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Tooooo many categories in sass??


Silver Creek Jack

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Ok let me open a can of worms, I have been in Sass a little over 6 years and seriously competing for about 4 of those. In that length of time I have heard quite a few folks harping about the number of categories we have and I always wonder what’s the deal? Does the amount of categories we have effect them? If so in what way? Why would anyone care if someone wants to shoot in a category that’s not the one they normally shoot as long as they can legally (sass rules) do it? Personally I like the different options because I like to shoot duelist, traditional , Classic Cowboy , frontier cartridge etc, variety is the spice of life after all!  So let’s hear it,    SCJ

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I think there should be age caps.

 

I shouldn't as a 60 year old be able to shoot in the 49er category.

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Awards are the biggest expense when hosting an annual event. 

3 minutes ago, Whip Assalot said:

I think there should be age caps.

 

I shouldn't as a 60 year old be able to shoot in the 49er category.

I agree, we post total time results in order for shooters to see how they finished overall, regardless of category.

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I'm not likely to win any prizes, but there does seem to be a philosophy in this sport of having as many winners as possible.

 

Compare this to other sports, where one might enter in "iron sights, heavy" with an alternate of "senior" or "ladies." (AK 47 competition)

 

In one philosophy, there will be a prize for "iron, heavy (7.62)," and another prize for "iron, light (5.56)."  In this alternative reference, there is a prize for "senior" and a prize for "lady." But there is not a prize for "iron, heavy, lady" or a prize for "iron, light, senior."

 

Since I am not going to win anyway, I'll just have fun. But the question is if the divisions are separate or additive. In the alternative sport, a lady who does not shoot with optics will likely not win no matter how good she is as she is up against all ladies including those with optics, nor will a guy who shoots senior with iron sights win because he is up against all seniors shooting optics.

 

It is a matter of philosophy, are the divisions additive or separate? Top shooter, top lady, top senior? Or just top shooter?

 

And on edit: I recall reading somewhere the age categories in this sport were created to give young shooters a chance to win something. Otherwise they did not have a chance.

Edited by John Kloehr
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None of it particularly matters to me, however, I feel age category should be just that. When you hit 70, poof, you're now an Elder Statesman. 

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53 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

None of it particularly matters to me, however, I feel age category should be just that. When you hit 70, poof, you're now an Elder Statesman. 

Can this only apply to male shooters? I plan to keep my wife in Cowgirl so she can keep telling everyone she is 29! ;)

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48 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

None of it particularly matters to me, however, I feel age category should be just that. When you hit 70, poof, you're now an Elder Statesman. 

And that poof comes quickly.  78 has already "poof'ed" me.  But, I understand the logics of certain limits to categories offered.  I seem to have to compete against those kids of 65 a lot in FCD,  although better than competing against those 64 and younger.

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Too many categories especially when you’re looking at the local shoots that get 30-40 shooters or less. There could be as many winners as categories. Pretty silly. 

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1 hour ago, Idaho Gunslinger said:

Can this only apply to male shooters? I plan to keep my wife in Cowgirl so she can keep telling everyone she is 29! ;)

You’re safe Cowgirl is an Open Category, any age.

 

Randy

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3 hours ago, Silver Creek Jack said:

Ok let me open a can of worms, I have been in Sass a little over 6 years and seriously competing for about 4 of those. In that length of time I have heard quite a few folks harping about the number of categories we have and I always wonder what’s the deal? Does the amount of categories we have effect them? If so in what way? Why would anyone care if someone wants to shoot in a category that’s not the one they normally shoot as long as they can legally (sass rules) do it? Personally I like the different options because I like to shoot duelist, traditional , Classic Cowboy , frontier cartridge etc, variety is the spice of life after all!  So let’s hear it,    SCJ

 

Some matches are starting to follow category minimums now, so many single entry category entrants are getting rolled into other categories. Like a FCD getting rolled into the regular Duelist category if they're the only one. 

 

So as far as having too many categories, it appears that they're starting to shake themselves out.

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3 hours ago, Whip Assalot said:

I think there should be age caps.

 

I shouldn't as a 60 year old be able to shoot in the 49er category.

What would that achieve. How does an age cap change anything. Why do you think that shooting down in age is a problem?

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3 hours ago, Whip Assalot said:

I think there should be age caps.

 

I shouldn't as a 60 year old be able to shoot in the 49er category.

 

I have to disagree.

 

Because if you shoot Senior as a 60 yr old, and you're the only one in your category and you're at a match where the category minimums are being enforced, then you don't get to shoot.  This way, you can roll into 49er and still shoot. 

