Natalie Smith v Shooting Australia

Australian National Shooting Team athlete disputing non-selection in two additional events at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup.


Natalie Smith v Shooting Australia

Matter number:
Date of decision:
Dispute type:
Selection and eligibility dispute
Dispute resolution method:

The Appellant is an international representative athlete in the sport of Target Shooting. As a member of the Australian National Shooting Team, the Appellant was selected by Shooting Australia (SA), the Respondent, to compete at the World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS ) World Cup held in New Delhi in the R2 10m Air Rifle Women Standing and R8 50m Rifle Women 3-position 3x20 events. The Appellant disputed her non-selection in two further events, the R3 10m Air Rifle Mixed Prone event and the R6 50m Rifle Mixed Prone event. 

The Tribunal was asked to determine whether SA’s decision to not select the Appellant for the additional events complied with the procedural requirements of the 2024 WSPS World Cups and Grand Prix Team Selection Criteria.

The Respondent contended that the Applicant had no avenue for appeal because the 2024 Criteria concerned selection to the Team (as opposed to individual events) and the Applicant was already selected into the Team. The Tribunal was not persuaded by this argument. 

The Tribunal considered the difference between the required Minimum Performance Standard from the 2023 Criteria, and the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) from the 2024 Criteria. The Tribunal found that the MQS is not a mandatory eligibility criterion, and an athlete who did not meet the MQS, could still be selected should the panel wish to exercise its discretion. 

The Tribunal found the panel failed to properly follow and implement the 2024 Criteria in selection of the National Team in light of the Tribunal’s views as to the proper construction of the 2024 Criteria, the fact that the panel did not consider the Applicant for the R3 and R6 events, and the fact that there is no evidence that the Applicant failed to satisfy the eligibility criteria.

The Tribunal determined that the decision to not select the Appellant should be set aside, and the matter remitted to SA for fresh consideration.