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Question - How does it feel?


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I have always said, we have way to many categories, and have too many places for a trophy.  I would enjoy having only 20% of the winners getting trophies.  Now a banquet is 1  1/2 hrs. long just giving out awards to 70% of the attendees.  Awards should be given like the Olympics, gold, silver and bronze and that's it, not 4, 5 and 6th. place.  Someone said that participation trophies  are what we award now, that hit the nail on the head.   I also think any person should not be able to shop categories to get a trophy, IE spirit of the game.

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54 minutes ago, Attica Jack #23953 said:

I have always said, we have way to many categories, and have too many places for a trophy.  I would enjoy having only 20% of the winners getting trophies.  Now a banquet is 1  1/2 hrs. long just giving out awards to 70% of the attendees.  Awards should be given like the Olympics, gold, silver and bronze and that's it, not 4, 5 and 6th. place.  Someone said that participation trophies  are what we award now, that hit the nail on the head.   I also think any person should not be able to shop categories to get a trophy, IE spirit of the game.

 

Too many Categories, surely you jest.:ph34r:

 

If I counted right, 55 at EOT alone.

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That's like one year was 4th place. No plaque for 4th, but still got one for  state champ. Sorta didn't mean much.

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I don't do participation awards. If I can help it I won't attend a match that does. Nor will I sponsor or vend at one.    

 

 It's be more embarrassed at getting a buckle for placing last than I would be sitting in my chair at fourth place

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3 hours ago, Attica Jack #23953 said:

I have always said, we have way to many categories, and have too many places for a trophy.  I would enjoy having only 20% of the winners getting trophies.  Now a banquet is 1  1/2 hrs. long just giving out awards to 70% of the attendees.  Awards should be given like the Olympics, gold, silver and bronze and that's it, not 4, 5 and 6th. place.  Someone said that participation trophies  are what we award now, that hit the nail on the head.   I also think any person should not be able to shop categories to get a trophy, IE spirit of the game.

 I said that earlier and the local wire Biff swooped in .  So as I said earlier participation  trophies are meaningless and are given in order to keep customers interested.

The downside is they ruin the game.

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If and it is a BIG if - match directors would "enforce" the standards of 10 minimum for open cats and 3 minimum for womens cats; condensing and ensuring competition in each category- and then doing awards as a percentage of shooters within category - a lot of the "too many categories" chatter would go away.

 

But I admit; I am guilty of not enforcing this as well.

As a match director who understands this is just as much an entertainment venue as sporting venue - It is very hard feeling like you are "punishing" a shooter that has paid their fees to shoot within an offered category, just because other shooters are not attending or chose to shoot a different category.

 

There are two schools of thought:

I didn't beat any shooters (or enough shooters) so this award is meaningless.

or

Everyone else had the same opportunity to sign up and shoot in this category - I still showed up and shot - I WON.  It is not my fault they chose to "forfeit" to me.  

 

Everyone shoots this game for different reasons; none are less valid than any others.

 

I like to compete - I would rather shoot against the best and see where I stack up.

The accomplishment is the end goal.

Because even without an award - if I'm 12th against 15 of the best - I'm going to be proud of that (I'll try to improve next time).

 

And there are others that the award is more significant than the accomplishment.

They would rather say "I won" and heres my trophy.

 

But under our current systems - neither of us are in the wrong. 

So until the system that offers so many opportunities for segregation and division is "fixed" (assuming you believe it needs fixing) - until the underlying enabling structures are removed or reduced - you will never change the complaint.

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22 hours ago, Joe LaFives #5481 said:

So lets think of two scenarios.   1) You're a big match and at the awards ceremony you see approximately 20% of the folks get awards but you didn't.

2) You're at the same match and at the awards ceremony, you see 70% of the individuals get awards and you didn't.

 

Which would make you feel discouraged or worse?

Which would make you want to try harder next time?

Which would make you hunt for a category to move into?

Which would make you think of a category that they should add so that you get an award?  :)

To answer your question I prefer option 1. I always promise myself to practice and try harder, no matter what.

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I shoot in the same category at every match and end up where i end up. I have a few buckles and im proud of them but they arent the be-all and end-all of my existence. I'm too busy most of the time to practice so I just go shoot as best I can and if I win my category, cool beans! I spend a lot of time trying to convert the trophy oriented folks to Classic Cowboy, where the cool kids hang out!:D

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3 minutes ago, Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580 said:

Classic Cowboy, where the cool kids hang out!:D

AMEN BRO!

