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14 minutes ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

I understand that some folks take issue with dressing up in western gear, but in my opinion, if someone is unwilling to meet the dress requirements, minimal as they are, they are unlikely to be happy in SASS.      SASS was started in response to more serious shooting sports.  In many ways, dressing western is the key to our sport.  It requires you to join in and not take yourself too seriously.  Abandoning that would make SASS

a very different sport.  

I wouldn't do away with the requirements, but I'd find a way to make it known you don't have to dress up full blown. Minimal is OK too. Had I known that, I would have joined 2-3 years quicker. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

I think a change in verbiage might help too.

The phrase costuming is (to borrow a term from Phantom) stoopid.

 

Costuming brings to mind fat guys with thick black frame glasses with tape on the bridge carrying their inhaler escaping their parents basement while dressed like Captain America - hoping there will be girls at the comic con.

 

The modern flat black and tactical groups are playing dress up just as hard as we are - but no one calls their attire "costuming".

 

I don't know the proper term...

Competition geared 1800's reminiscent western apparel? 

But doing away with the term costuming would go a long ways toward erasing some stigma and hesitation about what we wear.

When I started in 1998, we called our clothing/boots/hat/etc. our "outfit."  The term "costuming" came in due to the "costume contests" at the larger matches. 

Edited by Innocent Bystander SASS #24171

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Howdy; Where to start?

         Outfits, more cloths,or less, no real difference in joiners.

     Guns; more, different cal. and actions, no difference.

   Change the rules; lose what you have, no gains, net loss.

Scoring; no change in attendance.

After decades in CAS I have made most mistakes mentioned in the previous pages and saw the rest tried.

The game is what the game is.

What to do now? 

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8 minutes ago, VICIOUS, SASS#8014 said:

Howdy; Where to start?

         Outfits, more cloths,or less, no real difference in joiners.

     Guns; more, different cal. and actions, no difference.

   Change the rules; lose what you have, no gains, net loss.

Scoring; no change in attendance.

After decades in CAS I have made most mistakes mentioned in the previous pages and saw the rest tried.

The game is what the game is.

What to do now? 

I'd say you have! 

    What have you NOT seen that you may think would help? How about advertising or something? Of course I don't see many other shooting sports advertised either but I don't have much TV time so I may not be a good judge. Any ideas?

 

This thread has morphed around the world and back a couple of times.

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Maybe reaching out to shooting shows and inviting them out to more matches,  I know they have done shows at eot and winter range but show how family friendly our sport is. Unlike other shooting sports.

Rafe

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55 minutes ago, VICIOUS, SASS#8014 said:

Howdy; Where to start?

         Outfits, more cloths,or less, no real difference in joiners.

     Guns; more, different cal. and actions, no difference.

   Change the rules; lose what you have, no gains, net loss.

Scoring; no change in attendance.

After decades in CAS I have made most mistakes mentioned in the previous pages and saw the rest tried.

The game is what the game is.

What to do now? 

With all due respect to your time in the game...

 

The changes you're stating will make no difference have NEVER occurred - so inferring that they won't change anything is a faulty conclusion.

 

The only equipment change of any consequence that has occurred is early when the 2nd pistol was added to the game.

 

Dress requirements have not changed dramatically (but they have always been stressed poorly) - we have never offered an adult rimfire category.

 

And changing the rules is not necessary a guaranteed participant loser. 

But sadly as our shooters age out and die - continuing to do nothing different is a guaranteed way to lose membership.

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All we can share is our experiences with those we have talked to.  My experience is that most, if they have heard of SASS,  believe SASS is about the dress, the alias and  a fantasy sport.  I have three copies of Shooting USA.  They all start out with the dress and the alias, then towards the end of two of them they do a great job of showing the shooting.  While I am in it for the shooting, I enjoy that others are in it for the dress and fun of shooting the old firearms,  and would not want that component to go away.  I have said before, my kids never grew up with Gene and Roy, but they love the friendships and the tremendous competition they've experienced.  The producers of Light Em Up" hit the spot for me.    While you don't have to be a fast shooter to enjoy SASS, most want to improve.  Has SASS ever taken the approach with the emphasis about the shooting, and the dress is there for those who enjoy it?  Would this be a better marketing focus?  

