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Artie Fly, SASS #25397

Championship Level Shooting

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For those of you who will be stuck at home over the China virus hysteria, here is something to think about:

 

Championship Level Shooting

 

After reading comments about the difficulty level of Winter Range and EOT Sadie and I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing). How about creating a Championship level to all major (regional, national, and international matches. Don’t panic, hear us out. We are not Championship shooters ourselves and usually in the lower 25% overall.

 

It is our contention that the top levels of competition should not be as easy as for the standard shooter. True Champions set themselves above the also-rans in shooting ability. However, it is the also-rans that pay the way for these big matches to be held. So, how to make the also-rans happy to attend a shoot that should be challenging to the top 5% that win most all the time anyway? Think golf handicaps, not in strokes (time) but distance.

 

SASS shooting has developed into some standard distances which seem to favor most standard shooters. Currently, most clubs shoot big and close targets and aim for 20-30% clean shooter rates, some even higher. While I have concerns that many target setups are too close and contribute to heavier splatter and safety issues, I understand the desire to keep the shooting as cleanable as possible.

 

I propose keeping the current standard approach at all matches, and adding an additional set of Championship rifle targets at a more challenging distance. Target size remains the same for both Standard and Championship. The Championship set could be the same distance separation as the standard pistol-rifle distance, or double that distance. In fact, adhering to the SASS Handbook recommendations would create this Championship distance (see SASS Handbook, Range Operations).

 

To win top (top 3?) honors at the Regional, National, and International levels, the shooter must declare for Championship level beforehand and shoot the Championship targets. If you know you cannot compete with those at the top 5%, shoot the standard targets, but anyone can sign up for the more challenging level. Standard shooters would be eligible for awards/buckles beyond the championship level, (i.e. places 2-10 or 4-10 as desired by match directors) but are not eligible for the top award(s).

 

Those choosing to shoot the Championship level would use the Standard rifle targets for their pistol and the Championship targets for their rifle. Shotgun targets could remain the same for both for economy and ease of setup. The stage instructions are the same for all shooters, just the distances would change.

 

I imagine the greatest resistance to this idea may come from score keepers or those who think we are creating more categories. In the digital age of scoring, this is not a difficult thing to add to the score sheet. This is not adding categories, only a handicap like in golf or bowling. Another objection may be that shoot times would increase, but for Championship level shooters I don’t believe that to be a significant increase in overall time. So Matt Black or Whistling Will shoot 12 seconds longer per match, maybe. . . probably not.

 

Although I will probably never win a top award, I would probably shoot the more challenging level as it is how I started shooting back in '93.  It wouldn't affect my hourglass times anyway.

 

So, whattaya think?

 

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What purpose would this serve? You’ve said it won’t affect you, so why propose something that impacts other shooters?

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Howdy, Artie!  Hope you and Sadie are doing well.

 

The main competition is the competition, not the course.  So let the champs compete against each other on a level field.

 

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Good question Capt Burt!

 

If % of clean shooters is an indication of adding enjoyment to a big match I see it as a way to increase difficulty on the Champions while encouraging participation of the bulk of shooters that pay the way for the events.  Of course, scenarios would need to be designed so that a reasonable percentage of participants are able to clean them.  Clean stages mean lower stage times, both of which add enjoyment to the game.  Adding handicaps has worked in other sports.

 

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Hi Marauder,  miss seeing you Georgia Folks!

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21 minutes ago, Artie Fly, SASS #25397 said:

Good question Capt Burt!

 

If % of clean shooters is an indication of adding enjoyment to a big match I see it as a way to increase difficulty on the Champions while encouraging participation of the bulk of shooters that pay the way for the events.  Of course, scenarios would need to be designed so that a reasonable percentage of participants are able to clean them.  Clean stages mean lower stage times, both of which add enjoyment to the game.  Adding handicaps has worked in other sports.

 

I understand, but my question is what is the purpose of increasing the difficulty for the champion level shooters?  What do SASS, or the shooters get out of it?

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SASS has been offering championship level shooting since I have been involved (9 years).  The champions always sort themselves out.  Because targets are larger, smaller, closer or further away does not take away from the champion other than they may look elsewhere for their entertainment.  It is finding the right distance, size of targets. amount of movement,  amount of muzzle movement, positioning of the targets ect... that makes a match more interesting or fun for our shooters. The key is finding that zone.  If everyone gives their feedback concerning their experience it will assist in setting up a match.  Not being critical of your post, but just offering my opinion.   

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Sounds like a match director’s worst nightmare.

