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Dusty Devil Dale

Side match procedures

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I've noticed that there seem to be no written standard procedures available for most side matches.   If you look in the SHB, and other SASS literature, you find the section on Side Matches, and it goes into some detail for long range matches, in six categories, but then it moves on to Firearm Covenents.   You find Wild Bunch rules in a completely different section.   Nowhere can you find standardized rules and procedures for matches like Speed Rifle, Speed Pistol, Cowboy Trap, or other very common side matches.   Questions like:

How are they to be scored (do you just keep the fastest score, or keep everyones' time, like in a main match?--I've been told both.)

How many spotters are needed?  (Ive been told that one - - the T. O. -- is all that is needed.   I've also been told to follow SASS Main Match rules).

What guns can be used? (e. g.  Can you use your Wild Bunch 1911 in speed pistol?  Where is the prohibition against it written down?)  can I use an over-under with ejectors for Cowboy Trap.   

How is a Cowboy Trap match actually conducted? 

 

I think a lot of new shooters are hesitant to enter side matches, simply because they don't know what is expected.   When they ask somebody, they get generic jargon in bits and pieces, like "just about any match pistol is acceptable".  So then they ask, "is my 1911 WB gun a  "match pistol"?  They then get told, "Well, no, it has to be a single action".  So where do rules actually  say that? 

I'm just asking, because there is confusion out here.  A person running these matches needs to be able to conduct the match, assign helpers/spotters, etc, and answer questions correctly without using intuition.  And going and watching one of the matches isn't a good way to learn, since there isn't much standardization.  

  Have I missed a write-up somewhere?  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale

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Wild Bunch isn’t a side match. 

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And the Shooter’s Handbook both, CAS and WBAS, spell out what is a legal main match pistol. 

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The match director is free to set the procedural rules for all side matches.  Most of the firearms/ammo rules are either spelled out (like long range or pocket pistol), or the same as  main match guns and ammo.   Good side matches document the rules at the match, usually on a poster at the event site.  Really good matches list each side match that will be shot, any special guns/ammo requirements, how scoring will be conducted, and even distance to targets.   Many less-well-organized matches, though, require you to contact the match director before you head out to the match if you are interested in doing a specific one.  Which can be hard to do without becoming sort of a pest.

 

I don't know that there is a lot of interest in producing more rules and procedures for something taken as lightly as most side matches.   It's rare that the award given is worth more than the paper it's printed on.  :lol:   Side matches really are "just for the fun of it."

 

Good luck, have fun, be safe,  GJ

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5 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

The match director is free to set the procedural rules for all side matches.  Most of the firearms/ammo rules are either spelled out (like long range or pocket pistol), or the same as  main match guns and ammo.   Good side matches document the rules at the match, usually on a poster at the event site.  Really good matches list each side match that will be shot, any special guns/ammo requirements, how scoring will be conducted, and even distance to targets.   Many less-well-organized matches, though, require you to contact the match director before you head out to the match if you are interested in doing a specific one.  Which can be hard to do without becoming sort of a pest.

 

I don't know that there is a lot of interest in producing more rules and procedures for something taken as lightly as most side matches.   It's rare that the award given is worth more than the paper it's printed on.  :lol:   Side matches really are "just for the fun of it."

 

Good luck, have fun, be safe,  GJ

That's helpful.  Thank you.  I've just never seen the procedures posted at the site or provided in advance.   But it's a great way to do it.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale

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20 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Really good matches list each side match that will be shot, any special guns/ammo requirements, how scoring will be conducted, and even distance to targets.   

Which ones are those? It’s certainly not End of Trail, Winter Range, or Legends Four Corners Regional.

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Here's an example of a pretty complete set of instructions published a year ahead of the side match at a major event.  Perhaps our pards know which one this has Ben held at?  ;)

 

Kudos go to the long range side match organizers for this!    Notes in parentheses are showing the various sections of the instructions.  Only scoring technique is left off, as far as I am concerned.

 

Quote

LONG RANGE BUFFALO SINGLE SHOT RIFLE
COURSE OF FIRE

 

(Ammo)
THIS EVENT IS FOR BLACK POWDER OR BLACK POWDER SUBSTITUTES ONLY!

 

(Procedure)
10 rounds alternating on two targets at 280-300 yards.

