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Imperfections, inequities and subjective scoring


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A recent thread touched on the inconsistency of calls.

In this discussion; the comment arose that Cowboy Action was home to a variety of imperfections, inequities and subjectivity.

And while these issues certainly cannot be denied - the responses were implying that these "flaws" were an important part of the character of cowboy and eliminating them would somehow lessen the "fun" of the match.

That you could not have a consistent, fairly scored match AND retain the fun and comradery of playing cowboy.

 

Before I was able to question or examine the basis for this assertion - the thread was locked.

(for some unknown reason, as it still contained interesting and pertinent conversation and had in no way became hostile).

 

But none the less - the question and examination are still required.

 

If our game could be run in a more consistent manner

eliminating subjective calls (better scoring methods - perhaps painting between shooters or in some cases paper).

Removing inequities (shooters must actually shoot all reactive targets - no gimmies for forgotten resets or broken birds)

Improving imperfections and improving consistency (better trained/ tested/ defined TO duties/ less interference from spotters or peanut gallery)

 

The above would result in the ability to better compare your scores with others at the same match as it would be more likely that every posse shot the same match.

It would ensure that behaviors at matches across the country and world would operate in a manner that would more closely approximate each other.

 

This would have ZERO affect on target sizes, distances or sequences and each club would retain full authority to run their match as they see fit - just with improved training, and consistency in operations.

 

Would this improve or lessen your enjoyment of CAS?

And why?

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

I'll weigh in when I feel it's right for me to, until then I'm getting the popcorn and raisinets ready.  :D

I never understand why simple straightforward questions to improve our game are met with the expectation of battle.

 

If everyone is satisfied with the current system that allows/ encourages inconsistency and inequities in scoring and operations - then they should be willing to say so.

And Ill accept my position in the minority.

If they are not satisfied - the only way to perhaps move toward improvement is to talk about it.

And Ill do my best to lead the charge.

 

Everything does not have to be adversarial.

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The way it is now is fine with me. To do what is needed to end such "inequities" ( the horror) will add more hours to what is already a long day. Lets see...add 2+ hours to a 4 hour (total) drive, 1 tank of fuel, $20 match fee, ammo costs, etc....all to shoot for 2 minutes. As much as I enjoy the company, No thanks.

 

It may not be perfect but nothing is in life....get used to it.

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Just now, Cypress Sun said:

 

The way it is now is fine with me. To do what is needed to end such "inequities" ( the horror) will add more hours to what is already a long day. Lets see...add 2+ hours to a 4 hour (total) drive, 1 tank of fuel, $20 match fee, ammo costs, etc....all to shoot for 2 minutes. As much as I enjoy the company, No thanks.

 

It may not be perfect but nothing is in life....get used to it.

A well thought out and considered response.  And you may well be right that the cure would be worse than the problem (I hesitate to say disease).

MY only question regards the 2nd part of your statement - maybe we do have to get used to imperfection - but shouldn't we always be striving for it?

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2 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Yadda, yadda, blah, blah.  This topic has been beaten to death for over 20 years.

unnamed.jpg

Yeah - because folks have spoken about it in the past and failed to do anything about it - we should ignore it as well.

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Simply put is can't ever happen. Inequities happen in life. If i'm shooting on a windy day and pard A gets a pop up between wind gusts and hits it, but mine takes off and I miss it am I due a reshoot because a wind gust moved my clay bird? Things happen, and as long as the posse members are good with it let the fun go on.

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1 minute ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

A well thought out and considered response.  And you may well be right that the cure would be worse than the problem (I hesitate to say disease).

MY only question regards the 2nd part of your statement - maybe we do have to get used to imperfection - but shouldn't we always be striving for it?

 

Absolutely, we should try to better the game. It's just that the cure to kill a flea shouldn't need to kill the dog. I'm willing to settle for an imperfect world  if making it a perfect world makes it a world that I don't want to live in.

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Locally we paint after each shooter.  We have time and this eliminates some scoring errors.  Clays frequently break when launched.  Using soda cans on pop-ups eliminates this problem.  Of course clays launched with a thrower need to be clays.  As a spotter I wear amplified hearing protection.  Both hearing and seeing targets improves my scoring.