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My question is why? Do you really think that it will improve the experience for everyone? I don't. I'm not a top shooter by any respect. I do respect the folks who dedicate themselves to being the best. It is represented at EOT, WR, Regionals, States and every match in between by those folks. I don't see the need for a special category. Why not just tape 1.5" washers to some cardboard at the same distance as normal distances? Or, why not just have a "special" side match, grudge match if you will, for such an event.

 

Sorry Artie, don't see the need nor the added work involved as an enhancement to the overall enjoyment of SASS.

 

YMMV

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Artie,

For me, I don't like the idea much..... unless I'm missing another point other than having

our Champions shoot a slightly different designed match than the rest of us.

 

Think about this:

what if you, Artie Fly was one of the best shotgun shooters in SASS, or maybe one of the fastest

GFer's.   Would YOU like to have stages designed to place certain targets at positions what would

handicap you, but other shooters would have targets easier and faster to engage?

 

You practice your butt off to excel, just to have someone dictate the level of proficiency

you are allow to exercise.   No thanks.

 

Why limit your 'handicap' to just one segment of shooters.   

Make those other 'special' shooters have the same handicap.

Make those young whippersnappers, that move like lightning, wear a ball and chain.

Make the hot shotgunners engage 2 extra targets.

And while your at it, lets make the fast Gunfighters split their pistols on certain stages.

 

You need to keep in mind that we (this game) is for Entertainment.   Picking and choosing

who, where and when a handicap is warranted kinda goes against the grain of our

very existence.  

 

Well, you ask for our opinion.   And this is mine.

 

..........Widder

 

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4 hours ago, Artie Fly, SASS #25397 said:

We are not Championship shooters ourselves and usually in the lower 25% overall.

Looks like you're going to sleep on the couch! Sadie in the lower 25%, I don't know who you have been shooting with!

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I say keep em the same. If I were top shooter by busting my butt practicing, I wouldn't want my hard work to look diminished by a no handicapped shooter. If I were bottom shooter I wouldn't want to shoot an easier stage than someone else to make me look better. I will be as good or bad as I am without someone else's help. 

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Many proposals for handicapping shooters have been put forth over the years.  They've all met with initial resistance.  None have garnered enough support to become even a working model.  If I read this proposal correctly, it's not the shooter that's given a handicap, it's the course.  Much as there are "men's" and "women's" tees on a golf course.  I see this as inherently... neutral.  Unless it becomes a statement by others whether one gets to play on the "Championship" course.  Is a shooter eligible for trophy placement if they're playing on the "standard" course?   I.e.; if there are 10 shooter's in my category, 3 are shooting on the "Championship" course and the rest are using the standard course, are the 7 regulated to 4th thru 10th place, no matter how poorly the 3 on the "Championship" actually perform?

 

It seems if one chooses to play the standard course one is self-selecting to mediocrity.  And regardless of how well one does, one can't advance in the standing unless one chooses the "Championship" course.  Even myself, with a goal to shoot every stage in 60 seconds, and self-appointed last place finisher in every category and every shoot I enter, would not choose the standard course.  Why, who knows when the earth will spin backwards & I beat someone!  

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Artie, basically you are suggesting a Pro/Am format without allowing the Pro status.  Basically any match sorts out the better shooters regardless of the challenge.   Around here we are finding it difficult to get people willing to set the steel.   Setting up two courses rather than one probably would be difficult.    

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I think our system of timing the results automatically gives us the spread between the best and the weakest shooters very reliably.   Any system that tries to predict that one shooter is Champion level worthy and another shooter is not, when the shooters are not even shooting the same matches to establish their "rankings", is hopelessly inaccurate.

 

The only thing that may be "going too fast" in our matches now is the fastest shooters are "outrunning the spotters" and it's becoming increasingly difficult to uphold a high level of assurance that the fastest shooters all got an "even break" on hits, misses, procedurals. etc.   That can be fixed by shooting harder targets - by all of us at the match!

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

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9 hours ago, Artie Fly, SASS #25397 said:

Good question Capt Burt!

 

If % of clean shooters is an indication of adding enjoyment to a big match I see it as a way to increase difficulty on the Champions while encouraging participation of the bulk of shooters that pay the way for the events.  Of course, scenarios would need to be designed so that a reasonable percentage of participants are able to clean them.  Clean stages mean lower stage times, both of which add enjoyment to the game.  Adding handicaps has worked in other sports.