SHOOTER STARTS WITH OPEN EMPTY CHAMBER;
RIFLE MAY BE SHOULDERED AT THE READY POSITION.
SHOOTER WILL NOTIFY THE TIMER OPERATOR WHEN READY!
ON SIGNAL SHOOTER, STARTING WITH THE LEFT TARGET WILL FIRE
CONTINUOUSLY, ALTERNATING BETWEEN THE TWO TARGETS FOR
TEN ROUNDS.

ARTIFICIAL RESTS (STICKS) ARE ALLOWED.
SHOOTER MAY FIRE COURSE FROM ANY SAFE POSITION, STANDING,
SITTING OR PRONE. TABLE CROSS-STICKS ARE ALLOWED. YOU ARE
NOT ALLOWED TO REST YOUR ELBOWS ON THE TABLE WHILE USING
TABLE CROSS-STICKS.
ADDITIONAL ROUNDS MAY COME FROM ANY SOURCE, POCKETS,
LOADING BLOCKS, BELTS, BOXES, AND BLANKETS ETC.
ADDITIONAL ROUNDS CANNOT COME FROM ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL
OR ANY BODY ORIFICES!

 

(Firearm)
ANY SASS APPROVED LONG RANGE SINGLE SHOT RIFLE OR CARBINE.
SPRINGLOADED EJECTORS PROHIBITED, EXCEPT FOR SPRINGFIELD
TRAPDOORS. CALIBERS ARE TO BE .375 OR LARGER!

 

(Ammo, again)
LONG RANGE BUFFALO SINGLE SHOT REQUIRES ALL AMMUNITION BE LEAD
BULLETS LOADED WITH BLACK POWDER OR BLACK POWDER SUBSTITUTES
ONLY!
ALL AMMUNITION TO BE LEAD BULLETS, NO JACKETED ROUNDS

 

Good luck, GJ

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Most of the matches I’ve been to whomever the MD gets to running a particular side match makes the rules and shooting sequences. As long as it’s the same for everybody it’s fair. 

Many just write top score on a board, change it when somebody beats it. I prefer recording all scores. That way, if leader somehow MDQs later during  the side matches, you can go to the next person in line. I also prefer, as time allows, letting a shooter try 3 times, keep his best score. 

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DDD, there is a Cowboy Clays SASS Handbook.  An O/U is not allowed.  Cowboy trap is just 25 birds shot from 16 yards.  The person running the side match usually asks those shooting smokeless powder whether they are willing to shoot with a blackpowder shooter.

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DDD,

Of the side matches I have been involved, the host club (or its MD) sets the requirements for

the Side Matches.

 

Target sizes and distances are usually within the limits of what can be expected of the match.

 

With SG, no spotters are required because targets are normally of the knockdown style.

With rifle and pistol, there may be only 1 spotter.

Also with SG,  each SG style is recognized..... 87 winner,  97 winner, and SxS winner.

 

Some events allow the shooter to start themselves with both hands on the Timer.

Some events have a TO start the shooter.

 

Rimfire Speed Rifle Side Matches seem to be more popular now than a few years ago.

And even ADULTS can use their favorite .22 pump or lever rifle to compete.

 

Some matches, but not many, may also recognize the Speed winner for the adult AND for

a YOUTH shooter.

 

Some matches score each shooters 1st run only to determine Speed winner.

Some matches allow first 3 runs to be a shooters official Speed time.

And Some matches allow best run ALL DAY.

 

Most Side Match Speed events I have participated in will recognized the fastest Cowboy/Cowgirl

for each event.

 

You are correct..... there isn't a written set guideline because each match MD determines

how they want their side matches to be set up.

 

If you attend a BIG match that has speed side matches, get involved for the fun of it.

You might not be on a Posse with one of the fastest guns in the world, but at side matches,

you can often compete with them one-on-one.   AND, side matches are a great way

to check out techniques.   PLUS, its a fun way to compete with your closest friends, etc...

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I'm just asking, because there is confusion out here.  A person running these matches needs to be able to conduct the match, assign helpers/spotters, etc, and answer questions correctly without using intuition.   

The person running the match, would be the Match Director. He or she should, and probably does know, that the SASS Shooter's Handbook spells out very clearly what guns may be use at a Cowboy Action Shooting Match. (section 6)There is no standard as to how the speed events are run or scored, but I've never seen a Speed side match run any other way than the by number of hits in the fastest time. 

Edited by Snakebite

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5 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

The person running the match, would be the Match Director. He or she should, and probably does know, that the SASS Shooter's Handbook spells out very clearly what guns may be use at a Cowboy Action Shooting Match. There is no standard as to how the events are run or scored, but I've never seen a Speed side match run any other way than the by number of hits in the fastest time. 

