Disturbing NRA Changes for 2019 Sectional Championship

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Disturbing NRA Changes for 2019 Sectional Championship Empty Disturbing NRA Changes for 2019 Sectional Championship

Post by Founder on 1/11/2019, 12:20 am

Friends,

It has come to my attention that someone at NRA has authorized shooters to shoot in more than one Sectional match for the 2019 Sectional Championships. For those of you who don't know, the Sectional is a National Championship where competitors shoot the match, NRA records all the scores from all over the country over the span of a few months, and the highest score is the National Champion.

Somehow NRA has directed at least 1 match director to include the following statement in the match bulletin/program:
"ELIGIBILITY:  A competitor (individual or team) may enter multiple NRA Conventional Pistol Sectionals during 2019.  The highest score shot by an individual competitor firing in more than one Precision Sectional will be used at the national level to make up our final results bulletin.  Competitors may also enter other types of Sectionals if eligible.  Tournament officials (Rule 11) may not compete in the Sectional at which they are officiating."

This changes the entire tradition of the Sectionals and changes it from a National Championship to a re-entry match where competitors are allowed to try-try again to record their best effort.

This change isn't consistent with the current NRA Rules:
Rule 1.6:
(d) Regional and Sectional Championships - Arranged between the NRA and a local sponsoring organization.
These tournaments will be registered. 
(f) Registered Tournaments - May be authorized by the NRA
after application has been filed by the sponsoring organization. Application forms are available from NRA on
request; National Records may only be established in
Registered Tournaments (Rule 17.1).
Rule 1.7:
(j) Re-Entry Match - A match in which the competitor is permitted to fire more than one score for record; one or more
of the highest scores being considered to determine the
relative rank of competitors. The number of scores that
may be fired and the number of high scores to be considered in deciding the relative rank of competitors must be
specified in the program. Scores fired in these matches
shall not be used for classification purposes.
17.1 Where Scores for National Records Can Be Fired - Scores to be recognized for National Records must be fired in NRA Registered Competition as defined in Rule 1.6, paragraphs (c), (d), (e), and (f). National Records must be approved by the NRA before being declared official. National Records may not be established during the re-entry matches.


so...

What we have here is a decision coming from NRA HQ that is a complete departure from the current rules. The rumor is that the reason for the change is that "numerous" competitors were looking for more opportunities to shoot and because they were only allowed to shoot in 1 sectional match per year that they were competing under alias.

Well, if that's the case, perhaps the NRA official should read the stinking rulebook:
9.23 Aliases - No competitor may fire under an assumed name nor substitute for another in a match; or register, enter, or fire in the name of another.
9.31 Suspension - For violations of these rules deemed so to justify, any competitor may be suspended from competition and/ or expelled from the National Rifle Association upon presentation of evidence and conduct of a hearing as prescribed in the Bylaws. 


In summary, our NRA Sectional Championships have over 1000 shooters competing each year and somebody thought that it would help increase participation if they changed the rules to allow do-overs. However the rollout of the policy change didn't reach the match director for the Wisconsin NRA Sectional....What's up with that?!

What do you all think of this?
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Post by john bickar on 1/11/2019, 12:42 am

*grabs popcorn*
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Post by weber1b on 1/11/2019, 8:39 am

Money grab perhaps? Why don't we just change it to local soccer and give everyone a participation trophy and call it a day.

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Post by Caster3845 on 1/11/2019, 8:37 pm

One sectional a year is the way it has always been....sorta......depending on who you were it seems.........In 2000 Darius "Doc" Young from Molo, WA won the National Championship with an 891. He also was listed in the individual ranking according to class and category as #1 with an 891 and also as #3 with an 881. This was according the the final official printed results bulletin. At that time (I believe) if a competitor was determined to have shot in more than one Sectional, all scores fired by that competitor were disqualified. The times they are a changin'!
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Post by Wes Lorenz on 1/11/2019, 9:08 pm

Caster3845 wrote:One sectional a year is the way it has always been....sorta......depending on who you were it seems.........In 2000 Darius "Doc" Young from Molo, WA won the National Championship with an 891. He also was listed in the individual ranking according to class and category as #1 with an 891 and also as #3 with an 881. This was according the the final official printed results bulletin. At that time (I believe) if a competitor was determined to have shot in more than one Sectional, all scores fired by that competitor were disqualified. The times they are a changin'!
Just curious, which year? and it's probably a typo.

