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Put away the ropes and hear me out. 

It's just an idea to help our game survive, recruit and maybe even grow.

 

I was channel flipping and came across the Stihl Timbersports Competition on TV.

For those that don't know - it is a lumberjack competition testing axe skills to chainsaws to large tree felling single and double buck saws.

 

Sponsored by Stihl Chainsaws - and near as I can tell they provide/ require Stihl equipment for one event and then just just stick their name everywhere else. 

Average event takes 10-20 seconds to complete - competitions are head to head but timed as well - so that it is interesting to watch but rankings and placement still occurs based on time; average event runs 10-20 seconds.

Mind you this is SPONSORED, PROFESSIONAL, TELEVISED sporting event to watch people cutting wood...

 

And since I am pretty sure Cowboy Shooting is more interesting than wood chopping - seems like SASS could do something sorta like.

 

Heres what I'm envisioning.

Matches run EXACTLY the way they do now.

The TOP 10 shooters at the END of the completed match that registered as PRO Cat. then compete in a series of Cowboy Action stages/ events head to head (a shoot off type format but with multiple disciplines; stage, speed rifle, pocket pistol/ derringer, long range, etc.). 

There is no sudden death - just an overall time at the end of some number of events.

Get Uberti/ Ruger/ Henry/ Midway USA, etc as a title sponsor and various others as event sponsors.

Allow sponsorship gear and logos during the PRO televised competition portion (not during regular match).

Record the pro portion interspersed with a liberal amount of "real people" shooting the main match and get it onto some streaming service or small network.

 

Sponsorship and prize money get it on TV.  Viewers watch and become interested.   We show shooting sports and firearms ownership in a positive light.

Our game grows for another generation.

 

With Rugers hold on CAS pistols and now entry into lever rifles - it doesn't seem it would that hard to get them to buy in to a televised showcase.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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There have been a number of surveys conducted online, in this and other shooting forums, about increasing participation in cowboy action shooting.  The top two responses for NOT participating are:

An interesting concept and I applaud you for thinking out of the box.  I do have some concerns about your idea though.  When I read through your idea the first thing I thought of was NASCAR.  When NAS

I watch the Outdoor and Sportsman channel, on Wednesday Night at the Range, the outdoor channel has “shooting USA”. They show IDPA matches, and when SASS has live events, they presented Winter Range,

2 hours ago, Mister Badly said:

Do the spotters and TO get paid for their contributions to the pros bank accounts?

 

Since the "Pro" portion would occur AFTER and SEPARATE from the main match - the "spotters, TO, referees" required for the Pro event would either be volunteers or be paid as part of the televised product.

I wouldn't imagine any one would be forced to support, attend or work for the Professional portion if they didn't want to.

 

This is simply an exercise to introduce additional exposure to our game.  In an attempt to add members and hopefully longevity to something I hold dear.

 

I would hope most shooters first thought is not, "how will this affect me?" 

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An interesting concept and I applaud you for thinking out of the box.  I do have some concerns about your idea though.  When I read through your idea the first thing I thought of was NASCAR.  When NASCAR started out it was “stock car racing” and guys with determination, knowledge, and skill could compete competitively without being millionaires.  Today, it is anything but “stock car racing” and is far from something the average guy/girl can get into.  Sponsorship, television, marketing, etc. have completely changed the original sport.  Yes, at the local level you may still get into racing, but the pro level contributes little to add to local level racing.  For proof of that look at how many small tracks that used to race every weekend are still open.  In North Carolina/South Carolina, considered the birthplace of NASCAR there are maybe 3-4 local tracks still running.  

 

So, yes, it might generate good ratings for TV, but I don’t think it would significantly have a positive impact at the local level, in fact it might scare off some from trying CAS knowing that they’d “never be that good”.  

 

Fun, fellowship, and challenge are what keep pards coming back.  Sure some are “gamers”, sure there are some that do all this for a belt buckle, but that’s a long way from professional competition.  Just something to think about.  

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<Pondering on this>

Spotter would need to be eliminated on this. There is money involved and subjective calls from "volunteer spotters" would probably be met with rather harsh word. Targets would have to be reactive, painted after each shooter, or paper.......

 

The TO would have to become just that. A timer operator with the ability to call cease fire or prevent dangerous procedures. In other words. NO COACHING. Any subjective calls would have to be minimized from the event.

 

Scorekeeping would have to supervised closely to PREVENT any errors.

 

Members of the peanut gallery would have to kept well back to prevent coaching/comment/etc

 

Cameras would most likely have to be used to verify everything that happened.

 

Just a thought....... This would be like watching profession baseball but without the anticipated winning drama. 

 

I have watched many shooting events on TV........ Not very interesting. But then what do I know. People watch golf on TV all the time. All I think of that is that poor grounds keeper has to fix all those divots.