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The next thing people will be saying is that if there are four shotgun targets and you miss the first two and hit the last two and while you are reloading to shoot the first two the wind blows them down you are clean.  Oh wait, some are already saying that.  A miss can't cause a P but apparently the wind can erase a miss.

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41 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

The next thing people will be saying is that if there are four shotgun targets and you miss the first two and hit the last two and while you are reloading to shoot the first two the wind blows them down you are clean.  Oh wait, some are already saying that.  A miss can't cause a P but apparently the wind can erase a miss.

 

I 'think' that has been addressed by someone simply suggesting allowing a reshoot.   Some will say that 'takes too long' but

in reality, in my 15+ years of blasting SG targets, I don't recall any of them set so light that a good gust

of wind will blow them down.

Contrary, some of the SG targets required a solid hit to get them down.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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JEDI Creeker,

here's my .02

As I age and seemingly get less aggressive in my life, I find meowndangself being content with

Cowboy Action Shooting being played on the UNlevel playing field.

 

At the clubs I shoot, everyone seems to try and keep things equal/consistent, etc..... but even "I"

will blurt out some shooter assistance when I TO if I think it might save someone a bad safety 

infraction or 'P'.    Its probably ingrained in me from seeing it done by others as 'The Cowboy Way'

in helping someone.

 

But in my heart, I would be happy if TO's and Spotters just let the shooter own the stage, with no

interruptions except for REAL safety concerns, Cease Fires, etc.....

 

I have benefitted from help and I have been 'hurt' by help, when it was misguided and added time

to my stage run.

Those were the matches that someone else got to drive the Caddy home..... ;)

 

I will also have to say that I don't think I have ever witnessed any actions by the TO 

or spotters that could be construde as purposely hindering or helping a shooter/friend.

 

Would consistency among TO's and Spotters change the 'FUN' factor?

I would say ....  NO.

We are grown-ups, playing little boy games with big boy toys.  We should all be able to

accept responsibility for our OWN actions and the results of our short falls during a stage

run.

 

..........Widder

 

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1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

 

Improving imperfections and improving consistency (better trained/ tested/ defined TO duties/ less interference from spotters or peanut gallery)

 

 

I’m surprised that SASS doesn’t require refresher training for TOs.  Seeing all the “WTC” topics posted, and being the first hand recipient of both good and bad TOs it seems clear that ongoing training is needed.   Good TOs make a match fun, fair, and keep things moving, a bad TO, well pretty much just the opposite.  The Range Operation instructors have required refresher training, so why not a TO?  

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1 minute ago, Whiskey Hayes #41999 said:

I’m trying to figure out what action game/sport doesn’t have subjectivity in calls.  A lot of them have big bucks on the table also.

 

Whiskey

Any endeavor that requires human judgement will incur subjectivity.

But there is a HUGE difference in misjudging a strike zone by an inch or whether defensive contact was outside the line of scrimmage and the wild variety of miscalls and inconsistent behaviors at our matches.

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37 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

 

I’m surprised that SASS doesn’t require refresher training for TOs.  Seeing all the “WTC” topics posted, and being the first hand recipient of both good and bad TOs it seems clear that ongoing training is needed.   Good TOs make a match fun, fair, and keep things moving, a bad TO, well pretty much just the opposite.  The Range Operation instructors have required refresher training, so why not a TO?  

T.O training is practically useless.

 

Good T.O.'s actually WORK at being good T.O.'s...many "T.O.'s" just like the power of running the timer...and then watching the targets.

 

Also, I think this forum is not the best for this question. FB might be a better one for gathering a wider range of experience and opinions. The WIRE tends to be populated by more "Saloon" type members.

 

Phantom

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25 minutes ago, Whiskey Hayes #41999 said:

I’m trying to figure out what action game/sport doesn’t have subjectivity in calls.  A lot of them have big bucks on the table also.

 

Whiskey

I'm sorry...where did anyone suggest that we eliminate subjectivity...think we've said we'd like to minimize subjectivity...but I'm willing to hear ya out.

 

Phantom

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While I agree we should always strive to improve, I do NOT want to paint targets or tape over holes between shooters at any match ever.  It is so hot and humid here that sometimes it's all we can do to make it through a whole match as it is.  And the added time at a big annual would really add up.  I think in the long run misses called hits and hits called misses probably evens out.

