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I have several nice plaques. Cost less than a buckle and are much easier to customize. I do believe that awards not given can be disassembled and the paper updated for the next year's match.

 

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I also have some really nice ones cut out of steel with a plasma cutter and then painted. I can post pictures when I get home.

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Buckles for 1st Place + a trophy, plaques only for lessor placing that sometimes vary in size according to place (bigger is better ya know).

Plaques are made from wood, stone, metal or crystal (?). They may or may not have a brass plate glued on with match details, category and placing. We have some that have a cowboy figure glued to a wooden plaque that are pretty handsome. 

A lot of thought goes into these due to aesthetics, cost, originality, etc. They do get talked about and displayed. They can deplete the club's account if gone unchecked and unnoticed, too.

We've kept a few awards that were neat, but a whole bunch went in the trash when we moved.

One club used western themed ceramic/plastic picture frames that had the match/award printed on them. Useful for multiple years and events.

Edited by Go West
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Pinto Annie and Shalako Tucker make ours. For the last several years they've made us metal plates with category, etc. laser engraved on them then powder coated. First place is biggest, etc. We cut off the registration early enough that we can let them know how many we need for each category, which saves on unissued awards.

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The Bayou Bounty Hunters gave these giant flasks to first place category winners, and a smaller version of the same flask to 2nd and 3rd place finishers, when they hosted the Louisiana State Championship match a few years ago.

IMG_2433.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Go West said:

Buckles for 1st Place + a trophy, plaques only for lessor placing that sometimes vary in size according to place (bigger is better ya know).

Plaques are made from wood, stone, metal or crystal (?). They may or may not have a brass plate glued on with match details, category and placing. We have some that have a cowboy figure glued to a wooden plaque that are pretty handsome. 

A lot of thought goes into these due to aesthetics, cost, originality, etc. They do get talked about and displayed. They can deplete the club's account if gone unchecked and unnoticed, too.

We've kept a few awards that were neat, but a whole bunch went in the trash when we moved.

One club used western themed ceramic/plastic picture frames that had the match/award printed on them. Useful for multiple years and events.

 

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I do not think much of plaques as awards.  I think they are cheesy and cheap, no matter what they cost. I would prefer a buckle. A custom concho, or something like that.

 

CatBrules

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6 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

For your large matches (annuals), what do you give away? A lot of clubs give buckles as awards; what are other ideas for awards.

 

I've had buckles, plaques, certificates, and some sort of trophies.  Frankly, I'm just glad to win anything! 

Some were cheesey, some were cheap, and some were more elaborate.  I never turned any of them down or grumbled after I won it.  

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Tazz makes all of ours except for the Champions at a state match which are usually a statue of sorts. Tazz makes nice awards from acrylic with our match theme.

 

http://www.shootingbums.org/klassiclaserworks/

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9 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

For your large matches (annuals), what do you give away? A lot of clubs give buckles as awards; what are other ideas for awards.

Cool plaques (for wall), figurines, conchos...for me, the more unique, the better!

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Trophies, plaques, and alike sit and collect dust. I like useable stuff. One year our club have etched glass beer mugs for our annual.

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Howdy Rainmaker.  18 years ago I saved a SASS Wire discussion on this subject.  Hopefully some of it is still relevant or helpful:

 

 Topic: Annual Match Awards  
Wild Mike #18502 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 05, 2003 06:55 AM                        
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OK guys and gals ... we could use a little input here.

We just tallied up the cost of our awards for our annual 2 day event and the cost will be about $900.00  

What are some of the things you use or have seen used for large match awards ?

Thanks,

--------------------
Wild Mike ... Cartridge Darksider
Prop Wrangler
River Bend Rangers

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Posts: 105 | From: South Bend, IN USA | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
Chuckaroo #13080 Regulator 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 05, 2003 07:22 AM                        
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Mike,

Awards are definitely one of the larger expenses to a large match. Depending on how deep you go in the line up, it can cost $1,000's easily. I have seen many clubs limit awards to classes that have a minimum of 5 shooters per class and then only give awards to 3rd place. In larger categories, where you have 25 or more entries I have seen awards down to 10th place. I am not sure what a good ratio is, it would depend on your budget. But, recognizing the shooters that do well is very important. Each time we add another shooting category, we could add 10 or more awards to the cost of the match (including ladies in that total).

