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Editorial (update)

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Posted (edited)

The editorial in the January 2019 Cowboy Chronicle by Pataha, SASS #5191 Is one of the best things that I've read in the Chronicle in many years. I've been beating the drum for such action a very long time. It is indeed a FACT that the game HAS been directed by the Shooting elite.  MANY of the rules that we have today were put into place in a failed attempt to stop the game from gong where it has gone. We have come to a point where we put more emphasis on who can move their hand the fastest than we do on anything else in the game. We can NOT go back to the beginning, and I would not even want to try, it simply would not work, but we can learn from the past and inject the best parts of the past into today's game. GAME.... that is what this is suppose to be, A GAME. For years it was the most Wonderful and Fun Game that I have ever been a part of. When some Hotdog can shoot a stage in 12 sec, there isn't much game playing going on. It is going to take an amalgamation of the past with the present if we are to have a bright future.

 

Snakebite

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Howdy Snakebite.

I always read your post and enjoy/learn from reading your comments.

 

Unlike you, I've only been in the game about 14 years and I think some of the more reputable speedsters

were starting to bloom when I arrived (at the age of 55, I wasn't one of them).

 

I know that some of the stage designs and target placements have enhanced some of those 12 sec stages you

mentioned.   But I honestly must say that I felt like a good part of the game since I started was

due to a BIG effort to get more Women and young shooters (buckaroo/ettes) involved.

And simpler stages and hittable targets were part of that effort to appease prospective new shooters.

 

I agree that in order for SASS/CAS to have a bright future,  we all need to look at where we came from

and what brought us to our present.   And hopefully, the best of both past and present will 

enhance our future.

 

SASS and its members should be grateful that there are still some of you 'historians' are around

to share those things with us.

 

Along with you, I also enjoy reading post from GRIFF.    He's a good historian on SASS also.

 

..........Widder

 

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Widder… Yes.. the closer and larger targets (within reason) are a GOOD THING, but the game can still be played. Somewhere along the line we did away with everything that might involve any chance what-so-ever.... Like turning over a card... if Red, start here, if Black start here. Flipping a pancake on the clock... throwing the tomahawk, retriving the keys for a jail break... yata yata. It was fun... lots of things can be done... one problem is that TIME became such a factor that the stages were cut down in complexity in order to get so many shooters through the course of fire in a given amount of time.. WELL, DUH.... maybe instead of shooting 12 hurry-up stages, we could go back to shooting 10 fun stages instead. For sure we don't want targets that require a Bench Rest to hit... that takes the ACTION out of the game. We have the opportunity to remake this game. Starting at our local clubs is of course the easiest, but it needs to happen at the BIG matches too. Fast shooting will ALWAYS be part of this game, and the top shooters of today's game will STILL be the top shooters. I'm NOT wanting to blow them away, only wanting a better place for the VAST MAJORITY of shooters to PLAY THE GAME. 

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3 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Howdy Snakebite.

I always read your post and enjoy/learn from reading your comments.

 

Unlike you, I've only been in the game about 14 years and I think some of the more reputable speedsters

were starting to bloom when I arrived (at the age of 55, I wasn't one of them).

 

I know that some of the stage designs and target placements have enhanced some of those 12 sec stages you

mentioned.   But I honestly must say that I felt like a good part of the game since I started was

due to a BIG effort to get more Women and young shooters (buckaroo/ettes) involved.

And simpler stages and hittable targets were part of that effort to appease prospective new shooters.

 

I agree that in order for SASS/CAS to have a bright future,  we all need to look at where we came from

and what brought us to our present.   And hopefully, the best of both past and present will 

enhance our future.

 

SASS and its members should be grateful that there are still some of you 'historians' are around

to share those things with us.

 

Along with you, I also enjoy reading post from GRIFF.    He's a good historian on SASS also.

 

..........Widder

 

If the changes to the game were made to attract more women and kids, it didn't work.  There were more 20 years ago than there are today.

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I remember the days when we had to turn over a cards, flipped a pancakes, threw the tomahawks, retriving the keys for a jail break, shot at hangmans nooses, carried bags of gold - candy or flowers to the next string, loaded water ballons (representing nitro) from a cooler to a bucket and many more things.  Everyone enjoyed those things.  I have seen where you have a 10-10-4 stand and deliver lose participants because everyone got bored with the same old thing.  I agree we need to get or keep some fun things.  That doesn't mean we have to do them on every stage but we have to keep it fun and interesting for everyone.  When you look at each group of shooters for any match there is only a small percent that shoot the stages in a super fast time and as Snakebite stated, they will always be there.  We cannot just cater to them, but we also must consider the vast majority of average shooters as well.  IMHO if the only reason you go to a match is to win an award then you missed the whole point of the game.

