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I'm afraid I have seen the future of SASS and I'm very unsure whether I like it or not.


Noz

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The whole thing of "What's the future of the game?" seems to me to be pretty simple, but if we're not careful we find ourselves looking for something beyond the obvious. The "thing" that most everyone playing the game has in common is we grew up watching westerns on TV and at the movies when the large majority of popular shows on TV were.............you guessed it, westerns. Since this era came to an end in the late 60s and early 70s, anyone born in the mid 70s or later is unlikely to come to the game except via a parent or grandparent. The majority of those will lose interest when they get dating/driving age.

 

The game will die in time and I hate it. With that said, it doesn't have to draw its last breath in the near future. In my opinion marketing should be directed not at the young (love 'em all!), but at the people out there like us (typically 45 up) who still like the concept of playing cowboy yet have no clue the game exists and how readily available it is practically anywhere in the U.S. and in some other countries.

 

Do we have staying power? Yes. Star Trek and Star Wars might have their freaks and sell a bunch of merchandise, but those shows or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or a Power Rangers will NEVER have the effect on the world that westerns have had. We ain't dead yet!

Excellent post!!

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I think the future of SASS and CAS is not necessary a question of actual shooter and members per sei but maybe how saturated we have become with the number of shoots. In Michigan the month of MAY has 15 monthly matches, 1-3 day annual match, 2 Wild Bunch matches, Our neighbor Ohio's State match and the International Black Powder Shoot in Indiana. That is a lot of shoots competing for X amount of shooters. Someone mentioned earlier that match directors are selling entertainment, Yes they are, some clubs will survive others will not, it depends on what your goal is and if having the same 12 to 16 shooters at your club is enough cool Some people will never venture farther then their home club. If that club stops having matches they will either venture out or quit the sport. People will spent their money where they have perceived value. Money spent where they get the most bang for their buck.

 

Folks have mentioned the price for shooting supplies and guns going up as a factor into the future of the sport, I agree but feel that for most it is still obtainable for most people wanting to play.

 

Another thing that ahs been bantered around the wire is the lack of peoples involvement at matches, Harder to find people to show up for set up, Harder to find help for side matches, harder to find people to run timers for fear of being scrutinized if they make a mistake or just the pressure of doing it. More people just wanting to shoot and maybe spot a little or watch the L or UL table a little bit. This sport requires a lot of volunteers and participation from the shooters them self. If clubs and MDs don't have that support the sport will suffer. This seems to be a bigger problem than it used to be, Why? Too many matches using the same volunteer base, I don't know. More people wanting to pay their money and just shoot? and I'm not judging I'm just point out things that have been talked about before on the wire.

 

How many of you see people come to a match and cant wait to leave? I know that people have other engagements sometimes but more and more I see folks looking at their watches and wanting to be out ASAP. I don't get that but whatever, its their game too. How is this going to hurt our sport long term, I don't know, Maybe society as a whole is a lot busier then it used to be, I for one like to hang around and play the game as long as possible before having to go home and cut the grass and back to reality.

 

I think our sport will survive just fine as long as there are like minded people interested in the old west, a shooting sport that has something for everyone and the best people.

 

Best regards,

 

Chili

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On March 6, 2014, Misty Moonshine said there were 32,845 active members, 7,581 Life members. I don't know if the 7581 was included in the 32845, or in addition to it.

From that 32,000 active members subtract the wives who have never shot a match, the infants signed up by doting grandfathers and the pets that those with money to burn have signed up as members. From those 7500 life members subtract the deceased and the true numbers will be much smaller.

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When I build targets, I build what some would call "big" targets.

When I set targets for a match, some might say they are "close"

 

But I dont do it for the "fast" shooters. I do it for the young shooters and the middle to bottom of the pack shooters. A lot of shooters know they dont have the ability or agility to run with the younger faster shooters, so they are shooting for clean matches. I try to make it a lil easier on them. But like someone said, theres no target too big to miss.

 

A couple of days ago, there was a thread going about stages being too complicated.....now theres one about them being too simple. That is a perfect example of not being able to please everyone

We are just getting a new club started here in West Virginia. We have had one shoot so far this year. I have made many of our targets and plan to make more. I like to have a mix of large and more challenging targets. Sometimes the size of the target just depends on the size of the piece of plate that I could get my hands on.

 

And, yes, I do try to make and place these targets realizing that we have several new shooters.

 

Lone Rider

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The whole thing of "What's the future of the game?" seems to me to be pretty simple, but if we're not careful we find ourselves looking for something beyond the obvious. The "thing" that most everyone playing the game has in common is we grew up watching westerns on TV and at the movies when the large majority of popular shows on TV were.............you guessed it, westerns. Since this era came to an end in the late 60s and early 70s, anyone born in the mid 70s or later is unlikely to come to the game except via a parent or grandparent. The majority of those will lose interest when they get dating/driving age.