 

 

Edited by Ace_of_Hearts
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I watch the Outdoor and Sportsman channel, on Wednesday Night at the Range, the outdoor channel has “shooting USA”. They show IDPA matches, and when SASS has live events, they presented Winter Range, and End of Trail.   It was one of my first exposures to the sport.   They have done whole shows on this.   There aren’t sponsors, they even had a host go and get costumes, guns and gear and then shoot the event.    Sadly there ‘Rona killed all our major events this year, and therefore, no TV.   
What could be done though, is to see if these programs would come to state championships too.   
I don’t think I want to see logos on the cowboy gear like we see on 3 gun, or IDPA shooting teams.  That turns the sport into something too Pro. I like the homespun fellowship feeling of the sport that we have.    It’s a come for the game, stay for the family feeling.  

Edited by Not Dead Ed
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4 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

An interesting concept and I applaud you for thinking out of the box.

Agree!

 

8 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

And since I am pretty sure Cowboy Shooting is more interesting than wood chopping

Yes, agree, shooting is more interesting than chopping, but not WATCHING those things.

If there are several shooters shooting the same stage on CAS videos on youtube I fast-forward after the first or second shooter at the latest. It's nice to see a interesting stage design or a new record of a fast shooter. But watching a match on TV? Not me, saying that as a CAS shooter myself!

I watched timbersports a couple of times while i was channel-hopping. I found those disciplines very different and therefore interesting. But I guess a non-shooter would just see a cowboy shooting guns at targets all the time.

 

4 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

I don’t think it would significantly have a positive impact at the local level, in fact it might scare off some from trying CAS knowing that they’d “never be that good”.

+1

I was way more attracted by videos of more "average" shooters than the really super fast ones. Jedi-TV JED iTV for example comes to mind as very welcoming and giving the impression of fun and "you should try"!

 

Equanimous Phil

Edited by Equanimous Phil
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Interesting thought. 

 

Logos? Instead of putting them on the clothes, put them on the stages. 

 

Scoring? Not an electrical genius, but isn't there some kind of accelerometer that can attach to the back of a plate to note the impact of a round on the front? Not a programming genius either, but certainly recording the shots and hits, assigning penalties for misses and out-of-order hits, and combining those with the time to present an almost immediate score should be within reason.

 

Rapidity of reset with automated scoring means there's no reason a shooter couldn't be coming to the line every two-three minutes. If the shooters have the stages in advance, then put them on a timer -- when called, you have two minutes to stage your guns and get to the start position.

 

Put up a leader board and you've got near-real-time placing, and a fast-paced competition.

 

 

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The pros will be competing for a top ten spot during the 'regular' match, so there will be money on the line for them from start to finish.  That means volunteer spotters, TO coaching, painting targets, all that stuff will have to be different for the entire match, not just the 'Pro' part. 

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Just thinking out loud.

Use the same set-up as you'd use for a top-gun shoot-off.

After the match, use all reactive targets (no questions on hits - either it falls or it doesn't).

Single or double elimination.

 

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I discovered SASS and came over from the 1911 world all because of one episode of Shooting USA.  So anything to get more exposure sound like a great idea to me. Sure some logistics would need to ironed out but we can do anything we put our minds to.   

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28 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Would the pard who is really good and can compete at that level using the guns of his or her choice be required to switch to the sponsors guns?

I could see Henry being a sponsor, and I could see when they supply the shooters their guns those guns breaking.  
it would be bad for their business so maybe they would make a better gun that doesn’t feel like it’s built on 1970 super duty truck springs.  
I could envision a team Rossi, the Uberti, Team Taylor, Team Henry, Team Ruger/Marlinuger, etc.   with head to head competitor and products, we might actually all get better guns, and that could be a plus.   
 

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I like it. I don't think it would overtake NASCAR, but it could create some interest. Come to think of it, maybe the ammo and reloading component companies could give all cowboy shooters a priority in line for their products (free shipping, too!). B) As you know, currently it's difficult to get almost anything at a fair price. :(

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4 hours ago, Ace_of_Hearts said:

Just a thought....... This would be like watching profession baseball but without the anticipated winning drama. 

I used to watch and really enjoyed the Top Shot reality competition show.  But I often thought to myself, this would be the dullest show in the world if it wasn't for slowmo and exploding targets...  so yeah, exploding targets and slowmo cameras are probably a must.  

 

2 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Scoring? Not an electrical genius, but isn't there some kind of accelerometer that can attach to the back of a plate to note the impact of a round on the front? Not a programming genius either, but certainly recording the shots and hits, assigning penalties for misses and out-of-order hits, and combining those with the time to present an almost immediate score should be within reason.

