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Thoughts on EOT and future EOTs.


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My wife and I are new to SASS, and were not able to attend this year, but I know it seemed like an interesting change of pace to the more senior members of our local posse that the competition was being held in a new place. Change can certainly be a welcome thing as it can breathe new life into anything, and provide new opportunities. One thing I've been surprised about (and if I am incorrect feel free to let me know) was that for the World Championship it didn't seem like there was an official photographer or videographer on the grounds, based on what we have seen posted online from this year and previous years. This caught me a bit off guard as I assumed a major event like EOT would have the equivalent of a wedding caliber photo and video crew on hand in order to help folks capture the memories, and see some of the major events that could easily be missed by folks given all that takes place over the short couple of days. Not to mention the opportunities that would come from having lots of high quality photos and videos to share online to encourage new membership. It will be interesting to see what the future brings for SASS and EOT, congrats to all the attendees hope y'all had a great time.

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Rotating would be great, but as mentioned capacity limits and club willingness are key. Wonder if Bluewater Sportsman Club in Port Huron might be able to handle this if Michigan was ever considered. 

 

Anyway, as a first time EOT participant I had such a good time. Getting a little emotional when I think about it. Thank you SASS and all the people involved. My imagination probably is small compared to reality of what it takes to manage such an incredible event like this.  Paradise Pass is an awesome venue.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Mountain man Jim said:

My wife and I are new to SASS, and were not able to attend this year, but I know it seemed like an interesting change of pace to the more senior members of our local posse that the competition was being held in a new place. Change can certainly be a welcome thing as it can breathe new life into anything, and provide new opportunities. One thing I've been surprised about (and if I am incorrect feel free to let me know) was that for the World Championship it didn't seem like there was an official photographer or videographer on the grounds, based on what we have seen posted online from this year and previous years. This caught me a bit off guard as I assumed a major event like EOT would have the equivalent of a wedding caliber photo and video crew on hand in order to help folks capture the memories, and see some of the major events that could easily be missed by folks given all that takes place over the short couple of days. Not to mention the opportunities that would come from having lots of high quality photos and videos to share online to encourage new membership. It will be interesting to see what the future brings for SASS and EOT, congrats to all the attendees hope y'all had a great time.

There was a photographer there. 

C92FFE26-6378-4EF8-BFD4-F25B63181CDF.jpeg

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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10 hours ago, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

So, is it the chance of winning or just being able to say you attended the match? Whether it's because of the distance, time , and money, or a limit on the number of entries, not everyone who wants to attend can do so.

Should the 150 shooters from this years waiting list be the 1st 150 entries for next year? Should the top 5 in each Cat. from this year also be guaranteed entry? You're never going to make everyone happy. 

Just attending the match is worth the event.  I've shot with three world champions and was amazed at their shooting abilities.  I've never won but it took me ten years to place in the top ten of my category.  I wear Top Ten buckles proudly and several clean match pins.  I especially enjoyed shooting with the Australians.  They came so far and had much enthusiasm for the event.

 

The match at Ben Avery sells out every year.  I recommend registering early.

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8 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

There was a photographer there. 

C92FFE26-6378-4EF8-BFD4-F25B63181CDF.jpeg

 Yup - several - the official photographer was BT Blade and he was roaming the match often. Another great photographer out there was Not Jo Average Action Photography that has great shots as well. (10) Not Jo Average Action Photography | Facebook

 

Sure many pictures between these two and others will be available soon.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gunner Gatlin, SASS 10274L
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Is Thurmont, MD large enough?

 

I haven't shot there in 12-15 years (Regional), but if I remember correctly they have a large enough range and parking, plus close hotels, etc.

 

Of course you also need the people that do all of the work.

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38 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

There was a photographer there. 

C92FFE26-6378-4EF8-BFD4-F25B63181CDF.jpeg

Yes...he was there shooting photos, but not as the SASS 'official' photographer.

Gina Herald- Head took many fantastic photos (on her fb page)

Bruce B. From Utah was the official photog!!