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Posted (edited)

The object is "to play the game".

 

Ultimate adult and child category "22/410". Two rimfire pistols , a rimfire rifle, and any inexpensive 410 pump shotgun.

 

Load everything at the loading table. 10 pistol, 10 rifle, and 4 shotgun. No reloading on the line.

 

Fast stage times. Lost brass.

 

Clothing= jeans and a shirt with collar. No ball caps.

 

Shoes = leather whatever.

 

The power factor is eliminated. No knockdowns.

 

Be safe.

 

Inexpensive and fun!

 

 

Edited by Castalia,SASS#18915

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While we need to increase membership (or at least stop the bleeding), we absolutely should not 'dumb down the sport' to make it more inclusive.  We would, at that point, lose what WE liked about the sport when we joined and we would lose more shooters than we gain.  It's a fact that not everyone can afford this sport.  That is the case with ALL sports.  There will always be somebody out there that won't even spring for their own yard dart set (bought on sale at a yard sale).  If a person doesn't want to shoot our sport bad enough as is, to buy the cloths, guns leather, etc. required, do we even want them?  I don't think so.

 

When we were young, there were many movies and shows on TV that promoted the cowboy way/life.  They promoted good morals and values.  This is not the case any longer.  There is very little out there to help anyone want to emulate The Duke, Roy Rogers, Josey Wales, etc.  Without that, I, sadly, think we are destined to continue losing numbers as the old ways are forgotten. 

 

These are just the cold, hard facts as I see them.  There are things we can do to bring in more like-minded folks who aren't familiar with CAS, but let's not shoot ourselves in the foot while trying to learn a new dance.

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Posted (edited)

More and more talk about getting rid of cowboy attire, stop doing non-shooting stuff on the clock, big and close targets, less movement, more categories, etc…. Getting rid of what the founders created? Guess the "Closest thing to a time machi," no wait, that's not on the web site anymore.

 

home of cowboy action shooting

Going to need to make some changes there, too.

 

Guess we could start with a "Cowboy Free Posse" and since there are no statues ( at least none that I know of ) of the WB to tear down, we could remove any pictures and delete and ban any mention of them. 

 

 

Edited by Marshal Chance Morgun

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45 minutes ago, Possum Skinner, SASS#60697 said:

While we need to increase membership (or at least stop the bleeding), we absolutely should not 'dumb down the sport' to make it more inclusive.  We would, at that point, lose what WE liked about the sport when we joined and we would lose more shooters than we gain.  It's a fact that not everyone can afford this sport.  That is the case with ALL sports.  There will always be somebody out there that won't even spring for their own yard dart set (bought on sale at a yard sale).  If a person doesn't want to shoot our sport bad enough as is, to buy the cloths, guns leather, etc. required, do we even want them?  I don't think so.

 

When we were young, there were many movies and shows on TV that promoted the cowboy way/life.  They promoted good morals and values.  This is not the case any longer.  There is very little out there to help anyone want to emulate The Duke, Roy Rogers, Josey Wales, etc.  Without that, I, sadly, think we are destined to continue losing numbers as the old ways are forgotten. 

 

These are just the cold, hard facts as I see them.  There are things we can do to bring in more like-minded folks who aren't familiar with CAS, but let's not shoot ourselves in the foot while trying to learn a new dance.

Good observations...but I still don't get the wanting to emulate those mentioned as some kind of litmus test for indicating that one might be interested in the game. Certainly wasn't for me.

 

Phantom

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46 minutes ago, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

More and more talk about getting rid of cowboy attire, stop doing non-shooting stuff on the clock, big and close targets, less movement, more categories, etc…. Getting rid of what the founders created? Guess the "Closest thing to a time machi," no wait, that's not on the web site anymore.

 

home of cowboy action shooting

Going to need to make some changes there, too.

 

Guess we could start with a "Cowboy Free Posse" and since there are no statues ( at least none that I know of ) of the WB to tear down, we could remove any pictures and delete and ban any mention of them. 

