Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

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Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by BE Mike on 1/27/2013, 9:00 am

The attendance at our air rifle and air pistol club matches, with which I'm affiliated, has been steadily declining. Interesting enough, some regular attendees come from afar, while local members stay away in droves. I have had personal issues with some of the local club "clique" and this could be a factor. Also the bad sicknesses this year which have hit our area hard might be an issue. I'm sure the bad economy could be affecting the attendance. What I'd like to see is some folks trying it out for the first time. I'd especially like to see some juniors. I know that some folks who might want to try it out are intimidated by the rules and equipment requirements. Let's have a brainstorming sessions. All ideas welcome.


Last edited by BE Mike on 1/27/2013, 2:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by Jack H on 1/27/2013, 12:26 pm

This has always been a tough question. If it has not been answered yet...

Demographics has a lot to do with shooting sports. Where I am at BE is meager in participation. International is nonexistent, run and gun is not that well off but seems to be the most around here.

Time and funds are a factor. Most people can't afford to be knee deep in brass. Or have the time to do that. Most importantly is finding dedicated people to step up and run programs. Not to mention having a facility that is safe, clean, and organized. And not too expensive or far away. And there is the culture thing too.

So if you have the special people and a facility, and still see low participation, it's going to be tough.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by Founder on 1/27/2013, 5:02 pm

Myself and many others have been tossing around ideas to encourage participation and involvement in Bullseye shooting.

We are looking at making the matches more user friendly. Here are a couple of the ideas.

Bring what you own match - shoot any pistol (intro to Bullseye)
Allow two handed shooting if needed
Shared firing points - Husband/Wife Father/Son each shooting one phase or each shooting one gun only
1/2 price match fee if you bring a new shooter
Shoot 22 only entire 2700
1/2 price match fee for helping run the match
Having fun matches, no entry, no prizes. Intro to Bullseye shooting and offer instruction.
Promote the matches as a great way to practice shooting fundamentals.

We have to get creative so people will want to come and shoot with us. Make the matches or leagues more friendly, open to any firearm or level of experience and inclusive to all shooting disciplines.

I like the idea of a club championship covering 3-5 shooting disciplines. The NRA has a program along those lines and I think it's a great way to get people to try other shooting disciplines.

Be creative, think outside the box!


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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by DeweyHales on 1/27/2013, 6:53 pm

In our area, we have a guy that has been having a lot of success. He hosts two matches per month, and the line is almost always full.

We shoot a 900. There is a league for 22s only, and the other league shoots 22, CF, or 45 depending on the night. There are loaner guns available. We have had some people shoot two handed to learn the routine. We have a match each Thanksgiving for a turkey. The person who beats their average by the most points, gets the turkey. There is one for each league.

Each time we get a certain number of new shooters, there will be a clinic for them. The more experienced shooters help run it. We had a former national champ run a sustained fire clinic for any interested participants.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by LeadSlinger on 1/27/2013, 7:03 pm

I'm not sure how much this helps with individual matches, but my weekly indoor league runs a handicap system. Granted it's a team-based approach, but, as an example, if I normally shoot an average of 260 and I'm competing against someone who shoots 240, then 20 points are taken off my score. This way, all people can feel competitive any given match. Another aspect is that how you shot to get your average is how you must shoot again (I.e. we have no restrictions on shooting one-handed, two-handed, etc.). For example, if you started shooting one-handed to get your average and then want to shoot two-handed, your average would be reset.

Personally, while I do see definite flaws with the system, I do enjoy that it makes everyone focus on their own individual improvement. Also, I don't feel like I'm going to be killed by my competitor using a finely honed multi-thousand dollar Olympic-class pistol, and I only have a haggard Mark III.