BT Blade

Edited by Singin' Sue 71615
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I would like to congratulate CC Top and his posse for on putting on a first class match!!! There may have been some wiggle room for more shooters but more shooters also means more camping and parking for shooters which causes a major problem.  We would go back in a heartbeat.  I imagine SASS has looked for a range (east of the big muddy) large enough to hold a large match and be willing to give up almost “two weeks” of their range. That IMO is a big hurdle. SASS was lucky the CC Top is a member of SASS and was willing to put it on and had the people who helped to get the job done!!!!

 Nawlins

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1 hour ago, Mountain man Jim said:

My wife and I are new to SASS, and were not able to attend this year, but I know it seemed like an interesting change of pace to the more senior members of our local posse that the competition was being held in a new place. Change can certainly be a welcome thing as it can breathe new life into anything, and provide new opportunities. One thing I've been surprised about (and if I am incorrect feel free to let me know) was that for the World Championship it didn't seem like there was an official photographer or videographer on the grounds, based on what we have seen posted online from this year and previous years. This caught me a bit off guard as I assumed a major event like EOT would have the equivalent of a wedding caliber photo and video crew on hand in order to help folks capture the memories, and see some of the major events that could easily be missed by folks given all that takes place over the short couple of days. Not to mention the opportunities that would come from having lots of high quality photos and videos to share online to encourage new membership. It will be interesting to see what the future brings for SASS and EOT, congrats to all the attendees hope y'all had a great time.

BT was there :). 

00F2DCC8-0A4E-41F0-BFFB-962D998FF4C1.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, Nawlins Kid SASS #36107 said:

I would like to congratulate CC Top and his posse for on putting on a first class match!!! There may have been some wiggle room for more shooters but more shooters also means more camping and parking for shooters which causes a major problem.  We would go back in a heartbeat.  I imagine SASS has looked for a range (east of the big muddy) large enough to hold a large match and be willing to give up almost “two weeks” of their range. That IMO is a big hurdle. SASS was lucky the CC Top is a member of SASS and was willing to put it on and had the people who helped to get the job done!!!!

 

 Nawlins

Yup...to have a range JUST for EOT for 2 weeks is needed.

I believe adding more would have caused issues.

There were posses held up as it was...larger posses had more issues.;)

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As an added thought, the CAS venues that put on Three Day annual matches, normally start planning for the "next" year just as "this" one wraps up.  Hosting major matches is no simple thing to do.  The work that goes into it is MASSIVE!!

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16 minutes ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

Yup...to have a range JUST for EOT for 2 weeks is needed.

I believe adding more would have caused issues.

There were posses held up as it was...larger posses had more issues.;)

I also want to tell you that you did a good job in getting the cowboys and cowgirls  to merge into the food line on Tuesday!! ;)

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I am all for EOT east of the Mississippi again.  There are lots of great shooters east of the Mississippi and as Paradise Pass proved EOT east of the Mississippi was a huge success.  I would love to see it rotated every other year from east to west of the Mississippi after the existing contracts expire.  Just like the NRA moves it conventions from Indy, Louisville, Nashville, Texas.   Right now it is 15 hr drive to Oklahoma and 30 hrs to Arizona for nationals and EOT.  I think when covid restrictions are all lifted you would have a higher attendance at EOT if it was east of the mississippi more often.   I think this year there was around 230 first time EOT shooters...  

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

 It was however a huge cash cow for SASS because of the 12,000 spectators annually being close to the large metro area.

Believe it was 25,000 in 2004...

 

And for as long as I can remember since EOT left Norco in 2004, there has been folks wanting, or at least talking about rotating the World Championships. T-Bone Dooley talked about having an East / West National and then meeting in the middle for the "Championship".

 

Guess where all this has lead?

 

Phantom

 

 

Edited by Phantom, SASS #54973
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5 hours ago, Nawlins Kid SASS #36107 said:

I also want to tell you that you did a good job in getting the cowboys and cowgirls  to merge into the food line on Tuesday!! ;)

Well, I was hungry!!!!

Not my first time herding cattle!!!

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29 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Believe it was 25,000 in 2004...

 

And for as long as I can remember since EOT left Norco in 2004, there has been folks wanting, or at least talking about rotating the World Championships. T-Bone Dooley talked about having an East / West National and then meeting in the middle for the "Championship".

 

Guess where all this has lead?