 

Consider what we see in the the "Brief History of SASS" posted on the SASS Website:

 

 Men, women, and children have all shared the benefits of the unique shooting design that focuses more on our American history, camaraderie and the safe recreational use of firearms instead of pure competition.  

 

How far do we want to drift away from this?

 

JMHO

Charlie

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These discussions just point out the fact that we all have different opinions, likes and dislikes about this competitive game.  I don't really care how far or close or large or small the targets are.  You put them out, I show up and I shoot at them.  I shoot duelist and my personal goal is to average 1 second for every round fired.  I may never get there, but I sure try.  Some stages are faster than others.  As far as the elite speedsters go, I am always happy to be on their posse just to watch them and try to learn a tip or two.  They work hard at the game and deserve every win they earn.   I like variety, it makes me a better all around shooter.   I like reactive targets, moving targets. I like corny lines, stabbing dummies and throwing dynamite sticks. I like movement and stand and deliver at large close targets.  Still cant figure how I can miss those, but I do once in a while.  I like actually having to aim and concentrate on trigger pull on long range pistol targets.   I shoot for the pleasure of shooting and try to do the best I can in my categories.  I love the people I have met, and compared to other shooting sports that I still frequent, this Cowboy Action Shooting is the best.  I have been and continue to be actively involved in the running of Cowboy Action Clubs and try to accommodate all the shooters that show up.  I don't know much about the "old days" as I have only been doing this about 8 years, but I just try to keep it growing and moving forward. 

 

Every game can be competitive and there is nothing wrong with that.  Heck, we have some bloody games of pickle ball at the old folks village where I live, and Mahjong, that's another story.   Maybe, against my better judgement,  the answer is to have an additional category for non-competitors.  Times will not be recorded and no awards will be given out.  that way those who wish can just shoot and have fun. 

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Snakebite always has a way of hitting dead center of the issue!

 

Nobody ever wants to run participants off for any reason!  But, the cause of this issue is easily seen if you just look through all the threads.  Folks ask "How do I get better?" and the answer is always - practice, practice, practice.  That is for sure the truth! 

 

BUT - over the years, the modifications to firearms and other equipment has always been geared toward increasing speed.  That has resulted in the comments about "speed demons" and "gamers".  But the reality of this issue is that those whose primary desire is to win, know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that they cannot practice all of the "other" stuff referenced as being from the "old days".  The only thing they can realistically control is practice with their firearms, movement to and from shooting positions and the "all important" transition time from firearm to firearm and shot to shot.  Top shooters are always going to be top shooters - stock guns and equipment or not. 

 

One of the above posts mentions folks getting bored with a stand and deliver 10-10-4 stage.  It would be SO easy to put in some "fun" stuff in a stage like that - throw a knife, turn a card, shoot a bow and arrow, throw a stick of dynamite, throw a hat, etc.  Those would not alter times enough to cause any major backups in any size match.  BUT, once again, the evolution of the game toward speed, speed, speed gets match directors who use those kinds of things chastised in many cases.  And, those "Top Shooters" whose only desire is to win, just cannot live with any sort of "chance" being allowed in the game.  Among many other things, that opportunity at a "chance" from an average shooter to be able to score higher than a "top shooter" as a result of sheer luck or being in the "right place at the right time" and the 15 seconds of fame associated with that is priceless to that average shooter.  My experience is that those "average" shooters make up large numbers and likely pay the lion share of the bills at most matches.

 

