Helice (originally known as ZZ or Electrocibles) is an international discipline governed by FITASC. The targets, or 'helices', are designed to simulate the flight of a live bird and their flight is erratic and unpredictable.
Unlike the majority of shooting disciplines Helice does not use a clay pigeon as the target. The helice is made up of an orange or red, two winged propeller shape with a detachable white centre cap known as the 'witness'.
The shooter can take two shots at each target but both shots must be made during the acceleration phase of the helice. To score a hit, the white centre cap must separate completely from the wings and it must land within the fenced area known as the 'ring' (see below).
Once a shooter is stood on the shooting stand he/she can load their gun and the launchers will be started. The shooter must then indicate when they are ready to call for a target by shouting "ready", the 'puller' will then activate the voice release mechanism and shout "ready" in return. The shooter is then free to call for the helice which will be released immediately upon their call.
Helice layouts are made up of five or seven launchers, when the shooter calls for a target it will be released from one of the launchers at random. The shooter does not know which launcher will throw the target until the white door of the machine falls open and the helice is released.
Most events are shot over 25 targets with shooters attempting two targets per go on five machine layouts and three targets per go on seven machine layouts.
Helice targets are thrown using special launchers made from small oscillating electric motors that spin the targets at high speed (up to 10,000 rpm) before releasing them. There are five or seven, evenly spaced, launchers set in an arc 25m in front of the front shooting stand. The stands range from 25m to 30m.
When there are five launchers they are set 4.5m-5.0m apart, this is reduced to 2.25m-2.50m apart when there are seven launchers.
A rigid fence is set up 21m from the point where the helices are launched, this is known as the 'ring'.
It used to be possible to use up to 36g cartridges at Helice competitions, however from 1st Jan 2010 it was changed to cartridges with a maximum load of 28g and a shot size no greater than 2.7mm.