Sunday, February 14, 2016

Philosophy from the Salty River

We have had lively discussion about format with Levi and Mitch. Levi says there can only be one winner.  The acorn does not fall far from the tree. Mitch says that when he is 4th in Bracket C he is 32nd and deserves nothing.  Both look at this from an individual perspective, Levi from his five year plan to win a World Championship and Mitch under the influence of his father.  When you're talking about formats one needs to leave the realm of the individual and think in terms of the whole, the CFDA, the club, and the average shooter. That is why Quick Cal says "CFDA strongly supports the instituting Bracket Matches at all classes of events."

Last Saturday the Rio Salado Vaqueros held a 3x Magnificent Seven Match.  As always it was an excellent event with 44 shooters attending.  It is informative to consider the results in the discussion of  format.  The best gunfighter of the day clearly was The Draw (World 3rd) and the 2nd best gunfighter probably was Coyote Kid (Tenderfoot, age 7).  Hi Strung was lamenting all day to me that he was shooting poorly (slow) but he was hitting and ended the main match clean with no x s.  As such, Hi Strung was seeded 1st in the Magnificent Seven.  Although probably in the top 20%, it was clear he was not the top gunfighter at the event.

Resurrection Feature:  Although there was no official resurrection feature in the contest, it being a standard CFDA format, a resurrection did occur.  In the last round of the main event, Coyote Kid eliminated the Draw reducing the field to 6.  Following standard protocol, The Draw, clawed his way back through two other shooters to re-enter the field as the 7th seed. 

This is not uncommon. In 2015, Marshall Cooper was resurrected at Winter Range to go onto  win in a Magnificent Five format.  At Colorado, Bonnie Ringo out shot Marshall Cooper to secure the 5th seed.  It happens at most shoots with the magnificent format.

This resurrection feature was instituted for its entertainment value, to have a full field, but many times it serves a better function, that is to determine who the best gunfighter is on a given day.  On Saturday, The Draw even though he had been eliminated won a bye round, then 8 matches in a row to win the event. He was truly the best gunfighter on February 13 on the Salty River.

The Magnificent Seven format does a pretty good job sorting out who the best gunfighter is on a given day.  Getting ready for the Magnificent Seven, I see Hi Strung in the dry fire area, trying to find some more speed and I lectured him to dance with the girl (draw) that got him the number #1 seed.  He and I both could not take my advice, and two losses resulted for both of us.

Lest you think it is easy to shoot in the Valley of the Sun here is the results of Saturday's shoot.  1st The Draw (Two-time National Champion), 2nd Whiskey, 3rd Hi Strung (2nd Tombstone),4th  Muletrain (2015 Senior World Champion), 5th Coyote Kid (Tenderfoot age 7), 6th Alleluia Ruah (2014 Super Senior National Champion) 7th Miss Kitty (2015 World Champion and Multi-Territorial Champion).

Getting back to the discussion, I think it is good for the sport to have multiple champions.  I love the way the Powderhorn Ranch Regulators shoot the National Championship.  On Sunday, championship day, they crown 15 or so category champions and then the overall youth, women and men's overall champions.  I hope, but doubt, this year's national shoot will have that format.

The inadvertent resurrection feature has worked so well in determining the best gunfighter, I see no reason that we do not institute it for all shooters and have a true resurrection shoot.  Now we have 2nd chance shoots just to occupy eliminated shooters.  There is no good reason or rule that prevents us from putting meaning into these shoots by allowing the winner back in as the number 7th seed. (paragraph 4, page 21 would have to be tweaked a bit.) Shouldn't our goal be to determine the best gunfighter on any given day.

It is too late to do much about the 2016 schedule, but 2017 is less then a year away. Got my work cut out for me. I have stated before, the best championship format would be to shoot down to five, (or 6 if not having categories) then let the resurrection winner in as 7th seed and the fastest category champion in as the 6th seed.  Don't we want to find out who the best gunfighter is at any given event.  One of the weaknesses of the elimination format is that the luck of the draw many times determines how you do, not how you are shooting.  To come back from the resurrection match to win is nearly impossible except for the best gunfighter there, and that is what we are trying to determine.


  1. All you win, really, is respect. I'm not a fast shooter, I'm kinda slow, but I try to grow he sport, I cheer other shooters on, and I support the good things, like Shoot for the Stars.

    Let the other shooters win the big matches. If that's the calling card, that's fine. I don't have anything to prove to anyone. I love he game, and I love the people, and I'll do what I can to grow my club, teach my grandkids, and make everyone feel welcome.

    In twenty years, when I pass along, the kids will divide the spoils, and the trophies will probably be thrown away. All that will be left is respect, and that's the only thing worth earning.

    See y'all on the line. - - Major D.

  2. Right on! We play for love of the game and our fellow gunslingers. Since I am no longer on face book, how about a post directing some gunslingers here.

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  4. Everyone has different goals and strive to get out of it what they want. Some are just after the world record fast time. Some are just after the championships. What's wrong with that? To be the best you have to beat the best. The cream always rises to the top no matter the format. We may just have a different definition of "best". In my definition of best luck of the draw has nothing to do with it. If you shoot well enough to preserve your X's and qualify for the Magnificent 7 that is quite a feat in itself. If you were lucky enough not to shoot with the top shooters in the main match they have a way of taking care of you in the championship shoot off.

    1. We are all influenced by our experiences. I am influence by watching you win the Resurrection and not be in the mag 7 at world when I thought you were one of the top seven shooters. I just think we can help the cream rise.

    2. We are all influenced by our experiences. I am influence by watching you win the Resurrection and not be in the mag 7 at world when I thought you were one of the top seven shooters. I just think we can help the cream rise.

  5. I am not discouraged from my previous performances at worlds. We are influenced by our experiences. I just don't let what happens to me keep me down, rather use it as another rung on the ladder to the top. I always learn from those experiences and practice so the negative never happens again. It is my personality to be the best at whatever I do. Once I get there I get bored easily and look for another challenge. The longer I don't win the longer I can enjoy it. I will be world champion one day. Until then I do something every day to improve to make that happen. Right now I am enjoying competing at a high level. The record books will be splattered with my name.