As the award goes down, the award size and cost can get smaller.

As far as the awards themselves, badges (can be custom and pricey), plaques, trophies, ribbons, medallions (Olympic type), certificates, table top art objects like horses and western scenes, embroidered patches and belt buckles just to name a few. 

From my own experience, the most poplar is a badge of some type. You don't have to dust it, you can wear it, mount it on a cart and generally enjoy it more than some of the others. However, here on the wire, no matter what you say, someone will take issue with it. I would poll your own shooters for some input before making any decision.

Good Luck

--------------------
My 2 cents.

Chuckaroo 13080 L,TG, Regulator
Damascus Wildlife Rangers http://members.aol.com/chuckaroo3

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Posts: 333 | From: Ijamsville, Md., USA | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
seven, #15837 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 05, 2003 08:27 AM                        
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My better half, Wildcat Elly, makes little "Cowboy Figurines" which work well as trophys. Everybody really loves them, and she prices them right for the shoots to obtain. Give her a holler at my email and she can provide pictures. What a HOOT!

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seven & Wildcat Elly
Men's & Ladies
Michigan State Champions
2001
www.magicspringsbyseven.net

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Posts: 94 | From: Burlington, Mich. | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
Cripple Creek Craig SASS #24118 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 05, 2003 11:56 AM                        
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We coppied an idea was saw at other annual matches where some of the lesser awards were very simple. One that seems very popular these days is to take a piece of 1"x6" plain old pine board, cut it into the shape of a coffin, have someone with a wood burner put writing onto it. A light coat of stain won't hurt. It seems that the rougher they are the better they are liked. WE get our borad stock out of the "flaws" barrel at the lumber yard. These seem good for things like second and third places in side matches, etc. Ours were humorous in that they stated that the shooter was dead since they came in second or third place. 
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Posts: 1743 | From: Missouri, USA | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
VICIOUS 8014 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 05, 2003 12:23 PM                        
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HOWDY, I have seen old barn boards cut to size and brass plates mounted. At club level paper printed DIPLOMAS mounted in plain frames. Also value - village for used trophys and lamps ,silver platters.It takes more time to be cheap than slapping down club money ,but look around ,take a shot.  
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Posts: 430 | From: ONTARIO,CANADA | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged  
 
Arkansas Padre SASS # 46218 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 05, 2003 12:26 PM                        
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Check with your  local gun shops and, if you have enough time, with SASS vendors and sponsors. They may like to set up booths or at least provide gift certificates as special awards. Have fun at your big shoot and stay safe. 
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Posts: 44 | From: Gainesville, Florida | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged  
 
Wild Mike #18502 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 06, 2003 05:53 AM                        
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I kind of like the little coffin idea. I think I can find my woodburner ... uuuugh, now where did I put that ?

Any other good ideas out there ?

Thanks,

--------------------
Wild Mike ... Cartridge Darksider
Prop Wrangler
River Bend Rangers

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Minnie Aldinger, #6243 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 06, 2003 09:45 AM                        
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We went to the annual match out of Blue Lakes last year and they had wood steer heads with small brass plaques that were really neat. They had the local high school wood shop do the steer heads and the brass plaques made at a trophy shop.
These were really unique awards and relativly inexpensive. My son had me put ours up in the store as soon as we got home he was so proud of these awards and how nice they looked.