 

The game will die in time and I hate it. With that said, it doesn't have to draw its last breath in the near future. In my opinion marketing should be directed not at the young (love 'em all!), but at the people out there like us (typically 45 up) who still like the concept of playing cowboy yet have no clue the game exists and how readily available it is practically anywhere in the U.S. and in some other countries.

 

Do we have staying power? Yes. Star Trek and Star Wars might have their freaks and sell a bunch of merchandise, but those shows or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or a Power Rangers will NEVER have the effect on the world that westerns have had. We ain't dead yet!

 

I'm a 90's baby... I grew up with westerns and love just about every one of them from Roy Rodgers to Clint Eastwood. But I get what you're saying..

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When the Chronicle was still being printed before the advent of the digital version we could look at the number of Chronicles being printed and make some educated guesses as to the number of active members. Last time we did that we came up with a number of active members at about half the latest badge numbers. Back between badge numbers of about 10,000 to 50,000, SASS was growing at it's greatest pace.

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As long as there are two guys or women with western style guns, there will be a shooting contest. They may not be SASS members, but they'll be cowboy action shooters at heart.

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Since I am physically limited, I like the big and close arrangement. I like big matches but have a hard time getting thru 2 to 3 days of shooting plus travel. I really miss not being able to shoot like I once did. So, if your able to do it then do it while you can. I still try to shoot at least once a month and one annual but it doesn't always work out for me. I guess it is like Clint said A man needs to know his limitations. I hope SASS continues for a long time. I know I want to continue as long as I'm able. I still have fun shooting and challenging myself.

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I'm with Wyatt, think I'll just go shoot tomorrow....and Sunday. I'll shoot at anything the clubs go to the trouble to set up. Never been disappointed at a shoot yet. Don't expect to be anytime soon.

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For Allies figures I joined Sass in Jan 2000 given #29989. After winning a free air ticket to EOT, I have been flying the pacific to play this wonderful game for 15 years at $6000 each time.?

We cannot hope to play the game in Aussie as its played here, so to all my USA cowboy friends ...you have it made pards. So much so that we, Kathouse Kelli and myself moved to stay longer here ..just to go shooting!!!

Bought a nice little place in OK to use as a base, joined OKCity gun club, home of Land Run and one of the best ranges I've seen. Not to mention the fantastic people we've met at this club.

I don't really care where the targets are, you play the game accordingly and you'll have fun, and probably shoot well too.

Land Run had a mixture of target and size placement and I cannot find fault with one stage. I was very familiar with those targets too, as I painted every single one of them before the match!

Land Run was a huge success which means we put on what shooters wanted, I'm sure the SWRegional will be bigger, be interesting to see if you come to that Noz!

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I'd like to add that the enthusiasm doesn't stop with members born before the mid 70's.

 

I was born in 73. I was not raised in a family that watched Westerns. Never watched the lone ranger, turned the channel when Bonanza came on. By the time I was born even howdy dudy was on his way out - and I grew up in Oklahama! No cowboys, no idians, closest thing to a firearm my family owned was a cap gun.

 

I would encourage folks to not discount the younger shooters. CAS and SASS may be based on the old west, but it is still a very forward thinking sport and they have a very interesting hook and every good brand has a hook. That hook is the Cowboy Way. CAS is less about winning and more about the incredible and unique way pards treat each other.

 

Come for the guns (or the costumes, or the smoke . . ) stay for the people.

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so Noz,

for "me" SASS compitition is about being as good as "I" can..with the "effort" that I want to put in.

targets,very with every shooting sport, courses of fire very with every sport...but the "good"/"fast shooters are always going to be exceptional... Phantom... I remember competing with you before your move to Texas, (well we shot at some of the same matches and I was no competition for your skills

no matter what caliber you choose to shoot...(and you were a class act for all the ridicule (sp?) Story short I could practice 'tel the cows come home and not be as fast as some folks. and by the way all that practice is a lot of work and again for me and me only all that work takes away from "my" funit really doesn't matter where you place the targets...

 

After 'bout 36 years SASS is still FUN !!!

 

Cheers,

Seldom Seen Slim, 682L

 

 

 

 

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Matthew D.-

 

