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Age based catagories


Irish-Pat

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Some matches, so called annual matches basically distribute participation awards. Pretty much everyone in attendance gets an award. I recently attended an annual match and because I was the cook using a new to me smoker for the first time to smoke 12 tri tips I elected not to shoot the match and attend to the cooking, normally I would have shot two stages with the normal posse and then shot through on the other four stages. After we all ate and the awards were handed out I got called up for a third place senior gun fighter award, they had to bring it to me, I didn’t do anything to earn it. It used to be that there was one match winner and now in a lot of cases there is a ladies winner and a mans winner.  The way things are going in society someday there will be men’s and ladies match winners, still deciding what I am match winner, overweight man and ladies match winner, shorter than 5’ 10” match winner, over six foot match winner, skinny person match winners, left handed match winners, black match winners, Hispanic match winners, Native American match winners, Asian match winners, blue eyed match winners, brown eyed match winners, match winner who traveled the farthest and on and on. There are to many categories.

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My personal preference is for NO age-based categories.  But if we must have them, limit the number to two or three (excluding the youth categories).  Do we really need five age based categories above 60?

 

”Senior/Lady Senior: Age 60 and up.
- Silver Senior/Lady Silver Senior: Age 65 and up.
- Elder Statesman/Grand Dame: Age 70 and up.
- Cattle Baron/Cattle Baroness: Age 75 and up.
- El Patron/La Patrona: Age 80 and up.”

Are our little egos so fragile they we need a special category for each of us “Old Farts”?

 

 (For the record I’m 83 and shoot Gunfighter, not Senior Gunfighter.)

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18 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

If all you're innit for . . . . is WINNING some obscure Cattle Gory . . . . GO HOME.  This is suppose to be about FUN !!!

 

Yup.

 

I've found shooting CC with BP, open tops, a Henry and my '87 does not leave much room for more funner. :D

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Edit... double tap.

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On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2020 at 6:46 AM, Lonesoms Al SASS37893 said:

If memory serves me correctly, when I first started shooting SASS there were two categories modern and traditional. A lot has changed since then. 

Hi Al,

 

By your number, you started in 1999 (when I did) or 2000. At that time, IIRC, there were the following categories: Modern, Traditional, Frontier Cartridge, Duelist, and Senior. In 2000, IIRC, they added 49er.

 

To All:

 

The only time, I went down in category was at a small annual where there were two L. Silver Seniors. I was put, by match officials, in Cowgirl (there were no Cowgirls) so we both would win a trophy. I've yet to shoot in my new/old category as I switched to BW.

 

As to the question of dropping down categories, I would vote against it. Although, when it came up at the TG summit, I was forced to vote for it as that was what my club wished. I feel that way as I've seen younger folks bumped out of winning an award by oldies cherry picking categories. :ph34r: IMNSHO that doesn't encourage youth to join our game. :(

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7 hours ago, Revolvgang said:

Older people are allowed in any younger category? 
Younger people are not allowed in older categories? 
What a nonsense!

If anyone could shoot in ANY category - there would be no purpose to having categories.

 

Or use movie ratings - an adult can can go to ANY movie they wish.

From triple X All the way down to G.

Their age gives them freedom to choose.

 

A child is limited by their age to what movie they may go to.

G   PG   PG13.  R.   NC17.   XXX

 

Or if you prefer a military example.

Lets consider a General. 

From doing their adminstrative duties to running PT with the enlisted men or spending time on the range to peeling potatoes if they wish. 

If they wanted to do so - they would be allowed.  

It is not "below" their rank because their rank entitles them to perform any duty they are eligible for.

A Private does not enjoy the same privileges.

 

Its a concept known as attainment.

 

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I agree that too many categories dilutes the pool for each one.   I run into this with other sports as well.  I think it is more a function of how our society is shifting and that there are fewer competitors.   I often hear “we have too many classes” as a cry when each class only has a few competitors.  Why not go back to only x number like we used to when we had lots of people in each class.   The problem is the total number is down.  Fewer classes won’t fix it.  Btw I have never heard the too many classes as a sass match, but I have at Rc car racing, sailing, motorcycle races.  Not a unique problem. 
 