+1 if not using exploding targets

2 hours ago, Equanimous Phil said:

was way more attracted by videos of more "average" shooters than the really super fast ones. Jedi-TV for example comes to mind as very welcoming and giving the impression of fun and "you should try"!

I really like me some Jedi-TV, I usually throw on some random episode when someone asks me what Cowboy Action Shooting is.

 

2 hours ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Logos? Instead of putting them on the clothes, put them on the stages. 

+1, nobody has to change their garb.

Edited by El CupAJoe
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51 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Would the pard who is really good and can compete at that level using the guns of his or her choice be required to switch to the sponsors guns?

probably depends on the contract with the sponsor.

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2 hours ago, Not Dead Ed said:

don’t think I want to see logos on the cowboy gear like we see on 3 gun, or IDPA shooting teams.  That turns the sport into something too Pro. I like the homespun fellowship feeling of the sport that we have.    It’s a come for the game, stay for the family feeling.  

 

4 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

So, yes, it might generate good ratings for TV, but I don’t think it would significantly have a positive impact at the local level, in fact it might scare off some from trying CAS knowing that they’d “never be that good”.  

 

Fun, fellowship, and challenge are what keep pards coming back.  Sure some are “gamers”, sure there are some that do all this for a belt buckle, but that’s a long way from professional competition.  Just something to think about.  

 

I think a good pro CAS director would want to include much B-Roll of the family atmosphere, people making goofs, after competition parties etc. to make it look attractive to the potential newcomers.  

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Great idea, but it should be an invitational event and not associated with any other SASS event. All hits should be recorded electronically. Technology already exists for this. No individual sponsors. There should be event sponsors and large grand prize. Only top shooters around the country are invited. There could be one up and man to man competition. One up would be like skiing. Time To Beat, keeps it interesting. I think this would be real easy to sell to a network...

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I like the idea, but instead of a PRO shooter division, mabe a change in what the catagories are.

I've been involved ia a number of shooting sports, SASS, IDPA, USPSA,3 gun, trap ,skeet, steel challenge,3d archery to name a few. 

 The thing that has stood out the most is SASS has age base catagories and all the others have skill based catagories. That may be where SASS can make up the most ground on the other shooting sports. 

 I've heard and read that SASS wasn't started to be as competitive as USPSA and others like it, but all that has changed. Just look at the slicked up guns with the $2000 price tag and try to tell the average newbie we're about history and costume, not winning. 

 Don't get me wrong, I love cowboy action. I'm just sayin maybe it's time to look at it from another side.

Just food for thought

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I like the idea and would participate.  I would throw in the idea of some club grudge matches (intra and inter state) to go along with the individual awards.

 

Instead of comparing this to NASCAR, compare it to Street Outlaws which is spawning all kinds of spin offs and grass roots racing interest.

 

Totes

Edited by Totes Magoats
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The law of unintended consequences will soon become apparent.  In order for those corporations to sponsor an event, person, or team... means their income has to increase in proportion to their sponsorship.  Simple increases in sales may or may not cover said expenditures.  Might not raising their price on goods become the easy out?  

 

51 minutes ago, Totes Magoats said:

I like the idea and would participate.  I would throw in the idea of some club grudge matches (intra and inter state) to go along with the individual awards.

 

Instead of comparing this to NASCAR, compare it to Street Outlaws which is spawning all kinds of spin offs and grass roots racing interest.

 

Totes

Drop the "Pro" aspect and I agree with Totes.    One of the side matches at the OWSA Nationals in Raton, NM was the State vs State grudge match.  The top shooter from each category by state represented their state in the "State Shootoff".  Find a TV producer that is Pro-Gun and have them film the match including those segments as mentioned... let them sell their finished product....  

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I'm really sorry for saying this - but "average" and "fellowship" does not put viewers in front of the TV.

 

You need the drama of competition that has consequences to the outcome to make an uninvolved viewer tune in.

 

The "golly, that looks like fun" is a trickle down effect - and is piqued by the EXPOSURE to the guns, scenarios and " behind the scenes" footage of normal shooters participating in the amateur match that precedes the PRO match.

 

Yes, there would have to be some Hollywood to the PRO match - some slo-mo, many more reactive targets and probably explosions.  And logos during the PRO portion are necessary - because we are selling something to the viewer.

 

Guns, ammo, reloading components, the game itself, clubs, range locations and hopefully rivalry to encourage a second watching.

 

The logistics of the PRO shooter navigating the main match (prior to the the PRO component) as it pertains to spotting, TO, etc. could be easily figured out. 

Separate posses for the PRO, an increased training requirement to TO or spot or at minimum a cleaning up of the TO guidelines about how to properly TO/ spot.

Might even lead to better trained spotters, TO for all of us.

 

There is nothing in this plan that denigrates or harms the AMATEUR main match. 