 

Phantom

 

 

You are probably right since it was the last one.  I believe the competitor count was near to 1200 that year as well.  I went to several in the '90's where the fields were filled with cars of spectators.  Numbers thrown around then were 12K.

 

Yes they have talked about it allot but talk is cheap.  An east/west pair of Nationals is actually the best idea with a World Championship in the middle.  Ben Avery for the west, East to be decided, and World in Oklahoma.  I could get behind that idea.

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

You are probably right since it was the last one.

Ah yes, but only a few knew that it was moving before the end of the event ;)

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All this talk of moving EOT back and forth got me thinking. Considering the Eastern Divisional in Thurmond MD had to give it up after a few years of poor attendance, what makes folks think that EOT could continue to be successful every other year back east somewhere. In my opinion it would have to be more centralized in the East; Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, a state that borders the river. Too far East and folks start to get the anti gun vibe.

 

 

 

 

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While I like the idea of a rotating venue, there are very few venues that can host a match of 1000+ shooters.  Having a fixed venue more centrally located in the US would have been the ideal solution, but moving it to Arizona with a club that has a history of holding large matches was really the only choice that SASS could make, at least for the short term.  The club that held the match "Formerly Known As Winter Range" can, without a doubt, host EOT with great success.

 

Although I have no doubt that the new EOT will do well, it is the World Championship after all, I also suspect that like Winter Range of the past, Land Run will become the new "Go To" match for a great many folks, especially those of us who reside east of the Mississippi.  My wife and I, and our travel partners, certainly enjoyed our trip to EOT in 2016, but the 1,800 mile drive in 2 days, each way, was brutal.  My wife and I had planned to go back to New Mexico last year before Covid, and then again this year before it was moved, and even after it moved but we were unable to get registered before the system crashed on us and it was sold out.  But, the thought of doing 2250 miles each way to get to the new venue for EOT really just rules it out for us.  Unless we had another reason to travel out that way, it's just not a practical trip.

 

Land Run on the other hand is only about 1,300 miles making it an easy 2 day each way drive.  If they can figure out how to support close to 1,000+ shooters, then they will in all likelihood become the new place to be for those of us who like to attend the bigger matches but aren't there vying for any championship titles and that, in my opinion, encompasses the vast majority of SASS shooters.  We want to go, do our very best, maybe shoot a clean match, visit with old friends and meet new friends, and shake hands with some of the folks we only know from the wire, but the only way we are going to win our categories is if everyone else has a complete meltdown.  As Clint Eastwood said in Magnum Force, "A man's got to know his limitations."  :P

 

I do hope that both EOT and Land Run are successful in their new expanded rolls within the SASS Championship Match schedule as it benefits no one if either do poorly.  I have already started to make plans in hopes of attending Land Run next year,  or definitely the year after.  I am just not sure that another EOT is in the foreseeable future for us as it might just be a bit too far.

 

 

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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Next year is set and the planning is in the works. EOT at Ben Avery, and Land Run at OKC

Western National and then an Eastern National will not get you the shooters from both nationals to come to EOT World Championship. For all the reasons stated here. Drive time, time away, and cost.

Easy to say rotate EOT. but how many clubs have 12 bays to shoot?

How many clubs have 100+ pieces of steel and target stands?

How many clubs have the open land to house the vendors, the tent, the drive in parking and the campers?

How many clubs have put on an 800 person shoot?

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30 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Next year is set and the planning is in the works. EOT at Ben Avery, and Land Run at OKC

Western National and then an Eastern National will not get you the shooters from both nationals to come to EOT World Championship. For all the reasons stated here. Drive time, time away, and cost.

Easy to say rotate EOT. but how many clubs have 12 bays to shoot?

How many clubs have 100+ pieces of steel and target stands?

How many clubs have the open land to house the vendors, the tent, the drive in parking and the campers?

How many clubs have put on an 800 person shoot?

There are several ranges capable of hosting a World or National Championship event. Manpower is a big factor. SASS needs to get rolling on that marketing blitz because every club that I know of is hurting for new shooters, which equates to new workers.

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All this talk about a club needs to be able to handle 800+ shooters to be considered, remember, that at one time, the clubs that can handle 800+ shooters, didn’t know if they could until they tried.  I believe this is where we are right now.  Let’s finally have a real, honest conversation and try!  Lessons learned are not learned by only being successful, but also, by falling on our faces too.  