In enduro’s we have age categories and they often get harder with age.   This is because very few start riding or racing at 50+.  If you are still doing it, it’s because you were once pretty good.   Occasionally a fast old guy will drop down and spank the young guys, but imho that’s ok.  The old age classes were put in place to let those who are not as fast as they once were due to age to still have a place to complete on equal terms.    So the 20 something classes are fastest, then the 50’s, then 30/40.   

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Although not an age based issue, I see a problem with forcing at least 3 to be a viable category at larger matches.  Around here, I see this impact the ladies the most.  Someone that shoots gunfighter all year in hopes to be a state champion is eventually told they have to shoot another category at a state match because there isn't enough lady gunfighters.  Well, that may seem all well and good until you consider their only option is B-Western with all the costuming requirements that go along with it.  What if that shooters doesn't have the rig/costume stuff to shoot b-western?  They are forced to duelist or ages based that can't shoot gunfighter?  IMHO, this is no way to spark interest in getting more ladies in that category.  Why would they cross over if there is slim to no chance they can shoot it at a larger match.  But, if you allowed that sole lady gunfighter to participate and win the category, that may prompt others to cross over.  Same can be said for Lady Cody Dixon lever/single shot and other categories I am sure.

It's not the shooters fault no others want to shoot the category they enjoy, why punish them.  

 

Totes

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On 11/17/2020 at 10:51 AM, Assassin said:

 

Considering it's supposed to be about fun what's the point of having all the categories, aged based or otherwise. 25 years ago it was more fun, before all the categories were implemented, awards were sparse and winning an award had true meaning. 

 

The number of active members is dropping, perhaps it time to address the number of categories. 

 

 

 

 

Ditto.....

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13 hours ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

 

 

 (For the record I’m 83 and shoot Gunfighter, not Senior Gunfighter.)

 

For the record, you would be El Patron Gunfighter. Shooting Senior Gunfighter would be stepping down in catagory.

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On 11/16/2020 at 8:52 PM, Pee Wee #15785 said:

Why not go back to the first rule book and forget all the advances.  Why can't I shoot in any category my age lets me, as it isn't like you are going to win the pink rusted Nash by shooting a certain category?????

Okay...  From my 1989 Rulebook

Quote

EQUIPMENT & SHOOTER CLASSIFICATIONS

 

Cowboy shooters are divided into three categories: blackpowder, traditional and modern. A shooter's classification is determined by the type of "six‑gun" he or she uses. Originals and reproductions of firearms manufactured during the early to late 1800's by Colt, Winchester, Remington, Smith & Wesson, Marlin, Sharps, Henry, etcetera are allowed in SASS competitions so long as they are in safe shooting condition.

 

REVOLVERS:

 

Frontier Blackpowder ‑ Percussion or cartridge, single action revolvers of original manufacture prior to 1896 and reproductions thereof.

0                    Must be .36 caliber or larger.

0                    Adjustable sights are not allowed.

0                    Blackpowder, pyrodex or golden powder propel­

                lants must be used in all loads.

                NOTE: Blackpowder competitors must also use

                blackpowder, pyrodex or golden powder propel-

                lants in their rifle and shotgun loads in all main

                matches.

The Ruger Old Army Blackpowder, because of its design and target sights must compete in the modern category.

 

Traditional ‑ Single action cartridge revolver, manufactured prior to 1896, or reproduction thereof.

 

0                    Must be .32 caliber or larger.

0                    Must have non‑adjustable, traditional sights.

0                    Must use smokeless propellant.

Examples: Colt SAA, Smith & Wesson American or Russian, Remington Models 75 or 90, Bisleys, and their reproductions.

 

Modern ‑ Any single action cartridge revolver of at least .32 caliber with adjustable sights.

Can't find my 1987 booklet at the moment... but it didn't include Frontier Cartridge, only BP (C&B only), Traditional & Modern.   So, no Duelist, no Gunfighter, no Buckaroos,  no Juniors.  Ladies were all in one category regardless of sixgun type.  Sure... let's alienate 75% (SWAG) of our shooters.  Be careful of what you wish for.  

