Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Average shooters, Motivation and 6x!

Going to titled matches around the country I see about the same 150-200 shooters at these matches out of our 5,000 or so members.  It seems that the titled events are not that well attended by the average shooters, even when the shoot is local.  What can we do to make these events more appealing to the average local shooters?  Is there a problem?

At the Four Corners held this year in Phoenix there were a group of snow birds that always shoot with us all winter long that came and shot in the warm-up jackpot shoot and then again in the second chance shoot on Sunday but not in the main event.  I don't know if it was the cost or the level of competition that kept them away from the main match.  I just don't know, but suggest that it would benefit us to try to make these events more appealing to them.

My pet project is a 6x three day shoot. Every shooter would get 6 x s, 4 in the main match and 2 in either a resurrection or category shoot.  No one is eliminated until they get 6 x s.  I have suggested that if someone can't come on Friday they could still come and shoot in the Resurrections shoot at a reduced entry fee, maybe 33% of the full fee. The shoot then becomes a 2 x shoot for them and they could still win it all.  This would do two things for maybe some of the shooters, reduce the cost and allow them to compete with the bottom half of the field.   What do you think?  If you tell me that it will not work or violates the rules, I don't tolerate that very well because I got an answer for most of the "can't" reasons. 

We use the Arizona Bracket shoot a lot and our members love it.  I recommend it to other clubs.  I see that some clubs are having a no x shoot followed by a Magnificent 5 2x shoot off as a Halloween shoot.  Try the Arizona Bracket shoot.  You can shoot three Magnificent 1X shoot offs in the same time that it takes to shoot a Magnificent 5 2x and every shooter qualifies for the shoot off.  I think this is why we get 30-35 summer time shooters and 60-70 winter time shooters at our monthly shoots.  Everyone qualifies and has a chance to shoot their way to the top.  It is about having fun and winning your bracket can really be fun, especially for those that normally don't get to a magnificent shoot-off.  All Arizona gunslingers experience a magnificent shoot off even it is just 1x.

We did try the Magnificent 2x shoot-off for all shooters. It works but is too time consuming for the number of shooters we have.  It takes about 8 minutes per number of shooters in a bracket, so if you have 30 shooters, it takes about 80 minutes to shoot three brackets of ten.  But for smaller clubs, it would be great.  If you had say 18 shooters, it would take 48 minutes to shoot three Magnificent 6 2x shoot offs at the same time.  I think you will find that your shooters would love this because it allows the average shooter the opportunity to experience the Magnificent shoot off.

If any one wants more information or forms for any of these, just say so I am happy to help.

I am also a big fan of the Arizona Five.  A lot of our shooters don't like it, but they are the ones that need it.  It is really nothing more than a mental toughness drill for the whole club.  It is also somewhat bias towards the accurate shooter and hence maybe bias towards the average point and aim shooter.  It is really good for the speed, even though they don't like it,  got to hit and hit now, not later.  Our National Champion won on mental toughness!

We are blessed by large numbers and therefore have the the ability to try new things in a major shoot environment monthly.  If you want to discuss any of our trials just call, e-mail or talk to us. Just remember some of us are can people and some of us are can't people.  I say that because we tried something new and I got nothing but positive feedback and I overhear my fellow board member telling folks that nobody like it.  Mostly I am a pain in the rear, but they tolerate my hair brained ideas.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Elitist Survey

Rodeo Romeo posted a survey for input for the muster.  The topics suggested lean toward the elite shooters.  I write this post as a response for the average shooter.  Our sport exists because of the average shooter.

People join CFDA because it is fun, the people are nice (although lately not all have been nice), and  new shooters can have some immediate success. We all start out as draw, cock, aim and fire shooters. Some change as they get faster, some stay as draw and aim shooters.  The .5 to 1.0 shooters are the backbone of our sport.  Without them there will be no CFDA.

Entertainment, spectator enhancements, purses have little meaning for the average shooter.  What the average shooter needs is for the competitions to continue to be fun, to be free from needless rules, to be free from petty criticism of techniques and quickness, and to allow the average shooter to have some success.  Too often we think about what would be good for the elite shooter or the wannabe elite shooter and forget about what makes our sport strong, the average shooter.

This needless bickering about technique and slow shooters hurt the sport.  There is a reason why 4 of the top 8 at Nationals were from Arizona. It has nothing to do with quickness. It has nothing to do with accuracy. It has everything to do with our average shooters.  We have a lot of draw and aim shooters, a lot of slip cocking and recover youth, a few tenderfoots that do not miss,  all  of whom compete and compete with a high degree of success in our Arizona Bracket shoots.  We welcome and appreciate all styles, techniques, times of all shooters.  When we meet a "slow shooter" or a slip cock in a titled match we put three on the plate and sit down.

This nonsense about sportsmanship needs to been put to rest.  There is an easy solution. The requirement should be that every competitor must fire his weapon in each contest except for malfunction and use his best effort to hit the target.  There should be no room in an athletic activity for the question "Will you intentionally miss, if I miss?"  The Irishman's data clearly shows that our accuracy has gone down in recent years.  Part of that problem is that we have come to accept missing as acceptable in our chase of speed.  Like the good old days, it should be "if you miss, you lose!"

This is Fast Draw!  All matches should be determined by quickness.  If it is acceptable to miss, acceptable to hit 30%, then all matches and our championship are determined by chance, not by quickness. Let's get back to the matches where if you miss you lose.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Who we are!

We had our August monthly practice shoot at Pioneer with 33 gunslingers in attendance.  It was a pretty tough bunch with 4 of the top 8 shooters from Nationals, and a World Champion, two World Category Champions, numerous other three shooters, a couple of old timers draw cock aim shooters, three youth shooters, a 7 year old who slip cocks and recovers 50% of the time, a 9 year old who slip cocks and recovers 30% of the time, a 10 year who is just quick and deadly and an assortment of other shooter all of whom are tough gunslingers.

We shot our Arizona Bracket shoot in near perfect weather. Most of the speed finished in 3rd to 10th place in bracket A, some in bracket B and a few in bracket C.  A new shooter, a draw, cock, aim old timer shooter, was clean until the final match of the day, the final match of bracket A.

I sincerely believe that the Arizona shooters do so well in titled matches not because we shoot against quick shooters but because we shoot against tough gunfighters, whether that is a draw, cock, aim shooter or 7 year old slipping cocking and recovering to win matches.  Generally we don't devalue misses.

We welcome all comers.  Come shoot with us, whether you "slow shoot", slip cock and recover, flail and hit 30%, or are quick and accurate.  We don't care.  We need the practice.  You can even come and whine and we will be nice to you, though we might poke little a fun at you.

Isn't this a great sport.  Where else can a new shooter go through a field of champions and end up in second place.  Where else can a 7 year old compete with World Champion and win.  We like the sport as it is. It is a gunfight folks.

 "Quick don't matter much in a gunfight." Little Bill