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April Chronicle Editorals and Letters about matches

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I read the April Chronicle Editorial page and Letters with great interest as it addressed what may be affecting match attendance and ideas that may help.  One letter struck me in particular as it addressed one particular match that was deemed by the writer to fail in its appeal to the shooters as there were only seven clean shooters, many procedurals and unhappy shooters.  As the writer noted, target distance was dictated by the host range to meet SASS recommended minimums of seven, eight and 13 yards for the pistol, shotgun and rifle targets.

Rather than focus on what is deemed negative to the particular match, let’s look at the positive.  150 shooters shot the entire match.  Four more were unable to finish for various reasons and ten more unable to attend at all.  Of the 150 shooters that shot the entire match, there was only one MDQ and three SDQ’s.  Yes, there were only seven shooters that shot the entire match without a miss or procedural.  However, of the 1500 stages shot, 74% of the stages were shot clean.

Regarding the target distances, I believe the sport originators, determined the recommended distances and target size would allow the average person, not necessarily and avid shooter, to do well enough to remain interested.  There were 36,750 available targets for the 150 shooters at the matched referenced by the writer.  Over 96% of the available targets were hits.  Shooter number 149 may have finished last, but he hit 82% of the targets.  He had been shooting cowboy for only about six months and this was his first State match.  Since, he has purchased new guns, leather and is attending every match he can work in his schedule.

In general, the other editorials and letters addressed various reasons for our dwindling numbers.  I would add to these, that travel, and hotel costs are significant and higher health care cost affect the available income to afford matches.  In addition, I believe a seemingly increasing number of club annual matches, that are only one and two day matches, are giving the active shooters more opportunity to shoot at a lower cost thus affecting to some degree, the numbers at the larger matches.

I believe in general, people are attending matches as much as possible as they enjoy shooting, visiting the vendors and most importantly, fellowship with their fellow shooters.

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To quote the old song:  You've got to accentuate the positive.  


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