Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Serious Response

I write because Kodiak mentioned my response in his post.  I intend to be helpful to all, the individual and the organizations, both CFDA and World...Gunfighters. If my comments are helpful used them if not disregard. I do not want to be a "can't" person.

I think it is wise not to have classifications in your new organization. From what the old timers tell me classifications almost destroy fast draw once before. In the February event where you had two classifications, one of which was labeled with a degrading term, there were 5 or 6 shooters in our club who would have qualified for the second classification, one of which was a .370 shooter.  None of the others competed because we knew the .370 shooter would compete in the second classification.  All six of those shooters can tell you how the six will finish in a contest based purely on speed, we shoot enough together, and the ranking would be identical.  

I don't think the .370 rule is helpful to your organization.  Why not just make it an "open" event.  The format and rules really limit the competition to .31 and below, so what is the benefit to the .370 rule.  It makes it appear that you don't want to compete against certain gunslingers. I know you don't like losing to a .43 shooter but is that loss any worst than a loss to the .34 shooter. An X is an X, hit the target and you don't have to worry about it. I think the .370 rule may prevent some growth.  What about the up and comers.  For example, we have some shooters in our club who are low 4 shooters but who have recently shot down into the .34s.  They are probably not going to come if all or most of their shots are not going to count, but they might come if not faced with the .370 rule.  And you never know, you might get a few like me who are deluded enough to think that they see some easy pickens especially at 14 feet.

I assume the move to 14 feet is again to help with accuracy.  Why not move to 10 feet. You and I both believe in close work.  If accuracy does not matter then move as close to the target as is safe.  We have shot a lot at 5 feet and know that to be safe, but to be conservative, move to 10 feet.  The point of the big target and close range is to eliminate accuracy as a factor, then do so by moving to 10 feet.

CFDA Shooters Beware!  For those that continue to shoot CFDA, you need to be aware that while blockers may help you go fast they may also hurt your competitiveness in CFDA.  I think it is reasonable to ask why a 3 flat shooter (.25 to .35 at better than 60%) loses in the National Championship to a 4 flat shooter (.35 to .45 at better than 60%). It may be that the 4 flat shooter practises mental toughness while the 3 flat shooter has moved on to competitions where mental toughness and accuracy are not a factor.

A Blocker Proposal:  You need to develop a base from which to draw competitors. It is obvious that there are shooters who want to shoot blockers but are not quite at .30 speed yet. They clamour for classifications but that creates problems. Since you are using most of the rules of CFDA create something that works for the CFDA competitor.  

How about this:
1. Shoot from 10 feet;
2. Paint a 10 inch circle on the center of the target.  A hit in the 10 inch circle or touching it the shooter's time is divided by 2. You hit a .29 on the corner, I hit a .44 in the center, I win .22 to .29. You hit .29 in center you win.  This would be the scoring for the "Open".
3. "Open"  Everyone compete against everyone in a round robin event.  Open to everyone.
4. After the seeding rounds top seven shoot off for the "Open" Championship using open scoring.
5. After the open championship the top seven with the quickest times shoot off in a Magnificent Seven Master's Championship.

What do you think? Helpful or not?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Illusions, Flusters and "just another cowboy"!

We all have illusions. I have commented in the past about how the luck of the draw creates the illusion that we are better than we are. The illusion of speed is easily observed and documented. In the final match of the National Championship and in the final match of the Arizona State Championship not a single shot was won by quickness. Although four of the fastest gunfighters were involved, speed was not determinative, it was completely irrelevant in both of those match. Because the competitors were quick the tendency is to think that speed decided the match. It is an illusion!

If speed did not decide the match one might think that accuracy did.  That would be an illusion also. All four of the shooters were accurate enough to win otherwise they would not have made it to the finals. But accuracy did not decide those matches, if it would have both matches would have been over in 3 shots which was not the case. 

What decided the championships was flusters.  The winner of those championships was the gunslinger who best managed flusters.  The mentally tougher gunfighter won.

This years Southern Championship was decided in a gunfight.  Quickness was determinative in that championship, a match between the quickest gun there and a brand new shooter in his first event who was the slowest male shooter there.  The match went down to the final shot tied 2-2.  The brand new shooter came within a shot of winning the championship (I am sure there is a bit of illusion there for him).

While speed gets way too much credit, it is a factor that effects flusters.  When we come up again a shooter that is perceived as being substantially quicker, we many times change our routine and become flustered. The lack of speed and perceived accuracy of a slower shooter may have the same effect.  That explains how a brand new shooter can make it to the number one seed at a titled territorial.

On a personal note, of my 8 losses in titled matches, flusters were involved in 60 % of those matches.  Two of those matches were against quicker opponents whom I should have dispatched with ease.

There is a scene in Appaloosa where a cowboy laments that Virgil is "just another cowboy," where upon Virgil asks his deputy what do you think and the deputy responds " ....I don't think you're just another cowboy!"

If I can ever get the flusters under control, hopefully I won't be just another cowboy!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Entertainment or Sport?

I had some interesting banter with Kodiak that highlights the issue of whether we are in the entertainment business or a sport.  He is hosting an event this weekend called the World Fastest Professional Gunfighters.  I wish him and his organization well and hope they have great success. He asks whether I would prefer to watch Carl Lewis or some jogger. Of course, the answer is neither.

If you want to participate in the entertainment business that is world class long distance running you must be born in East Africa and not just anywhere in East Africa but to a certain specific tribe in East Africa. The Sports Gene. That entertainment venue is limited to a very few individuals of specific genes.  However, thousand participate in the sport of long distance running, from the 15 minute miler to the 4 minute miler.

A sport is a character building activity.  It is where one struggles against adversity and in the process gets stronger physically, mentally and in character.

CFDA is a sport, not an entertainment venue. Entertainment venues will be limited to very few participants. Sports are for those who want to participate and not just watch. You have to have the courage to compete. I hope that all that speed in Reno stay in our sport because we are better for it.  Unfortunately, I know that some will not, for whatever reason.

Can't help myself. Come shoot with me, I am not that tough!