 

It seems like the time clock separates the ability classes of shooters fairly effectively.  You either get the lowest time, or you don't.  And if you try to go too fast your misses and penalties bring you back to reality. 

 

Adding different target classes separates folks who probably prefer not to be separated.   If you're in tenth place, how can you assess your abilities compared to the folks who beat you, if they shot a different course? 

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Thought:

If we set up, or fix, the stage by shooting harder targets (to help assure that the fastest shooters all

get an even break on hits, misses, procedurals, etc.....  are we now handicapping all the other shooters?

 

Lets be factual about some of this.   Our top shooters are gonna whoop up on everyone regardless

of where you place the targets.    Why handicap 97% of the shooters based on the assumption that

spotters aren't qualified to give Top Shooters an "even break".

 

2nd thought:   

if our spotters are not qualified to give Top Shooters an "even break",  isn't that in and of itself creating

a handicap for those Top Shooters..... sometimes in a positive manner and sometimes in a negative manner.

 

Just a couple thoughts!    GOOD TOPIC!

 

..........Widder

 

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The logistics of the new targets is a problem for me. You have to set up another 33% of targets for this; first: do we have the resources for this and second: someone has to set them up and take them down. Next, where do you draw the line on who is Championship level and who is not? If I (lower level) shoot a really good match and someone in the Championship level shoots poorly, do they automatically place above me? Because they were in the declared "elite" group. I see lots of problems with this. IMHO

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I see a champion shoot a course, I can make myself better by watching how the champion does it and then shooting the same course, or by shooting the course and then watching what a champion did that I missed.

 

I doubt that I, or most people I know, would choose the easier course even if I knew that meant I would be bumping the bottom of the results.

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10 hours ago, Griff said:

It seems if one chooses to play the standard course one is self-selecting to mediocrity. 

Griff points out the best argument against this idea.

Rainmaker's logistical question is also very valid and probably the most limiting factor.

 

For other arguments, I was not really advocating a completely different set of targets, but targets more conforming to the SASS Range Operations suggestions which are more challenging than what we tend to see now.  Those suggestions are not overly difficult ranges with 16x16 targets, and if everyone shot them it would be a level playing field.

 

I also meant to address the idea that matches with a higher percentage of clean shooters are more enjoyable overall.  IMHO stages with simpler sequences (i.e 1-2-3-4-3-2-1-2-3-4 vs 1-5-3-2-4-1-5-3-2-4) reduce misses and procedurals overall.

 

Another thought:  While SASS shooting is described as a recreation and entertainment fantasy sport, it also promotes gun safety, gun handling proficiency and accuracy.  The more deliberate we are in addressing targets, the better. 

 

It was all food for thought.

 

And sometimes, I just like to kick over the hornet's nest to see what comes out!

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7 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

If we set up, or fix, the stage by shooting harder targets (to help assure that the fastest shooters all

get an even break on hits, misses, procedurals, etc.....  are we now handicapping all the other shooters?

 

I'd say, strongly, NO.    They were not "handicapped" in the 1990s and 2000s with the more difficult targets used at the time.   We moved away from non-shooting activities on the clock which some shooters pointed out were really not part of shooting (but more part of having fun).   That of course is a never ending argument that I'm not trying to reopen here. 

 

It would be VERY hard for shooters to compare their performance with the top shooters, and to have a very clear understanding of how (and how much) they need to improve their performance, if the non-champions are all shooting "targets with training wheels" while the champs are "running Porsche's."

 

There's no demonstrable need for a Champion flight.  

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

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I started shooting last year. I shoot with great people of different speeds and abilities and enjoy all of them. The great shooters are a small minority and I admire their dedication and ability. I will get better as I gain experience and if I want to be a top shooter I need to practice A LOT more. If you see me in a B-WESTERN outfit you will know I'm ready to compete because I will be using every available shooting style to the fullest on each stage. And I will be running. Definitions of running may vary.:D

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Not to mention the amount of extra work putting out and in double the targets. Not all clubs will have enough targets so you may have faster stages because of less targets. There will be P's on both sides because of the extra targets. More time to paint and clarify what targets to shoot and score keeping. Then after all that most people will still place in the same spots anyway. 