 

Yes, all clubs should require TO's to stay up to date on the rules and changes.  However, as an all volunteer army, doing a sometimes thankless job, that, too will probably not ever happen.

 

As far as reactive targets not being reset, I think all we can do is TRY to make sure they always get reset, but even then sometimes one may fall un-noticed or may even fall after a shooter has started the stage.  And what can you do when a shooter misses a pistol target and hits and knocks down a shotgun or rifle target?

 

I guess, I'd have to put myself in the 'I like it like it is camp', but would like to see TO's better keep up with changes and additions.

 

Possum

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49 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

 

I’m surprised that SASS doesn’t require refresher training for TOs.  Seeing all the “WTC” topics posted, and being the first hand recipient of both good and bad TOs it seems clear that ongoing training is needed.   Good TOs make a match fun, fair, and keep things moving, a bad TO, well pretty much just the opposite.  The Range Operation instructors have required refresher training, so why not a TO?  

Great idea philosophically, but to require mandatory TO training is not practical IMO. It’s sometimes a challenge to get more than a couple VOLUNTEERS to TO on a regular basis so imagine the level of enthusiasm that would generated by a requirement for continual mandatory training. You add in the logistics of geography and scheduling this training, and it’s likely to be met with little to no participation. Those that do TO should be mentored and encouraged to continue. 

Many personality traits which go into a good TO are not something that can be taught in a classroom. A persons demeanor, intellect, confidence, organization skills, time management etc all play a significant part in TO duties.
FYI….. TOs are not well paid to begin with :)

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Everybody is always talking about the TO should do this or the TO should do that or the TOs need more training.  SASS does not now and has never had professional TOs.  The TO is anyone on the posse that happens to be holding the timer.  Sometimes the TO is the only one on the posse willing to run the clock.  Many should not even be allowed to TO but when they grab the timer most people won't tell them they are not competent to be a TO.  A lot of the people running the clock have never read the rules let alone tried to keep up with rule changes and interpretations.

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6 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Everybody is always talking about the TO should do this or the TO should do that or the TOs need more training.  SASS does not now and has never had professional TOs.  The TO is anyone on the posse that happens to be holding the timer.  Sometimes the TO is the only one on the posse willing to run the clock.  Many should not even be allowed to TO but when they grab the timer most people won't tell them they are not competent to be a TO.  A lot of the people running the clock have never read the rules let alone tried to keep up with rule changes and interpretations.

Agree...which is why we should try and limit the requirements/expectations that are placed on the T.O.'s.

 

;)

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

As far as reactive targets not being reset, I think all we can do is TRY to make sure they always get reset, but even then sometimes one may fall un-noticed or may even fall after a shooter has started the stage.  And what can you do when a shooter misses a pistol target and hits and knocks down a shotgun or rifle target?

Extraordinarily rare occurrence.

 

Reshoot.

 

Phantom

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2 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

A recent thread touched on the inconsistency of calls.

In this discussion; the comment arose that Cowboy Action was home to a variety of imperfections, inequities and subjectivity.

And while these issues certainly cannot be denied - the responses were implying that these "flaws" were an important part of the character of cowboy and eliminating them would somehow lessen the "fun" of the match.

That you could not have a consistent, fairly scored match AND retain the fun and comradery of playing cowboy.

 

 

I missed that thread, but it sounds a lot like the days before baseball and soccer implemented instant replay. Like somehow imperfect refereeing was better for the game. 

 

Hopefully as time goes on the technology to report hits on targets will get cheap enough to implement on ranges. People are clamoring for "robo-umps", maybe we can have "robo-spotters" too.

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4 minutes ago, Houston CAS said:

 

I missed that thread, but it sounds a lot like the days before baseball and soccer implemented instant replay. Like somehow imperfect refereeing was better for the game. 

 

Hopefully as time goes on the technology to report hits on targets will get cheap enough to implement on ranges. People are clamoring for "robo-umps", maybe we can have "robo-spotters" too.

 

Something like this fellow?