Other than that, your ideas are very good. Instruction is probably paramount. Other ideas could be:

- Prize for most improved
- Participation take-aways, like hats, t-shirts, can coozies, etc. Seriously... people do lots of things just to say they did it. Doesn't hurt to have more promotion, either
- Greater breakdown in classes (age brackets, experience, gun classes,etc.)
- "mystery scores/targets" so that a randomized factor could earn a cash prize
- More sponsors and experts for people to learn from. Personally, I've been to several events where I never shot a single bullet, but was excited to see people's wares and discuss different aspects with various enthusiasts.

On a side note, I am very interested in this topic, as I will be starting an old-school small-bore rifle league at my club this spring. I'm sure much of the ideas here could translate into my new-found endeavour. I'm still completely infatuated with bulls eye shooting (and just found a public summer league!) but rifle-shooting is still a hoot too!

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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by BE Mike on 1/27/2013, 7:41 pm

We have kept the entry fees low for our air gun matches and give out ribbons as awards. We could offer participation items, but we would have to raise the entry fees. Many times when folks try it for the first time, they are hooked. A lot of our competitors are cross-over bullseye pistol shooters and high power rifle shooters. We have air guns to loan for first-timers.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by s1120 on 1/28/2013, 10:03 am

Joe Fobes wrote:Myself and many others have been tossing around ideas to encourage participation and involvement in Bullseye shooting.

We are looking at making the matches more user friendly. Here are a couple of the ideas.

Bring what you own match - shoot any pistol (intro to Bullseye)
Allow two handed shooting if needed
Shared firing points - Husband/Wife Father/Son each shooting one phase or each shooting one gun only
1/2 price match fee if you bring a new shooter
Shoot 22 only entire 2700
1/2 price match fee for helping run the match
Having fun matches, no entry, no prizes. Intro to Bullseye shooting and offer instruction.
Promote the matches as a great way to practice shooting fundamentals.

We have to get creative so people will want to come and shoot with us. Make the matches or leagues more friendly, open to any firearm or level of experience and inclusive to all shooting disciplines.

I like the idea of a club championship covering 3-5 shooting disciplines. The NRA has a program along those lines and I think it's a great way to get people to try other shooting disciplines.

Be creative, think outside the box!





Sounds like some good ideas there. And as a guy thats just starting out, It would be something that I would defently be intrested in if it was going on in my aera.

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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by KCKral on 1/31/2013, 4:27 pm

Our club is hosting an indoor sectional this weekend, Superbowl Sunday. It starts at 9 AM, second relay at 11, so there's no excuse about missing the game. I'm hoping for a good turnout, possibly 20+ shooters. Some club members who will be first time competitors were concerned about the fee of $30 (lunch included)to shoot, and I think it will hamper what would normally, in better economic times, be a strong turnout. 30 bucks is almost a half a tank of gas these days.

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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by BE Mike on 2/1/2013, 1:09 pm

I'm considering offering a 50% reduction is match fees for someone who brings a new or past shooter to a match for each shooter. I'm also considering a season award (maybe a coffee cup, etc.) for each most improved shooter in each type. The shooter having shot a minimum number of matches.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by s1120 on 2/7/2013, 1:49 pm

BE Mike wrote:I'm considering offering a 50% reduction is match fees for someone who brings a new or past shooter to a match for each shooter. I'm also considering a season award (maybe a coffee cup, etc.) for each most improved shooter in each type. The shooter having shot a minimum number of matches.



Maybe offer that to a first time shooter also. Kinda helps get them in the door. maybe it would push a guy from thinking about it, to giving it a shot.