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2 hours ago, Clueless Bob said:

All this talk about a club needs to be able to handle 800+ shooters to be considered, remember, that at one time, the clubs that can handle 800+ shooters, didn’t know if they could until they tried.  I believe this is where we are right now.  Let’s finally have a real, honest conversation and try!  Lessons learned are not learned by only being successful, but also, by falling on our faces too.  

Ain't gunna happen...sorry!

 

Phantom

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43 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Ain't gunna happen...sorry!

 

Phantom

You're probably right. 

 

My suspicion is that this will be the only EOT we ever go to as a family.  Perhaps down the road when I'm retired and the kids are grown Sharyn and I will have the time for a trip to Phoenix, but there's no way we'll be able to pull three kids out of school for a week and trek all the way there.   

 

All we can do is encourage a conversation on the pros and cons and hope SASS notices. 

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23 hours ago, Nawlins Kid SASS #36107 said:

I also want to tell you that you did a good job in getting the cowboys and cowgirls  to merge into the food line on Tuesday!! ;)

 

You have to be kidding.  What a mess.  Just one big crowd with no guidance.

 

Usually the venue will have folks who release the tables a few at a time so the participants go through the food lines in an orderly fashion.

 

I personally left and went to a restaurant.

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18 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Next year is set and the planning is in the works. EOT at Ben Avery, and Land Run at OKC

Western National and then an Eastern National will not get you the shooters from both nationals to come to EOT World Championship. For all the reasons stated here. Drive time, time away, and cost.

Easy to say rotate EOT. but how many clubs have 12 bays to shoot?

How many clubs have 100+ pieces of steel and target stands?

How many clubs have the open land to house the vendors, the tent, the drive in parking and the campers?

How many clubs have put on an 800 person shoot?

Add to the fact that the weather in Phoenix dictates that EOT is held in Feb. and the weather in the east dictates that EOT be held in June and you have another problem. Do you have 2 EOTs in one year (Feb then June) or one EOT every other year ( Feb. to June of the following year)

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Last year the National trap was moved From Sparta Illinois to Missouri. 

The State was shut down because of the virus.

They are Back this August.

If a Club could get a Long turn contract from the World Shooting Complex at Sparta. That would be the Place to have it.

With 1000 Camping Sites with hookups. Fantastic place.

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30 minutes ago, Bailey Creek,5759 said:

Last year the National trap was moved From Sparta Illinois to Missouri. 

The State was shut down because of the virus.

They are Back this August.

If a Club could get a Long turn contract from the World Shooting Complex at Sparta. That would be the Place to have it.

With 1000 Camping Sites with hookups. Fantastic place.

Most folks I know will not spend a penny in Illinois. It's seen as the enemy to most gun owners. I know some great folks that live there and the southern part of the state is conservative. However, "perception" is what drives people away.

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4 hours ago, Bailey Creek,5759 said:

Last year the National trap was moved From Sparta Illinois to Missouri. 

The State was shut down because of the virus.

They are Back this August.

If a Club could get a Long turn contract from the World Shooting Complex at Sparta. That would be the Place to have it.

With 1000 Camping Sites with hookups. Fantastic place.

 

That was also the site of the "Central Divisional" when the Divisional Matches were a thing.  Due to issues with the venue, they dropped that early in the Divisional process, after the second year if memory serves.

 

I was the Match Director for 2 1/2 of the 4 Eastern Divisional Matches, taking over from the previous MD in the middle of the 2nd year when he had some health issues.  While the Divisional Matches were not as well attended as anyone would have liked, they were starting to gain traction when SASS pulled the plug on them.  The reality, at least in my opinion, is that the concept had merit but that the timing was bad.  Had they been started about 5 years earlier, I think they would have really been successful, but at a time of falling membership numbers, inserting another "Big" match into the chain of matches just ended up diluting the pool of shooters who attended the Regional Matches and, in the end, they didn't do anything to help SASS.  I would sure have liked to have had another year as we were getting very positive feedback, but that is water well under the bridge at this point.