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Minnie Aldinger
"A Woman's Work is Never Done"

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Posts: 1016 | From: Sheridan, CA, USA | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged  
 
The Elder Katie, SASS #5707 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 06, 2003 01:05 PM                        
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We did several things that have been appreciated. Our criteria is: 1. It has to be useable. 2. It has to be period correct. and 3. We'd like it to be pretty (that' my idea, and the least important.)
Go to a glass outlet and find clear mugs. They can be sand blasted fairly inexpensively. We use those for the side match awards.
Last year we picked up on sale a crystal Whiskey Decanter, and 4 matching cut crystal glasses for the Match Winner. For the second and third Overall we presented just the decanter. Which I might add was less expensive on sale than a trophy.
You can find beautiful crystal wine decanters for the ladies. 
We also presented to the ladies crystal bedside vases with the glass on top that they used to have everywhere. 
We've presented engraved silver flasks, certificates, and coffee cups.
Another idea that we've presented is leather ball bags. Even if they don't shoot blackpowder you can use them for other things...like ear plugs, lipstick...you know!
For our Elder Statesman we are going to present wool lap pads. Now I know that that sounds funny, but ask them. They love them because they have the name of the event on it, and it keeps them warm. Besides one of my Elder Statesman said, "Hell, girl I don't want any damned trophy! What am I going to do with it?" At least I can use that cover! 
One of the best things I did was start early, make a list of how many awards you need, come up with a dollar amount, and look around for your best shoppers.
If you find two gifted ladies, give them a check, and tell them to find things. They will make those dollars scream! Besides how many fella's can walk into an engravers, and get several jobs done at cost??
Hope that helps. The Elder Katie 
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Posts: 164 | From: Kent, Washington U.S.A. | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
Nogal Kid SASS 40402 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 06, 2003 02:09 PM                        
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Besides how many fella's can walk into an engravers, and get several jobs done at cost??

Speaking from an engraver's/etcher's point of view, depending on how may times you ladies do this those folks may not be around help you the next time! I wish I had a $ for each time somebody asked me to donate a prize/free engraving/donation to their shoot, horse show, dog show, or ???. Any business deserves to make a reasonable profit for their endeavors and investments; working at "cost" doesn't hack it! CAS events aren't exactly 4-H fundraisers.

That being said, I agree totally with the concept of awards which are useable. We get requests all the time for awards and recognition products; we always try to suggust items (many of which were presented in post by Ms. The Elder Katie) that the recipents can use after the event is passed and forgoten. We especially like to put the individual's name on the item; everybody likes to see their name in print. At times, we even make prior arrangements to have the items returned to us to add the names after the competition is completed (at a pre-established price, of course).
Just my $0.02.

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SASS 40402
NRA
Billy the Kid slept everywhere around here.
http://www.custom-etched.com

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Posts: 29 | From: Lincoln County, NM | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged  
 
Bearskinner, SASS #31444 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 06, 2003 10:11 PM                        
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--
I don't know how the majority of shooters feel, but to me, knowing I won is more important than the size of the trophy. I would be real happy with a ribbon. I would rather pay less in entry fees and have that, than have to pay an extra $10. so some expensive do-dads are purchased for a select few. With ribbons, the club can write in the info on the little card in the back of it after the match--save the ones not used--and use them at the next match.

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How is it our country has the magnificent eagle for a mascot, and yet we're populated by so many turkeys? (BS)

No good can come from jabbing a grizzly bear with a stick.

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Posts: 302 | From: Grand Junction, CO (where the West really begins) | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged  
 
The Elder Katie, SASS #5707 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 06, 2003 11:55 PM                        
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Nogal Kid SASS 40402 
Speaking from an engraver's/etcher's point of view, depending on how may times you ladies do this those folks may not be around help you the next time! I wish I had a $ for each time somebody asked me to donate a prize/free engraving/donation to their shoot, horse show, dog show, or ???. Any business deserves to make a reasonable profit for their endeavors and investments; working at "cost" doesn't hack it! CAS events aren't exactly 4-H fundraisers.

