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EOT location and shooting in more than one category.


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I believe rotating EOT between the western and eastern halves of the country would have a significant positive impact on attendance, and hopefully exposure.   Look at what happened this year.  Close to 560 people signed up within 2 hours, and that's not counting those who weren't able to sign up or get on the waiting list.  Attendance over the last three EOT's has hovered in the high 500s, low 600s range, but it looks like EOT could have easily drawn over 700 people had the location been able to handle that number.  After two years without an EOT in the west, I expect attendance at Phoenix will be very good in 2022. 

 

I also believe that if a major match, shooting in waves hasn't sold out, it would be a good idea to allow people to sign up to shoot multiple times, on different waves, as long as they are shooting a different shooting style, not a different costume or age category.  I think it will increase revenue, AND increase attendance. 

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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IIRC, the last few years of EOT in California brought in between 800-1200 competitors yearly along with 12,000+ spectators until such point it became too much for the range in Norco.  Attendance that big was largely due to being in a massive metropolitan region and the home of SASS.

 

EOT suffered greatly when it was moved to New Mexico because of elevation, weather, location, and overall lack of local participants.  Feedback has not been altogether good from NM over the years which has discouraged folks from attending.  EOT has really never recovered since the move.

 

The move to Phoenix will be a return to the conditions that made Norco popular at a range that can handle a world class event put on by a group that has shown the ability to consistently put on a world class shootout.  This is a move in the right direction for SASS IMO.

 

All that being said, I'm happy lots of folks on the east coast got a shot at going to EOT this year.  Are the numbers an anomaly because it's the first opportunity for a lot of folks?  Maybe.  Is there a range large enough to support 800-1200 folks yearly east of the Big Muddy?  IDK.  Is there a dedicated group of volunteers that can handle this size event annually?  IDK.  All questions that need answers in order to support a change like this one.

 

I am sure if this year's EOT goes off without a hitch and there is enough positive feedback, the SASS hierarchy will be looking at options from here forward.  Whether it's EOT or something similar, I would think SASS will want to provide the whole country with another major event to promote growth and attendance.

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I've heard that SASS Florida is the largest membership by state.  The membership numbers on this side of the Big Muddy seem to lean eastward.

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Thanks Smokey!

14 hours ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

IIRC, the last few years of EOT in California brought in between 800-1200 competitors yearly along with 12,000+ spectators until such point it became too much for the range in Norco.  Attendance that big was largely due to being in a massive metropolitan region and the home of SASS.

 

EOT suffered greatly when it was moved to New Mexico because of elevation, weather, location, and overall lack of local participants.  Feedback has not been altogether good from NM over the years which has discouraged folks from attending.  EOT has really never recovered since the move.

 

The move to Phoenix will be a return to the conditions that made Norco popular at a range that can handle a world class event put on by a group that has shown the ability to consistently put on a world class shootout.  This is a move in the right direction for SASS IMO.

 

All that being said, I'm happy lots of folks on the east coast got a shot at going to EOT this year.  Are the numbers an anomaly because it's the first opportunity for a lot of folks?  Maybe.  Is there a range large enough to support 800-1200 folks yearly east of the Big Muddy?  IDK.  Is there a dedicated group of volunteers that can handle this size event annually?  IDK.  All questions that need answers in order to support a change like this one.

 

I am sure if this year's EOT goes off without a hitch and there is enough positive feedback, the SASS hierarchy will be looking at options from here forward.  Whether it's EOT or something similar, I would think SASS will want to provide the whole country with another major event to promote growth and attendance.

I think the questions you raise are important ones and need to be answered before a change could be called justified.


 

There has been a lot of discussion on how to 'grow the game' here on the Wire lately.  Consider this:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but EOT is a major source of revenue for SASS.  Over the last three years,  attendance has averaged about 594 shooters.  With that attendance and revenue per shooter at about $240, that's about $142,500 gross to SASS from EOT from admission revenue.   That's back of the envelope calculations, but I bet they're pretty close.