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I think Land run had 50 some categories, with maybe an average of 6 awards per category (some more some less). That’s 300 people got awards. Over half of the competition got awards.   It’s becoming participation trophies in my opinion.   You used to have to work hard to improve your game, now it seems as “pick your category wisely”

 

Match costs have continued to go up and match directors point towards award cost. As match prices have gone up, stuff u got with the match has gone down.   Fewer door prizes, shirts or jackets; less free meals, charging for side matches or practice matches, all contributing to fewer shooters.

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6 hours ago, Toranado, SASS # 58447 said:

I think Land run had 50 some categories, with maybe an average of 6 awards per category (some more some less). That’s 300 people got awards. Over half of the competition got awards.   It’s becoming participation trophies in my opinion.   You used to have to work hard to improve your game, now it seems as “pick your category wisely”

 

Match costs have continued to go up and match directors point towards award cost. As match prices have gone up, stuff u got with the match has gone down.   Fewer door prizes, shirts or jackets; less free meals, charging for side matches or practice matches, all contributing to fewer shooters.

I agree.  When you win your category at a regional it should mean something and come with a decent buckle.

 

 

Just the view from my saddle. 

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17 minutes ago, Assassin said:

All the categories were added when SASS was in growth mode. Now, with 1/3 of the shooters it would make sense to eliminate categories. 

Because the population was getting older...it was done to keep folks interested in the competition. Why spend thousands of dollars to compete in say EOT only to get a stoopid door prize with no chance of being competitive?

 

And folks care more for door prizes...oy...

 

Phantom

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I watched a lot of shooters get awards at Land Run and saw a lot of big smiles. After the banquet lots of congratulations and hugs given out. 

Seeing those smiles was worth the time at the banquet. 

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Because the population was getting older...it was done to keep folks interested in the competition. Why spend thousands of dollars to compete in say EOT only to get a stoopid door prize with no chance of being competitive?

 

And folks care more for door prizes...oy...

 

Phantom

Pretty much the same people go to EOT and Land Run every year. Other events are diminishing. I think it was done to appease whiners. In the late 90's early 2000's winning a buckle had some meaning. Now it means one picked a good category. 

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Because the population was getting older...it was done to keep folks interested in the competition. Why spend thousands of dollars to compete in say EOT only to get a stoopid door prize with no chance of being competitive?

 

And folks care more for door prizes...oy...

 

Phantom

IMO, that thousands of dollars spend by competitor is a big factor in the whole scheme of attendance and awards.  Cast of awards and putting on the match is expensive but one must factor in the expensive to the shooter.  You are so right about population of shooters getting older which I suggest effects attendance due to cost versus chance of being competitive within some sort of age range. 

Heck, Phantom we probably met over 20 years ago but still survive often in categories if given a fairly decent playing field in age.  Making the category ( for example FCD) split only in 2, possibly 3, age based groups with minimums appeals at least for some of us (considering dollar spent) much better than one big group of 20 year old's versus 75+ year old's.  The love of this sport and being amongst friends with same affection for  game means a tremendous amount but does limit out in cost sometimes.

C U soon.  Keep shooting with two hands kid.

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For age based, I’d be ok with:

buckaroo

open

cowpoke <50

range boss 50-65

cattle king >65

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The age based categories and shooting/costume categories (BW, Gunfighter, Duelist ect.) were fine when they were launched,  it's when it was decided that we NOW need age based categories WITHIN the shooting/costume categories. (ie. Silver Senior BW,  Senior Gunfighter ect)   That's when the categories got out of control.  

And to the argument that the older guys cannot compete with younger shooters,   I CALL BS.   Look at the AZ state shoot in Bordertown.   TOP AZ state champion was Hell's Comin who is an Elder Statesman!!!!  (with two bad knees to top it off). , and 6 of the top 10 were over 60 years old.    So the age means nothing,  all the categories were added to just get people more awards and make them feel better and has diluted the value of winning an award and driven up match expenses.   Back in the day when you seen someone with a Buckle they won at a shoot, it was a big deal.  Now just about everyone can have a buckle.

 

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Age based categories "to shoot against my peers" is silly. Using age as the basis instead of ability is not shooting against your peers.

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What is the issue with the number of categories? 

 

Traditional, duelist, and gunfighter represent three distinct shooting styles that should be in their own separate categories.  Black powder adds another challenge and should be its own category within the above three.  Same goes for gender.  We have two costume categories (classic and b-western), and frontiersman which is more like advanced FCD.  That really only leaves the age break down to combine/condense which I really think should be left up to individual match directors based on the number of participants within a category. 

 

Is it a hardship on clubs to offer awards/buckles for every recognized category?  Do award ceremonies take too long?  Is it the perception of participation trophies for those handful of shooters that choose to shoot in the more obscure categories?  So again what is the issue with the number of categories?

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For all of those fast and faster shooters winning over and over, there would not be these big matches if it was not for all of the middle and lower placing shooters also paying to shoot.

