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Side Match Opinions


StirrupTrouble
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Guys, as we begin planning for the annual in 2022, I have a side match question. In the past, in speed pistol, in order to give more chances at awards for shooters, we did traditional, duelist, and gunfighter, and in speed shotgun, we broke it our into 87, 97, hammered, and SxS. As we are looking at things does it make sense to keep the status quo, or break it down to just straight "speed shotgun" and "speed pistol?" From a MD standpoint, obviously I am always looking at ways to reduce costs without reducing the experience for the shooters, but just looking for opinions. Would it disappoint you to find out we made this change?

 

Thanks for your feedback

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At many matches I have attended lately, I have noticed that there has been less and less interest in speed side matches.

 

Conversely, I have seen an uptick in interest with folks interested in shooting warm up stages or matches, even if they are not scored. 

 

I think the question we may need to be asking is whether or not there is interest and participation. Is there enough interest and participation to justify it (whatever it is), or is there something else that you could be doing that folks would be more interested in?

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Wish I could attend but its not in the cards.

 

I like the speed pistol and SG divided like you have done in the past. 

 

No need for elaborate awards. 

 

That said what I would really like is when all the match scores are posted that all the times from the side match events are posted too. Seems like most matches never post the side match times for all participants. Win, lose, or draw; I would like to know how I did compared to everyone else.

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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if your gonna split the pistol and shotgun classes give out first place only award in side matches

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Printed awards are cheap (even color printing).

Frames are available at any Dollar store for a buck.

 

You are never going to disappoint your shooters by giving out MORE awards.

 

Even if you increase the value of the awards you give out - giving out FEWER awards will put a bad taste in some folks mouths.

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We have divided the pistols and shotgun categories for many years.  We have also recently added speed rifle with a reload and speed shotgun with a popper bird.  Folks seem to like those categories.  Sometimes we have a stage with what we call trick shots.  We have varied these over the years.

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Speed this, speed that, and speed the other thing are the side matches that I don't bother with because I know that I can't compete.

Now, if you had a side match where you used a .22, a main match, and a rifle caliber repeater, (All three or any two) I'd give that a try.

If you had something where you used different combinations of guns over a stage, even though I know I'd not be "competitive" I'd give a shot just to play with some different guns.

How about a side match using guns of the old west that are not normally allowed in our game?   There are a lot of them.

 

Set up a side match that uses every type of gun used in our game.


In other words, mix it up and be creative.   Speed this, that, and the other thing just doesn't interest me.

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If you've historically had the numbers of participants to justify breakdown by firearm type and shooting style, I would continue doing so.

Side match awards don't have to be expensive. Tagged ribbons instead of buckles or plaques are fine for recognition (IMO).
I would suggest going three deep in the more populated categories, with 1st place awards only for those with minimal entries.

 

Short (kinda) story:

In the early '90's I shot at a non-SASS club's annual.

Instead of Traditional & Modern based on revolver sights, they split the main categories by 1897 vs SxS shotguns (almost all of the host club members used '97 pumps). At the time, the "standard" loading method was "one in the action/one in the magazine" instead of the currently prevalent "one-at-a-time".
The only shotgun side match offered at the match was "Speed 1897" (6 stationary targets painted between shooters).

I asked if I could participate with my Rossi Coach gun (SxS w/hammers). 
The MD laughed & said, "Go ahead".
He quit laughing when I beat the locals at their own game B) ... but I wasn't eligible for an award due to not using a pump. <_<

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46 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

At many matches I have attended lately, I have noticed that there has been less and less interest in speed side matches.

 

Conversely, I have seen an uptick in interest with folks interested in shooting warm up stages or matches, even if they are not scored. 

 

I think the question we may need to be asking is whether or not there is interest and participation. Is there enough interest and participation to justify it (whatever it is), or is there something else that you could be doing that folks would be more interested in?