 

Running three waves, 12 posses, at 20 shooters a posse, max attendance would be 720 and revenue would be $172,800.   

Four waves gets you to 960 shooters and revenue of $230,400.  That's an extra $87,900 for SASS over what EOT has been generating.    Obviously that depends upon whether the current interest is an anomaly, and it depends upon finding a club and range that can handle that volume. 

 

Could alternating EOT between the East and the West, as well as allowing signing up for more than one category, get attendance to 960 or so?  It looks like it could, based on what happened Monday.   I expect that next year EOT in Phoenix will have great turn out, assuming the plague doesn't interfere.  The question then will be, is that turnout a function of changing form FR to BA, or is it due to there not being an EOT out west for two years.  

 

Why not still have Winter Range, every other year?  One year EOT, the next Winter Range.

 

Land Run, every other year?  One year Land Run, the next the National Championship. 

 

Start a similar rotation on the East coast. 

 

One year, Mule Camp (just throwing that out since at one time it was a big name match), the next EOT.

 

One year, 'X' match, the next the National Championship. 

 

The same clubs end up hosting big matches every year, but the national and world titles rotate. 

 

Once everyone who wants to shoot has signed up, if there are still open positions allow entries for people shooting second categories.  

 

From my perspective, the admissions cost is a small part of the cost of a shoot like that.  Getting there, housing, food, taking vacation days, those are the big expenses.  The benefit is shooting 12 stages and having a chance to win or place at a big match.  If I could sign up to shoot it twice, I definitely would.  The cost would go up by a relatively small amount, but the benefit of shooting the match would go way up, 24 stages and two chances to win or place.  

 

I know some will argue that the same shooters will simply win twice, and that may be true in some instances, but if you have to be shooting a different style, as opposed to a different age group, that should open things up a bit.  For me, I would probably shoot my age group, 49er, and either Gunfighter, Duelist, or maybe Frontiersman.

 

 

 

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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13 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Thanks Smokey!

 

There has been a lot of discussion on how to 'grow the game' here on the Wire lately.  Consider this:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but

I think the questions you raise are important ones and need to be answered before a change could be called justified.

 

EOT is a major source of revenue for SASS.  Over the last three years,  attendance has averaged about 594 shooters.  With that attendance and revenue per shooter at about $240, that's about $142,500 gross to SASS from EOT from admission revenue.   That's back of the envelope calculations, but I bet they're pretty close.

 

Running three waves, 12 posses, at 20 shooters a posse, max attendance would be 720 and revenue would be $172,800.   

Four waves gets you to 960 shooters and revenue of $230,400.  That's an extra $87,900 for SASS over what EOT has been generating.    Obviously that depends upon whether the current interest is an anomaly, and it depends upon finding a club and range that can handle that volume. 

 

Could alternating EOT between the East and the West, as well as allowing signing up for more than one category, get attendance to 960 or so?  It looks like it could, based on what happened Monday.   I expect that next year EOT in Phoenix will have great turn out, assuming the plague doesn't interfere.  The question then will be, is that turnout a function of changing form FR to BA, or is it due to there not being an EOT out west for two years.  

 

Why not still have Winter Range, every other year?  One year EOT, the next Winter Range.

 

Land Run, every other year?  One year Land Run, the next the National Championship. 

 

Start a similar rotation on the East coast. 

 

One year, Mule Camp (just throwing that out since at one time it was a big name match), the next EOT.

 

One year, 'X' match, the next the National Championship. 

 

The same clubs end up hosting big matches every year, but the national and world titles rotate. 

 

Once everyone who wants to shoot has signed up, if there are still open positions allow entries for people shooting second categories.  

 

From my perspective, the admissions cost is a small part of the cost of a shoot like that.  Getting there, housing, food, taking vacation days, those are the big expenses.  The benefit is shooting 12 stages and having a chance to win or place at a big match.  If I could sign up to shoot it twice, I definitely would.  The cost would go up by a relatively small amount, but the benefit of shooting the match would go way up, 24 stages and two chances to win or place.  