Nogal Kid,
No one was ever asked to donate labor, or prizes. The engraver did it because we are very easy to deal with, get the work to him early, and send him lots and lots of work. 
In fact since we started doing these types of awards the engraver has had to hire another employee, and he personally thanked me for all the references.
Being a business owner I understand the need to make a profit, however I also understand the value of some customers.
We did try to talk him out of doing the jobs at cost, but he insisted! Again we NEVER asked for any favors!
You might consider lightening up a bit. My comment, "Besides how many fella's can walk into an engravers, and get several jobs done at cost??" was supposed to be a minor joke. Sorry that it didn't appear that way. The Elder Katie 
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Posts: 164 | From: Kent, Washington U.S.A. | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
Wild Mike #18502 
SASS Wire Vet 

  posted February 09, 2003 07:29 AM                        
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Thanks for all the good ideas pards. Elder Katie ... mam' I like the useable thingies idea ... much better than a plaque that may or maynot get displayed.

Thanks again to all that responded.

--------------------
Wild Mike ... Cartridge Darksider
Prop Wrangler
River Bend Rangers

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Posts: 105 | From: South Bend, IN USA | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged  
 
Snake Eyes 
SASS Wire Newcomer 

  posted February 09, 2003 08:08 AM                        
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Howdy Ya all,

Like most clubs the money taken in from anual shoots has been earmarked for special things such as Stages, Props, and in our case were looking for our OWN LAMD. 
I tried something at our annual that went over like a lead zepplen. I suggested that one or more shooters go together and sponsor a plaque. 
That way the club could save some more of the profits. And some of the members who have to work and do other important things and could not work the annual could still participate.
Guess what? I was the only one who sponsored a plaque. 
I also write half of the senerios, build stages and show up for work days. I am not complaining because I think we have one of the best clubs ever, and I do this on my own accord.
I think that most shooters could put in a couple of bucks.

Snake Eyes
V.P. Southern Missouir Rangers
www.so-mo-rangers.com

--------------------

 
 

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I am partial to badges.

 

There was a club here in Florida (T&R Ranch) that used to go to thrift stores and buy any trophy they could find. Bowling trophies seemed to end up in thrift shops quite a bit so that's what folks got.:lol:

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More ideas. Wartrace has done theirs out of acrylic in the shape of the state for TN state match.

 

2EE335AE-E189-4874-BA79-2769B4A92F8F.thumb.jpeg.f98d8a41bcd5fcba1bc707590a3d0bd8.jpeg
 

92931CBE-E807-44FA-B150-8BCE1E4D0F9E.thumb.jpeg.0d074c3eaf0564a782f9551d4bcb08c9.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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I best award I ever got from a match was a 1 oz. silver round with the match and club engraved on the reverse and a buffalo on the obverse.  It's been displayed on my desk for years now.  Frankly silver was much cheaper back then, but even at $25.00 an ounce a club could spend a lot more on "Big Match" trophies.  I'm not sure what a belt buckle costs these days and they are nice too, but just how many belt buckles can one actually use (I have a drawer full of them)?  Wooden plaques are affordable for most matches and I do have some of my better ones displayed on the walls of my gun room and workshop, but I also have boxes of them stuffed in the back of the closet as well.  Anyway, I generally prefer something small, but meaningful and coins or medallions are really nice in my opinion.  If cost is a big issue for the match, they don't need to be made out of silver either.  Good luck and good shooting to all.

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Awards aren't cheap. We give out nice alder wood plaques. I know they aren't buckles. Our shooter fees reflect the cost of awards. If shooters want fancier awards they will have to pay more. With the number of categories today, awards are one of the most difficult segments of an event. 

 

Left over awards are a waste of money and figuring out how many awards for each category is a logistical nightmare. 