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Post by mpolans on 1/11/2019, 9:40 pm

I get the feeling they NRA HQ didn't think this through.  Seems like a poor decision.  

Perhaps a possible compromise would be that only the first match shot will be considered a score for the Sectional, while subsequent entries would be considered only for finish in a local registered match?

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Post by cdrt on 1/11/2019, 9:53 pm

This the response I got from the NRA:

Dear Competitors,
 
Thank you for your emails!  It appears the efforts of the Pistol Department have been misconstrued by some.  As such, this email serves to provide answers to posed questions in a direct and transparent manner.  The provisional changes for 2019 were carefully considered with the intent of promoting the shooting sports as is the mission of the Competitive Shooting Division.  Questions that have come forward are:
 
1.       Why are we breaking tradition?
a.       Our mission statement reads “NRA’s Competitive Shooting Division will use all available assets to grow the shooting sports by increasing participation in new and existing programs and to develop and promote competition knowledge, skills and abilities.”  As such, by taking actions such as extending the season we can increase participation.  Allowing for multiple entries promotes competition, increases participation and eliminates animosity among clubs who are all competing for the same group of competitors.  Eliminating fees for Juniors, Intermediate Juniors, and Sub-Juniors grows the shooting supports and secures its future for generations to enjoy.  Reducing fees for teams allows for promoting skills and abilities associated with a team dynamic. 
 
b.      Pursuing new initiatives is the only way to reverse the downward trend of participation that exists in Precision Pistol.  (Participation was down 22% from 2016 to 2017 and down another 13% from 2017 to 2018.)  Many competitors are adverse to change, however, creating new initiatives is necessary for the survival of the sport.  It should also be noted that these are provisional changes; whether they fail or succeed we will have learned something.  To do nothing will only maintain the status quo, which does not look good for the future of the sport.  The idea of deliberately limiting participation and encouraging animosity among clubs absolutely contradicts the mission of this division and of the Association.  A fitting quote states, “It is not about tearing down old ideas.  It’s about finding new ones.” 
 
2.       Was this brought to the committee for review?
a.       No, the idea was established during the Pistol Department quarterly review in December.  The team developed a plan to increase participation as it pertains to the indoor sectionals, which occurred after the Committee met in October.   The Pistol Manager, and therefore match director for this particular match, has the ability to set the eligibility requirements and the award schedule without Committee approval.  The Pistol Committee is responsible for “Policies and rules for the conduct of US and international type pistol programs…with the objective of stimulating interest and participation among NRA members and the general public.”  While the Pistol Committee is charged with “policies and rules” it may not direct the day to day operations of NRA staff. 
 
3.       Does this qualify as a Re-Entry match?
a.       No, this match qualifies as a Sectional Championship and as a Postal Match.  Per the Precision Pistol Rulebook a re-entry match limits the number of entries and the number of scores considered, which this match does not, see Rule 1.7 (j).  The national indoor championship is in no way similar to the National Outdoor Pistol Championship in that the match is not shot in the same conditions (think about the variability in lighting, air filtration, quality of target systems, temperature, noise level, staffing, etc that exist across indoor ranges) and it only employs one leg of the 2700.  The national indoor championship is a Sectional Championship, per Rule 1.6 (d), that is arranged by NRA and a local sponsoring organization and is registered.  The national indoor championship also qualifies as a Postal Match, see Glossary entry Postal Match on page 61, which is defined as competitors firing on home ranges, and then exchanging scores by mail. 
 