I was honored to be the match director at the Shootout at Mule Camp for 14 years.  We tried all kinds of those "fun" things.  One of the most discussed was derived from a Tom Mix silent movie.  The scenario started with the line "Action", then shooting each firearm from inside train cars from four different positions and when finished shooting, using a movie set "clap board" (which didn't effect the timer) so the last shot fired was the time elapsed.  The caveat to this stage was that, since it was a Silent Movie, you would receive a 5 second bonus if you completed the stage without saying ANYTHING until after the Clap Board was done.  Statistics from that stage yielded some 40% of shooters did not receive the bonus.  And yes, on many posses, there became quite a bit of heckling between friends/shooters while and after shooting the stage.  As harmless as it was, we received LOTS of complaints about that not being in the spirit of the game.  During my tenure, we never tried that again at Mule Camp matches but our local folks enjoyed it so much that the concept was used in many monthly matches.  Another instance was that we had some exploding targets with a 3/4" area that would ignite the target and make a BIG boom.  We had a target made specifically for it with a matching 3/4" hole that allowed the bright red target area to be easily seen.  The target was a 16" plate overall placed at 6 yards and was the last shot engaged (pistol or rifle).  If the shooter missed the entire 16" plate, it obviously was a miss.  If the target was hit, it was a hit - period.  But if the shooter hit the center hole, the target made a BIG BOOM and the shooter received a 5 second bonus.  The name of the stage was No Boom, No Bonus.  Those that wanted to take additional time to aim precisely could do that, otherwise they could speed right along.  The "average" shooters LOVED this one but the "top" shooters were vehemently upset with it.  We had a stage once that required the shooter to sit on a buckboard seat and shoot all four guns.  Four shotgun targets were directly in front of the "wagon" and the stage began with the shooter holding the "reins" (ropes attached to the shotgun targets for resetting).  The shooter had to pull the shotgun targets up first before shooting the first firearm.  Our idea was that the stage would take a bit more time since the shooter had to get into the wagon seat but we would overcome that additional time by not having to reset targets.  In theory, it worked great but we got criticized for requiring all shooting to be done from a seated position - voiced the loudest by those "top shooters" who did not practice that concept.  I have shot matches that required the shooter to put together a Colt style revolver that had the cylinder and cylinder pin removed.  Seems harmless, right???  You would be amazed at the number of shooters that have never done that - especially those that shoot Rugers.  Shooting from "horses" used to be a normal part of the game but has gone away in the bigger matches due to the additional time required.  So, the bottom line is that, regardless what you try, some will like it and some will not.  But I firmly believe that the vast majority of shooters enjoy the non-shooting "fun" aspects that used to always be a part of the game way back when.  And, the vast majority of the shooters don't spend much time worrying about calculating how much the total receipts for a match are due to the number of shooters participating.   

 

As Snakebite has so eloquently said many times, Cowboy Action Shooting belongs to the shooters.  Read that carefully - it does say Cowboy not just Action Shooting.  And yes, that does relate to the dress requirements but it also relates to the shooting scenarios when it all started years ago and for MANY years thereafter.  Nowadays, that Action part relates more to the amount of time it takes to cycle the action of each firearm.  Some long for the "old" days, others not so much. 

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An easy start is to place more emphasis on movement. Too many matches have 10 "stand and deliver" stages.  Makes for some eye popping times but adds little enjoyment to the sheer act of shooting.

Maybe I have missed something but there seems to be a huge value placed on winning 1st place.  I actually have won my category a few times and at no time did anyone hand me a check.  This is supposed to be a game not a steely eyed tooth gritting gun manipulating contest

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Serious topic for the true Cowboy Action Shooter.

When I first became interested in joining in the FUN, it was exciting to know there was a place I could actually dress up like a cowboy, and strap two six shooters to my waist and play John Wayne or Clint Eastwood for REAL. ;)

Did I aspire to be one of the best and fastest? Of Course! :D

Did I believe I could do it? My heart said yes, but somewhere in my grey matter, brain cells were shaking their collective heads side to side. :blink:

Does that take away from my shooting? Absolutely NOT!

Pushing the limits of speed in CAS, be it fine tuning your firearms, or practicing extensively, ultimately has it's limits. And I'm not talking about each individual's limits, but the game itself. No one will ever get to zero!

Will there be a runner that can break the current 3:43:13 minute mile...SURE. Will it ever be 3 minutes or less, NEVER.

Same for CAS.

Enjoy the game for what it was originally intended to be....Enjoyable, Fun, Exciting combined with the comradery of others. :wub:

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I suggest taking a look at what the more successful clubs are currently doing.  Why is it that Black Gold gets such a good turnout?  What about CaC, how does T-Bone sell that thing out the way he does it? Some of it is marketing and staying on top of selling, but a lot of it has to be what's going on at the match.  Why does TN state have such great attendance?

 

The flip side of that would be the clubs and matches that aren't doing well.  Why is their participation falling?  It may just be demographics and location, and it may be that they're doing things that Cowboys don't like. 

 

Personally I'm not convinced that the solution is throwing things and flipping cards, particularly not on the clock.  Perhaps that matters to some, and if so fine, but I personally couldn't care less whether I'm throwing a tomahawk or carrying a rubber chicken.  Those things don't make me want to avoid a match, but they also don't make me pencil it in on my calendar as a 'must go'.  

 

I think it's more about the environment we're shooting in and more variety in stages, more movement, more reactive targets, more Texas Stars, and tombstone knockdowns.  Exploding targets would be great.  Shooting into little holes to raise a flag is a hoot.  Those things can be done and add to the fun and challenge of shooting the match.    