THANK YOU for hitting one of the nails squarely on it's head! My SASS badge is 18219. IF I were to forsake all things SASS today, that badge number would STILL be mine, active or not. In fact, if EVERYONE having a badge number lower than the most recent one issued up and quit today, REGARDLESS of the number on the most recent badge issued , there would be only ONE member. THE NUMBER OF BADGES ISSUED DOES NOT REFLECT THE NUMBER OF CURRENT MEMBERS! Cypress Sun , you and I shot at some of the same Florida clubs. We have been witness to Florida clubs failing. We have been witness to major matches in the region being discontinued. We have seen obvious things like the DIGITAL Cowboy Chronicle, which , though it costs less to produce, leaves me with nothing tangible to hand to a prospect who MIGHT have joined.YES entery level shooters find this to be an EXPENSIVE sport. One can shoot "production" class in USPSA with a handgun costing less than $500 ( including spare magazines, shopping carefully ) one holster, several magazine holders, and a decent belt. NO second gun, NO shotgun, NO rifle, NO related equipment, NO guncart. For many, this makes a shooting sport a reality. YES I bought this spring a new pair of boots , from a local artisan here in Phoenix hand crafted, David Espinosa. Expensive. Sadly, I will not likely wear these out. I am likewise trimming "extra " items I have related to CAS, so as not to be stuck with items no one will buy later . I see the writing on the Wall, like Tess. Never lose sight of the fact that SASS is a BUSINESS. Allie Mo, you know from at least a couple of past entries, I respect you. To challenge a writer to come up with specific stats that are potentially secrets closely guarded by the Home Organization is dirty pool. If otherwise, make all such info public in an easy to access place here on the wire, ( a lot of folks like bar graphs ) and END the speculation. I would suggest a THIRD party INDEPENDENT AUDIT, so those performing such are not foxes watching the henhouse, nor are paid by said foxes, and performing in their specified interests.

IF I am wrong, I shall apologize to you here on the wire, Allie Mo. But you DID toss down a gauntlet.

Respectfully and thoughtfully,

C Smith

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There was a post somewhere around last March from Misty during the whole Cowboy Chronicle dustup. Last time they admitted to numbers then it was claimed to be:

32,845 active members.

7,581 lifers.

 

That's not much different from the roughly 30,000 members we all guessed there were from the distribution numbers in the Chronicle over the last years.

 

Some come and go all the time but membership has stayed pretty consistent. I'd call that a win. Since we are now over 100,000 individual members signed up since the beginning that's quite a large pool of potential people to return some day, or people who let it lapse but still shoot monthlies, or just people who hopefully talk it up to others. A new shooter at a match this morning had a number over 102,000.

 

Many have passed on. But apparently many have picked it up from them.

 

There were two brand new shooters (with guns) at the match I was at this morning...

 

We had a new buckarette last week.

 

We had at least two others in the last month.

 

Sass numbers don't even get close to reflecting every new shooter. Only some of them are so enthusiastic that they buy a SASS membership before shooting a few matches.

 

And this topic is now way off topic from stage design. :)

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Here's one for you to ponder. The lady secretary/treasurer of our gun club has been a SASS member for many years. She has the guns. She has never shot a match. She don't even come to the matches we have. I don't know if she ever has even watched a match. It's just something she interested to do some day I guess.

 

Our match director admitted he let his membership laps. His main reason was the discontinuation of the printed Cowboy Chronicle. He doesn't do the Internet thing so he and others like him didn't express their opinions on the demise of the printed Cowboy Chronicle. He has come back to dues paying membership again. But he's still mad.

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... To challenge a writer to come up with specific stats that are potentially secrets closely guarded by the Home Organization is dirty pool. If otherwise, make all such info public in an easy to access place here on the wire, ( a lot of folks like bar graphs ) and END the speculation. I would suggest a THIRD party INDEPENDENT AUDIT, so those performing such are not foxes watching the henhouse, nor are paid by said foxes, and performing in their specified interests.

IF I am wrong, I shall apologize to you here on the wire, Allie Mo. But you DID toss down a gauntlet.

Respectfully and thoughtfully,

C Smith

 

 

 

Dear Conestoga,

 

I did not toss down the gauntlet, Tess/TJB did. Predicting doom and gloom without facts is, IMO, "dirty pool." Trying, as I did to speculate based on real numbers is an attempt to find some truth. It may not be an accurate representation of what is happening. However, it is more than someone saying something is so with nothing to back it up.

 

I really don't see why the WB would want to waste funds on an " INDEPENDENT AUDIT" of what is or what is not. The money would be better spent finding ways to improve the game or participation.

 

Regards,

 

Allie Mo

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I think there should be more tacos at SASS matches but no chili.

 

NO CHILI? HERESY!

 

No beans in the chili, though.

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The tangent in my abode begins after the chili with beans is consumed.

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See, here's your problem promoting SASS. You're stuck in the Tex-Mex state of mind.

 

Here in Missouri your sure to draw a big crowd if you had fresh baked biscuits and sausage gravy made when the shooters show up.

 

In the upper Great Lakes area it would be Lutefish.

 

In the Old South, have a wild howg cooking in the ground.

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I'm back from the future and yesterday was a delightful day shooting!

 

Now back to the future................................................I see chili in my future!!!!!!!!

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But that leaves out my favorite 3 bean chili :(

 

 

Isn't 3 bean chili actually....bean stew? :blush:

 

 

EC

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See, here's your problem promoting SASS. You're stuck in the Tex-Mex state of mind.

 

Here in Missouri your sure to draw a big crowd if you had fresh baked biscuits and sausage gravy made when the shooters show up.

 

In the upper Great Lakes area it would be Lutefish.

 

In the Old South, have a wild howg cooking in the ground.

You have some great points, but I think I'd pack my own lunch up North.

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There is no doubt about the fact that the game isn't what it was when I started. If that's a good or bad thing is up to the individual

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