 

 

Let me ask; If "Closest thing to a time machine" doesn't connect with your market...what would you do? Keep the tag line anyway??

 

And a second question if you don't mind; Who is seeking to tear down/remove pictures...ban the mentioning...of the WB??

 

Seriously - I'd like to know where this is coming from.

 

Phantom

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So what I'm reading is...

We acknowledge that we are losing members.

We agree that current conditions; cultural, economic and societal make bringing in new members challenging.

We accept that our current "image" isn't working as it applies to growth.

 

But, in the next sentence - how dare we consider changing anything?

 

Apparently, we are all supposed to turtle up - climb inside our shells and hope that the game simply lives long enough for us personally?

 

I'm ashamed for you. 

Claim to be cowboys and apparently some of you would have stopped westward expansion in Pennsylvania.

"It's good here.  What if I don't like where we end up?  It might be different than where we started."

 

I appreciate everything those who have come before me have given me, but...

 

The game is not sacrosanct.

The Wild Bunch were not infallible.

The game is not - never was - never will be perfect.

 

We, perhaps, have an unprecedented opportunity to inject our game with some new blood, ideas and direction.

 

I'm not advocating revolution - but the truth remains; you either adapt and evolve or you die.

 

I've given 20 years of my life to this game; as a shooter, match director, club officer and cheerleader.

I have blistered, broken bones and bled for this game.

And I have done so willingly.

 

And now; I refuse to stand quietly on the sidelines watching what some have deemed a foregone conclusion of the games inexorable death without making an attempt.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

More and more talk about getting rid of cowboy attire

 

I haven't heard or read this. 

Are you referring to several posts about letting people know they DONT HAVE to dress like most of the people featured in various publications?

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Back to what might help...

 

Go to YouTube.  Search for "SASS".  You will find a bunch of videos about a computer app called Sass, and one cowboy action video from 7 years ago.  Cowboy Action Shooting is not correlated with SASS in a YouTube search.

 

It does not matter if you like YouTube or not.  It is a popular place for potential new shooters to learn about us.

 

SASS should have it's own YouTube channel for promoting cowboy action shooting, rather than leaving the posting of videos to individuals.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation did a great service by sponsoring Long Hunter's coaching videos.  SASS needs to do the same.

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31 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Let me ask; If "Closest thing to a time machine" doesn't connect with your market...what would you do? Keep the tag line anyway??

 

And a second question if you don't mind; Who is seeking to tear down/remove pictures...ban the mentioning...of the WB??

 

Seriously - I'd like to know where this is coming from.

 

Phantom

No. I don't mind. I'm just in a bad mood today and I'm bitching, pissing and moaning. Taking it to the extreme. Overexaggerating. I like the way it was when I started and I'm a little sad to see it change. 

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@Creeker, SASS #43022 maybe I've missed them, but what are some of your ideas that will help?

 

I've mentioned this before but I think S.A.S.S. could create a few categories that would be official at monthlies and/or below state level, maybe at annuals(at the MD discretion) and add them to the Handbook. 

 

For example:

 

Rifleman - Rifle and Shotgun

Pistolero - Revolvers and Shotgun

Working Cowboy - Rifle, Shotgun, 1 Revolver.

 

These classes wouldn't be at state and above matches and wouldn't be considered for overall, but it might get more folks to the monthlies.

 

 

I'm open to a rimfire category, but again I think this should be kept at a monthly level and scored separately,  not eligible for over all.

 

I don't believe we need to change the dress requirements, but we do need to get the word out that this isn't NCows and we don't require dressing to the nines.

 

 

SASS really, really, really needs to market the sport. We need a professionally designed pamphlet that members can print and hand out; yes I'd be willing to print a bunch at my own expense to hand out. And they really, really, really need to fix the d@×* clubs listing page and that stupid map, I promise it's not hard(I've done it with open source code that I'd give SASS in a heartbeat).

 

I gave a small presentation last summer to a group of 25 people. Guess how many had even heard of SASS/CAS? Seven and that includes, me, one of our club members, our former match director and his brother. At least in the Middle Tennessee/Kentucky area we have an exposure problem; why is that?

