With a host of selection issues - and heartburns - arising before major competitions, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has decided to start a ranking system based on points and it could come into effect even before the National Championships in January.
At its technical committee meeting on Saturday, the federation also made it clear no shooter could rest on past laurels for more than two years, and points - earned in major competitions - would keep on decreasing with each passing day, until he or she is left with nothing in the kitty.
"The technical committee decided today to come up with a national ranking system based on points where a maximum of 1,000 points would be awarded for an Olympic Games gold medal and 500 points for a World Championship gold," said national coach Sunny Thomas.
According to the system, whose nitty-gritty is being worked out by a sub-committee, a maximum of 400 points would be awarded for World Cup gold, between 200-250 points for a national title and 200 points for topping the trials.
"We are going to start the system on January 1, 2011 but for all practical purposes it may not come into effect until June next year," said Thomas.
He also added that points would be awarded till the 12th position and scores would be a major consideration.
"For example, only someone clinching a gold in the Nationals and scoring 400/400 will be entitled to maximum points. Clinching gold at 395/400 will not earn him maximum points," explained Thomas.
"Olympic Games medallists and those finishing in the top 12 will continue to benefit from these points for a period of two years, while shooters participating in the World Championships would benefit for 18 months," he said, adding the points earned at World Cups (400 points) and national championships and trials can be cashed in for a year.
Initially, the system would be applicable in pistol and rifle and once it efficacy is ensured it would also become applicable in shotgun.
"This will ensure transparency in selection and no one will have heartburn, though there would be a separate system for selection procedure for the Olympic Games," he added.
For the last year or so, the NRAI had been following a system whereby they were awarding bonus points to Olympic and World Championship medal winners - gold (3), silver (2) and bronze (1), besides additional points based on world rankings - 1-5 ranking (3), 6-10 (2) and 11-15 (1) for two years.