We've seen the same thing this year.  We're wondering how much component shortages have to do with it.  A lot of shooters are conserving for main match and even large match events.  It could tighten even more.  So possibly this last year is a bad one to judge by.    

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

Speed this, speed that, and speed the other thing are the side matches that I don't bother with because I know that I can't compete.

Now, if you had a side match where you used a .22, a main match, and a rifle caliber repeater, (All three or any two) I'd give that a try.

If you had something where you used different combinations of guns over a stage, even though I know I'd not be "competitive" I'd give a shot just to play with some different guns.

How about a side match using guns of the old west that are not normally allowed in our game?   There are a lot of them.

 

Set up a side match that uses every type of gun used in our game.


In other words, mix it up and be creative.   Speed this, that, and the other thing just doesn't interest me.

Some variety is nice...but good god, have you ever organized a large Annual?

 

We want to make folks happy, but we also don't want to kill ourselves in the process.

 

If you want to see something unique, Hell On Wheels puts on the Ultimate Side Match (aka: Death Stage). But this is one event...and manageable.

 

Phantom

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1 minute ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Some variety is nice...but good god, have you ever organized a large Annual?

 

We want to make folks happy, but we also don't want to kill ourselves in the process.

This.

 

For every side match - somebody either has to be clever enough to write it to use already placed main match steel 

OR 

some poor schmuck has to go out and reset steel after everyone else has finished playing for the day.

 

(IMO)

A major SHOULD minimally have

the following side matches:

Speed events for all MAIN match firearms.

A warm up/ practice 3 or 4 stage event.

 

Then, if time and interest.

Additional shotgun specific events, ie cowboy clays or shotgun walks.

Long range events for MAIN match firearms.  

Everyone attending the match has the firearms for these events - and because of that - these events have the greatest opportunity for maximum participation.

 

Then, if there is even more time...

If the club has targets, space and set up.

Pocket Pistol, Derringer, 22 caliber pistol, 22 caliber rifle.

 

Then...

If the club has targets, space and set up.

Long range events for Rifle caliber firearms.

 

After that...

Any special or stand alone stages.

 

Lastly

Non SASS firearms events

Speed brass picking events

 

And all of the above are dependent upon having enough bodies to man the events for timing, recording scores, resetting targets, painting and after side match clean up.

 

 

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I like side matches, both to participate and observe others in their 'specialty'.

 

If you've ever witnessed a few 'world class' speedsters dusting it up together at a

side match, you've really missed a good show.   And those who may not be a

world class 'speedster' can get some hands on information to improve their skills.

 

I would favor keeping the shotgun types separate:    97, 87, SxS Hammer, and SxS.

I would also favor keeping the pistol styles separate:  Duelist, Trad, GF.

 

Good or bad, fast or not..... a lot of folks like to shoot the sides 'just cause they can'  and

it give em a chance to kinda warm up for the match.

 

Rimfire Speed Rifle has also seem to be a popular event around here the past

few years.   Folks love to brake out their Brownings, Winny 9422's, and the Henry.

 

..........Widder

 

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28 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I like side matches, both to participate and observe others in their 'specialty'.

 

If you've ever witnessed a few 'world class' speedsters dusting it up together at a

side match, you've really missed a good show.   And those who may not be a

world class 'speedster' can get some hands on information to improve their skills.

It also provides some very interesting baselines to compare where I stack up against those speedsters on a gun to gun basis.

 

And I use this cumulative information to determine (estimate) how much time I'm losing per gun and in transitions and movements as well.

 

If Im 3 seconds slower on my shotgun than the best and 2 seconds slower on rifle and 3 seconds on my pistols - but consistently 15 seconds slower a stage - then I know my poor movements and transitions cost me 7 seconds a stage as well.

 

But if my side match speed is comparable to the match winners but I am 10 seconds a stage behind at match end - I know my transitions are failing me.

 

I love looking to this information to tell me where my game is weakest and can use the most focus.

 

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JEDI Creeker,

that is a very good way of making an assessment.