 

I started shooting with a club last summer that had dwindled to one posse. We've got a new MD and gotten the word out enough that the last match there were 27 shooter(2 posses). This weekend I'm hopeful for around 30. We've revamped the web site and posted as much as possible on Facebook. We've talked go the President of the parent club and he's helping spread the word. There is hope.

 

Sorry for all that scattered rambling, but I really want us to grow.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

@Creeker, SASS #43022 maybe I've missed them, but what are some of your ideas that will help?

 

I've mentioned this before but I think S.A.S.S. could create a few categories that would be official at monthlies and/or below state level, maybe at annuals(at the MD discretion) and add them to the Handbook. 

 

For example:

 

Rifleman - Rifle and Shotgun

Pistolero - Revolvers and Shotgun

Working Cowboy - Rifle, Shotgun, 1 Revolver.

 

These classes wouldn't be at state and above matches and wouldn't be considered for overall, but it might get more folks to the monthlies.

 

 

I'm open to a rimfire category, but again I think this should be kept at a monthly level and scored separately,  not eligible for over all.

 

I don't believe we need to change the dress requirements, but we do need to get the word out that this isn't NCows and we don't require dressing to the nines.

 

 

SASS really, really, really needs to market the sport. We need a professionally designed pamphlet that members can print and hand out; yes I'd be willing to print a bunch at my own expense to hand out. And they really, really, really need to fix the d@×* clubs listing page and that stupid map, I promise it's not hard(I've done it with open source code that I'd give SASS in a heartbeat).

 

I gave a small presentation last summer to a group of 25 people. Guess how many had even heard of SASS/CAS? Seven and that includes, me, one of our club members, our former match director and his brother. At least in the Middle Tennessee/Kentucky area we have an exposure problem; why is that?

 

I started shooting with a club last summer that had dwindled to one posse. We've got a new MD and gotten the word out enough that the last match there were 27 shooter(2 posses). This weekend I'm hopeful for around 30. We've revamped the web site and posted as much as possible on Facebook. We've talked go the President of the parent club and he's helping spread the word. There is hope.

 

Sorry for all that scattered rambling, but I really want us to grow.

 

 

And your premise is that it's the cost of guns that's the problem with expansion?

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I read all the posts and have thought about a .22 cal. category if it would increase members.

My proposal 2 pistols rifle and centerfire double barrel shotgun.  I rounded off prices but you could be equiped for about $1200 plus leather and no reloading.

Two Ruger Wrangler $400

Henry lever rifle $400

Stoger coach gun $400

Only two classes female and male.  Shoot whatever style you want duelist 2 handed gunfighter doesn't matter.

At the local matches it is only going to cost the club a ribbon.

The cost of guns and the costuming kept me out for many years.

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Just now, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

And your premise is that it's the cost of guns that's the problem with expansion?

 

That's certainly part of it, but I can't put a number on it. Im really just spitballing as the O.P. requested.

 

In my opinion lack of marketing and costume stigma are bigger issues. It really is surprising how very few people have heard of SASS and those that do believe we all dress to the nines.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

@Creeker, SASS #43022 maybe I've missed them, but what are some of your ideas that will help?

 

I have a few that I have mentioned; but I will not take offense that everyone has not taken notes.  Lol.

 

Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are publicity.

No matter the quality of our product - We cannot grow if folks don't know we exist.

But this publicity requires a consistent message from the top down. 

For too long our message has been grassroots and haphazard based on the ideas and opinions of the local clubs and their leadership. 

These ideas Include videos, pamphlets, YouTube, advertising, cooperations with other groups etc. 

And as I requested at the start - the ideas and participation of the 1000's of folks in this game smarter than me.

 

Next is erasing the negative stereotypes around our game of being just old white fat guys.

Actively address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity among our participation.

 

Stop emphasizing dressing up as much as shooting - explain participation minimums.

 

Address initial costs by adding a rimfire category for adults.  Other gun grouping are possible as well.  Worry about scoring later.