 

I know some will argue that the same shooters will simply win twice, and that may be true in some instances, but if you have to be shooting a different style, as opposed to a different age group, that should open things up a bit.  For me, I would probably shoot my age group, 49er, and either Gunfighter, Duelist, or maybe Frontiersman.

 

 

 

A lot of good thought here. Finding a range with the ability to handle a large contingent of participants may be problematic. I know for a fact that Raahauge’s in Norco where EOT used to be couldn’t do it. They’ve rearranged and rebuilt the bays very narrow for the most part and even with 15 shooters per posse it gets crowded in a hurry. Getting them to give the range time for an EOT would be an uphill battle also. 
 

I like the alternating from East to West and without Founders Ranch in play anymore I would hope something like this happens. Arizona weather in early March or late February can be pretty cold and wet. 
 

Hopefully moving the venue to Indiana, although not ideal from SASS’s standpoint, will shine a lot of light on the potential that making EOT more accessible to the masses may lead to some unexpected growth in SASS numbers and participation. I’d expect that public spectator numbers will go through the roof also with a little advertising leading up to EOT.

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Captain:

There is plenty of attendance data for a variety of "national" events.  I've been involved in several national, professional associations, and this is where I get my perspective.  I assume the data from events like the Super Bowl or the BCS Championship games, could provide additional insight.

I think there are three type of attendees.

 

Group 1 attends because the location is close and convenient. Have the event in Georgia - southerner's will attend and northerners will complain.  Have the event in Minnesota and northerners will attend and southerners will complain. East West North South - I believe for most people, its about convenience.

 

Group 2 attend because they are dedicated to attending.  They like the event, they will attend wherever the event is held, they will have preferences, and complain and compare events. But I think this is a small percentage of attendees like the 80/20 rule. They do 80 percent of the shooting, but are 20 percent of the people.

 

Group 3 attend because of the location.  If you have an event in a premium resort-like location, the resort is an additional attraction. They bring their family, who can enjoy the location while they attend the event (the match in our case).

 

I like your ideas about moving events around, there are many good reasons to do so.  I think some regularity in the location is helpful, because people like to plan ahead.  But no location will make everyone happy, Even group 1 "location" will complain about where its held, even if it's in their own backyard.

 

The big 'unknown' is where are the ranges that can hold these biggest events? Other shooting sports have evolved into four or five really large regionals, and successful participation in those large regional events are the prerequisite to the "National Championship".  I think the revenue is also better with four or five large regionals and one national, more so than just one really really big national event.

 

If I had the clout, I would nominate you to the new Board of Directors / Wild Bunch. You are a great supporter of the sport and of all the people who cross your path.

 

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Thank you @T-Square.  I'm grateful that you have that high of an opinion of me!

 

I have to chuckle, because I can imagine a few Match Directors and other assorted cowboys throwing up in their mouths a little bit at the thought of me on the BOD!

 

I like the way you broke that down into groups.  So Group One attendance would be impacted, hopefully positively, by moving the NC and the WC around geographically.  Group Three would be impacted if the sites chosen had other attractions.  Phoenix certainly does.  I don't know about Norman OK, but hopefully.

 

I wish I knew more about big venues on the East side of the country.  I suspect South River Gun Club could handle it in terms of just the shooting, plenty of bays, but camping is pretty limited.  I've heard good things about the Middletown Sportsmans Club where the Big Iron Rangers live, but have no idea if that facility could host something that big.  I'm sure there are cowboys who can chime in with suggestions of clubs they're familiar with.

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I would not attempt shooting in two categories at EOT.  The accumulated fatigue from eight stages a day for three days would hurt my overall performance and I might not place in any category.  If I were decades younger I might make try shooting two categories but not at my present age.