Thanks SB

I agree in large part.  

I agree that the match scoring by hit-miss counting and total time, and the T. O. procedures are pretty well laid out and intuitive.   The allowed firearms are made clear by the SHB, as long as there is an understanding that SASS main match (not WB) rules apply. 

 

But where it gets weaker is for procedures like safety checking of guns, method of score recordation, number of spotters, etc.  Those are all MD discretion items, which is how it should be, along with the selection of which side matches to offer and courses of fire.    

I do think it is important for those less intuitive items to be made clear to the people involved.   That's doesn't happen everywhere, and it's really all I am advocating here.

 

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How side matchs are run is also determined by how many willing workers the MD has. With more workers you can have more spotters than one. With more workers it is easier to separate 87 shooters from 97 shooters and SxS shooters. With more workers it is easier to allow more tries for a final time. Go help work your clubs side matches.

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Side matches are the best 

 

Edited by Catlow4697

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Side matches are also where the not so quick & skilled can really let loose!  If even larger matches had to have more than one spotter, side matches might not happen at all.  I've more to say on this, but my silence has been bought.

 

And we can all be thankful that there is the flexibility to experiment with content & how side matches are scored.  I don't need to travel to a distant match, just to shoot the same 'ol side match i coulda shot at home! :P  

 

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3 hours ago, Catlow4697 said:

Shooter starts with rifle at port arms ( muzzle above shoulders and butt touching gun leather) 

That is not port arms

 

SHB Pg 14

Quote

Cowboy port-arms is defined as standing upright with the butt of the long gun at or below the waist of the shooter, the muzzle at or above the shoulder, and the long gun held with both hands.

 

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6 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

and whether or not they choose to follow SASS rules...;)

Many side matches do not fall under SASS Rules. A BB gun match would be an example. 

 

<pondering> Watermelon seed spitting side match.

 

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3 minutes ago, Ace_of_Hearts said:

Many side matches do not fall under SASS Rules. A BB gun match would be an example. 

 

<pondering> Watermelon seed spitting side match.

 

I was specifically referencing the definition of 'port arms' which he was specifically referencing.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Here's an example of a pretty complete set of instructions published a year ahead of the side match at a major event.  Perhaps our pards know which one this has Ben held at?  ;)

 

Kudos go to the long range side match organizers for this!    Notes in parentheses are showing the various sections of the instructions.  Only scoring technique is left off, as far as I am concerned.

 

 

Good luck, GJ

I've been involved with writing many shoot books. Too much information is as bad as not enough. Make instructions short and to the point. Shooters come to a match to shoot, not study long instructions. Verbal descriptions by the MD or RO are easiest for most.

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2 hours ago, Ace_of_Hearts said:

Many side matches do not fall under SASS Rules. A BB gun match would be an example. 

 

<pondering> Watermelon seed spitting side match.

 

Always wanted to try a nail gun match, but I couldn't figure a way for inexperienced handlers to hold back the safety. 

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1 hour ago, Assassin said:

Too much information is as bad as not enough. Make instructions short and to the point.

 

Yep, I would state "the important info" in the shoot book AND in material available before the match (like web site) - just the range distances, the ammo, any firearm restrictions for side matches where applicable.   And the schedule for side matches.  This info is needed by any serious side match shooter, so they can arrive in time, with the right guns and ammo and with guns sighted in for correct ranges.

 

Too much info, although tedious, is never going to prevent a shooter from competing in the side matches of their choice.  Too little, surely can - and has bit me when I assumed that "usual procedures" for ranges, firearms requirements, etc would be used.

 

The procedure of how to shoot the side match and how it will be scored - that info can be saved to show to the shooters when they are ready to compete in the match.  And it REALLY reduces arguments and consternation to have those procedural instructions in written form.  One poster hanging at the loading table is fine!

 

Good luck, GJ

 

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I agree that it would be nice to have some information about how the side matches are to be run. Especially for new shooters it can be intimidating enough to try something new. 

Just a quick rundown on what’s going to happen would be very helpful. And I do like the idea of posting the rules at each side match event that way it can help people get prepared mentally for what’s about to happen. And can also clear up confusion during disagreements

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I can tell you the Long Range rules and courses of fire for the SE Regional, Ambush at Cavern Cove, will be posted several places online on or before October 1 so folks know what to bring. I will also be sending directly to the folks that answered the survey we put out to the attendees list as of 09/10/19. The rules will refer to the SHB for the basics and I will spell out the few range specific details.

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