 

EMN

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In AZ alone: If we get rid of Hells Comin, Robyn Devault, SASSY Dancer, Champ, Reverend Ledslinger, Cody James. Blue Ridge Ranger, Amber Meadows, Ledfinger, Blackjack Zac, Arizona Redneck, Slick Derringer, Shamrock Sadie,Bret Cantrell,  and a few others that I forgot to mention; and we put them in the Championship bracket, I maybe able to win if I was in the other bracket.  If I forget your name forgive me.  No disrespect!!!  I am beginning to change my mind concerning the issue.  If you move to AZ and you kick my b___, you need to move up also.       Just kidding.  Wouldn't it be interesting to have a championship match, televised where they could shoot off for a new engraved Ruger or Winchester 73.  Realize the cost of participant and running the match would tough, but it sure would be fun to watch.  Appreciate the post.  We should be able to brainstorm without my sarcasm.

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The Super Bowl does not make the field longer than the regular season.

First down is still 10 yards.

 

NBA does not raise the goal for the championship. The court is still the same size.

 

Baseball does not move the pitcher mound back for the world series.  

The bases are all still the same distance apart.

 

I just don't get the fact that adding the word CHAMPIONSHIP to a match should make all that much

difference. 

 

Want to run my wife off from going to those matches. Which in turn will run me off.

Go ahead. Make them harder. More complicated. We will find other matches or other things to do.

 

Not saying they need to be dumb down. Or super easy. But to make them harder just because you

add the word championship just makes no sense to me.

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All of the above BUT the beauty of CAS to me has always been that every shooter, from 7-year-old buckaroo to World Champeen PuBah shot the same stage, the same way.  JMO.

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9 hours ago, Artie Fly, SASS #25397 said:
2 hours ago, Kirk James said:

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a championship match, televised where they could shoot off for a new engraved Ruger or Winchester 73. 

We've been over that one a bunch of times previously.  Not having Cadillac type prizes has in recent years been sort of a trademark of SASS.  We're here for the comaraderie, helpful spirit and fun, as much as the shooting.  Big prizes are given by many other shooting organizations, and they characteristically bring out the worst in intense competitive behaviors and cheating, which we can all get along pretty well without.  IMHO. 

Competing for rank standing alone keeps us all friends and helpers.  I like that and it's the big reason I left the other sports like Tournament Bass Fishing, and was attracted to CAS. 

But I do really like to see guns and reloading machines offered as raffle prizes, disconnected to shooting performance.  The big raffle prizes and auctions bring in additional attendees and make matches financially more feasible.   

 

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17 minutes ago, MizPete said:

All of the above BUT the beauty of CAS to me has always been that every shooter, from 7-year-old buckaroo to World Champeen PuBah shot the same stage, the same way.  JMO.

And they could just sign up and go shoot the match without having to prior qualify.  

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Purpose of the suggestion would be to attract shooters from other disciplines, not to change what we do.   There is nothing more thrilling than to watch a Top 16 match.  As a spectator you can see the excitement in these incredible shooters.  With the right TV program we might increase exposure to a different  type of shooter than perceived.   I do not feel most shooters from other disciplines realize how exciting and hard this is to be competitive in Cowboy Action Shooting .  My two kids got involved due to the excitement of watching fast shooters.  Their heroes who inspired them early on are:  Badlands Bud, Lead Dispencer, Rattlesnake Wrangler and Holly Terror.  A championship match which is focused on the shooting may help get the word out. When I read the post it invited some brainstorming.   If you go down the same path, you get to the same place.

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Artei, I cannot see this working, however, if it was to be tried, I'd think it might be done like we used to do sharpshooter category:.  

 

For about a year our club offered Sharpshooter as a category.  Shooters in this category shot our normal rifle targets (10-15 yards) with their pistols and we had a further bank of rifle targets they shot with rifle.  Only took a few extra targets per stage and made at least one of our shooters a much better and confident shooter.

 

I, myself, think our (CAS) rifle targets are ridiculously close (as a whole), but that is another topic...

 

Possum

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Howdy Possum!  Sadie & I miss seeing you guys and especially the banquet meals in South LA.  I agree with you on the target distance, and nothing I suggested is beyond the rule book recommended distance.  I warned everyone that my thoughts could be dangerous!  Gives us something to mull over in our enforced seclusion.  Stay safe.  If heat and humidity defeats the China Virus, y'all should be out of the woods soon!

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8 minutes ago, Artie Fly, SASS #25397 said:

If heat and humidity defeats the China Virus, y'all should be out of the woods soon!

Great spelling of Corona.  Calls it what it is.  

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What about J.T. Wild's concept of an "open" category?  Some club in Texas used this concept.

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, wyliefoxEsquire said:

What about J.T. Wild's concept of an "open" category?  Some club in Texas used this concept.

 

 

 

I thought we already had an open category, Cowboy.  Any age, any gender, any SASS legal guns.

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