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My category (El Rey 0ver 85) is brand new and I am just eligible as it was added by SASS this year. I really enjoy it even though as a Holy black gunfighter I cannot compete in it. I still shoot even though 99% of my old pards have quit. I don't much GAD if anyone doesn't like it. IMHO, when complainers get to 85+ I might listen to them. Until them they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.   Darn kids in their sixties, seventies and early eighties think they know it all.  ;)

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It is often said at many local matches in these parts to; “choose your category wisely”. While most would say that, “tongue in cheek”, it is always said with a devious smile.

 Yes, I think more folks choose category based on likelihood of winning said category, based on the level of competition, than will ever admit it.

 We have some world class shooters around here, but human nature is just a common reality. Free meals and a path of least resistance are not so easily passed over.

 Whatever gives them joy, is what I hope they find. I enjoy the guns of the old west, and the fantasy we live while playing the game. I am not fast and shoot an inherently slow category in Classic so awards are seldom a reality for me, but they don’t make me keep coming back, or spending the money I do, it’s the joy of the fantasy and the people I live it with that do  that.

 Be well, shoot straight, Chert Rock.

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7 hours ago, Mud Marine,SASS#54686 Life said:

My category (El Rey 0ver 85) is brand new and I am just eligible as it was added by SASS this year.

 

While the EOT match director may have added a new category to their match in 2020, El Rey is NOT an official SASS category.

 

https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/Shooters Handbook Vers 24_2 MASTER.pdf

 

Looks like it is NOT currently offered at 2021 Winter Range:

 

http://www.winterrange.com/2021 Shooter Application - Master June 2020.pdf

 

it is also NOT currently listed as being offered at 2021 EOT as an aged-based category but IS listed as a shooting style and BP category

 

https://www.sassnet.com/mercantile/sass-end-of-trail-2020-signup.php

 

7 hours ago, Mud Marine,SASS#54686 Life said:

I really enjoy it even though as a Holy black gunfighter I cannot compete in it.

 

Yes, you can. El Rey FCG is one of the black power shooting categories currently offered. You just need to sign up for it:

 

ERFCG.png.60b6bbdd793665653f756b532d0ae8a2.png

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I' m 82 and I can see myself looking over the shooters present and telling the registration folks I want to shoot Cowboy today because some kids are in the category and my extended experience would earn me a buckle.  ANYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO BEAT THOSE KIDS.  The fact that their names are Matt Black and Missouri Lefty would not enter into it. They's kids and I can beat them.

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Here is my question...And it is a philosophical one...trust me...

 

If EOT breaks out shooting styles into separate categories by age, why only start that breakout at Senior?

 

Meaning, if you could gather up 10 folks who want to categorize themselves as 49er duelist or wrangler gunfighter, under the current rules, why not?

 

SHB pg 6

Quote

  In addition, every shooting style can also be subdivided by gender, age, and propellant depending on demand and sanctioning category mandates.

 

SS.png.56ae88f764aed1c913edd7321e8d508d.png

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On 11/18/2020 at 10:14 AM, Dantankerous said:

 

Yup.

 

I've found shooting CC with BP, open tops, a Henry and my '87 does not leave much room for more funner. :D

Yep, you whooped up on me at Border Wars this year! :D  Should have used my Henry as well instead of the '66.

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If Silver & Seniors fill all categories by the "Winter Range" and win, what then? Is that fair against the younger ones?
I think this rule is just terrible, results and placements are completely arbitrary.
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10 minutes ago, Revolvgang said:

If Silver & Seniors fill all categories by the "Winter Range" and win, what then? Is that fair against the younger ones?
I think this rule is just terrible, results and placements are completely arbitrary.

YES, it is completely and 100% fair.

 

You're talking about a 25 year old competing in a physical activity against a 70 year old - and fretting about it being unfair to the 25 year old?

 

The FACTS are; a world class 70 year old in this sport CAN whup up on an average to good younger shooter.

 

But so can a world class shooter of the same age group as the younger shooter.

The only place where category shopping will actually pay off is monthly events or small annuals.

 

At a major event (your example, Winter Range) The average to good shooter is shooting for a top 10 at best - because there are many, many fantastic shooters in every category at a major.

 

And when the talent pool gets that deep - world class older versus world class younger - youth will usually win out.