 

I think that the almost instantaneous sell out of EOT at Paradise Pass, shows that there is still interest from a lot of shooters to attend a Big Match.  Maybe it was just that it was EOT, and maybe it was that it was finally east of the Mississippi, but likely a combination of the two resulted in the unexpectedly rapid sell out.  With few exceptions, the big matches these days just do not sell out like they used too.  I remember about 15 years ago when you had at most 2 or 3 weeks after match applications hit the web to get registered before it was sold out.  Now days, Match Directors are finding that about half the attendees wait until 30 days prior to the match before registering.  Makes it really hard to put on a top notch event when you have no idea how many will be there until the very end.  With everything taking longer to get, and costs rising on most things, the slow rate of signup makes planning for things like Tents, Food, Vendors, and awards Awards, a real crap shoot.

 

While we all would like to have EOT in our own back yards, and a rotating venue has the potential to do that on a somewhat random basis, the reality is that it will likely be a better event for those who get the opportunity to attend if it is in a fixed location where the host organization can build on their past successes (or learn from their past mistakes) and consistently work to improve the match.  The folks in AZ did that with Winter Range, and I am sure they will do it with EOT as well.

 

Due primarily to the distances involved, I only made it EOT once, and never did make it to Winter Range, but I do expect to attend Land Run, hopefully multiple times.  I haven't been to a Regional Match since it moved away from Thurmont. MD when they took on the Eastern Divisional, but that is primarily due to scheduling issues and conflicts with other life events and responsibilities during that time of year.  Even so, my wife and I do travel quite a bit to other annual matches, and to Black Powder matches, with anything less than 900 miles one way being fair game.  I expect that to continue, and likely expand, after my wife retires in a few years.  Then who knows....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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This years EOT match was filled with great fellowship, fun and competition. I'm in, regardless of location.

 

Some of my one-time attending EOT and wannabe really good shooter ponderings .

 

1. If I had a vote it would be to keep the National and World championships as planned. Leave well-enough alone

2. Goal and expectations for creating a 3rd Championship match

3. Create a small feasibility  team

4. Create  geographical map based on the membership base

5. Identify possible large match capable locations

6. Study and analyze the data

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56 minutes ago, Assassin said:

Most folks I know will not spend a penny in Illinois. It's seen as the enemy to most gun owners. I know some great folks that live there and the southern part of the state is conservative. However, "perception" is what drives people away.

 

I think that is also one of the things that impacted the Eastern Divisional, being in Maryland.  The reality is that the laws we have here suck, but they really only affect the Residents and what we can buy, not the visitors so much, and for our sport, it has almost no effect.

 

But perception is reality these days, and if folks are concerned about coming here, they won't.  I will admit that I have never shot in New Jersey for the same reason.

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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1 minute ago, Dungannon Gunner said:

This years EOT match was filled with great fellowship, fun and competition. I'm in, regardless of location.

 

Some of my one-time attending EOT and wannabe really good shooter ponderings .

 

1. If I had a vote it would be to keep the National and World championships as planned. Leave well-enough alone

2. Goal and expectations for creating a 3rd Championship match

3. Create a small feasibility  team

4. Create  geographical map based on the membership base

5. Identify possible large match capable locations

6. Study and analyze the data

 

This was the concept of the Divisional matches that ran for 4 years from 2015 through 2018.  They just didn't pan out, for lots of reasons.

 

I think that, until SASS gets a few of their other ducks in a row, they are best served by getting EOT (World) and Land Run (National) matches up and running at their new venues and concentrate on helping the Regional Match directors get their matches back to full attendance.  SASS has a lot on it's plate at the moment and adding another set of tasks to that already full plate is probably a recipe for disaster.

 

Keep what is working working, fix what needs to be fixed, get the marketing back on track, and get theiir own house in order.  When all of that is done, then, if it still makes sense, think about expanding.

 

Just my humble opinion, which when combined with $1.59, might get you a cup of coffee at WaWa!

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On 6/28/2021 at 10:26 AM, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

Yup...to have a range JUST for EOT for 2 weeks is needed.

I believe adding more would have caused issues.

There were posses held up as it was...larger posses had more issues.;)

Those hold ups were due to the need for medical assistance for a few shooters, not due to logistics FYI.

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