Monday, March 27, 2017

"You don't know how hard this is!"

Let me set the stage. Cowgirl Up has just out dueled Prickly Pear and Desert Rose for the Annie Oakley Arizona State Championship in a Magnificent 3 shoot off.  Lil' James is seeded 3rd in a Magnificent 5 of the Billy the Kid shoot off. He is the youngest competitor of 108 shooters. He loses his first match and goes to the loser's lane where he dispatches the 5th, 4th and 3rd place shooters in tightly contested matches. He has climbed back in the finals against Buckeroo Ben, a older and quicker shooter.  Buckeroo Ben wins the Arizona State Championship.

On the way home Lil' James says to his Dad. "I don't think you know how hard this is.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you think this is? His Dad responds "8 out of 10." Lil' James retorts, "No Dad, it is a 10 out of 10!"

You just don't know how hard this is!

The Ladies Championship follows with Holli Day being the # 1 seed. Slow Poke is dispatched to the loser bracket where she takes care of business and is back into the finals against Holli Day. Both ladies can not find the target. Holli Day has a misfire and challenges the round to no avail. She has another misfire and then another whereupon she declares that the gun is broken.  She calls for Thirsty's Colt. More missing.  She calls for another backup, Prickly Pears' gun but after dry firing, decides to stick with Thirsty's Colt.  Thirsty leave the range to do some gunsmithing on Holli's gun. More missing, but Slow Poke finally prevails, it is now 1-1.

You just don't know how hard this is!

Both ladies are prompted to go clean their guns. Holli foregoes cleaning and begins to disassemble Thirsty's gun to do some gunsmithing. The Range Master comes over and says you only have 30 seconds you can't do that. Holli frantically reassembles Thirsty's colt and goes back to the line.  More missing.  Finally, Thirsty comes back to the line with the repaired gun.  Holli Day finally prevails and is the Arizona State Ladies Champion. Through it all Slow Poke being the great champion and competitor that she is never once complains about all the disruption. She just stayed focus and did her best, and on this day that was second.

You just don't know how hard this is?
The men's finals was a mid 3 duel between Rodeo, Cowboy Up and Master Gunfighter.  I am sure it was just as dramatic and hard but I don't remember the exact details. Master Gunfighter is the new Arizona State Champion. Someone commented to me about all that speed and I said looks like easy draws to me with all that missing. If only I had gotten there but three matches against the Kegs did me in.

Last weekend at Amarillo I had a nice visit with the Comish about the format and he was saying everyone thought he was crazy when he came up with this format. But it really does work well.  Five shooters went out in round 11 and there was a tie for 11 through 15.  If you look at the final standings 11th through 15th the shooters were accurately sorted by quickness by a 1x shoot off.  The final two were myself and Sheriff Rango with Quick Cal announcing.  On the line before the first shot I say to him, "no lollygaging!"  He promptly puts his two fastest shots of the event on the plate. I put my first two shots dead center of the target in identical times 5 milliseconds faster than his, both being my fastest of the event. His third shot again is his fastest of the event. My third shot is a flyer 8 inches from the center but 20 millisecond faster. Now that is the way all matches should be, both shooters hitting 100% hitting their fastest times.

I would be remiss if I did not mentions that Honey Badger set two new World Records in the same match, the new world record being a .344 for ladies. She lost the match.  I only mention that to emphasize that a World Record time is only one shot, unless you are Honey Badger then it may be two shots, but you are still in a gunfight, three winning shots to win.  Great shooting by a great lady and competitor.

It was great fun. Hope everyone had a good time. You really don't know how hard this is!

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Them Texas Boys sure can shoot." or " Ain't this sport great!"

I suffered through a bout of the flusters at the Southern Territorial.  The event started well for me with a draw of Parttime for the first match but then the flusters set in (should have handled him but didn't).

I take back every negative thought I have ever had concerning those Texas boys.  Seems those boys and gals are no longer practicing missing down there, Parttime dominating the field and giving out lessons on accuracy as well as speed.  Brad the Quick no longer is just quick but he sure can put them on the plate now.  

A couple a years ago I hitched a ride from Reno to Fallon with a couple novices, it was their first world championship and they told me they had just start shooting that spring and formed a new club.  Here we are, a couple of years later, and Marshall's Daughter is the Southern Territorial Champion.  Ain't this sport great!  Not only that but the finals of the mens had a brand new shooter, JB Steele, shooting for the championship.  His first event.  I watch him in one match and he was not even gripping the gun before the set command he was so new to the sport, but if you put them on the plate you are dangerous. (JB Steele was also there as a vendor, Lone Hunter Guns.  I have three of their Rugers.) Ain't this sport great!

That Possum from the mountains showed everyone how he could play dead then come to life, going from the fifth seed to being the Champion of the Shootist competition.  Ain't this sport great!  He listens to Little Bill. Unforgiven

Least you think Parttime had a cake walk, there were three black badges in the field, and the multi-champions from Shady Mountain, Old West, Rodeo Romeo, and Powder Keg, finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

I had a nice visit with the Comish and am now of the opinion that I am not near banishment, but who knows, I don't have much restraint when it comes to needling.  If I offend anyone, just know I don't mean to. Anyway got some lessons on history from the Comish and Jayhawker.