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San Quinton, I remember those matches fondly. Moved to GA several yrs ago, enough to catch the last couple yrs of Mule Camp. Always enjoyed your matches. One year, I didn't even shoot, just worked the whole match! Was great fun. I've been writing the stages in Griffin for a few years now and would LOVE to put some of the non-shooting activities back into the stages. Sometimes think I'd be horsewhipped for it though. Unfortunately, keeping our large wooden props outside has allowed the good ole Georgia weather to break them down to a point of uselessness. I do put some props in before the timer starts; money bags, beer mugs and the like. I do think it's right to keep chance to a bare minimum, but sometimes...  Shot out at The Plainfield Raid, by Sacramento several years ago and we did all kinds of stuff, both on and off the clock. Dummies, coffins, hatchets... great fun! SQ, thanks for all your contributions to SASS over the years.

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3 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I suggest taking a look at what the more successful clubs are currently doing.  Why is it that Black Gold gets such a good turnout?  What about CaC, how does T-Bone sell that thing out the way he does it? Some of it is marketing and staying on top of selling, but a lot of it has to be what's going on at the match.  Why does TN state have such great attendance?

 

The flip side of that would be the clubs and matches that aren't doing well.  Why is their participation falling?  It may just be demographics and location, and it may be that they're doing things that Cowboys don't like. 

 

Personally I'm not convinced that the solution is throwing things and flipping cards, particularly not on the clock.  Perhaps that matters to some, and if so fine, but I personally couldn't care less whether I'm throwing a tomahawk or carrying a rubber chicken.  Those things don't make me want to avoid a match, but they also don't make me pencil it in on my calendar as a 'must go'.  

 

I think it's more about the environment we're shooting in and more variety in stages, more movement, more reactive targets, more Texas Stars, and tombstone knockdowns.  Exploding targets would be great.  Shooting into little holes to raise a flag is a hoot.  Those things can be done and add to the fun and challenge of shooting the match.    

Captain Bill, in fairness to your experience you never got to shoot the game that San Quinton is talking about. I think one thing that both San Quinton and Snakebite are missing is that many current active shooters never got to experience the way it was done. I know that at our monthly just this last Saturday out of nearly 50 shooters 70% never got to throw a knife, shoot a real bonus, shoot seated etc. To turn the clock back would be a very large challenge and it would have to be done carefully and in small doses. The idea and discussion is fine. But nothing gets done without action. The one common theme in this game in my experience is that if you want something to change YOU have to make it happen. Lately I've been thinking a lot about the old days and the game I fell in love with. So much has changed. Some of which we will never see again. I don't know what the exact answer is, or if there really even is a question. I miss the old days but not enough to try and turn the current game on its head. I'm just as excited to wake up and shoot a monthly match as I was when I started, and that really has nothing to do with the shooting. Mileage will always vary. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

Captain Bill, in fairness to your experience you never got to shoot the game that San Quinton is talking about. I think one thing that both San Quinton and Snakebite are missing is that many current active shooters never got to experience the way it was done. I know that at our monthly just this last Saturday out of nearly 50 shooters 70% never got to throw a knife, shoot a real bonus, shoot seated etc. To turn the clock back would be a very large challenge and it would have to be done carefully and in small doses. The idea and discussion is fine. But nothing gets done without action. The one common theme in this game in my experience is that if you want something to change YOU have to make it happen. Lately I've been thinking a lot about the old days and the game I fell in love with. So much has changed. Some of which we will never see again. I don't know what the exact answer is, or if there really even is a question. I miss the old days but not enough to try and turn the current game on its head. I'm just as excited to wake up and shoot a monthly match as I was when I started, and that really has nothing to do with the shooting. Mileage will always vary. 

I think that's a fair statement, though not entirely correct.  I'm new enough (8 years) that I missed most of that.  But, I've had to throw knives and I've shot for bonuses (did so Saturday and missed), I've shot seated and I've shot from the back of Comet the wonder horse, I've cut cards, carried gold, shot ropes etc.  All those things are fine and I have no objection or concern about them being a part of the game.  I'm just not convinced that the absence of those things is contributing to a significant loss of shooters.

 

I think before you start changing the game in an attempt to attract new shooters it would be helpful to identify your target audience and what their likes and dislikes are.  Is the future of the sport the buckaroos and buckerettes that are coming up now?  Or is the future of the sport people in their 30s/40s who are entering a phase in their lives where they have recreational time to spare AND disposable income to play the game?  Or is the future both of those groups?  I don't know the answer to that, but I strongly suspect that those different groups are looking for different things in a match.

 

Why not survey every shooter at Bordertown, Best Match by a Dam Site, Tennessee State, Black Gold, CaC, etc., plus a sampling of monthly matches.  Ask what the shooters liked, and didn't.  Maybe then we would have some data that would shed light on what's going on.  Otherwise we're stuck with our own personal likes and dislikes, but little empirical evidence.