 

Stop claiming the past was perfect and that tomorrow can never compare.

The reality is, Roy Rogers, Hoppy and the Duke are not important to or a cultural draw for a younger generation - no matter how much anyone thinks they should be.

 

And acknowledge that change is part of growth - and NO idea should be simply dismissed with, "We never did it before - so it won't work"

 

And while I would love to be a part of the future of SASS leadership in some fashion - I fully acknowledge the wealth of knowledge, experience and potential the other members of our game possess and we should go to that well as often as possible.

 

 

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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There are a fair number of internal housekeeping items as well that I would love to see addressed and changed;

the ROC, TG system, rules creation, but those are meaningless to the outside world and do not dissuade incoming members.

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I think it’s also important to have aspects of the game that are not subject to change. Change the wrong thing and we might lose more people than you gain. 
 

For example a rimfire category that’s not eligible for overall probably wouldn’t run anyone off.  Significant weakening of costume requirements might. 
 

In addition to establishing what might attract new shooters we need to ascertain what the big attractions are for current shooters so we don’t change those.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I think it’s also important to have aspects of the game that are not subject to change. Change the wrong thing and we might lose more people than you gain. 
 

For example a rimfire category that’s not eligible for overall probably wouldn’t run anyone off.  Significant weakening of costume requirements might. 
 

In addition to establishing what might attract new shooters we need to ascertain what the big attractions are for current shooters so we don’t change those.

No one has said anything about weakening of "Dress" requirements.

What has been said, is a de-emphasis on dressing "to the nines" to the outside and incoming shooters.

You don't need a giant Hoss Cartwright hat, wooly chaps, 4 inch rowel spurs and to talk in a stupid drawl to play. 

Stop going on about, "In this game, women talk about their guns and the men talk about their clothes"

(1999, in my own words, "I only want to shoot - not play dress up")

 

And I don't think anyone is inclined to sabotage ourselves by changing the basic game "so" dramatically that current shooters are driven off.

 

Of course, there will always be some that will whine and claim that any changes will have destroyed the game for them (the same group/ mindset that complain that short stroked rifles and lace up boots and any caliber not starting with a "4" all "ruin" the game for them).

 

There is always a balancing act between clinging to the past and casting it aside.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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Disclaimer: I have not read all five pages in their entirety.

 

IMO SASS needs someone that knows digital marketing.  Somebody that can ride herd on Google Analytics and Google Adwords and get SASS in the face of people that are firearms enthusiasts/owners and have an interest in the shooting sports.  

 

Two or three years ago I would have dumped a bucket of manure on what I said above.  I've been in I.T. for 35 years.  If I can change...  

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17 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

No one has said anything about weakening of "Dress" requirements.

What has been said, is a de-emphasis on dressing "to the nines" to the outside and incoming shooters.

You don't need a giant Hoss Cartwright hat, wooly chaps, 4 inch rowel spurs and to talk in a stupid drawl to play. 

Stop going on about, "In this game, women talk about their guns and the men talk about their clothes"

(1999, in my own words, "I only want to shoot - not play dress up")

 

And I don't think anyone is inclined to sabotage ourselves by changing the basic game "so" dramatically that current shooters are driven off.

 

Of course, there will always be some that will whine and claim that any changes will have destroyed the game for them (the same group/ mindset that complain that short stroked rifles and lace up boots and any caliber not starting with a "4" all "ruin" the game for them).

 

There is always a balancing act between clinging to the past and casting it aside.

I don’t believe I said that anyone said anything about significantly changing the dress code. I used that as an example for obvious reasons: it’s a sore spot for some.

 

Not sure about your drawl comment. They’re pretty common ‘round here.

 

I think you’re wrong, there are plenty of cowboys who would make radical changes given the opportunity.

 

I think there are definitely nonnegotiable aspects of the game and I think it’s a good idea to try to nail those down. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Not sure about your drawl comment. They’re pretty common ‘round here.

 

I think you’re wrong, there are plenty of cowboys who would make radical changes given the opportunity.

 

I think there are definitely nonnegotiable aspects of the game and I think it’s a good idea to try to nail those down. 