4.       Why was the match director in Wisconsin not notified?
a.       Please find attached a letter signed by Aaron Carter, Deputy Director, Competitive Shooting Division, which has been included in all sponsor packets since December.  In addition to these match directors receiving the same letter, the Pistol Department is reaching out to match directors via email and phone to everyone who has indoor sectionals on the books.  Since the match director in Wisconsin did not use the online resources available, Tournament Operations manually entered the match data and was therefore the point of contact.  This concern will be resolved with Tournament Operations.  In the future, it is encouraged that all match directors use the online tournament application which can be found at tournaments.nra.org.
 
5.       Why are the rules not being followed?
a.       The rules are being followed.  Please refer to Rule 1.6 (c), (d), (f), and (i), Glossary page 61, and note the exclusion of Sectionals in Appendix B.  There is no indication that the provisional changes for 2019 are in violation of any rule found in the Precision Pistol Rulebook.  Furthermore, there is no specification anywhere in the rulebook that a competitor is limited to one Sectional entry within the same discipline or that a Sectional can only occur for a specific period of time.  In other words, the limitation on number of entries and the duration of the championship appears to be a custom and is not an actual rule.
 
6.       Why don’t we suspend competitors for using aliases, see Rule 9.23 and 9.31?
a.       Competitors are not using aliases in a nefarious manner.  They appear to be attempting to get around the one entry limitation by using variations of their own name simply because they want to shoot more, not to produce a lower or higher score for another competitor.  The Pistol Department will not suspend or expel competitors from the Association for wanting to shoot more.  The provisional rules now allow for them to do so, which is in alignment with our mission. 
 
A note regarding social media.  As NRA staff we may not correspond via social media without the approval of the executive offices (hence the short reply posted this afternoon on behalf of the Deputy Director).  In the future, please reach out to the Pistol Department directly via phone at 703.267.1478 or email at kthomas@nrahq.org.  With that in mind, if you correspond with the Pistol Department directly, then you can redistribute the correct information on social media platforms and perhaps become a part of the solution to growing NRA Competitive Shooting.
 
We look forward to monitoring the results of the 2019 season and reassessing for 2020.  Please feel free to reach out should you have any additional questions, comments or concerns.  Positive ideas about how to improve productivity and better execute our mission are welcome.
 
Have a great weekend,
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Post by KB2MBC on 1/12/2019, 5:59 am

Personally, I welcome the chance to shoot more than one sectional since organized matches in my neck of the woods are few and far between.

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Post by Skid on 1/12/2019, 11:59 am

Wow thanks for posting that explanation cdrt. Unfortunately I'm only able to attend 1 Sectional match per year so I will continue to bring my best for that match. Let's have some more fun in 2019 putting perfectly placed holes in paper targets good luck everyone.
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Post by Founder on 1/12/2019, 11:18 pm

Folks, I don't have any problem with shooters firing in more than one Sectional. I'm even ok with allowing shooters to compete for local match awards in multiple sectionals.

I'm not ok with the conversion of the Sectional to a re-entry match in violation of rule 1.7. Shooters should not be allowed to keep trying with their very best score being the one for record in our Sectional National Championship. 

The letter from Karie Thomas illustrates a misreading of the rules.

Rule 1.7:
(j) Re-Entry Match - A match in which the competitor is permitted to fire more than one score for record; one or more
of the highest scores being considered to determine the
relative rank of competitors. The number of scores that
may be fired and the number of high scores to be considered in deciding the relative rank of competitors must be
specified in the program. Scores fired in these matches
shall not be used for classification purposes.


Karie states that the new policy doesn't make the matches a reentry match even though the policy exactly matches what the rulebook says a reentry match is.

The first sentence provides the reader with the definition of a reentry match. The subsequent sentences do not change the definition! The subsequent sentences are actions that the rules REQUIRE when a reentry match is held, and conditions that apply to such a match.

My 2nd beef is the NRA'S implementation of this policy without communicating with the shooting community. They claim that they are forbidden from social media without authorization from higher ups. They should have obtained the authorization and put the new policy out immediately on Shooting Sports USA's Facebook page and email list.