 

That would be another good reason to keep the firearms separated by type and category.

 

..........Widder

 

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8 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Some variety is nice...but good god, have you ever organized a large Annual?

 

We want to make folks happy, but we also don't want to kill ourselves in the process.

 

If you want to see something unique, Hell On Wheels puts on the Ultimate Side Match (aka: Death Stage). But this is one event...and manageable.

 

Phantom

 

I'm not saying that you need to do all of those things.   Just have at least one sidematch that is "different" somehow.   And if the Speed Things are of interest to many shooters, there is no reason to do away with them.  I merely pointed out that the speed matches don't interest me.  For example, one of my favorite side matches that I see more often than not are derringer and pocket pistol accuracy.  Shot in the same bay as the derringer and pocket pistol speed matches, instead of steel, there is a paper target for you to shoot at.   But as many places as do offer those, don't.   The typical long range matches, (but not TOO long, long range,  :)) are also of interest to me.  At least I can hit the targets and feel like I accomplished something.   In other words, if there's a big target at, I don't know, 100 to 200 yards, I'll give it a try.   Maybe I'll do well and have fun.    If there's a Bucket sized target at 300 yards for "Quigely shooters," I'll watch it, be amazed by those who hit it and be glad that said thing is there for them, but it's not for me. 

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I like to see the side match pistol and shotgun split.

Side match awards don't have to cost much. 

Ask around the club. Might even find a member to donate the awards

so it does not come out of club funds. 

 

As a duelist. It's hard for us to compare how we stack up with the two handers.

But like to see how we do against fellow duelist and GFers. 

Also see many two handers try there hand at duelist and GFer in side matches that might not

ever do it if it was not split. 

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I’m in favor of keeping the speed matches split like you have been. I’m also supportive of a warm up match. If workers are a problem getting you might try what one club does around here for speed matches. They require the shooter to start themselves with one hand on the timer button for all speed events and you time yourself. If you beat the fastest posted score for that speed event, then you write your time down. If not you may get in line and try again. 

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I am always up for sidematches, and I shoot speed matches just for the fun. I agree about the pistols being split into three categories, but I usually see shotgun broke into two categories: SxS and then 87/97 as a single category. 87 & 97 together since there is a smaller following there. 

 

I am always looking for more long range sidematches, Plainsman, or other non-main match style events. I tie break which match to go sometimes by there offering of a rounded out shoot with sidematches as opposed to one that does not have them.

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I have the privilege for my sins to be the side match director for our annual ((Insert Shameless Plug Here) Ilowa Irregulars Fall Roundup - Sept 24, 25 and 26 in Milan, IL).   I will list the matches we have available this year with a very short description.  We typically offer first and second place awards (certificate) in men's smokeless, men's BP, women's smokeless, and women's BP for each event.  That means I printed out (8 X 13 =) 104 certificates last year.  OOPS - add a few more for the team events.  We do not publish scores, but I do try to announce the winners times during the award presentations.

 

Running Buffalo - 10 rounds on a moving target

Team Running Buffalo - two shooters, 10 rounds each, alternating, on a moving target

50-Yard Pistol - 10 rounds on a large target, reload off the clock

100-Yard Rifle, Rifle Caliber - 10 rounds on a large target, 5 round at a time, , reload off the clock

100-Yard Rifle, Pistol Caliber - 10 rounds on a large target

Speed Derringer - 4 round on a large dump, reload off the clock

Pocket Pistol - 5 round Nevada sweep

Speed Pistol - staged pistols, engage 2 separate Nevada sweeps

Shotgun Star, SXS - 6 round on a clay pigeon rotating target

Shotgun Star, Stoked 87/97 - 6 round on a clay pigeon rotating target

Granny's Revenge, Team SXS - one shooter engages KD and partner engages flier, 5 sets of KD/fliers.

Oliver's Revenge, Team Stoked 87/97 - one shooter engages KD and partner engages flier, 5 sets of KD/fliers.

