has returned behind the firing point the RCO will give the permission for the next shot to be taken

If anyone or RCO sees anything dangerous happing  then they shout out Stop, Stop, Stop all shooting must stop immediately and rifles put on bench and made safe and await instructions from the RCO

After each round the scorers from each team will score the targets in the event of any disagreement the RCO for the evening will have the final decision

A break will be called after the first round

We recommend that all shooters wear safety glasses while shooting and the Bell Target should be angled slightly down to the ground

If for any reason a team cannot be fielded then the team captain must let their opposing captain know the week before the match and an alternative date agreed, if not then the match will be forfeited.

All scores must be sent to the Web Master by email by the Friday of the week following the week in which the match took part. It is the home captain’s responsibility to ensure that this happens; if it is not received then the home team will be deducted three points

Points will be award as follows three for a win zero for a loss, there will be no draws



(RCO) As the name suggests the RCO has overall charge of the range and everyone in it, including spectators. What the RCO says goes. NO Arguments, if during the evening you change the RCO then this must be made clear to all who is now in charge

Marker Somebody from your team will have to act as marker and may well act as judge.

 Scorer Again somebody from the team will need to take down all your scores on the league sheet this must be retained till the end of the season


All rifles and pistols (if used) must be 

. 177 calibre. Rifles not over 12ft lbs. the best power is around 5 to 7 ft. lbs. this keeps bounce back to a minimum. Pistols not over 6ft lbs. Sights, dioptre (peep) sights are the main preference but, open post or iron sights work equally well.




At the start of the match the RCO will call forward the first shooter from the home team to the firing point. The RCO will allow a short time for the shooter to “test and adjust their aim.” The RCO will then ask the shooter if they require an (optional) sighter or is their “first shot to count?” The RCO will inform the scorer; ”sighter” or “first shot to count.” The RCO will then give permission to fire. If two targets are being used then a members from each team will be called forward

After the shooter, (shooters) have fired their sighter the RCO will call a “Cease Fire.” The shooter(s) are to lay down their rifles on the bench in front of them, and step back. They are not to touch the rifle again until the RCO has given permission for them to do so.

After the five shoots have been made a cease fire will be called and the shooter(s) will put their rilfe on the bench the RCO will ask the markers to go forward to confirm the scores and repaint the target and check the bell is set, the cumulative score for each shooter will be given to the scorer.

After each team round the scores will be added up and announced to the teams, at the end of the evening both scores will be added together to decide the winner of the match,

Tied scores

In the event of the two teams scores being equal, then each member of each team will take one shot, these are totalled and the one with the highest score will be the winner, if the scores are still tied additional rounds will be made until a winner is achieved



Match fees have been set at £2.00 per match home or away, this will be collected by the team’s captain and used to purchase pellets (domed) and equipment and any other expenses relating to the team

Annual fee

There will be an annual signing on fee which has been agreed at £5.00 per person for the year, this is to cover insurances and affiliation of the league provided by the NSRA

Each team captain will have a duplicate book recording the names of those people who are registered for your team, any shooter join through the season will be required to pay the registration fee to shoot in the league, one copy will be sent to the league coordinator with a cheque for the amount made out to Lincolnshire Bell Target League


Friendly matches

The league encourages friendly’s and come and try it nights so non-league members and people new to the sport can take participate in the bell target, there may be time after matches for people to take part and have a go


County championships

These will be held in April May every year and the following competitions will be run

Seniors open

Open to any shooter in the county to take part in a shoulder to shoulder competition based on a knock out system league shooters £2.00 none league shooters £3.00

Plate competition

Open to all shooters knocked out in round one of the county championships

Junior competition

Open to all young people under the age of eighteen on the day of the competition