I totally understand the desire for NRA officials to try ideas that remove obstacles to participation. I really do. After a decade of me asking these officials and the ones that came before them to create an online match database that new competitors can find with Google, there STILL isn't a way for a new shooter to find NRA matches near them.

Allowing shooters to shoot in multiple sectionals doesn't grow the sport! It only allows our existing competitors to shoot more.

If the goal is to get NEW shooters to join our sport, NRA needs to get a comprehensive, searchable list of matches to show up in a Google search.

They need to get on with it.
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Post by kidneyboy on 1/13/2019, 7:28 am

(Participation was down 22% from 2016 to 2017 and down another 13% from 2017 to 2018.)


^^^^^This is my take away from reading this thread. 
 
 The NRA precision Pistol Rules book is 60 pages long. Try getting your teenager or millennial aged relative to slog through that and then explain what the sport is about. Then ask why participation is down.

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Post by james r chapman on 1/13/2019, 7:45 am

As stated, if the NRA wants participation then make the schedule of matches more easily available.
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Post by TonyH on 1/13/2019, 8:21 am

Let me start off by saying that I agree with all of the points Founder raises about the NRA Sectionals above. 
Allowing folks to shoot as many Sectionals (with highest score counted) as they can fit into their schedules, opposed to other folks that are limited to shooting only one sectional match due to their location, time constraints etc. certainly puts the latter at a disadvantage on their final spot in the National standings. I can easily attend at least two this year, so I'm not one of the latter group. Bring your best to one match and then live with the score you shot. Might as well give everyone a participation trophy and call it a day!
My 2nd beef is the NRA'S implementation of this policy without communicating with the shooting community. They claim that they are forbidden from social media without authorization from higher ups. They should have obtained the authorization and put the new policy out immediately on Shooting Sports USA's Facebook page and email list.
There are some of us out here still that do not support (I don't have an account anymore) social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, simply because they restrict free speech and promote their own ideology and agendas. So, any communication via that medium certainly would not reach folks like me. However, the NRA has a viable website and electronic publications such as Shooting Sports that could very easily be used to communicate with us lowly competitors, I mean, members.....if.....and it's a very big IF, they could keep it updated in a timely fashion.

I totally understand the desire for NRA officials to try ideas that remove obstacles to participation. I really do. After a decade of me asking these officials and the ones that came before them to create an online match database that new competitors can find with Google, there STILL isn't a way for a new shooter to find NRA matches near them.

Allowing shooters to shoot in multiple sectionals doesn't grow the sport! It only allows our existing competitors to shoot more.

If the goal is to get NEW shooters to join our sport, NRA needs to get a comprehensive, searchable list of matches to show up in a Google search.

They need to get on with it.
IMHO, asking the NRA to get on with it is like asking the captain of the Titanic to avoid the iceberg! A very slow moving bureaucratic behemoth like the NRA just can't turn on a dime. Case in point, it takes them months (a year or more?) just to get match scores and leg points posted on their website. My 2018 Camp Perry DR leg points are still not updated despite the post date on their list showing 10/23/18. The lady in their Pistol Comp Dept. basically told me, after multiple communications that it is out of her hands as some other dept. is in charge of the updates. Last years Indoor Individual PP Championship results finally got posted this week in the right place on their website after a few not so nice communications from me. Tried asking nicely at first.....
However, they do ask me to renew my membership three times a year, even though it is not going to lapse for years to come! I guess it all depends on where you priorities lie.