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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3 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I think that's a fair statement, though not entirely correct.  I'm new enough (8 years) that I missed most of that.  But, I've had to throw knifes and I've shot for bonuses (did so Saturday and missed), I've shot seated and I've shot from the back of Comet the wonder horse, I've cut cards, carried gold, shot ropes etc.  All those things are fine and I have no objection or concern about them being a part of the game.  I'm just not convinced that the absence of those things is contributing to a significant loss of shooters.

 

I think before you start changing the game in an attempt to attract new shooters it would be helpful to identify your target audience and what their likes and dislikes are.  Is the future of the sport the buckaroos and buckerettes that are coming up now?  Or is the future of the sport people in their 30s/40s who are entering a phase in their lives where they have recreational time to spare AND disposable income to play the game?  Or is the future both of those groups?  I don't know the answer to that, but I strongly suspect that those different groups are looking for different things in a match.

 

Why not survey every shooter at Bordertown, Best Match by a Dam Site, Tennessee State, Black Gold, CaC, etc., plus a sampling of monthly matches.  Ask what the shooters liked, and didn't.  Maybe then we would have some data that would shed light on what's going on.  Otherwise we're stuck with our own personal likes and dislikes, but little empirical evidence.

 

FWIW,

 

I have ask that question many times of current and non-current shooters, the majority say they want to have fun on the stages and keep stages interesting.  Yes there are some who say to win, and there are some who said they stopped for other reasons.  There are many ways we can keep it fun both on and off the clock as well as making stages interesting with movement and varying degrees of dificulty with stars, poppers etc.  As far as target audiances I wouldn't limit it to just any particular group but target things that each might find enjoyable.  One of the complaints I have heard the most over the years is just standing there to fire at targets in the same fashion all the time gets old and that they can do that without going to any type of match no matter what the discipline.  I agree that not everyone will be pleased and I agree that making any change should be gradual, keeping the things that are most enjoyed by the majority of the shooters.  When people enjoy something they tend to do it more often.  I actually did not start CAS shooting until 2005, prior to that it was Police Combat Shooting.  Things were rarely the same and it was enjoyable, I started CAS for the same reasons.  The one thing we can never lose sight of is that our members are what makes our organization and clubs be or stay successful so again I agree that we need to talk to them as well as old or new members and even spectators to find what they like best and then act accordingly.

 

Charlie

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Well Deuce and Capt Bill, the problem is speed burners like yourselves, always pushing for more dang SPEED! Just kidding, I love watching you guys burn it down. I'm quite amazed one can run guns so fast AND be accurate. As far as buckaroos are concerned, they will learn whatever they are taught. How we do it is how we do it. I think the key there is relationships. Yes, I said the R word and wasn't even talking to my wife (sorry Honey). My kids WANTED to go shooting with me! Your kids (CB) want to go shooting with you (most of the time... Michael!). I can say that because I know them. That relationship starts way before we can introduce them to shooting. My girls saw how excited I was to shoot and wanted that as well. The 30s/40s crowd... I have no idea what they want. I have talked about CAS to some and got the sideways look that they thought the whole thing was corny. IT IS!!! But once you've actually tried it, it's great! I get to shoot real guns with real ammo and targets that make a sound or fall over AND have fun with my friends. Oh yeah, I get to dress like John Wayne too! If that won't appeal to folks in any way, they will never shoot with us. No matter if it's short and fast or "old style" CAS.

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Sure, ask them... but before you do make sure that they have a game playing stage or two to compare things to. Put in one or two Retro stages, do it right, and don't OVER DO IT, that will just taint the results. Be moderate with what you do, NOT the extreme! Then you can ask them if they liked it. My guess would be Yes, but I wouldn't want every stage to be that way. It's like eating Cake... a plain cake is so-so, and if that's all you have, you might eat it. But if you put a little Icing on it, it becomes very good, if you put too much icing on it nobody wants it. Various matches have become noted for a particular thing that they do. Take Border Town.... CLOSE & LARGE... they became noted for it and fill up every year... but the problem came when so many other clubs tried to copy them and started going crazy with the in you face race. Leave Border Town to do what it does... if you want to put a couple of those type stages into your annual match, then go for it... but mix in something else too... a Balanced match will always be enjoyed by most everyone.  

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16 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

Sure, ask them... but before you do make sure that they have a game playing stage or two to compare things to. Put in one or two Retro stages, do it right, and don't OVER DO IT, that will just taint the results. Be moderate with what you do, NOT the extreme! Then you can ask them if they liked it. My guess would be Yes, but I wouldn't want every stage to be that way. It's like eating Cake... a plain cake is so-so, and if that's all you have, you might eat it. But if you put a little Icing on it, it becomes very good, if you put too much icing on it nobody wants it. Various matches have become noted for a particular thing that they do. Take Border Town.... CLOSE & LARGE... they became noted for it and fill up every year... but the problem came when so many other clubs tried to copy them and started going crazy with the in you face race. Leave Border Town to do what it does... if you want to put a couple of those type stages into your annual match, then go for it... but mix in something else too... a Balanced match will always be enjoyed by most everyone.  

