A Number Things

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A Number Things

Post by DirComp on 11/26/2014, 10:35 am

First topic message reminder :

Hi everyone,

I thought that I should share a few things with you, even though Rob keeps you pretty well apprised of things.

First, I am NOT your enemy.  I am a bullseye shooter through and through.  However, having the inside track on the status of our equipment at the Nationals, the statistics that I have given Rob, and a wide overview of the game, I have some serious concerns as to its eventual survival.  With electronic targets off the table for now, I'm looking for ways to improve the game and attract new competitors.

Every bullseye accuracy type game that we have has been in steady decline over the last 20 years.  something needs to change because what we are doing now isn't working.  

The question has been asked in posts on this forums, "what is the NRA doing to attract new competitors?"  That's not really the correct question.  The question should be, "what are you doing to attract new competitors?"

I have competed in Pistol, High Power and Police Combat.  In each case, another competitor, or many competitors helped me in starting out in each game.  I competed in the Bianchi Cup once and probably had a dozen people help me for just one match.  In each case the competitors wanted to bring another shooter to their ranks.  That's something you can do and not the NRA.

The NRA has everything a person needs to compete; instructors, coaches, clinics, postals, leagues, clubs, state associations, rule books, courses of fire, classification systems, official targets, and awards.  What the NRA cannot do is bring in your friends, family, and acquaintances to the range to try out competitive shooting.  Only you can do that.  However, that doesn't appear to be happening because you (the shooting community) have not even been able to bring in 5 juniors to the Pistol Camp in 3 years.  We have only about 3 competitors using the "With Me" credits at Camp Perry each year.

Right now Pistol has a strong contingent of shooters but no one coming up through the ranks.  No new shooters now means no shooters in the future.  I don't want to see that happen and you can help with your ideas.

Another topic is what the NRA can and cannot do with rules, etc.  First, ALL rules for Pistol shooting are controlled by the Pistol Committee.  The Pistol Committee's agenda is controlled by you.  The Pistol Committee has a Chairman and a Vice Chairman that are NRA Board of Directors members; Bill Allen and Ted Carter, respectively.  The remaining members are competitive shooters, a member of the shooting industry, and Kenn Boyd, the Chief Referee for the Nationals.  Both Bill and Ted are active competitors, Bill in PPC and Ted in bullseye.

Please keep in mind that the committee ONLY has purview over the rules.

The committee accepts requests/suggestions from you all year long and those items are placed on the committee's agenda for action at their annual meeting, which is usually held in October or November each year.  As an NRA member, you are welcome to attend and observe the meeting at NRAHQ.

Those rules that the committee recommends for addition/deletion/change are sent on to the Competition Rules & Programs Committee.  This committee is composed of the Chairman of each competition related committee.  It is their job to review the proposed rules from each individual committee and are allowed to change/pass/disapprove those rules, or place a proposed rule in every rule book if it appears to be worthy change.  The Comp Rules Committee DOES NOT write new rules.  They simply address those items already passed by the individual committees.

In the process, the Competitive Shooting Division does not have a say.  That is not to say that the committees do not ask for my input, they certainly do, but they can ignore everything that I say and are not encumbered by anything that I might want.  I have no say or control over the committee.  The committee does not have any say or control over my day to day activities or decisions.  However, we do try to work closely together for the good of the sports.

A recent example what I can/cannot do is the name change from Conventional to Precision shooting.  In the post involving that, it was implied that I was pursuing worthless items like the name change and letting important issues slide.  This is just not so.  I have no input and did not provide any input to the committee regarding this change.  It was proposed by Brian Zins, discussed by the committee and passed.  It still must clear Comp Rules and the Board of Directors before becoming final.  It could fail at either step.  Yet, somehow it was ME who was doing this.  

I am not omnipotent, just one person providing input, just like you can do.

Using the numbers currently available to me, competitors are about 2% of the total NRA membership.  However, this will likely drop lower because I have requested a purge of the system that will eliminate those persons who have not fired a score in 3 years for MK, SS, EX and 5 years for MA and HM.

The NRA fully realizes the importance and dedication of competitive shooters and supports them disproportionately when it comes to funding.  What you probably don't think of is that funding is divided amongst about 3 dozen different sports, not just Pistol competitions.  Currently, on the Smallbore National Championships have come close to breaking even. If I were to run this like a business and charge to going rate to break even or make a profit, I would have to start with doubling your entry fees - something that would likely spell the end of the Nationals.

As a result, what I try to do is keep losses to a minimum, fully realizing that competitive shooting will likely never even break even. That doesn't mean that I won't try.

When it comes to administering all of the NRA competitive programs, I get plenty of complaints.  Very little suggestions for improvement, but plenty of complaints.