We got a proposal from the local trophy shop of $7000. That's 1//3 of our match budget. My wife and I purchased a laser engraver and produce the awards, saving the club and shooters several thousand dollars. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have heard some good ideas, many of which I have received, both from my club and others. Our club always awarded plaques and, although very nice, laser engraved plaques, you only have so much wall space. Belt buckles are nice (some really nice), but how many buckles can you wear? I wear my buckle in the front, hence no fancy buckle, just what came on the belt. I do like badges and buckles, as they show "bling" and I have seen some great designs on both. They are expensive though, as has been said. The mug/tumbler idea is good as they are a useable item. I am trying to look outside the norm (without breaking the bank) and get something that winners will appreciate having and not think "oh great, another one for the pile". Racking my brain for something shooters will actually use that is unique, but again, will not cost a mint. Thanks for the ideas. :D 

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Engraved pocket watches would be really cool. Check out the Gotham watch website.  I toyed with the idea, need to see if my laser engraver will work on them.

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How about a clamp on umbrella that’s printed, maybe for second place and lower?  Useful for gun carts and not very expensive.  You can have a generic statement like Category Winner 2021 and the event name.

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5 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

I have heard some good ideas, many of which I have received, both from my club and others. Our club always awarded plaques and, although very nice, laser engraved plaques, you only have so much wall space. Belt buckles are nice (some really nice), but how many buckles can you wear? I wear my buckle in the front, hence no fancy buckle, just what came on the belt. I do like badges and buckles, as they show "bling" and I have seen some great designs on both. They are expensive though, as has been said. The mug/tumbler idea is good as they are a useable item. I am trying to look outside the norm (without breaking the bank) and get something that winners will appreciate having and not think "oh great, another one for the pile". Racking my brain for something shooters will actually use that is unique, but again, will not cost a mint. Thanks for the ideas. :D 

Have you checked into gun cases?

Range bags?

Wooden boxes with lids (varied sizes)...

All can be fit with a brass tag (or something) that has the placement and award.

 

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On 4/14/2021 at 6:55 AM, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

For your large matches (annuals), what do you give away? A lot of clubs give buckles as awards; what are other ideas for awards.

These are not actually Match Awards but nice door prizes we give away at our Friday night dinner on the range..

 

Randy

 

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With all the things to be decided when planning our match, awards are my most difficult decision.  I struggle with they each year.  Awards are also in the top three of our match expenses.  It's been plaques every year.  For the last several years, our state champs and top gun got trophies while all category winners got plaques.  For a few years they were the cowboy/girl statues.  Then for a few more they were eagles (which were beautiful).  Last year they were custom made wooden clocks.  This year they will be range bags.  Now I'm out of ideas.  In recent history, we have had the same folks finishing at the top.  That's why I tried to find new ideas.  
We've been in the game for over 20 years.  We have box upon box of plaques.  They did cover the walls of our stairway until we repainted.  After filling all the nail holes and sanding them smooth, we vowed to not hang one more plaque.  My cupboards used to be crammed with souvenir coffee mugs, wine glasses, beer glasses, and the like.  After the initial purge, I take some to be donated about once a year.  I have become very reluctant to give "shooter gifts" just for the sake of giving something of that nature.  They were fun and cool at first.  After all these years, unfortunately they have become clutter.  The thrift stores are full of things like this.  
My bottom line is that I feel that I am wasting OUR money and I see no right way around it.  No one needs 4 range bags, or 6 engraved mugs, and in this day and age, more than one wall clock, etc.  My hope is that this thread will give me some ideas for future awards...at least for our top shooters.
I am grateful for this thread.  Thank you!

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Gotta be honest, plaques and trophies aren't interesting to me.  I've got piles of the things and they take up space.

 

Small badges for suspenders are good, they don't take up much space and are easy to display.  I love the whiskey posted above, that's fabulous!  I think I'll steal that idea.  Might use it.

 

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Everybody always says we don't win cadillacs.  Well at the last Plum Creek Shooting Society annual, lots of people won Cadillacs!  It was a car trophy.  Well, okay, it did look a lot more like a '57 Chevy, but it had fins!  And lesser trophies were keychains with a GM key (key to a Cadillac).  It was fun.

 

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but how about a big fancy trophy for the top man/woman that stays in the clubhouse and has a little brass plate added each year?

