Growing the sport

Discussion in 'Competition Forum (All Calibers)' started by Alex Wheeler, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Another Shooting Bum

    Another Shooting Bum

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    Interesting topic
    Decades ago when I got started in precision shooting sports one of my mentors told me that you have to have a thick skin to be a shooter. He has become a dear friend and I have come to learn what he ment.
    Long term shooters don't grow on trees and there are many disciplines to attract the few there are.
    There have been many good suggestions posted and tried ( some for years ) but the fact is, it's hard to find people that can stand the self examination it takes to improve and excell in shooting sports.

    More/ better advertising focusing on the mental skills that are developed may reach some.
     
    LRPV likes this.
  2. 500Stroker

    500Stroker Silver $$ Contributor

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    PSR shooters are doing Pro/Am events. I understand their last shoot in TN they had 300 Shooters. PSR is the fastest growing shooting sports going.
     
  3. ImBIllT

    ImBIllT

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    I don't really have an answer, but can touch on a few potential problems.

    I may be way out in left field, and I haven't paid much attention to benchrest in 10-15 years, but the difference in aggs between places in benchrest is often not statistically significant. This means that a great many shooters didn't not shoot, load, read wind etc. any better or worse than the people who placed above and below them...at least not provably so using statistics. The fact that some of those guys are consistent winners does prove that they are doing something better, and it also means that if you looked at a larger data set over a large series of matches that the difference would be statistically significant and proveable, but a single match is usually not enough. For the beginner, he quickly realizes that even on mistake relegates him to near last place, and this can be quite frustrating. I know that when I shot HBR there was nothing more disheartening than shooting a 9 on my first shot.

    Also, most shooting sports are so equipment reliant that it's almost impossible to start with what you have. You have to pick your sport, mortgage your house to buy suitable equipment, and then hope you can get good at it. Factory classes kinda help, but not really. A guy can't bring his factory Rem 700 and be on a level playing field against Cooper, Sako, a 40X etc. Pretty soon your talking about a similar investment to a full custom rig just to shoot in a "factory" class that was supposed to help guys get their feet wet. Not only that, there's no way to upgrade. Re-barrel it...out. Re-stock it...out. Re-chamber it...out.

    I do think that F-class being at a range where shooter error can cost more points than the difference between a quarter minute rifle and a half minute rifle is a help. Using cartridges that have some purpose outside of benchrest competition may also be a draw.
     
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  4. group therapy

    group therapy Silver $$ Contributor

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    I didn't read all 16 pages and this may have been addressed already, but have different classes of shooters. when I first started shooting hi power matches (200-300 600 yrds) there was a separate classification for different levels of shooting experience. whether you were just starting out with a service rifle or a high master with a full blown custom rifle, you shot among a group of shooters that were pretty close in skillset and equipment. there were awards for each class. I have never shot in a registered lr br match, but I can't imagine trying to outshoot tom or Leo or someone else with that caliber of skills or equipment. it feels nice to place first or second in a match against your peers vs trying to beat a national champion. and the matches may already have this, like I said, never been to one and just my two cents. :)
     
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  5. ImBIllT

    ImBIllT

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    That works and doesn't work. It kinda ends up being the guys that score the closest to these numbers without going over win their divisions, and if they ever goes over, they're in the category above unless they regress repeatedly for an EXTENDED period.

    I'm not saying that I have a better alternative, but I will take a stab at it.
    I wouldn't mind a novice class for those in their first X number of matches for any discipline ever, a higher novice class for shooter who have been shooting for a certain number of years without exceeding a certain number of matches, some slightly higher class for competitors that have competed at high levels in a different discipline(or maybe put them in the second class). A second tier class for those have competed for too long to be a novice, but who have never won a match or never won a match outside a novice class. And finally a top tier class for competitors that have won at least one non-novice match. You see, in this style of system, there is a level for beginners, and they can win without it being "here, you win an a award for the best shooter who is still terrible, and you win an award for the being the best shooter who is still not above average, and here you're the real winner". It also eliminates the guys that shoot for five years in the bottom class and actually win their class five times a year, while a real beginner never wins the bottom class before moving past it. At the second tier it also allows the hope of advancement. Every time someone wins a match(or two or three or wherever you set the limit) they advance and make room for the next person to win, and win legitimately. The problem with this system is that it is in no way applicable across the country without some form of modification. You could make it such that they have to win a match with shooters from other parts of the country to advance. There are kinks in the idea, and it's certainly more complicated than one based purely on score, but I think it's a more fair system that also yield more meaningful "wins".
     
  6. loud_noise

    loud_noise

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    That's Not a bad idea.
    I'm late to the conversation but that is a very good idea I will gladly steal.
     
  7. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy

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    When discussing how to limit costs, Savage rifles are reasonably priced, decent triggers and pretty accurate out of the box

    You could have a factory Savage class. Limited to certain models and calibers.

    Savage could sponsor it, provide discounts on replacement barrels and put up prize money.

    Kind of like the old IROC series races where professional drivers would all race each other in identical prepared Cameros
     
  8. Downhill

    Downhill

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    This might sound radical to some. Simply put your shooting interests aside and try to mentor younger shooters. I have nearly quit competing to coach a couple of young enthusiasts. After all I have spent my life gathering gear and rifles for various disciplines. Why not let a new shooter or two use it and learn the sport. I would love to compete every weekend but I have found coaching these two new competitors to be as or even more rewarding than shooting myself. To grow the sport we have to get the kids involved. An extra bonus is your experience can greatly increase the learning curve and make it more rewarding for the new shooter.
     