Long Range Single Shot - 10 rounds on a large target, approximately 285 Yards

Winchester '73 - up to 5 shots on a silver dollar sized target with rifle

Colt '73 - up to 5 shots on a silver dollar sized target with pistol

 

Not every event gets heavy participation, but every event gets some.  That tells me we are making our customers happy.  I try to add a new event every year and drop off the really unpopular ones.  Last year we had a horseshoe toss and had two participants.  We aren't doing that this year.  The two '73 events are new this year and we will see how it goes.

 

Chancy

 

 

PS  We have a 3 stage warmup before the side matches start.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Chancy Shot, SASS #67163
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Agree with AA, DRP, and others to dividing speed matches.  If I traveled a substantial distance I like to test guns via warm up match.  Even if a short three stage version, it is appreciated.  

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16 hours ago, StirrupTrouble said:

Guys, as we begin planning for the annual in 2022, I have a side match question. In the past, in speed pistol, in order to give more chances at awards for shooters, we did traditional, duelist, and gunfighter, and in speed shotgun, we broke it our into 87, 97, hammered, and SxS. As we are looking at things does it make sense to keep the status quo, or break it down to just straight "speed shotgun" and "speed pistol?" From a MD standpoint, obviously I am always looking at ways to reduce costs without reducing the experience for the shooters, but just looking for opinions. Would it disappoint you to find out we made this change?

 

Thanks for your feedback

I think you have it right.  I like to use the side matches as a warm up and to make sure all the gear is working.  As Pale Wolf Brunelle said, awards don't have to be expensive.

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I prefer to shoot a 3 or 4 stage warm up but if that is not provided then I use the fastest side matches as warm up.  Please keep the pistol and shotgun styles and types seperated.  And for those of you that combine 1897s and 1887s - Stop doing that, seperate them they are nothing alike!  Posting how everyone finshes instead of the just the top shooters lets all see how they compair.

Scout

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

 

How does that work, exactly?

Many of those side matches sound like something I'd try.  :)

Shooter loads 5 rounds.  At the beep, he shoots and time and hits are recorded.  Shooter reloads 5 rounds.  At the beep, he shoots and time and hits are recorded.  Recorded times and hits are added together for final score.  Number of hits determines winner with time as a tie breaker.  We use this system because some rifles can hold more rounds than others.  Targets are about 24 x 24 at 100 yards

 

Come on by in September and give it a whirl!

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At Purgatory in the Pines in NJ we break out speed pistol and shotgun, we have mini matches for cowboy and wild bunch, cowboy clays gets a lot of traction, speed rifle, speed derringer and then we have long range which has become its own 4 hour animal.  We do a 300 yard big bore with 10 rounds, 300 yd quigley bucket, 200 yard big bore lever rifle, 200 yd revolver/1911, your standard long range pistol caliber rifle and pistol plus Hickok Tutt duel. We sort have taken the entire 300 yd range for our fun and games as well as multiple berms and the trap field.  Hopefully we can come up with a few other ideas before October.  Luckily we have a good crew of local shooters and my out of state pards in Pa, Ct, and NY are always there to help ro side matches as well. We only give awards for first place. We only track the top score/time. If you didn’t beat it, it doesn’t get recorded.  This makes life easy on the ros and for the person doing the awards.  Hopefully this helps.

 

Gringo

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Run whatever side matches you have the space, targets and volunteers for... BUT please at least announce the TIMES for all Speed events when giving awards....(Or even better, publish all the scores...:D)   Seems pointless to announce a Speed event winner without including the TIME!

 

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As a FCD that uses Full Case loads in my .40 cal. and bigger bore guns , I never shoot speed Pistol !

Shooting against young Pups shooting HANDS guns using loads that go puffff, tink ... has little interest ...

One of my proudest Moments was Placing 6th. at WR in 2016 in the speed rifle pistol caliber event , and doing so using full case loads under my 255 gr. bullets in .45 Colt .  I believe I was the only one using Black in the Top 10 ...