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It's a conundrum for sure.  I'm in the "If I didn't beat someone, I didn't win and it's embarrassing to have to publicly accept last place" camp.  Even worse is to be the only one in the category and take "First Place."  Enforcing strict minimums for the categories is the only way to find out if people will stop coming just because they can't be in a tiny category and assured of an award.  Having 70% receiving an award dilutes the meaning of it.  Look at the times for EOT for 3rd place across the categories - it spans from top 10 overall to the bottom third of the shooters.

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People have different goals in any given match. I wouldn't put too much weight on what feedback is being provided on this thread, because it's a very small percentage of active SASS participants.

Some folks hunt for categories they can place higher in, some "aim" for a clean match, etc. No matter what their goal is, shooters are all subconsciously hunting for a natural dopamine fix (a feel-good neurotransmitter). This could be in any form for any shooter: clean stage/match, a pat on the head for doing something for the posse or club, smooth flowing stages which minimizes frustration, a buckle, etc. If they don't get it, then less chance they will want to return to the match.

Personally, if I don't place well at a match, then I definitely will congratulate the winner for a well-done job. For my own brain - I know that I did the best that I could at the match (given any circumstance). Subsequently, I just try to do better the next time.

Something MDs should think about - you have to take care or 80%+ of the participants, even if that means giving away (actually shooters and sponsors paying for)  numerous category awards.

Edited by Shamrock Sadie
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Been there, done that.  I compete against myself at the end of the day.  I don't want a participation award, should I place I will accept the award otherwise I will celebrate those who took the awards.  Next time I will strive for improvement.

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I’ve had my share of successes and the same for failures.  I’ve even surprised myself a time or two!  I’ll take the plaque or buckle with grace and applaud for others when it’s my turn to warm a seat!  None of this has much to do with whether or not I will return the next year or the next match.  
 

A match I attended again last year for more times than I even remember was one of the best matches I’ve been to and I only shot two stages! While the afternoon wave was shooting on Friday, I sat with a few of the true icons of Cowboy Action Shooting for what can only be described as a BULL SESSION!! For more than an hour and likely closer to two, we joked, shared opinions, offered advice, and tapped into each other’s experiences in SASS and matches from around the entire country!  It was a very enlightening experience for me and gave new perspective to the game and the people who play it.  This was a match that, for me, it would have been perfectly acceptable for me to have received a “participation award”, just to remember what I was lucky enough to get to do!  
 

The host club and the host are both known for putting on a great match and for being generous with awards.  Year after year, people come back for the fun and friendships and the awards seem to be of little importance, with the exception of spirit of the game awards.

 

 I’m sure that there are those who shoot for nothing else but the buckle, plaque, or trophy.  I’m glad that they are among us! They set the bar for the rest of us to try to reach and show others new ways to see and think about the game!  
 

BUT!!  The guys I shared that afternoon with are some of the cowboys that have made the game better in so many other ways!!  I hope that some of them think that maybe I have done the same.  Win, lose, or draw, there’s a lot more to what we do than just the score!

 

 

 

Edited by Blackwater 53393
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I find it...fascinating...that many folks will comment on various threads that they are just in it for the "Fun"...or that they just compete against themselves...etc, etc. Yet they then comment about how there are too many categories.

 

Interesting...fascinating...

 

Me, don't care. If someone enjoys getting a buckle/award, I don't care about the circumstances. If someone wants to win an award and not be the only person in a category, change to a category that is more populated.

 

Phantom

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Myself and my departed shooting pard, Dirty Rotten Ray, just really started getting into the costume aspects early last year. As for winning an award our thoughts were " We might not win but we will look good losing"  I set personal goals and am happy when I meet them. After being in the sport for a number of years I had never shot a clean match. Back about a week ago I was doing good and heading into the final stage I was shooting clean, I slowed down, took my time and finally got my clean match. Different goals for different people.

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On 3/28/2022 at 4:04 PM, Joe LaFives #5481 said:

So lets think of two scenarios.   1) You're a big match and at the awards ceremony you see approximately 20% of the folks get awards but you didn't.