If the goal is to get NEW shooters to join our sport, NRA needs to get a comprehensive, searchable list of matches to show up in a Google search.
I faced this exact challenge when I got restarted in this sport two years ago, and finding matches to shoot was difficult at best. Most matches are promoted word of mouth or flyers via email lists. If one is lucky enough to hear about one and then gets on various email lists.....New shooters starting in our (waning numbers) sport do not have a viable means to find matches whether at local clubs, or regional and state venues.
If the NRA won't do it....and it seems like they have no interest, other than making already confusing rules even more confusing, we as a PP community can certainly take some steps to make advancements in this regard.
Match Directors can post matches (both NRA authorized and non-authorized) through a comprehensive website like Precision Shooting Matches using all of its present and upcoming functionality, and then direct your existing and all new competitors to this one website for all the pre and post match information they need to participate. One stop shop!
For the NRA authorized matches, administrative reports can be sent electronically to the NRA via the site, and still get posted as they they do today....but ALL competitor stats, both at the individual and match level are available to all as soon as the MD completes the post. Check out the functionality at the link above....site is developing rapidly and the admin is very responsive to getting issues resolved (unlike the org. mentioned above).
BTW, I have no affiliation with the PSM site other than being an active competitor and a Match Director, and using PSM for my PP matches. I really do think, with our community support, that this site could answer our needs. If the NRA catches up, so be it......but let's not wait.
It's a thought....
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Post by kidneyboy on 1/13/2019, 9:04 am

"IMHO, asking the NRA to get on with it is like asking the captain of the Titanic to avoid the iceberg! A very slow moving bureaucratic behemoth like the NRA just can't turn on a dime."


"If the NRA won't do it....and it seems like they have no interest, other than making already confusing rules even more confusing,"


 While you guys are nitpicking rules (no offense intended here) participation continues to decline. You can have well advertised matches everywhere but if you aren't bringing in a couple of youngsters for every guy that dies or stops shooting the sport dies a quiet death. 
 These rule changes kick the participation problem down the road. 

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Post by Founder on 1/13/2019, 9:15 am

Absolutely correct. That's why I've been spending over a decade BEGGING the NRAHQ officials to create a comprehensive list of NRA sanctioned matches that the general public could find using Google. 

Since they are the sanctioning body, THEY are the only ones who can create such a list.

Instead the most recent declines in the past 2 years coincide with the NRA/CMP divorce and Camp Perry shakeup which can be attributed in part to NRAHQ personnel. 

....and still no indication that NRAHQ is taking steps to make it easier for an outsider to find their first match.

Sad.
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Post by Soupy44 on 1/13/2019, 9:16 am

For me, the Sectional being a National Championship is the part that makes reentry distasteful. A number of folks posted above that this just allows current people to shoot more. 

CMP hit it on the head with their Aces Postal Matches for Air Guns or the Vermont Postal League:

https://national.rifleleague.com

http://thecmp.org/air/cmp-aces-postal/

Something like this would make the entry point for competition as easy as I can possibly see it. $5 to enter, no awards, just get in the game and see where you stand. 

BE could do just a NMC, or a 900, or both! Since it's so informal, don't restrict the distance either whether you shoot 50/25, 25 only, or 50ft.

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Post by TonyH on 1/13/2019, 9:23 am

While you guys are nitpicking rules (no offense intended here) participation continues to decline. You can have well advertised matches everywhere but if you aren't bringing in a couple of youngsters for every guy that dies or stops shooting the sport dies a quiet death. 
I have 23 brand new folks started and shooting actively(weekly) in this sport this winter.......step up to the line!cheers
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Post by fc60 on 1/13/2019, 11:38 am

Greetings,

"Increased Participation"???

If the same 100 shooters fire in three Sectionals, you have 300 Entry Fees ($$$$) for the NRA.

You still have only 100 Shooters.

The definition of increased participation does not make sense.

More Popcorn, John?

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by AlexAlphabet on 1/13/2019, 12:04 pm

NRA is in bird box mode.
First problem, lack of new participation. The response: change the rules that violate their own rules. Effect is not actually increasing new competitors, it just lets existing shoot more.

2nd problem, decreasing participation of existing members, which is a direct result from the response in part 1. Its faster to walk away then join. NRA is not looking at all at retention. Its actually working directly to purge the ranks.

None of what the NRA is doing is helping the local range increase the community. There is a pistol committee that is to help with this. they were not consulted or the local match directors. 

Next year, it will be reported participation is down. Match directors know this 'update' will not increase participation.

NRA Competitions has some big issues, and made big promises it has yet to deliver.