Regarding drawls - I can't help those folks who talk funny.  :D Besides I said "stupid" drawl and few talk stupider than me.

 

I agree we should avoid deliberately doing anything that causes damage - but I'm not going to dismiss "radical" ideas completely out of hand as some of these radical ideas may be able to morph to needed, palatable and even exciting changes.

 

I don't think anything in our game should ever be enshrined as non negotiable or untouchable - beyond we play cowboy.

 

Doesn't mean we have to change it ( or will even want to) - it simply means we have a willingness to look at it.

 

But our "growth" should include membership protections to avoid any unilateral nutjob decisions or at the minimums - protocols to reverse them.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022

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2 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

Back to what might help...

 

Go to YouTube.  Search for "SASS".  You will find a bunch of videos about a computer app called Sass, and one cowboy action video from 7 years ago.  Cowboy Action Shooting is not correlated with SASS in a YouTube search.

 

It does not matter if you like YouTube or not.  It is a popular place for potential new shooters to learn about us.

 

SASS should have it's own YouTube channel for promoting cowboy action shooting, rather than leaving the posting of videos to individuals.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation did a great service by sponsoring Long Hunter's coaching videos.  SASS needs to do the same.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/sassfl/

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11 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Regarding drawls - I can't help those folks who talk funny.  :D Besides I said "stupid" drawl and few talk stupider than me.

 

I agree we should avoid deliberately doing anything that causes damage - but I'm not going to dismiss "radical" ideas completely out of hand as some of these radical ideas may be able to morph to needed, palatable and even exciting changes.

 

I don't think anything in our game should ever be enshrined as non negotiable or untouchable - beyond we play cowboy.

 

Doesn't mean we have to change it ( or will even want to) - it simply means we have a willingness to look at it.

 

If the status quo was always non negotiable...

TV would still be black and white.

Corvettes would still be powered by six cylinder engines.

And a $1.25 would still be a fair hourly wage.

Ok, thanks for responding. I think it’s best I leave you to your thread as it appears we have different visions of SASS. I can think of quite a few things beyond ‘playing cowboy’ which should not be subject to change.

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1 minute ago, Mister Badly said:


That’s fine for folks who do Facebook.

 

Many don’t.

 

 

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Travis is doing a great job of getting sass in the state of Florida on Facebook

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Posted (edited)

He has a YouTube channel as does Hawkeye Gin 13 

Santa Fe Stan

Cowboy Junky

Tennessee Williams "nanner"

Deuce Stevens

Dead Eye

To name a few

Edited by Mister Badly

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7 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Ok, thanks for responding. I think it’s best I leave you to your thread as it appears we have different visions of SASS. I can think of quite a few things beyond ‘playing cowboy’ which should not be subject to change.

I'd prefer you didn't leave it be.

I appreciate your input.

And I would be curious what you would hold up as inviolate and untouchable.

 

Unlike some - I have no issue with competing viewpoints.

I want what's best for our game and its future (even if that is not exactly what i feel is best for me)

 

And as i said in the very first post - if the idea is good enough; I have no moral aversion to stealing it and claiming the position for myself. 

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If it is about membership wouldn't it be wise to find out the demographics of the people who are joining SASS now? Find out where new members are coming from and focus most of  the attention on that instead of fishing for people who most likely will not join. If it's the 50 and older crowd with disposal income then figure out how to target them. 

You can market SASS as a sport that is fun first and focus on the people, friendships and after shooting socializing.  If you are going to try and attract a younger crowd you better put back some of the action into Cowboy Action Shooting. 

I would also not encourage any more categories. We are a sport that has distinctly different shooting styles and we should have World Champions in each (Cowboy/Cowgirl, Duelist, Gunfighter etc) and ditch the overall champion.  At the same time it would be up to the local club to work new shooters thru using gear they have with the expectation that they are working towards getting everything. 

 

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YouTube and the like are essentially useless if not done specially to appeal to a well defined target market. Promotion and advertising is of little to no value if some in a vacuum.

 

I would love to see the market research that has been done to define the market...

 

Phantom

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