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Well, where are all these matches with nothing but stand & deliver stages? The four clubs I shoot at on a regular basis have more action stages than S & D. 

 

If throwing a tomahawk, knife & stick of dynamite or roping a steer are fun activities, are they less fun when accomplished off the clock?

 

I started shooting in 2002 and was very flexible & agile at 53. Shooting positions and climbing on and off prop horses & wagons were easy. Sixteen plus years have passed and I'm just happy to finish a match while keeping both feet securely on the ground. A lot of us SASS folks have aged, some more gracefully than others. Just look at the number of shooters in the Senior and above categories.

 

SASS maintains a solid foundation for CAS. The format of matches is left up to each individual club. If you don't like a clubs matches then volunteer to write stages, become a club officer to effect change or vote with your feet.

 

SASS/CAS is like dining at a buffet, there's something for everyone.

 

 

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This can quickly become much ado about little - or nothing.  If you consider the SASS membership at around 30,000 with VERY FEW matches that garner/support/allow more than 1% of that membership ONCE a year, you quickly get back to the reality that local clubs are the grass roots, heart and soul of the game.  And be sure to be aware the local clubs and matches have ALWAYS been allowed to do WHATEVER they want - SASS rules or not. 

 

So, if you are going to poll members that attend larger or multiple matches annually that when combined as an unduplicated count make up MAYBE 15% of the total membership, how could you possibly consider the comments of that group over those of the majority group???  Why not put up an online poll only available to be answered ONE TIME by current members then publish the results of the poll.  Number of clubs, states, countries, members and matches attended per year along with the average attendance of the matches.  Those number would be good for SASS management to know as well as supporting sponsors and clubs.  Might be really surprising where sponsorship monies might be available and how that might impact clubs with the desire to get bigger and better!

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Posted (edited)

I haven't read the Editorial, yet... but, I've shot with Snakebite and with Cap't Bill Burt... and I  can tell ya, that when things such as throwing a knife and getting it to stick, cuttin' a deck of cards to determine shooting order, or carrying a bag of gold, etc. are ON the clock they do add an element to the outcome.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that throwing knives and cuttin' cards are worse than "rank points" for taking skill and shooting prowess out of the determination for a winner.  (Which rank points never did by the way).

 

When I draw a 5, and someone else draws a 3, (and any other permutation you can imagine), to determine which target you start a sequence on, it flat makes for that number of different stages.  Does anyone really think that starting in the middle of a sequence is just as fast as starting on one end or the other...  Yep, it's pretty close when the targets are fresh for the 1st hundred shooters... but after the numbers are just part of the lead smear... the 101st shooter has to count 6 targets over from the left to start on the 7 he drew... 

 

Even startin' on the suit of the card you draw can be frustrating... 

 

How often have YOU practiced throwin' a knife... and as for the particular knife being used... just how easy is it... for the 8 to 80 crowd.   A 1-½ lb. bowie is very different than your standard "throwing" knife.  Hell, just adding the "...unlatch jail door..." to the stage can have very different results based on something very different than shooting the stage.  After the 1st ten 250 lb. men get done throwing the latch open, just how well does it still work?  Does it still work?  Did we have to eliminate it after 75 shooters, because it just broke off?  Did the rest of the field get a free bonus by not having to work that obstacle?

 

And as for time bonuses in general... yes, the argument that once someone gets the bonus, it is the same as a penalty for anyone that doesn't, is true.    Put one in there that does nothing to the time... but a hit enters you in a drawing for "something cowboy related"... that's a completely different animal.

 

As far as movement... it should be there, it needn't be strenuous, it IS called Cowboy Action afterall. 

 

Frankly, there is far more to a successful shooting event than the design and execution of the stages...  Those can kill a match... but by themselves they don't make the match.

 

There are two main reasons I hear why many early shooters no longer participate.  1 - The modifications to the guns, have developed into an equipment race.  It's no longer about how well you can shoot a Colt SAA, clone or other period piece... Same with short stroked rifles.  This in combination with 2 - targets at some places are @ 3 yards or less, mean it's simply how fast can you manipulate the gun.  If you don't participate in the equipment race, you're not competing in the same match with everyone else.  