2) You're at the same match and at the awards ceremony, you see 70% of the individuals get awards and you didn't.

 

Which would make you feel discouraged or worse?

Which would make you want to try harder next time?

Which would make you hunt for a category to move into?

Which would make you think of a category that they should add so that you get an award?  :)

 

IMO, and yes, it took me a while to learn this (I'm not afraid to admit it), if you're in this for the awards, you're in the wrong game.  The award for me is time spent with friends.

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6 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

IMO, and yes, it took me a while to learn this (I'm not afraid to admit it), if you're in this for the awards, you're in the wrong game.  The award for me is time spent with friends.

Wait, wait, wait. You mean there's no Cadillac? 

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4 minutes ago, Hendo said:

Wait, wait, wait. You mean there's no Cadillac? 

If the MD has a sense of humor, maybe one of these:

  91HK8JIeUkL._AC_SY606_.jpg

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I shoot gunfighter, I never shot with my left hand until 4 years ago, I have never shot a clean match but last year at my state match I only missed 1 shot and almost broke in to the 200 range, I walked away feeling pretty darn happy about that, It’s all about the goals we each set for ourselves and how much we enjoy our sport, chase buckles, chase times, chase clean matches or whatever makes your day but have fun at what your doing

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Had a senior category shooter call me a week before match, after seeing “whose coming” list. He saw no shooters in wrangler. Asked to switch to that category. I told him ok, but awards had already been ordered, no award for wrangler available.:o

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13 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

I find it...fascinating...that many folks will comment on various threads that they are just in it for the "Fun"...or that they just compete against themselves...etc, etc. Yet they then comment about how there are too many categories.

 

Interesting...fascinating...

 

Me, don't care. If someone enjoys getting a buckle/award, I don't care about the circumstances. If someone wants to win an award and not be the only person in a category, change to a category that is more populated.

 

Phantom

I have found preempting the category change issue on the registration form works best.  I sign up in my category (LFCGF) in case there are GF Soot Sisters that will be coming to that match.  I write a note with the registration to please move me to FCGF if I'm the only one or we don't make category (whichever applies for that match). Being the person that has to notify shooters their category didn't make it is not a happy job.  This makes it a little easier for them and better for me.  The reactions over the years I've done this reflect exactly what we're discussing.  Everything from "This is how you always shoot and you deserve your category even if nobody else signed up." to "You shouldn't have to shoot with the men." to "Sorry, no takers.  We're moving you over to FCGF." 

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Maybe it is time to just do away with all categories.  In this age of gender fluidity we can have category fluidity.  Show up at a match dressed how you want and shooting what you want and simply declare a category.  Then to get rid of those annoying awards ceremonies put a ribbon for every shooter in the shooter packet.

 

images.jpeg.a475589a293aac80eed6951315782bd9.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Oak Ridge Regulator said:

I shoot gunfighter, I never shot with my left hand until 4 years ago, I have never shot a clean match but last year at my state match I only missed 1 shot and almost broke in to the 200 range, I walked away feeling pretty darn happy about that, It’s all about the goals we each set for ourselves and how much we enjoy our sport, chase buckles, chase times, chase clean matches or whatever makes your day but have fun at what your doing

 

This, especially the comment in red.

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On 3/28/2022 at 7:37 PM, Hoss said:

For me,work harder!  I’ve gotten buckles for being 4th out of 4 in a category. Embarrassing. 
 

I agree 100%

Those undeserved Buckles go to Goodwill....

I figure maybe some kid would like one to hold up their Pants

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I guess the meaning of the award depends mostly on the shooters past performance.   If you regularly finish in the top of your category then 4th doesn't really mean that much. However to a shooter that has never done well before and finally gets his/her first plaque or buckle,  well that does mean something.  (I still remember and have my first buckle) 

I agree that we probably give out too many places and should keep it to top 3 but I don't really care all that much one way or the other.

 

Best regards,

 

Chili

Edited by Chili Pepper Pete 11917
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Ive always thought that it was a terrible misconception that only those who get a buckle/trophy are "winners".    If you go to a shoot and do better than you did last time... you're a winner.   If you finish in front of your very similarly skilled buddy for the first time....you're a winner.  Clean a match (or have fewer misses than before).....winner.   See where I'm going with this? :D    And thats only taking the actual shooting match into consideration! 