Let's just take a look at one very small item recently.  The Smallbore Championships were moved to Indiana from Camp Perry for 2 years.  Competitors from the northeast complained that they would now have a 3 hour longer drive to get to the Nationals than they previously had.  However, competitors from places like Iowa were elated that they had a 3 hour shorter drive.  Those from the northeast had no trouble at all calling me everything in the book for making them drive further, while those from Iowa praised the decision.  If Smallbore is moved back to Camp Perry in 2016, the competitors from the northeast will praise that decision while those from Iowa will be upset.

It's lonely at the top for you can NEVER make the correct call.

What I hear from competitors are comments like, "this match sucked".  What I would prefer to hear is "there was a problem with XXXX, and here is how I think you can fix it".  I hear plenty of the former and it doesn't help me make decisions.  I hear very little of the latter, which does help me make decisions.

Again, I am NOT your enemy.  My decisions are based on what I believe is good for the game based on the information available at the time.  I probably cannot change everything that you might like see changed for I too have restrictions based on finances, involvement with other organizations, and those items controlled by the committee.  What I do promise you is I will do my very best to keep this game alive and well.

Denny

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Re: A Number Things

Post by Ed Hall on 11/28/2014, 8:11 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:What are "with me" credits?

Maybe the details of that are on the NRA website...

If there is some sort of credit for recruiting new people to go, I missed out on the credit every trip I've made.
With Me is a small refund from the NRA at the Nationals for bringing a new shooter.  Both the first time attendee (or, someone who hasn't been there for 5 years) and the "sponsor" receive a few dollars back off their entries.  You must both go to the Entry office to claim your refunds.

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Re: A Number Things

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/29/2014, 12:33 am

did you get my joke about it being on the NRA website?  It's a joke cuz I couldn't find it!

I did lose money cuz I didn't know about the program....crap.
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Re: A Number Things

Post by DavidR on 11/29/2014, 9:39 am

I got the with me discount my first time at perry, think its still offered
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Re: A Number Things

Post by Blsi2600 on 11/29/2014, 9:59 pm

DirComp Denny:

I am in complete agreement about an overdue name change from "Conventional Pistol" to something else.  

We all started shooting bullseye pistol years ago and virtually everyone to this day refers to the game
simply as Bullseye.

The word "Precision" could/should be used in conjunction with the word Bullseye, as in 
"Precision Bullseye Pistol" or "Bullseye Precision Pistol".

I think the addition of the reference to the precision part of Bullseye would be most welcome, but a 
quick survey of the active shooters and match directors would be a courtesy to the people working hard 
at keeping the game going.

Thanks again for your efforts,

Lee W


Last edited by Blsi2600 on 11/29/2014, 10:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: A Number Things

Post by Ed Hall on 11/29/2014, 10:07 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:did you get my joke about it being on the NRA website?  It's a joke cuz I couldn't find it!

I did lose money cuz I didn't know about the program....crap.
Sorry, I didn't catch the joke.  Missing out on "credits" is not necessarily a joke.  And, I thought there were several places that mentioned familiarity with the Match "Program" was required.  For the last few years the Program has been on the site.  Bummer on your missed credits.  Maybe this year...

As a small note, the credit used to be 10% of the entry fee.  Lately, it's been $20.00.

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Re: A Number Things

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/29/2014, 10:18 pm

I've read the match program every year!  Where did they talk about these credits?
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Re: A Number Things

Post by bdutton on 11/30/2014, 7:47 am

Thanks for the post Denny.

Something definitely needs to be done about getting youth started in the pistol shooting sports.  I think USA shooting and the CMP is doing a better job frankly of building youth programs.  

I think the current NRA grant system is a pain in the ass.  If the grant system were simplified and streamlined to help youth programs get started, it would be one way to get youth involved.  Maybe by partnering with manufacturers like Midway and Ruger to get discounted items to youth programs quickly and easily.

Is there a committee dedicated to youth shooting programs?  Maybe that would help get ideas formulated and presented to the NRA leadership to get something to happen in that direction?
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Re: A Number Things

Post by KenO on 11/30/2014, 10:54 am

I always enter by mail. They send me the entry packet with the neat small program book. There are colored sheets with it that has very large "With Me" entry forms. This is for rifle, but I would guess its the same for pistol.

I like reading over the book, its the about 4"X 9" fairly thick booklet, with all the Camp Perry phone numbers, hours, etc. If that info is on-line, I never saw it. Its one of the reasons I do it by mail.

If you want to get the entry packet by mail, just call them, and they will send it to you every year. If you enter online, it will cancel the mail entry.

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Re: A Number Things

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/30/2014, 10:25 pm

I always sign up by mail but I still have never seen that form.
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Re: A Number Things

Post by DirComp on 12/1/2014, 7:12 am

If you till have your 2014 program, it's on page 33.

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Re: A Number Things

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