So I would like to see some recognition given to those who shoot Real powder.

I did think it odd that they awarded the WB shooters down to tenth place in all categories, I consider WB to be at best a Side Match. 

I have my flame retardant one piece underwear on so Flame Away ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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43 minutes ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

As a FCD that uses Full Case loads in my .40 cal. and bigger bore guns , I never shoot speed Pistol !

Shooting against young Pups shooting HANDS guns using loads that go puffff, tink ... has little interest ...

One of my proudest Moments was Placing 6th. at WR in 2016 in the speed rifle pistol caliber event , and doing so using full case loads under my 255 gr. bullets in .45 Colt .  I believe I was the only one using Black in the Top 10 ...

So I would like to see some recognition given to those who shoot Real powder.

I did think it odd that they awarded the WB shooters down to tenth place in all categories, I consider WB to be at best a Side Match. 

I have my flame retardant one piece underwear on so Flame Away ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

Do you ever get tired of...doing this...??

 

 

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Keep the pistol and shotgun categories as is.

 

I second the idea of Plainsman, especially as a four stage match.  You had at least three cap and ball shooters at the match who have everything they need and others like Artemus and myself who have done it.

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7 hours ago, El diablo gringo said:

 We only give awards for first place. We only track the top score/time. If you didn’t beat it, it doesn’t get recorded.  

Giving out awards is one thing.

Not recording scores is quite another.

What that says to me is,

"If you can't win - don't waste the time or ammo - you don't matter."

 

Not sure that is a message I would ever want to send to my guests.

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1 hour ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

As a FCD that uses Full Case loads in my .40 cal. and bigger bore guns , I never shoot speed Pistol !

As a blah blah shooting blah blah blah in blah blah style.

I never shoot blah blah blah.

Be cause others are doing blah blah blah.

 

All I'm hearing is I can't win - so instead of competing; I'll trot out my built in excuses and justification for why my CHOICE to be non competitive somehow makes me superior.

 

It's tiring.

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Sorry that you feel that way.  I don’t have time to go through every score sheet searching for the best score and then figure out the tie breaker by time. Especially doing this for every side match at the end of the day.  There is also to much margin for error due to the clarity of hand writing, etc.   If your feelings get hurt because your score wasn’t written then I don’t know what to tell you. 
 

Gringo

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3 hours ago, El diablo gringo said:

Sorry that you feel that way.  I don’t have time to go through every score sheet searching for the best score and then figure out the tie breaker by time. Especially doing this for every side match at the end of the day.  There is also to much margin for error due to the clarity of hand writing, etc.   If your feelings get hurt because your score wasn’t written then I don’t know what to tell you. 
 

Gringo

I ran successful shoots for 16 years - annuals and state championships.

 

We wrote down every score and were capable of determining the winner, 2nd and third place.  We also provided ALL of the scores to shooters upon request so even if they were not a top 3 placement - they could see how they stacked up.

 

My "feelings" aren't hurt as I don't foresee ever attending your match.

I attend matches that remember that under every cowboy hat on the range is a guest that paid good money to be here - that deserves my very best effort on everything my match provides.

 

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Biggest problem with not recording all scores is if a side match leader gets MDQed in a later side match, therefore making him ineligible for any side match awards, how do you determine winner?

 

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For the first few years side matches were all I cared about.   I wasn't good enough to win the match but I could sometimes sneak out an award with side matches.   

  It helped me justify all the money spent .

  I also had a friendly battle with someone who was similar in skill level.   Each year we would battle.  

 

  Now days I do them to help me gauge where I need to work on.  I was asked this weekend why I still do it.   It's a battle with me. Am I doing my best.  Or being lazy? 

 

 

  I know it's more work,  I've ran side matches on state and regional  shoots,  but to some that is the only chance of being recognized, so my opinion is don't cut back

 

Edited by evil dogooder
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