 

In T-Square's breakdown I'm a group 2 shooter.  I will go where EOT is held.  When EOT in Indiana was announced I briefly considered attending.  However, I thought it best to let nearby competitors signup first as this might be their only chance for an EOT buckle.  I look forward to seeing videos of many Wire regulars shooting EOT and reports that they placed in the Top Ten in their categories.  Please everyone have your equipment and ammo in top condition for EOT.  I've seen high primers lock up revolvers, reloaded shotgun shells that would not chamber, many squibs, brass split in rifles locking them up,  and loose screws on firearms causing malfunctions .  I've even seen lenses fall out of shooting glasses from loose screws.  Do your annual maintenance before EOT and bring your best ammo - all gauged.

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Just curious about the locations. We had a divisional system that failed. I attended the Eastern Divisional once because I was there on other business at the time.

The shoot was good, nice facility, overall good venue. Why did the divisional system fail? The Eastern shooters had an opportunity to shine, it didn't happen.

 

Same thing happened with the Western Divisional. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Thanks Smokey!

I think the questions you raise are important ones and need to be answered before a change could be called justified.


 

There has been a lot of discussion on how to 'grow the game' here on the Wire lately.  Consider this:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but EOT is a major source of revenue for SASS.  Over the last three years,  attendance has averaged about 594 shooters.  With that attendance and revenue per shooter at about $240, that's about $142,500 gross to SASS from EOT from admission revenue.   That's back of the envelope calculations, but I bet they're pretty close.

 

Running three waves, 12 posses, at 20 shooters a posse, max attendance would be 720 and revenue would be $172,800.   

Four waves gets you to 960 shooters and revenue of $230,400.  That's an extra $87,900 for SASS over what EOT has been generating.    Obviously that depends upon whether the current interest is an anomaly, and it depends upon finding a club and range that can handle that volume. 

 

Could alternating EOT between the East and the West, as well as allowing signing up for more than one category, get attendance to 960 or so?  It looks like it could, based on what happened Monday.   I expect that next year EOT in Phoenix will have great turn out, assuming the plague doesn't interfere.  The question then will be, is that turnout a function of changing form FR to BA, or is it due to there not being an EOT out west for two years.  

 

Why not still have Winter Range, every other year?  One year EOT, the next Winter Range.

 

Land Run, every other year?  One year Land Run, the next the National Championship. 

 

Start a similar rotation on the East coast. 

 

One year, Mule Camp (just throwing that out since at one time it was a big name match), the next EOT.

 

One year, 'X' match, the next the National Championship. 

 

The same clubs end up hosting big matches every year, but the national and world titles rotate. 

 

Once everyone who wants to shoot has signed up, if there are still open positions allow entries for people shooting second categories.  

 

From my perspective, the admissions cost is a small part of the cost of a shoot like that.  Getting there, housing, food, taking vacation days, those are the big expenses.  The benefit is shooting 12 stages and having a chance to win or place at a big match.  If I could sign up to shoot it twice, I definitely would.  The cost would go up by a relatively small amount, but the benefit of shooting the match would go way up, 24 stages and two chances to win or place.  

 

I know some will argue that the same shooters will simply win twice, and that may be true in some instances, but if you have to be shooting a different style, as opposed to a different age group, that should open things up a bit.  For me, I would probably shoot my age group, 49er, and either Gunfighter, Duelist, or maybe Frontiersman.

 

 

 

Parking is a problem at large venues, EOT in Norco was basically a giant parking lot with some shooting bays, separated by the thoroughfare for the vending and the entertainment area. The crowd of spectators was huge, most never watched the shooting. Spectators watched the entertainment, Dave Stamey, Joe Bowman, Johnny Western, stagecoach rides, celebrities, Indian camp with teepee's, I doubt many spectators actually watched any shooting, I was there several times and few spectators were in the shooting area.  

 

Many people had to wait in long lines in order to park. Then, long lines to get out. 

 

Indiana may be a great venue, sounds like a nice place. However, if it's hot and humid and shooters suffer from heat events the word will get out.

