Monday, August 31, 2015

Splits, Handjudging and other Nonsense

Using coach's eye with its timer feature I have been able to get fairly accurate splits on some of the gunslingers here in the Valley of the Sun.  I am pretty confident that Thirsty's draw speed is 120 mls give or take 10 mls.   Powder Keg's draw speed is 150 mls again +/- 10 mls.  My draw speed is right around 160 mls.

Sunday we had an interesting match on Shady Mtn between Thirsty and Powder Keg.  Before the light Powder Keg flinched but he did not move the gun in the holster. It was an observable body flinch.  Thirsty drew on the flinch and hit a .307.  Powder Keg then drew on the light and hit a .379.  Okay, handjudges and range masters, call this one.  Knowing the draw speeds of the shooters you can conclude that Thirsty had splits of reaction time 154 mls, draw time of 120 mls and flight time of .33 mls.  Thristy clearly drew 154 mls after the light came on.  Powder Keg would have been190/156/33.

I have been hearing rumblings that they is a move afoot to change the shooting distance or size of the target to get more hits.  Nobody said anything to me probably because I am such an opinionated fella.  If you can't hit the target shooting 3s then either you are practicing missing or you have a draw that is inherently inaccurate.  If you practice enough to shoot threes, then you practice enough to be hitting 80%.

I went to the mountains and practiced exclusively speed.  Screwed up my draw.  Came back and could not hit the inside of a barn.  Grail fever will do you in quicker than any other ailment.  My fault.  No need move the targets closer, I just got to remember that a fast miss will not help me against that gunfighter I have to face, whether he is a world champion or that ten year old that does not miss.

"Quick don't mean much in a gunfight!"  Little Bill, Unforgiven.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Team Competition

Team Competition

MAIN MATCH:       3X, 3 shot (Arizona summertime best of 5), last man standing format. Standard format, team members will shoot against team members if so drawn.

            Entry fee $5 per shooter for first team entry. A shooter may join as many teams as he would like but subsequent team entries are $10 for the second entry, $15 for third and so on. Youth shooters are free. 

  All entry fees from team competition go to Shoot for the Stars.

            Teams are 4 to 7 shooters with the four top placing shooters considered for team scoring.  Team scoring is the sum of the top four placing shooters, low score wins.  The 5th through 7th team members are important because you never know who the top four will be and a team’s 7th shooter may be ahead of an opponent’s 4th shooter thereby moving that opposing shooter down in the placings.

            Placings of shooters going out in the same round are determined by fastest time out.  Ties will be shot off before next round.  Ties in team standings will be determined in favor with the team with the highest placing shooter.

            No requirements as to guns, division, residency or club membership.

ARIZONA SUGGESTED TEAMS: The Champs, The Young Guns,   The Shady Mtn Gang, Rio Salado Vaqueros, and Old Publeo Gunfighters.

Shooters may sign up on any team first come first signed on or make up their own teams, for example, family teams would be fun.

Thirsty might want to sign up on The Champs, a team of Territorial, State, and Club Champions, and on a family team of Thirsty, Lawless Speed, Half Cock Willie, Calaboose Bill, Buckeroo Ben, and Coyote Kid (Grandpas, Kid and Grandkids.)  His entry fee for team competition would be $5 plus $10 for second entry for total of $15.

A young guns team of Lawless Speed, Col Hip Shot, Holli Day, Prickly Pear, Dirty Dan, Hot Flash and High Strung would be a tough team.

AWARDS:   Magnet Awards for team members memorializing their victory are available from at reasonable costs.

Sample Sign-up Form

Team Name:________________________________

Team Members:                                  Place       Top four
1 _________________________       _____     _______
2 _________________________       _____     _______
3 _________________________       _____     _______
4 _________________________       _____     _______
5 _________________________       _____     _______
6 _________________________       _____     _______
7 _________________________       _____     _______
                                        Team Total Score         _______


1.     Team scoring is only the top 4 shooters are scored.  If all team members are scored, then a shooter or two who are having a bad day might drag down an otherwise good team.  Also, since the bottom shooters of the match have the highest placings numbers scoring 100% of the team members unfairly considers the bottom team members over the top team members.  On the other hand, only scoring the top one or two shooters really makes it into an individual event.  There needs to be a balance.  Best balance would be shooting seven and scoring 5, like cross country.  However, I suggest shooting 7 and scoring 4 to be more accommodating to clubs to enter teams.  For example, if Rio Salado brings seven shooters they could enter seven on one team.  If they bring 8 shooters, then it makes sense for them to enter two 4 shooter teams.  Other shooters could  join their teams and since it is always better to have 7 shooters than just 4 because you never know who is going to be shoot well on any given day, it is to their advantage to have other shooters sign onto their teams until full.

2.    Many shooters have multiple connections to other shooters.  For example, I practice on Shady Mountain and would like to join a team with those shooters.  I also have family members shooting so it would make sense for me to enter a family team.  This format allows multiple entries.  However, the fee goes up to discourage someone from joining every team.  All teams are open to everyone as long as there is a slot open.  Once seven shooters have joined, then no more entries on that team are allowed.

3.    Added workload:  There really is very little extra work needed to have this event if you are have a last man standing shoot since it utilizes the CFDA scoring system.  You need someone to collect the money and supervise the sign-up sheets.  You need someone to add up the score sheets near and at the end of the event.  Since 90% of the shooters will be placed by the last several rounds of the event, most team scores will be known by the last round.  The ideal match would be to have four teams within a point or two of each other at the end with team members still shooting.  That would be exciting.  The more likely situation is to have the team competition determined before the last several rounds since the best team top to bottom should win.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Entertainment, Awards, and Growth

Quick Cal asks about whether we should be a spectator sport.  The answer is we are not, never will be nor should we be.  We should be accommodating and friendly to spectators which we are and always will be.