This is all very disappointing.

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Post by AlexAlphabet on 1/13/2019, 12:12 pm

cdrt wrote:" (Participation was down 22% from 2016 to 2017 and down another 13% from 2017 to 2018.)  "

Keep having poorly run National Matches and this will continue. 

a simple risk assessment on new rules needs to be done.
Pro to the new rule, 20 NEW competitors?
con, 200 competitors leave.
net loss of 80 competitors

motion to approve the new rule: denied.

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Post by john bickar on 1/13/2019, 3:03 pm

fc60 wrote:More Popcorn, John?

I wish I could afford more popcorn, but I have not yet received the "Norman R. Adair Trophy Plaque, Gold-Tone National Championship Medallion and 50 award points" from the 2018 Sectional.
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Post by Mike38 on 1/13/2019, 3:48 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

"Increased Participation"???

If the same 100 shooters fire in three Sectionals, you have 300 Entry Fees ($$$$) for the NRA.

You still have only 100 Shooters.

The definition of increased participation does not make sense.

More Popcorn, John?

Cheers,

Dave
Similar is done in local AMA motorcycle races. Some guys have two bikes, or a bike that fits into two or more classes. They can claim that there was 150 riders at a given race, but in reality, they had 100 riders with half of them entering two classes. Correctly put, they should say they had 150 entries. Truth be known, most all organizations do the exact same thing. Bigger numbers make themselves look better.
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Post by Slartybartfast on 1/14/2019, 10:45 am

Founder wrote:....and still no indication that NRAHQ is taking steps to make it easier for an outsider to find their first match.
I'm Canadian, so my woes aren't NRA caused, but it's no better here. Maybe even worse. You have to be a tenacious bast**d with foreknowledge of the existence of precision pistol and a chance encounter with someone in the know to find out where and when competitions are.

So far I've found one per year. A three hour drive away.

"The NRA precision Pistol Rules book is 60 pages long. "

And there are numerous issues with it, and the other NRA rules books that I've commented in other threads.

First and only score for records, or the best of many or limited attempts, to me is neither here nor there. If however I can continue participating in only a singular competition I'm not going to keep up looking for competitions, or attending the one, for long. When I was in a precision pistol club, their annual competition was run over a month and best score recorded was your entry. Seems to me it benefited the good shooters the most. No single bad attempt would dethrone them, and once they recorded a target with their usual average, a chance high score could seal their win. Didn't like the format. Would have found it more of a competition if you were limited in number of attempts and, more importantly, had to declare each attempt before hand.

Back on track with thread: as long as more competitors can fit on the firing line and in the schedule, the rules should absolutely allow for participation and competition in that event. When there are too many competitors, time for a priority system (people shooting for their first sectional get registration priority). Without looking at the sectional issue, consider a weekend with many different disciplines being shot. All competitors should be allowed and encouraged to register for as many events as possible. But someone who specialises or prioritises on discipline should under some circumstance be able to get priority registration for their speciality. Tricky perhaps, but a nice position for an event to be in.

As for whether further scores count and how they count, well I'll remain on the sidelines of that debate. I won't be winning no matter how it's accounted. Regardless of what is chosen it's an arbitrary measure with advantages and disadvantages. All sport is. And the debate will always pit the old guard defending the "purity" and "rightness" of the old rules versus those proposing to try and mix it up. Often the argument really boils down to:
- But we've ALWAYS done it this way.
- Why not CHANGE?
(rinse and repeat, infinite loop.)
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Post by cavedweller29 on 1/24/2019, 5:03 pm

Sadly, I think the younger generations have lost the desire to take on long term challenges that require discipline and practice such as climbing the ranks of Bullseye.  Bullseye, I believe, is the most difficult avenue of competitive shooting and younger people are used to being given very easily attainable goals and then being overly praised for reaching those small goals.  There are no participation trophy's in bullseye and that turns off young people.

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Post by KBarth on 1/25/2019, 6:32 am

Luckily there are a couple young guys that just love guns and shooting
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