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If I'm in a match where there isn't a shot at a championship I don't much care about my category finish, only overall.

 

I'll be headed to SC State in a week.  My goal is top ten.  If I achieve that goal I don't care whether I get an award or hear my name called, I'll be happy.  If I don't make that goal, I'll be unhappy with my performance whether I hear my name called, get an award or not. 

 

If I'm competing in a match where I can win a championship, like Georgia, my home state, I'll want both, a nice Champ buckle AND a specific finish goal.  

 

I would rather finish better overall and not place in my category, than win a category, but place poorer overall. 

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On 3/30/2022 at 1:14 PM, Shamrock Sadie said:

People have different goals in any given match. I wouldn't put too much weight on what feedback is being provided on this thread, because it's a very small percentage of active SASS participants.

Some folks hunt for categories they can place higher in, some "aim" for a clean match, etc. No matter what their goal is, shooters are all subconsciously hunting for a natural dopamine fix (a feel-good neurotransmitter). This could be in any form for any shooter: clean stage/match, a pat on the head for doing something for the posse or club, smooth flowing stages which minimizes frustration, a buckle, etc. If they don't get it, then less chance they will want to return to the match.

Personally, if I don't place well at a match, then I definitely will congratulate the winner for a well-done job. For my own brain - I know that I did the best that I could at the match (given any circumstance). Subsequently, I just try to do better the next time.

Something MDs should think about - you have to take care or 80%+ of the participants, even if that means giving away (actually shooters and sponsors paying for)  numerous category awards.

mn state has given away participation awards. everybody that shoots gets one.  some thought it was great at first, mostly those that never received anything before.  the general feel after a year or two has been the opposite. those new to the sport love getting something, however most seasoned feel its a joke. the shooter numbers even before covid were drastically falling.   ya might as well throw the buckle in the shooters package as they sign in.   

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I always shoot duelist and I'm always competing against one hombre by the name of Bad Hendo. I can't tell you how many times he's whooped me. If I'm having a good day, I beat him, but I don't think I'll get a buckle for that.

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On 3/30/2022 at 7:06 PM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

I find it...fascinating...that many folks will comment on various threads that they are just in it for the "Fun"...or that they just compete against themselves...etc, etc. Yet they then comment about how there are too many categories.

 

Interesting...fascinating...

 

Me, don't care. If someone enjoys getting a buckle/award, I don't care about the circumstances. If someone wants to win an award and not be the only person in a category, change to a category that is more populated.

 

Phantom

So Charlie - I "think" I understand where you are coming from but I believe the reasoning for those that just shoot for fun is that they may see the costs involved (time and money).  If awards (of any kind) were free or really cheap then it wouldn't matter and of course the award wouldn't really mean anything either. 

 

As to the second part of your statement,  I don't have an answer.  It could be they want to shoot a style (like frontier cartridge gunfighter ) because its a TON of fun but if there is no one to compete against, getting an award has less meaning.   I know of several cases over the years that individuals found out they were the only person in the category (because of last minute cancellations) and wanted to transfer out of their gender based category to an open category simply because they wanted to compete.  It's not a competition if you're alone.  

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4 hours ago, evil dogooder said:

mn state has given away participation awards. everybody that shoots gets one.  some thought it was great at first, mostly those that never received anything before.  the general feel after a year or two has been the opposite. those new to the sport love getting something, however most seasoned feel its a joke. the shooter numbers even before covid were drastically falling.   ya might as well throw the buckle in the shooters package as they sign in.   

 Interesting, I mentioned this on the wire ,That this was happening and a wire Biff swooped in started  with the old Who said ,tell me where and so on. 

  Looks like wokeville  has taken hold. SAD

 Thank you for telling us your experience with this .

 

Best Wishes

Edited by john brown
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Haven't had an issue since they scrapped RANK POINTS ..., Beat a fellow on 8 out ten stages beat him by 31 seconds on Total Time, only to loose to him on RANK POINTS..... That sucked.

But I can't remember making less smoke than anyone in years, there was a fellow that beat me for smoke out of his 10 ga. but I beat him with both rifle and Revolvers ....

I have shot with folks that I didn't know were shooting FC till I checked the Sheet ....

Have Fun with what Ya brung !

 

Jabez Cowboy

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