 

Many shooters have never won anything but keep coming back for the fun of shooting and the friends they have made.  If these folks keep getting dumped on for wanting to win a ribbon for their category. they may just stop attending, then what happens when a club needs more funds to exist.  Those putting on the big matches would not be able to afford the awards and buckles without the support of all of the paying shooters.

 

I say let everyone enjoy some recognition for the shooting whatever their category.  The more competitors we have at a match makes the match fiscally successful, so we all can continue to shoot in this sport.

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11 minutes ago, SGT. ELI 35882 GUNFIGHTER said:

Age based categories "to shoot against my peers" is silly. Using age as the basis instead of ability is not shooting against your peers.

What is your suggested solution?  I agree that somebody who is 60 with 20+ years experience shooting SASS has a competitive advantage over somebody who started shooting SASS after they retired but it's not like SASS is chess or tennis with ranked players.  Other than breaking it down by age I don't see another way to do this.

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As someone who shot competitive small-bore most of my life before coming over to CAS. the categories were based on shooting ability. the only age categories were junior and senior. junior was up to 17 and senior started at 60. everyone had a classification and it was based on where you placed in most sanctioned matches. the categories were marksman, sharpshooter, expert and master. You shot against other people in your classification and or age. I think sass could have a smokeless category and a black powder category then divide each of those into buckaroo, cowboy, and senior and then create a classification system based on stage times. so you compete against similar shooters. 

 

Edit: Or just leave it alone and let people do what they want. most matches require a minimum number of shooters per category anyway. 

Edited by The Surgeon
thought
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1 hour ago, The Surgeon said:

As someone who shot competitive small-bore most of my life before coming over to CAS. the categories were based on shooting ability. the only age categories were junior and senior. junior was up to 17 and senior started at 60. everyone had a classification and it was based on where you placed in most sanctioned matches. the categories were marksman, sharpshooter, expert and master. You shot against other people in your classification and or age. I think sass could have a smokeless category and a black powder category then divide each of those into buckaroo, cowboy, and senior and then create a classification system based on stage times. so you compete against similar shooters. 

Holy smokes this whole thread was started to discuss reducing the number of categories.   Besides small-bore is an accuracy competition vs SASS which is a speed competition.

Edited by July Smith
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8 minutes ago, July Smith said:

What is your suggested solution?  I agree that somebody who is 60 with 20+ years experience shooting SASS has a competitive advantage over somebody who started shooting SASS after they retired but it's not like SASS is chess or tennis with ranked players.  Other than breaking it down by age I don't see another way to do this.

 

height . . . break them down by how tall they are :P

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11 hours ago, oak creek martin said:

What would that achieve. How does an age cap change anything. Why do you think that shooting down in age is a problem?

Because you end up shooting with less experienced shooters.

13 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Why?

 

Phantom

Because you can then shoot with less experienced shooters

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22 minutes ago, July Smith said:

What is the issue with the number of categories? 

 

Traditional, duelist, and gunfighter represent three distinct shooting styles that should be in their own separate categories.  Black powder adds another challenge and should be its own category within the above three.  Same goes for gender.  We have two costume categories (classic and b-western), and frontiersman which is more like advanced FCD.  That really only leaves the age break down to combine/condense which I really think should be left up to individual match directors based on the number of participants within a category. 

 

Is it a hardship on clubs to offer awards/buckles for every recognized category?  Do award ceremonies take too long?  Is it the perception of participation trophies for those handful of shooters that choose to shoot in the more obscure categories?  So again what is the issue with the number of categories?

 

It IS a hardship on clubs to offer that many awards/ buckles,   THAT'S WHY match fees have gone up so significantly.   You are basically paying to give YOURSELF an award,  Does that make everyone feel good to buy your own award??   This IS a competitive shooting sport.   

 

NOT EVERY ACTOR gets a Oscar, but that does not prevent them from acting and doing what they enjoy.   Can you imagine if every Olympic sport gave 10 podium medals??? 10 Superbowl rings of different quality and color, 10 teams win World Series rings????    It takes away from the value of the effort, time, practice, execution that those who do put the time in.  

 

YES AWARD CERMONIES TAKE TOO LONG.  Land Run was about 2 hours.

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15 minutes ago, Toranado, SASS # 58447 said:

 

It IS a hardship on clubs to offer that many awards/ buckles,   THAT'S WHY match fees have gone up so significantly.   You are basically paying to give YOURSELF an award,  Does that make everyone feel good to buy your own award??   This IS a competitive shooting sport.   

 

I regularly shoot in categories that have 4 or less shooters at my club's annual shoot.  If it would make it easier on the club, I personally would be fine with them only having to hand out buckles for categories with more competitors.   Not sure if I am alone or not in this feeling.  

Edited by July Smith
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