 

Unfortunately, all the inclusiveness ultimately proven to be a detriment.  Anyone who thinks that lowered hammers are not an "external modification" is only kidding themselves.  A shortened stroke on rifle or pistol IS an external modification... while you may not be able to tell it at rest, once it's operating, it's a hell of an external modification.  Oh, wow, we don't allow electrically, hydraulically or gas powered actions... but reducing the throw from 4-¼" to 3-½"is a HUGE difference over the course of a match.

 

And, no, I don't advocate trying to put those particular genies back in the bottle...  That would kill the game for sure.   but... maybe making it more difficult win with such artificial mechanical enhancements wouldn't kill it totally.   If none of your guns are short-stroked... you get a 30 second bonus on every stage you use said non-short-stroked guns on...   10 seconds if only your rifle is short stroked...  Kinda like handicappin'... 

 

Highlight the following line for the real story:

HAHA, had ya goin' didn't I?  :D:ph34r:

 

 

 

Edited by Griff
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Hey Griff.... I would just shoot my Marlin.... it was the original Short Stroke! ;)

I've seen some folks go too far when they have tried to do a Game Playing match.  IMO that is because they have little experience with it. Every once and a while I go CRAZY and put in a totally Stupid stage... it usually gets talked about for YEARS.. just Ask anyone that has shot my Combination Chinese Laundry Restaurant stage. Yeah... it is completely off the board and it matters very little how fast you can shoot. The stage was pure fun and had more people laughing than having their feet in a barrel of worms. THEY LOVED IT. I wouldn't do it all the time, and certainly not a whole match of such things, but WHAM-BAM-THANK YOU -MAM on every stage is not my cup of tea. I know that you know that this game has never been about JUST SHOOTING... there are plenty of Gun Games that do that. 

 

From one old guy to another...

Snakebite

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So what's the plan? How are you guys going to go about this? 

 

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See the thread on the Chroicle Cover Photo.  We eat our young and then wonder why no one will come out and play with us. 

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9 minutes ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

So what's the plan? How are you guys going to go about this? 

 

In addition to working at the local level, I asked the question a week or so ago....

 

Why don't we set up more 'old school' stages during side match day of the annual shoots?

 

Or incorporate some of the 'old school' things in the side matches.

 

Or perhaps try some of the old school disciplines, like throwing the knife, during side match day.

 

Does a couple of things.

 

It introduces the experience to people who may be newer to the sport who may not have done it previously.

 

It allows people who reminisce about doing these things 'back in the day' to see if it was as fun as what they remember, or even if they can still do it now. 

 

It give feedback to the match from the people who participate in the activities - both positive and negative.

 

It shows if there is even interest in certain things. For instance, if there is a line 10 deep at closing time (which I have seen at some 'different' side matches) you know you have a winner that you may want to try again.  Then again, if no one does 'it' all day, you will know that no one might be interested in 'it'.

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37 minutes ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

So what's the plan? How are you guys going to go about this? 

 

We try and work a little bit of old with the new.  Good sized targets, at reasonably close range, throw in one longer distance rifle target, loaded from your body, main match rifle or a single shot, shooters choice.  

Then a stage where you have to carry Pauley the Parrot to each table. 

A Stand and Deliver. 

Etc.  Nothing left to horribly much to chance, and if there is a sand bag toss at the carnival stage, it's off the clock, the hole is big, the bag is small, and it's a bonus for nearly everyone, and a good laugh for those who miss.  

 

Mix it up a little, keep it fun.  Do the whacky off the clock stuff, take a breath, grip em, rip and see how it goes. :wacko:

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Coming at Cha and Black Gold are very similar shoots.  The stages are interesting and some can be rather challenging but their strong suit is all of the activities surrounding the shoot. Motorized mounted shooting at CAC and Hillbilly Olympics at Black Gold.  A bunch of 50-75 year old men on a slip and slide?  Stuff that keeps the crowd together after the shooting dies down.  Pot lucks, free beer stupid games all add to the event.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

So what's the plan? How are you guys going to go about this? 

Here's a simple Game Playing stage that most folks can incorporate into their match. It takes just a little more time, but it's fun and easy. Can't figure out how to show the Buckboard here... but just put your Buckboard or a table and chair behind the Pistol targets with ropes going to the SG targets for reset. 

Pistol 10

Rifle 10

Shotgun 6+

                                                                                               

     R1                  R2

                                                           

  SG     SG

                             

       P1             P2

                                                                          

 

 

 

 

                All guns staged on shelve. With reins in hands shooter yells WHOA

          ATB: Pull up shotgun targets THEN shoot them down with Shotgun

          Alternate Rifle on R1 and R2 for 10 shots.

          Shoot down SG targets again. (Duh, they must be reset first!)                                                                                                                                                    

          Shoot P1 5 times with Pistol/s

          Shoot down SG targets again. (Yep, they must have been reset first!)