 

So all you're advocating for is to protect average shooters from superior shooters - so they can win meaningless awards and mistakenly believe they are top of the game.  

 

If a youngsters ego is so fragile - that getting whupped by an old man (or old woman) does ANYTHING beyond motivate them to work harder...

 

Then they should probably avoid any sports where we keep score and there are winners and losers. 

 

Part of life is learning that someone else may be better than you.

That there is no shame in getting beat - only in failing to attempt improvement or worse, giving up.

 

And we learn much more in defeat (about our skills, our dedication, our practice and our character) than we ever learn in victory.

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On 11/19/2020 at 7:16 AM, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

Here is my question...And it is a philosophical one...trust me...

 

If EOT breaks out shooting styles into separate categories by age, why only start that breakout at Senior?

 

Meaning, if you could gather up 10 folks who want to categorize themselves as 49er duelist or wrangler gunfighter, under the current rules, why not?

 

SHB pg 6

 

SS.png.56ae88f764aed1c913edd7321e8d508d.png

What about us 90+ WB shooters?  Maybe Frontier Patron?

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I'm waiting for Senior 49er.

 

:D

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1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

 

If a youngsters ego is so fragile - that getting whupped by an old man (or old woman) does ANYTHING beyond motivate them to work harder...

 

Then they should probably avoid any sports where we keep score and there are winners and losers. 

 

Part of life is learning that someone else may be better than you.

That there is no shame in getting beat - only in failing to attempt improvement or worse, giving up.

 

And we learn much more in defeat (about our skills, our dedication, our practice and our character) than we ever learn in victory.

I always thought CAS was a serious competition and not an educational program for young people. 
Well, I guess I made a mistake.
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2 minutes ago, Revolvgang said:

I always thought CAS was a serious competition and not an educational program for young people. 
Well, I guess I made a mistake.

Make up your mind.

If you actually believe it's a serious competition - then you need to stop advocating for protection from those big, bad old people that keep stealing all the awards via their superior geriatric physical abilities.

 

I have been involved in competitive sports most of my life.

From football, wrestling, tennis, racquetball, shotput to shooting sports - ATA trap, PPC, Steel Challenge, VMBAR/ VMSAR and Cowboy.

On my best days, I have won numerous awards and just as often I have been humbled by better athletes/ better skilled participants.

I have never wished to be "protected" from failure by erecting barriers to keep another competitor from facing me head on.

I am very proud, as well, that my daughter picked up this attitude even as she began in cowboy at age 5 - she immediately moved out of Buckerette and Junior girl to begin shooting Cowgirl. 

In her words, "I would rather lose to 10 other shooters than win an award against no one".

 

There's no money in this game - the only thing you have is your honor and reputation. 

 

If winning an award or your placement in an under populated category is more important to you than honestly competing against the best the match has to offer - perhaps cowboy is not for you.

 

Competitive sports are very educational - they teach us to win with grace, lose with dignity and examine our own character.

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Howdy Pards

 

This Elder Statesman ... 1 1/2 yrs from being a Cattle Baron ... finds competition aplenty in that category.  Looking at the scores of the younger shooters, I suspect if I shot with them young uns that they’d open a big can of whup a** on me.

 

Been a cowboy shooter for 3 decades.  If anything, my accuracy is as good or better than when I wore a younger man’s clothes ... but my speed has slowed considerably.  I’m happy where I am.

 

That said, my $0.02 says older shooters should be able to compete in younger categories if they wish to do so but hope they’ll keep their complaints to themselves if the young uns leave ‘em in the dust.
 

Adios

 

Fort Reno Kid 

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One of the interesting and fun things about SASS is the talent distribution. One match you could be shooting with a Cowboy, or Cowgirl, who runs stage times in the 30s and 40s and the next match you might be shooting with someone running in the mid teens.

 

It may sound odd coming from someone who thinks there are too many categories, but perhaps a solution is to add one more.

 

Several local clubs offer Shootist. Any SASS legal guns and gear, any age, any shooting style. Shooting style can be different from stage to stage as well. It’s intended for shooters who want to compete against other ‘fast’ shooters and whose goal is winning the match more than placing in a category.

 

It would be interesting to see how a big match would work if shooter’s had to declare for a similar category to be eligible to win the overall.