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  9. Downhill

    Downhill

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    On a side note, the next time you are at a rifle match- take note of the predominate hair color. Mostly grey and usually thinning. If we get the younger crowd problem solved. If not it all fades away.
     
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  10. Mr. Ten-X

    Mr. Ten-X

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    The best pool to draw from that I can think of might possibly be at Hunter Safety classes. Have spoken to several classes when invited and told them about options to become involved in air rifle, NASP and smallbore.

    The seed was planted and hopefully these younger people will look to shooting games as they grow older once they get a taste of it.
     
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  11. swed6.5

    swed6.5 X1ON

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    Attitude is the biggest thing, and common core practice. If some local schools would or could offer any sort of support, which is non exsistend because of the liberal agendas, even if we could advertise or get more viral Utube following on any given matches, will help attract, I look at my own attraction to the sport was at a young age, and grew into it in my later 30s, it's not easy for a youth to accomplish academics and try to chase the girls and work on a minimum wage, I believe most youths without support won't show a following until financially ready, or have a very cool parent that can help. Just my opinion, every encounter with a professional shooter if treated right will hopefully leave a lasting memory and inspire interest.
     
  12. johara1

    johara1

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    I think you are beating a dead horse, First young people are not interested in the work involved. To clarify this, they will shoot as long as someone else is doing the work. I watch this time after time at long range, so it will die a slow death as with all shooting sports that you can't buy what you need from a store. Even then they would rather be on the phone or playing games, they don't want to hear the word Work........ Jim
     
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  13. 1911mag

    1911mag

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    I have to agree in getting younger generation involved is important. There are kids out there who have the right stuff to succeed. I have shot with my son in competitions for 4 years now. Bullseye pistol, high power, rimfire benchrest, centerfire benchrest and now FTR midrange. Took him to camp Perry 2 times to shoot. He has learned alot, met good people, conducted himself to highest level of integrity and can hold his own in ability to compete. Looking back this was the best 4 years of my life sharing and learning together. I would challenge every club to mentor a youth and get them involved in a discipline. Does not matter which discipline , introduce him or her to as much as can. Let them make the decision what they want to learn. I would like to show up to a match and see more Jr shooters and have the experiece ones coach more. Teaching them the skills to improve goes a long ways.
    My take on this subject from a adult and father point of view.
     
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  14. BenPerfected

    BenPerfected Silver $$ Contributor

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    The shooting sports are similar to golf. Most belong to a club and invest endless $ in equipment, lessons, practice, time, etc. After all of this, it is highly unlikely you are are going run with the pros....but it sure is fun!
     
  15. johara1

    johara1

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    That is fine but when you shoot long range bench rest, it is a whole new story. a lot of work, pre loaded and what works short range, XTC, Rim Fire, and even F class doesn't at long range bench rest, except bench manners. Jim
     
  16. JRS

    JRS Silver $$ Contributor

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    You won't entice the younger generation that way.
     
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  17. johara1

    johara1

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    That is my point you will not entice them, They have the good life very few even try to get a side job to earn money, They need it they hold their hand out. So do you think for one minute they will work at loading for long Bench rest. As soon as Dad or Grand dad quits doing the work they disappear....jim
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017 at 7:08 PM
  18. JRS

    JRS Silver $$ Contributor

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    Sounds like our children/grandchildren grew up differently. Mine always want to learn and make money;) When they hold out their hand for a freebie, you say no.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017 at 11:14 AM
  19. John Russell

    John Russell

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    I think that has a lot to do with it... I shot competitive bench many years ago, and you could shoot bench with the same rifle you shot chucks and crows with. But with the current design evolution of competitive bench rifles, they are pretty much good for nothing when the match is over.
    There ARE younger people that are competitive and spending large money on shooting - just not bench rest as it is now.
     
  20. savagedasher

    savagedasher Gold $$ Contributor

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    Would say if any one thing has hurt shooting sport it's Money
    Not only has it hurt shooting but the sport I like even more stock-car .
    Rules is a close second .if not first .
    Take stock car the class minim weight is 2750# with 57% left side 4" ride hight wo driver . The cars that win has 400 # of tungsten carbide in and on the chassis . Lead is $3.00 a# tungsten is $40.00 Shocks and spring were $400.00 per wheel . Noe The have went to bump stops and tie down shocks the price of a combination is $14,000 per set up to be competive you will have 4 or more set up combinations in the trailer .
    The winning car is is nearly $250 ,000
    And they run for $ 3,000 to win .
    Tell me that isn't nothing but money.
    Now take a competive 17# pound gun
    And your looking at $10,000 plus .
    Not many new shooters would invest that into a sport.
    Raceing in some areas has taken the idea to grow the sport was to put a money amount on the The class .
    $1,400 now buys the springs and shock off your car . $ 500. For the carburetor instead of 2,000 That is just a
    Few things the car count has over double in a year
    Shooting sport can and should do the same . Their I lots of gun that can be had for $ 1500 and scope for $1,000 or less . With a $2,500 claim on the gun and scope. I feel we can get new shooters . If you feel a weigh is needed
    The make one that can be had with older equipment. .
    We had built a class to where we had 18 to 25 shooters . Every shoot A few rule changes and we now have 6 .
    If I wanted to grow the sport I would look at different kind of guns Like a at class or classes and I woul have a class that restricted prices on on the gun and scope . You big boys can have your same game and other can a will join the sport . Larry
     

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