          Shoot P2 5 times with Pistol/s

Shotgun targets may be reset at any time.  Shooter MUST remain seated.

Edited by Snakebite
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11 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

Pistol 10

Rifle 10

Shotgun 6+

                                                                                               

     R1                  R2

                                                           

  SG     SG

                             

       P1             P2

                                                                          

 

 

 

 

                All guns staged on shelve. With reins in hands shooter yells WHOA and

          pull up shotgun targets.

         

           ATB:

          Alternate Rifle on R1 and R2 for 10 shots.

          Shoot down SG targets again. (Duh, they must be reset first!)                                                                                                                                                    

          Shoot P1 5 times with Pistol/s

          Shoot down SG targets again. (Yep, they must have been reset first!)

          Shoot P2 5 times with Pistol/s

Shotgun targets may be reset at any time.  Shooter MUST remain seated.

 

Change so the action is before the beep, making it fairer to all( and allowing for assistance if needed).

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Hi Folks,

 

I'm not speedy (as I've posted before). So, you can't infer what I'm going to write is based on that (as was implied in a previous post).

 

I hope I never have to shoot a bow and arrow or throw a tomahawk/knife again, on or off the clock. I wouldn't mind sticking a knife in a dummy, on or off the clock..

 

This thread reminds me of a fun match I once attended. However, I found one stage annoying. After the beep, we were to throw the lasso over a wood horse's neck. There was no penalty for missing. One person, the match director, just dropped it.  It was another state's State Match. If it had been at my home venue, I'd call a SOG and probably been overruled. :unsure: 

 

Also, I'm not fond of drawing cards for starting target. In other words, it introduces that dreaded element of chance.

 

I once recapped the results from a local annual and found that there were more Ps on split SG stages. I think that indicates that some people are more likely to get Ps the more detail there is.

 

I will agree with those who want to introduce  "old-style" elements to stages. Just think it through. Maybe ask a new shooter for input.  For, example starting a stage by tossing a stick of "dynamite" in a barrel to indicate ready is pretty benign.

 

Regards,

 

Allie Mo

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Hey Allie Mo, did you enjoy the old days at High Sierra? I sure did... Many of those stages would dive a lot of today's shooters to drink! I loved them.... think I set up the Bug Splat again. ^_^

 

Snakebite

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46 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

Change so the action is before the beep, making it fairer to all( and allowing for assistance if needed).

Naw…. I like it the way it is. Fair is a place where you take you prize cow to Show it.  :P

 

Snakebite

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4 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

Hey Allie Mo, did you enjoy the old days at High Sierra? I sure did... Many of those stages would dive a lot of today's shooters to drink! I loved them.... think I set up the Bug Splat again. ^_^

 

Snakebite

LOL! That was my favorite match for many years!

 

The problem with Bug Splat was that I could never find a garbage bag to match my boots. ;)

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1 hour ago, Snakebite said:

Pistol 10

Rifle 10

Shotgun 6+

                                                                                               

     R1                  R2

                                                           

  SG     SG

                             

       P1             P2

                                                                          

 

 

 

 

                All guns staged on shelve. With reins in hands shooter yells WHOA

          ATB: Pull up shotgun targets THEN shoot them down with Shotgun

          Alternate Rifle on R1 and R2 for 10 shots.

          Shoot down SG targets again. (Duh, they must be reset first!)                                                                                                                                                    

          Shoot P1 5 times with Pistol/s

          Shoot down SG targets again. (Yep, they must have been reset first!)

          Shoot P2 5 times with Pistol/s

Shotgun targets may be reset at any time.  Shooter MUST remain seated.

Shot this stage before. Only problem is, you can only shoot it once. Too much fun to limit to once.

Kings River Regulators used to have a row boat, with no bottom, you'd stand in the boat, with fishing pole complete with line and HUGE hook. You'd have to try and snag a fish, they were mouth up with a metal loop to aid hooking, then shoot the stage.

What a hoot. Only problem was the rowboat weighed sooooo much, it was a pain to stage.

Miss those stages.

Snakebite, get them going again. Terrible Tom would love you for it.

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7 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

Hey Allie Mo, did you enjoy the old days at High Sierra? I sure did... Many of those stages would dive a lot of today's shooters to drink! I loved them.... think I set up the Bug Splat again. ^_^

 

Snakebite

Remember shooting down the Manzanita tunnel with BP? First shot, no visibility for hours.

Or the Haystack Fort Wall, set on fire from BP pistol shooters.

Great times.

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One more thing I like that was done at High Sierra and several other matches was to shoot a board, break it, and a door opened or the targets became visible.

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