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simply my opinion  (you can attack me after my post)-

whatever it is, the award need to be TOTAL AWESOME !  Most people can go buy their own "average", or "below average" stuff, like bags or umbrellas.   A trophy should be highly desirable - nobody desires a boring wood wall plaque.  Look at the Wannamaker, or the Stanley Cup, or the Super Bowl trophies !!

 

I think an cowboy award should be a highly ornate buckle(s) - something you WANT to wear - better that any other buckle.  If you are that good and you win all the time, then you start a collection of awesome buckles, but if you are new to the game, you certainly are trying to win your first !.

As to shooter gifts - they too should be desirable, not just junk, or pencils, or a cheap button.  Something usable is more better - which could be a bottle of booze, or shooter lube, or a high quality umbrellas  -  but whatever it is, it should be highly desirable (not cheap).

 

In closing - cheap doesn't make memories, neither does waste - we're in this game with thousand of dollars of guns and costumes, hotel bills, and travel expenses.,  I suggest we keep everything FIRST CLASS, and if you don't go home with a buckle this time, you certainly will be back next year because you had a first class time.

 

...and some of you need to upgrade your costuming ! 

 

three, two, one....go  !

 

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8 minutes ago, T-Square said:

simply my opinion  (you can attack me after my post)-

whatever it is, the award need to be TOTAL AWESOME !  Most people can go buy their own "average", or "below average" stuff, like bags or umbrellas.   A trophy should be highly desirable - nobody desires a boring wood wall plaque.  Look at the Wannamaker, or the Stanley Cup, or the Super Bowl trophies !!

 

I think an cowboy award should be a highly ornate buckle(s) - something you WANT to wear - better that any other buckle.  If you are that good and you win all the time, then you start a collection of awesome buckles, but if you are new to the game, you certainly are trying to win your first !.

As to shooter gifts - they too should be desirable, not just junk, or pencils, or a cheap button.  Something usable is more better - which could be a bottle of booze, or shooter lube, or a high quality umbrellas  -  but whatever it is, it should be highly desirable (not cheap).

 

In closing - cheap doesn't make memories, neither does waste - we're in this game with thousand of dollars of guns and costumes, hotel bills, and travel expenses.,  I suggest we keep everything FIRST CLASS, and if you don't go home with a buckle this time, you certainly will be back next year because you had a first class time.

 

...and some of you need to upgrade your costuming ! 

 

three, two, one....go  !

 

 

Not an attack but the only way to pay for this  are increased match fees. Pretty soon no one will be able to attend because they can no longer afford it.

 

Big buckles do nothing for me. Other people all but demand them. I have a friend that has a trunk that is so heavy it takes 4 people to pick it up. It is full of Rodeo Buckles. Last time I asked he stated he had enough to wear a different one every day for at least 2 years. He had three or four that he actually displayed because they carried a special memory. He wore none of them because they were impractical for everyday wear.

 

Rented a house and out in the shed found boxes and boxes of trophies that some previous person that lived there left behind. We never even looked past the first box.

 

 

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I think it would be nice if SASS would standardize on a laser engraved coin similar to a challenge coin. They are low cost and easy to display. In addition to the many wooden display options, they can be added to gun carts, made into pendants, key chains and even badges.

 

Rather than making them up before the match have them made after and mailed to the winners. This way no extras are made and more customization is possible.

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On 4/15/2021 at 7:00 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

I think it would be nice if SASS would standardize on a laser engraved coin similar to a challenge coin. They are low cost and easy to display. In addition to the many wooden display options, they can be added to gun carts, made into pendants, key chains and even badges.

 

Rather than making them up before the match have them made after and mailed to the winners. This way no extras are made and more customization is possible.

I’ve made them on a 3D printer. I made some match winner medallions and painted them gold for the monthly match winner for the Escondido Bandidos. Cost very little to make. Here is a sample of a trophy I made a couple of years ago. The medallion is 3D printed.

FA9FF963-BA7B-4344-AF8C-C90E593B5F3C.jpeg

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