I will not go to a match that is uncomfortable (too hot), FR is only 600 miles from my house. It was hot and dusty in late June at FR. Some people can't handle the elevation at our range, I understand that when they don't attend our match. Allowing shooters to shoot in additional categories my keep shooters out in the elements longer. A few may get more enjoyment at a cost to the comfort of others. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Assassin said:

Parking is a problem at large venues, EOT in Norco was basically a giant parking lot with some shooting bays, separated by the thoroughfare for the vending and the entertainment area. The crowd of spectators was huge, most never watched the shooting. Spectators watched the entertainment, Dave Stamey, Joe Bowman, Johnny Western, stagecoach rides, celebrities, Indian camp with teepee's, I doubt many spectators actually watched any shooting, I was there several times and few spectators were in the shooting area.  

 

Many people had to wait in long lines in order to park. Then, long lines to get out. 

 

Indiana may be a great venue, sounds like a nice place. However, if it's hot and humid and shooters suffer from heat events the word will get out.

I will not go to a match that is uncomfortable (too hot), FR is only 600 miles from my house. It was hot and dusty in late June at FR. Some people can't handle the elevation at our range, I understand that when they don't attend our match. Allowing shooters to shoot in additional categories my keep shooters out in the elements longer. A few may get more enjoyment at a cost to the comfort of others. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

How does the fact that a cowboy is shooting in two different waves each day impact the comfort of others?  As long as he does his share of the posse work why would it matter?  I'm not advocating shooting two categories while on the same posse.

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1 minute ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

How does the fact that a cowboy is shooting in two different waves each day impact the comfort of others?  As long as he does his share of the posse work why would it matter?  I'm not advocating shooting two categories while on the same posse.

If I were to shoot 2 different categories, would I not take 2 times longer to shoot?  Others would still have to time, score, count, brass, etc., regardless of how much work I did on one or two posses. It's basically like adding a shooter, allow 40 people to shoot additional categories that's like adding two posse's. The range/shoot would make more money with a cost to others. I've heard the complaints form others. Not saying it's not doable, it works for some. A very large venue; EOT or WR may not flow as well. 

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Shooting two categories/styles won't affect anyone other than yourself as long as you are doing it on different waves. 

 

At Comin' At Cha, you can shoot two or three categories/styles on two or three separate waves.  Course 8-12 stages a day for three days might be too much for some.  I think it would make a long trip more than worth while.

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1 minute ago, Assassin said:

If I were to shoot 2 different categories, would I not take 2 times longer to shoot?  Others would still have to time, score, count, brass, etc., regardless of how much work I did on one or two posses. It's basically like adding a shooter, allow 40 people to shoot additional categories that's like adding two posse's. The range/shoot would make more money with a cost to others. I've heard the complaints form others. Not saying it's not doable, it works for some. A very large venue; EOT or WR may not flow as well. 

I guess I don't follow that logic.  If you have a shooter who shoots 49er on posse A, and does his posse chores, then later in the day shoots on posse D, and does his posse chores, how does that result in more work for others?  He should be assisting enough to offset the support he will need from the rest of the posse.  We know that isn't always true, but that has to do with specific shooters not doing their jobs. 

 

How does it prolong time on the range?  If the goal is 20 shooters per posse, a posse with fewer shooters isn't going to get off the range earlier, they're going to end up waiting behind a posse that has a full complement of shooters.

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2 minutes ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

Shooting two categories/styles won't affect anyone other than yourself as long as you are doing it on different waves. 

 

At Comin' At Cha, you can shoot two or three categories/styles on two or three separate waves.  Course 8-12 stages a day for three days might be too much for some.  I think it would make a long trip more than worth while.

I know the next time I go to CaC I'll be signing up for at least two categories, might go for three, but at that point I might be leaning toward feeling the way @Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 feels.

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1 minute ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I know the next time I go to CaC I'll be signing up for at least two categories, might go for three, but at that point I might be leaning toward feeling the way @Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 feels.

I did two categories at Thunder Valley (all black powder match) two years running in 105° temps and would do it again in a heartbeat.  It is a workout for sure so get your stamina up :P

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