I write this post in support of our current target size, target distance and lack of a time limit. I think our events are well balanced and give all shooters the opportunity to compete. The current format does an excellent job sorting out who the best gunslinger is on a given day.
By far the most dominant characteristic of a competitive gunfighter is mental toughness. The second most dominant characteristic is accuracy. Quickness comes in a distance third in importance. That is why in most titled events about half the Magnificent field will be mentally tough accurate shooters regardless of quickness.
We have a good balance now, why make more silly rules or change target size or distance. I think WOW is right when he tells the whiners and poor sports to shut up and go practice. Those complaining have spent time practicing speed when they should have been honing their mental toughness and accuracy. If you can't win on the line, no rule is going help when you face that mentally tough accurate gunslinger. You might as well stop complaining and practice more.
The Oklahoma State Championship was a great example of how well the current format works. For the men the seeding rounds did an excellent job of sorting out the top 7 gunslingers. You can tell that by the fact that the final standings were identical to the seeding standings. That is not always the case and was not for the women. In the men not all were the quickest but all were mentally tough accurate shooters. Shane reach the Magnificent 7 via a CFDA resurrection shoot off. I did not shoot against any of the bottom 3 but I know by observation they were tough gunfighters.
Of top four gunfighters, two had 2 x s, and two had 3 x s. All of the top four had received most of their main match x s from the other top 4 shooters. It was clearly definitive that the order on quickness was Whiplash, Delta Whiskey, Quickstrike, and Everett. Almost as definitive the order on accuracy was Everett, Whiplash, Delta Whiskey and Quickstrike. Needless to say it was a brawl. Quickstrike losing to Everett and Delta Whiskey for fourth; Delta Whiskey losing to Quickstrike and Everett for third; Everett losing to Whiplash twice for second; and Whiplash losing only once to Everett for the Championship.
On competitive balance, it is interesting to note that the Magnificent 7 included based only on quickness the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th,16th, 24th and 26th quickest guns out of 42 shooters. Our current format is working!
For the women the sorting process did not work nearly as well. Corkey won the event from the seventh seed. This seems to be characteristic of the ladies. Slow Poke won the Four Corners Territorial after being eliminated in the seventh place. I think this results from the top gunslingers (toughness, accuracy, quickness) among the ladies not being as well defined. The entire field of shooters among the ladies is more uniform as to the three dominate gunfighter characteristics. Also among the ladies, quickness is much much much less important. This should be important to match directors and hosts. There may be a thought to reduce the magnificent shoot off to five for the ladies because of the smaller numbers of competitors when in fact it should be expanded for the ladies because of the uniqueness of the field. Had the shoot off been a Magnificent 8, the results may have been different, the current top gun lady sitting in the eight slot.
For the men at Oklahoma expanding the magnificent field would not have made any difference. However, I may be tripping on my spurs here, at the Four Corners, had the field been seven, the results would have been different. At the Southern had the field been five, the 2nd place shooter would not have made the shoot off.
Generally, the larger the magnificent field the more likely that the top gunfighter will win. We do shoot larger magnificent shoot offs than 7. Oklahoma was in effect for the men a Magnificent 8.
In summary, the current format is working, let's not screw it up.
"Quickness does not matter much in a gunfight." Little Bill, Unforgiven