I was having "lively times" in the comments with Rodeo, Hell on Wheels, and Powder Keg concerning whether this sport was a speed contest or a gunfight and I recalled a conversation I heard in the hole at Nationals between two Old Timers, both Champions, World and National, saying that in the good old days, times were slower but accuracy was better. "If you missed, you lost!"
In our relentless pursuit of speed, we have devalued the miss. Some seems to think if you hit in the mid threes it okay to hit only 30% and that seems to work for them because if every one else is hitting 30% to 40 %, they can be competitive. After all it is "fastdraw." We see 15 shot matches. We see the two fastest ladies in the State of Texas on that day miss 22 in a row in a State Championship.
These "sports", those with grailfever, when they get into a gunfight don't do very well, so they lobby for new rules to give themselves a better chance. Some will even in ask you before a match, "now you won't hold my miss against me, cause I try to go fast."
Last year at Nationals I was in almost a perfect match. It was against Luckey O'Riley and he was pumped having just beaten the only black badge from his state in the prior match. I was pumped because I drew him. He is quicker than me but we are a pretty evenly matched overall. After four shots, it was 2-2, both shooters hitting 100%. Fifth shot one of us missed. Almost perfect, but alas only a mere 90% on ten shots. It would had been better if decided on speed, but you rarely get perfection. Does not matter who won, we both shot to the best of our abilities. A match from the good old days, a gunfight, not a speed contest!
I have been watching the Olympics and I admire most, not the winners, but the competitors who when they fall off the bar, they get up again and finish their routine. Does not matter that they fell, they are going to do the best that they can do under the circumstances. I did not like the competitor who did not do his routine because of a false sense of sportsmanship thereby disqualifying his team and affecting the standing of other teams on something other than performance.
I know I am kicking a sleeping dog, but Cal has told me he is going fix the problem. I don't care if you give me a sportsmanship warning in every match, I am going to do my best in every match under all circumstances, even if I fall I am getting up and finishing the match, because "this ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok........I didn't say I didn't know how to use one." I will do my best on each and every shot whether that is a .399 or a 1.729, both of which were the final shot of 2-2 matches in the top 15 or so at Nationals and both just mere milliseconds slow. Even losing, great fun, loved both matches.
Getting back to the topic at hand, maybe a slight rule change may helpful with grailfever. How about three winning hits you win, three misses you lose. That might bring back the good old days when "if you missed you lost." I know it will never happen in titled matches, but it is something to think about for club practices. You know it may not just be coincidence that our new National Champion warmed for Nationals with a club event of Arizona Five the week before. Arizona Five is just a mental toughness drill. You got to hit, and you got to hit right now. Most of our quick shooters don't like it and don't do well with it, that does not mean it is not good for them.
New club event. We will call it, "The Tough 3 by 3", 6-8 seeding rounds no x, three winning shots you win, three misses you lose. Then brackets with a Magnificent 1 x shoot-off. Sounds like a good warm-up for World. Let see if the next World Champion comes from the Camp, Shady Mountain, or at least the Valley of the Sun.
Postscript: Thank you for all the prayers, heading to Camp I had a pulmonary embolism, made it into and now out of hospital okay. My life coaches have prevailed upon me not to shoot for another 7 days.