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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by Wingshot on 2/7/2013, 10:40 pm

I am co founder of an informal club league that just started this year. We had 14 shooters, most like me, have never shot BE. I enlisted the help of experienced competitors, we keep it casual and unlimited rimfire,(indoors for now) and if a shooter needs 2 hands or more time, (we have audible shooting timers and fixed targets) we give it to them. We are going to work ourselves into the game and keep it fun while doing so. It is getting harder and harder to maintain steady participation with anything these days with hectic work schedules and family obligations. We have some young shooters involved and are hoping to continue that trend. Good luck to you!
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by BE Mike on 2/8/2013, 7:56 am

Wingshot wrote:I am co founder of an informal club league that just started this year. We had 14 shooters, most like me, have never shot BE. I enlisted the help of experienced competitors, we keep it casual and unlimited rimfire,(indoors for now) and if a shooter needs 2 hands or more time, (we have audible shooting timers and fixed targets) we give it to them. We are going to work ourselves into the game and keep it fun while doing so. It is getting harder and harder to maintain steady participation with anything these days with hectic work schedules and family obligations. We have some young shooters involved and are hoping to continue that trend. Good luck to you!
I've received some feedback from some of the shooters who have competed with us in the past. There are various reasons for not attending matches. Work requirements is one of them. We also hold our matches during deer season and some will hunt rather than compete. Young people have so many things vying for their time, like school, friends, video games and social networking, that they probably never consider getting out and competing. With demands so great, a lot of folks would rather sleep in than get up early to go shooting. Anyone who doesn't want to compete will find excuses for not doing so and many are good excuses. What I've found is that those who make the time are usually happy that they came to the matches and have a good time. It is discouraging to put on the matches and be there every time and have only a handful of shooters attend. It is also discouraging to the shooters who make the effort to show. Maybe we are just beating a dead horse and should let this program go.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by SMBeyer on 2/8/2013, 7:19 pm

Mike,
I have thought about coming to your international matches a couple of times but it seems to always not work out. I live just east of St.Louis and that is quite a drive to come shoot 120 shots but I would do it when I can. Heck I flew to Boise to shoot 60!
Scott
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by sixftunda on 2/8/2013, 8:22 pm

The league my home range runs is a 12 week league. In order to get more people involved there is no set time to shoot. Two targets are pre-determined every Sunday and set out. If you fall a week behind it is easy to catch up. You can come in at any time to shoot them. You can shoot practice and there is no time limit. Ten shots on each target for a total possible score of 200-20x each week. We get approx 50 people to participate. After week six they get separated in to five groups. When the 12 weeks are over we have a pizza party and the top shooters in each group face each other in a shoot off. Two strings of ten shots, one minute each. Trophies get awarded for the shoot-off and league scores for each group.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by BE Mike on 2/9/2013, 12:12 pm

SMBeyer wrote:Mike,
I have thought about coming to your international matches a couple of times but it seems to always not work out. I live just east of St.Louis and that is quite a drive to come shoot 120 shots but I would do it when I can. Heck I flew to Boise to shoot 60!
Scott
We'd like to have you, if and when you can make it. Our NRA Approved Matches run from October thru January.
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by CrankyThunder on 3/15/2013, 7:40 pm

I have had luck posting a message on the wall at our gun club, "Interested in Winter Indoor 22 LR Bullseye Pistol Competition?"

Then I give my contact information.

Then I post "Tips, tricks, rules, and equipment suggestions-Check out bullseyepistol.com and bulleye-L forums" and "If you do not have a gun or equipment, dont worry, I got all the equipment you can use to get started"

Then when I get contacted, I convey my excitement for the sport and ask if they would like to meet at the range for a warm up to get familiar with my firearm, the rules, the proceedure, and then run them through a match and I have had good results.

Regards,
Cranky
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Re: Ideas for Increasing Match Participation

Post by Wingshot on 3/18/2013, 6:02 pm

I've noticed that when the conversation turns to getting involved with other leagues, (competition), we see shifting eyes and foot shuffling. Folks seem fearful of commitment and putting themselves out there. I offered that we select a squad of shooters who ARE ready to commit and get into a Postal league. Letting it be known that NOTHING changes for anyone else who regularly attends our shoots and practice sessions. We're starting a steel challenge (outdoors) when the daylight starts lasting for cash prizes with the hopes of drawing out more rimfire enthusiasts, club members and non. Simple, Safe and Fun seems to keep them coming back for more.
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