Nothing changes for 99% of us.

No money prizes for the main.

No logos in the main.

Tho bigger sponsors might mean cooler awards or giveaways (wishful thinking).

 

The PRO component idea is simply a tool to get our game in front of more eyes via sponsors and different methods than we have tried already.

 

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Top Shot had some interesting shooting scenarios, but after watching one contestant shooting a "stage" the rest seemed like repetition. That show had to have some "interpersonal conflicts" to balance the shooting.  Even Shooting USA, which has been on for quite a while, could survive for long with just one type of shooting discipline being featured.  I doubt many folks would be interested beyond a very narrow segment of the shooting public.  Sponsors such as Ruger, Glock, Sig Sauer feature their own products being used.  Does Colt, Uberti, Pietta Winchester have professional shooting teams?  Many years ago, one importer had a very good shooter/employee who was "sponsored" by his company.  He only shot Rugers, even though the company was a major importer of Italian firearms, as I recall and after a management change, was no longer involved in that aspect of the business.

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2 hours ago, Rancho Roy said:

Great idea, but it should be an invitational event and not associated with any other SASS event. All hits should be recorded electronically. Technology already exists for this. No individual sponsors. There should be event sponsors and large grand prize. Only top shooters around the country are invited. There could be one up and man to man competition. One up would be like skiing. Time To Beat, keeps it interesting. I think this would be real easy to sell to a network...

 

How do you decide who gets invited?  Instead of invitation I'd suggest qualify.  As things are now, anyone who has the $$$ can participate in any SASS match around the world.  For this event we would set up some qualifying criteria.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Top Shot had some interesting shooting scenarios...............

 

 

LOVED that show..................except for the B.S. drama. :blink:

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I'm all for drumming up interest and growing the sport.  I remember stumbling across a few SASS videos showing some top names shooting sub 20sec stages.  I had been told SASS was a branch off from fast draw, and I seriously thought everyone used wax bullets (that's how light the loads seemed to be).  A lot of the stages also happened to have very little or zero movement and I thought the goal was simply to dump 24rds out of the pistols, rifle and shotgun as quickly as possible. 

 

It was not until I ran across some of Jed I Knight's videos that I realized SASS was a sport that used live ammo. 

Edited by July Smith
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I shot PPC and Bullseye matches years ago.  Although not professional in the same way Creeker is talking about, prizes (in many cases very elaborate and expensive prizes) were awarded.  It was my experience that the top shooters in those sports were less apt to help the new competitors and even went to the extent of playing mind games with each other.  I've found CAS to be completely the opposite.  A new Cowboy can walk up to someone like Lassiter or Deuce Stevens and ask questions and get quality responses.  I don't have the experience of many of you at a national level, but have found that when I'm competing with someone in  the same class, I pull for my competitor and my competitor pulls for me, even to the point of discussing how to approach a stage. Bullseye and PPC are dying sports.  Although CAS has had it's problems, our club has actually grown in the last couple of years.  Just my .02.

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I'd like to ask WHO would watch CAS in TV repeatedly? Imho people are watching sports

  • when their favorite athlete or team (home town, country etc.) is playing, "WE" are playing against...
  • for tradition (everybody is watching football, baseball, basketball etc.)
  • if the development of the game is thrilling, interesting and diverse, for example every snooker or poker game is unique despite the setup is always the same
  • for aesthetics and the beauty of the sport (all kind of freestyle sports and beach volley come to my mind...)

The last point may attract some people to CAS, but doubt that it would be many.

 

Just my opinion, Equanimous

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I worked for a company that sponsored several timber carnivals a year.  It also employed the reigning “hot saw” champion.  The participants who consistently won were all in the business.  They didn’t just show up and compete, they went back to the woods and went to work doing pretty much the same thing that they had competed on the weekend.  
 

The competition was a family event. Everyone mingled.  It was far more than a competition.  
 

it could be fun but the “reality tv” aspect may kill the camaraderie.

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2 minutes ago, Equanimous Phil said:

I'd like to ask WHO would watch CAS in TV repeatedly? Imho people are watching sports

 

Look at Creeker's original post.  He was watching people chop wood.  (No dig at Creeker.  I love watching those lumberjack competitions.)  People watch golf.  People watch bowling.  People watch curling.  People watch poker.  

 

My point is people will watch almost anything.  Even more people will watch if it's presented in an entertaining manner. 

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4 minutes ago, Desert Pete SASS #42168 said:

it could be fun but the “reality tv” aspect may kill the camaraderie.

 

That's why I think Rancho Roy's idea of making it a separate even is a good one. 

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For a televised event add black powder only firearms in addition to exploding targets.  I talked to one producer at EOT who stated his crew filmed black powder shooters preferentially because their shooting was more visual.

 

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