Cal looks at these issues as a "Top Gun" and he is influenced by other top guns around him.  His perspective is from the top down.  Maybe it would be helpful to look at these issues from the bottom up, from the perspective of the average shooter.  We grow because it is a fun sport and a true sport, not an entertainment venue.  It is not American Ninja Warriors.  We grow because a newcomer can try it out and has a chance to be successful right away.  Where else can a new competitor line up against a World Champion and win and it may be probable that he will win if the Champion is off target that day.

A good example at the Colorado State Championship was Bar-E. It was his first match, not his first titled match, the very first time he had every been to the line with a gun right off the shelve.  He won 4 lost 4, even winning one against a top five finisher. He finished 31 out of 78.  He was thrilled.  He went home with an action job on his gun and another holster.  He is now a promoter of CFDA.  Bet there will be a CFDA club in the Loess Hills of Iowa within a few years.

Top down thinking would be that maybe we should do something about this, not entertaining to see a brand new shooter win.  Bottom up thinking would be, heh, that is great, maybe I can do it too.

When we talk about these issue, think in terms of what can be done to make it a sport that is enjoyed by all, the top guns as well as the average shooter.

I absolutely love the format at Nationals.  I think it is a bottom up format.  There is room for 85 shooters to participate in a magnificent shoot-off.  At the 2015 Nationals, I moved up to Old Timers, and by my calculation failed to made the shoot-offs. (Old Timers is the toughest category)  However, since those in the Magnificent Seven are excluded (there were three in the Magnificent Seven), I made the Magnificent shootoff and finished third.  Cal was announcing and he correctly called the winners, National Champions.

Last year I won Super Senior National Championship and I can assure you it has made me a promoter of the sport.  I sell the sport ever chance I get. I talk to every spectator that will listen to me. I recruit kids in sporting  goods store.  I am always selling.

Since this is my soap box let me tell you what I think a perfect Territorial would be.  Three day event. First day, seven rounds of the main match.  Second day, shoot down to top five in main match and have a true resurrection match for all eliminated in first 8 rounds.  Winner is seeded 6th in the Magnificent Seven shootoff.  Third day, category magnificent five with the fastest Category Champion not already in seeded 7th. (This is fast draw.)

Nobody is out of it for sure until the last day.  Room for 85 shooters to participate in a Magnificent Shoot-off.  Lots of Champions, lots of shooting,  everyone has a chance to win.

In golf if I go up against Bubba Watson, I have no chance.  In Cowboy Fastdraw if I go up against Marshall Cooper, I have a chance, and my attitude today is "I ain't letting him get away again."  In what other sport, can an average fella not only have a chance, but believe that he will prevail against a world champion.  I love this sport.  Let's keep it a sport!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Speed, Accuracy, and Wins

The Four Corner's Territorial is in the book, as usual it was a great event in a great location put on by great people.  My only complaint is that I could not have had a tougher draw.  In eleven matches, my opponent was faster than me, substantially, in ten of the eleven matches.  The only opponent that was slower than me made it to the final five even though I defeated him on speed, both hitting 100%, and I being about 10 mls faster on average. He was shooting 415s and I 4 flat. The other ten opponents were low 3s, mid 3s and high 3s shooters.

Speed:  Speed was a partial factor in only three matches, I winning one and losing two.  It was decisive only in one match with the fifth place finisher.  

Accuracy: In my seven wins I hit better than 80%. Most of those matches were over before the faster shooter found the target. Generally, I missed the first shot, then walked the hits to the light. In my four losses I hit 60%.  In all four losses, I let the opponent get away. Had I hit 80% I would have won all four of those matches. That purveyor of videos got me twice on speed after we both had missed at 2-2. Because he is in our club and is faster than me, I probably let the adrenaline push the winning shot high off the target.

I have never suggested slowing down to hit.  Your quickest draw should be your most accurate. If it is not, then change your draw.  What I do say is that you can and should learn accuracy at the same time that you learn speed.  

"Quick don't mean much in a gunfight" Little Bill, Unforgiven.

It is informative to look at the three final championship matches. On average Quick Cal is at least 50 milliseconds slower than Parttime.  Quick Cal won on accuracy.  Miss Kitty is on average 30-40 mls slower than KK Kid.  Miss Kitty won! Miss Kitty did win on speed in the championship match against Texas Rose. Tank is on average 100 mls slower than Trigger Happy. Tank won!  Bonnie Ringo is 70 mls slower than Marshall Cooper but eliminated Marshall Cooper. 

What is common to all three Champions is champion gunfighter nerves. Those that control the nerves and shoot under pressure best usually prevail.  In three of my four losses, I know I let the adrenaline get the better of me because who I was shooting against. I really wanted to get Quick Cal and Old West, but got out of my proper mind set in those matches.

Before the next state and territorial my goal is to be quicker than .390 at 80% accuracy or better.  But of the two, 80% accuracy will get more wins than .390 speed.

I placed 12th at the four corners territorial shooting generally between .395 and .415 in the matches decided by speed.  Best match of the week was with my training partner with a winning shot of .391and other shots in the .39 s.

I have to give credit to loverboy's training tips for moving me down into the threes.