Shady Mountain again won the team competition but with different shooters. So you don't think I am just a good recruiter, all of the members of the team practice on Shady Mountain or had been trained by the Desert Master, a Shady Mtn shooter.  We tried to enter last year's team but with only three shooters, but they said that was against the rules.  Doc will never hear the end of her dereliction. (Told you I don't have much restraint)

Well, got to go to work. so much for play.

Confusion in the Panhandle

I can not say enough good things about the Southern Territorial.  It was a great event put on by great people.  Everything ran smoothly and the hospitality was exception.

There was only one minor problem and that occurred on Sunday in the bracket shoot.  There was confusion concerning the format and the format changed between round one and two.  Some of us got early undeserved Xs but that was okay, we all shot by the same rules. What happened was they mixed the Nevada Eight with the "2 out of 3" format.

The confusion stems from a misnomer common throughout CFDA.  If you look in the Gazette you will see many ads for "3 out of 5" matches.  We do not shoot any "3 out of 5" matches.  We shoot first 3 winning shots matches.  The number of shots generally is unlimited. Same goes for "2 out of 3."  This is first 2 winning shots wins, again number of shot is unlimited.

In order for events to speed up the matches there are a number of 5 shot option formats in use, Montana Five, Nevada Five, and Arizona Five.  In all of these formats the number of shots is limited to 5 shots.  Whoever has the most winning shots after five shots wins in all five shot option formats! 

The manner in which ties are handled differs in each of these formats.

In Montana Five and Nevada Five, ties are determined by sudden death next winning shot.  In Montana Five the tie breaker is unlimited, shoot until there is a hit.  In Nevada Five the tie breaker is limited to 3 shots, if neither shooter hits both shooters get an X. (Why it was originally called hateful)

In Arizona Five, I like to say "There are no ties in Arizona Five" (Miss Kitty disputes my description), anyway in Arizona Five there are no additional shots to break the tie.  If the match is tied 0-0, or 1-1, both shooters get a X.  If the match is tied 2-2, both shooters get a win.  Arizona Five takes 20% less time than the standard three winning shots format 

In all three 5 option formats the match also ends when one shooter can not win the match so it may end after 3 shots, 4 shots or 5 shots.  Even after the formats were corrected at the Southern some of the announcers were saying it took three winning shots to win.  It does not.  In five shot option format, the specific number of winning hits is not determinative, the shooter with the most winning hits wins after five shots.  

The brackets were fun and well run except for the little confusion on format.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Flop

In the 40s and 50s the dominant high jump technique was the scissor jump. That was replaced in the early 60s by the American Roll.  The main difference between those techniques was while with the scissor jump the center of gravity of the jumper passes several feet above the bar, with the American Roll the center of gravity passes just inches above the bar.

In 1968 Dick Fosberry won the gold medal at the Olympics using a new technique, the flop, later to be called the Fosberry Flop.  What made this technique so successful, still in use today, is that the center of gravity of the jumper passes underneath the bar by several inches.  It enables a jumper to clear 8 feet while his center of gravity never rises nearly that high.  (When the 8 feet barrier was broken, I had to help a 8th grade high jumper prove in a science fair project that the center of gravity passes below the bar.)

My question is: Is there a Fosberry flop just waiting to be discovered in Cowboy Fast Draw?  In light of Rule 17, maybe there is a better and quicker way to skin that smoke wagon.  Just thinking.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

When you're wrong, you're wrong!

Everyone has biases and prejudices. I admit that I have a bias against speed, probably because I have tried so hard to join the realm of the quick and have failed.

I looked at the results of Winter Range and saw all those quick shooters down in Bracket B and said, "See what I have always said about practicing missing!"  Not to be one to let useful data lie, I took the time to average the speed factor of each brackets assuming I would find that Bracket B was the quickest.  When you're wrong, you're wrong. What I found was that Bracket A was the quickest bracket by a wide margin. Converting the speed factor back to time, the average time of Bracket A was .525, Bracket B was .59, and Bracket C was .65.

Not to be one who gives up his bias so easily I would note that of the ten fastest shooters, 3 were in Bracket A, 4 were in Bracket B, and 3 were in Bracket C. That means that 70% of the speed ended up outside the top one third of the final standings

Some commentators have maligned the 5 shot option, especially Arizona Five, as a format that promotes accuracy over speed, most without ever having shot in it or tried it in their events.  Winter Range provides useful data on that format in comparison with Three Winning Shot format. We shot 3 rounds of Arizona Five followed by 2 rounds of Three Winning Shots. The accuracy for Arizona Five was 43%. The accuracy for Three Winning Shots was 45%. No significant difference.  The small difference that does exist comes from the fact that first round had an accuracy of 38% followed by four rounds averaging right around 45.5%.  It takes shooters a while to find the target in an event.

For those considering Arizona Five, it took 20% fewer shots to complete a round than Three Winning Shots which means it takes about 20% less time.  

The Arizona Gunslingers have finalized the format for the Arizona State Championship. Come on Friday and we will have a good warm-up event for you. The purpose of the Friday's event to get every gunslinger warmed up for the championship.  Every shooter should get a minimum of 6 rounds, maybe 7, of Three Winning Shots. Every shooter will qualify for the magnificent shoot offs.  We will be shooting 6 Magnificent 1 X shoot offs simultaneously.