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I'm looking forward to a 90 year old category followed by  95 and 100. Most of my pards have given up but, as a Marine, I cannot surrender to advanced age.

 

After a lifetime enjoying sports, there's no room in my man cave for any more trophies. Further, at my age, I don't give a d--- for any more. I like age based categories. They are an incentive to others when they see that they can keep shooting forever!!! Importantly, it's nice to have others that don't mind regular potty breaks.  :)

 

Lighten up all.

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The overall scores sort out the best shooters.  A competitive shooter can use this information to set goals and recognize overall achievement.  If your going to have age group categories then I feel you should shoot your age group.  We do have a great deal of awards for every style of shooting and every age.  If these awards motivate shooters to attend more matches and help fund our sport,  then it maybe necessary.    It maybe is an important marketing strategy.  If someone wants to challenge themselves against the "younger shooters" simply look at your overall scores.  I am not sure why our big events go ten deep in every category and make more categories so more shooters get awards.   

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On 11/18/2020 at 9:14 AM, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

Do we really need five age based categories above 60?

Once you hit 60, 5 years makes a huge difference.  But yeah, we do have too many categories.

And I have to say it: choose your category wisely ain't the cowboy way.  I am happy with the idea that everybody should be able to play our game their way.  But, dammit, pick your way & stick with it.

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If you made an edict that you MUST shoot in a category based on your age, do you force matches to offer categories even if they are underpopulated - if you say everyone must shoot their appropriate age based category?

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On 11/21/2020 at 12:26 PM, Mud Marine,SASS#54686 Life said:

I'm looking forward to a 90 year old category followed by  95 and 100. Most of my pards have given up but, as a Marine, I cannot surrender to advanced age.

 

After a lifetime enjoying sports, there's no room in my man cave for any more trophies. Further, at my age, I don't give a d--- for any more. I like age based categories. They are an incentive to others when they see that they can keep shooting forever!!! Importantly, it's nice to have others that don't mind regular potty breaks.  :)

 

Lighten up all.

 

As A 90 year old career bubblehead (SS) I agree 1000%.  I refuse to give up.

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I have never shot an aged based category, and never will if I can help it.  I have been whooped by folks of all ages!  :P

 

I started SASS in 2002 in the Traditional category, when I turned 49 I shifted to Frontier Cartridge, then worked my way up to FC Duelist, then FC Double Duelist (not really a category but I needed to teach my stupid hand to not be so stupid), and then finally FC Gunfighter.  Don't plan on shooting Senior FC Gunfighter or anything with an age break.  My choice, but I understand the desire of some to have the breaks.  Do we have too many, probably, but it is more likely that we will add more to the top of the age breaks than it is that we will remove any at this point.

 

A while back, I made the following chart showing the Base Categories (There are 36 of them), which ages can shoot in which age based categories, which categories are allowed with match director approval, and which categories are not permitted.   It was based on SASS Shooters Handbook Ver 24.1 Jan 2020, and is my interpretation of the category matrix and may not represent the SASS Official interpretation of the category matrix.

1058541977_SASSOfficialCategoryMatrix.thumb.jpg.522d2047f00c4c7c61ab8395d6f3446d.jpg

If you see discrepancies in the above chart, I would like to hear from you about them so that I can improve the chart and keep it as accurate as possible.

 

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Guys I am surprised at all the comments. I am happy to get a clean match, maybe a door prize and a good meal and get to hang out with my friends. Sometimes I even get a cigar and a bourbon! Let’s have a good time and forget what I started. One of my good buddies that has quite a few buckles told me he would just give me of his old ones if it would make me feel better.  He has gives away old buckles and   I just found out that he gets a kick out that!   Irish ☘️ Pat

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On 11/21/2020 at 6:50 AM, Captain Bill Burt said:

Several local clubs offer Shootist. Any SASS legal guns and gear, any age, any shooting style. Shooting style can be different from stage to stage as well. It’s intended for shooters who want to compete against other ‘fast’ shooters and whose goal is winning the match more than placing in a category.

Captain Burt,

A similar idea was ran by the Wild Bunch in 2003 or 04 as an Open Category. It failed then but like you, think that's not a bad idea. But............only if they would eliminate some others. B)

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