 

image.png.b5456d4883b65880736f4f3852933fcc.png

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Any action shooting sport will have some subjectively. It's unavoidable. But most people want to have rules in place to minimize subjectivity  and have a shooters match performance derermined as objectively as possible.

To allow everyone who wants to compete in a big match the opportunity to do so requires some shooters to shoot on different schedules. If the weather is good one day and terrible the next, unavoidable.

Because subjectivity can't  be eliminated is not an excuse to make no effort to minimize it in a shooting competition. 

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2 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

I never understand why simple straightforward questions to improve our game are met with the expectation of battle.

 

If everyone is satisfied with the current system that allows/ encourages inconsistency and inequities in scoring and operations - then they should be willing to say so.

And Ill accept my position in the minority.

If they are not satisfied - the only way to perhaps move toward improvement is to talk about it.

And Ill do my best to lead the charge.

 

Everything does not have to be adversarial.

I think in the way you stated it, few are likely to disagree.  We would still get to shoot the reactive targets we enjoy, and I presume when a target fails, the shooter would simply be issued a reshoot.  But everyone would have to actually shoot all of the targets.  It might slow matches down occasionally, and shooters would quickly learn to carry extra ammo, but it surely would true up the competitive side of the game.

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2 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

As a spotter I wear amplified hearing protection. 

What exactly is amplified hearing protection?  

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electronic hearing aid type device that block out loud sounds. I have a pair. It makes the steel sound funny sometimes, makes them sound like a bell. But it helps in hearing hits and stage instructions.

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I wear Pro Ears behind the neck muffs when shooting with a cowboy hat.  They amplify up to to 8X with a 30dB noise reduction in the muffs.  A circuit with a 1.5 millisecond response time suppresses gunshot noise.  I barely hear a gunshot but can easily hear steel ring.  I can also easily hear a squib.

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Painting after each shooter not practical at most of the ranges I shoot at. Plus would be a lot of extra work for the posse. I prefer shooting steel to paper by a huge margin. I understand the limitations of our scoring system and am happy to shoot under it. I just dont see how we can make it much better. The RO classes are not hugely helpful for the actual TOing. I think TOing is more of an “art” more than a science.  Yes there are some who should not TO, but want to. I dont mind a new TO at a monthly match. At a state or other annual match the TOs should be fairly experienced. But the only way they get that experience is to serve as TO! 
I work at looking at all the WTC threads. I try not to answer what I think, but rather actually look it up. But, there are many situations that are not black/white. We can only do our best. I’ve only seen one deliberate act by a TO that would be considered cheating. A shooter staged rifle with hammer back. A counter pointed it out. TO lowered the hammer. I dont believe he was intentionally cheating for a Pard, I think he was trying to be a nice guy. But 99% if the time ( in my experience) TOs do their honest best. I can live with their mistakes. 

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11 minutes ago, Hoss said:

Painting after each shooter not practical at most of the ranges I shoot at. Plus would be a lot of extra work for the posse. I prefer shooting steel to paper by a huge margin. I understand the limitations of our scoring system and am happy to shoot under it. I just dont see how we can make it much better. The RO classes are not hugely helpful for the actual TOing. I think TOing is more of an “art” more than a science.  Yes there are some who should not TO, but want to. I dont mind a new TO at a monthly match. At a state or other annual match the TOs should be fairly experienced. But the only way they get that experience is to serve as TO! 
I work at looking at all the WTC threads. I try not to answer what I think, but rather actually look it up. But, there are many situations that are not black/white. We can only do our best. I’ve only seen one deliberate act by a TO that would be considered cheating. A shooter staged rifle with hammer back. A counter pointed it out. TO lowered the hammer. I dont believe he was intentionally cheating for a Pard, I think he was trying to be a nice guy. But 99% if the time ( in my experience) TOs do their honest best. I can live with their mistakes. 

There is a difference between "living" with mistakes...you have to since we're human.

 

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for minimizing the opportunity for mistakes. This can be done by eliminating some of the requirements placed on T.O.s. But these requirements (ie: Coaching), seem to be some strange Sacred Cow for some...that CAS wouldn't be fun without them.

 

Phantom

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^^^^^^

 

Moo.  This boils down to the two camps in SASS.  Those who believe SASS matches are a shooting competition and those that believe it is just a game and not to be taken seriously.

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