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ATA Delegates # 2: Shoot Policies

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bobby ward, Feb 19, 2008.

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  1. bobby ward

    bobby ward Member

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    The other thread was positive and constructive but ran it's course. I thank everyone for their participation whether or not you agreed with my ideas.

    Here is an explanation for those who think it is possible to do already, what I suggested the ATA adopt for shoot approval policy. It is from the Illinois Trap Shooters Association website.

    "The following is a is a policy change from the ATA regarding Registered Shoots."

    "ATA will no longer accept scores from registered shoots without the prior approval of the state/provincial secretaries. Those clubs that desire to throw registered targets will be required to seek that approval through their respective secretary prior to throwing the targets. Approval faxed or through other electronic means is acceptable IF IT IS RECEIVED AT THE ATA OFFICE, before the registered shoot occurs. State/Provincial secretaries may fax or e-mail notification from the club if it arrives after normal business hours."

    For the record and for those who may be new to this discussion, it is my suggestion that the ATA adopt a policy that allows the gun clubs more leeway in throwing registered targets, specifically without seeking prior approval under a given set of circumstances that includes: Not competing against a club in close proximity that has a regularly scheduled registered shoot.

    I am not trying to eliminate the Secretaries role or create a system that is not beneficial to all parties. My problem with the current policy is not being able to get ahold of the State secretary for approval. I am going to assume that most if not all State secretaries to this job on a part time basis and have many other responsibilities aside from these duties. My good friend Jimmy Borum concedes that he as Texas Association Secretary is not always available.

    Here is a scenario we faced many times. The club is open every Saturday for practice, even in the cold weather months, and folks it gets darned cold in Illinois and the prairie and northern states in the late fall and winter months. Most days are not fit for registered shooting. But all of a sudden and with no warning ahead of time, you get one of those rare days when the sun is out, very little wind and the temperatures hit the 40's. Such was the case last Saturday even though the forecast called for overcast conditions, temps in the low to mid 30s' and winds up to 25 mph. NOT a good situation for registered shooting. When the day turned off much better it would have been a great day for registered targets. At the local club there were 5 guys there all who echoed that sentiment and we could do nothing about it because of the existing policy. It is my contention that everyone loses in this situation. Both the ATA and State association from lost target fees, the club loses from not being able to throw more targets and perhaps sell shells and supplies, and the shooters lose because they could and should have had the opportunity to shoot registered targets. For the record, I checked the ISTA website and there are NO registered shoots listed anywhere in Illinois.

    Thanks for listenting. Questions and comments welcome.
     
  2. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Skeet shooters had the same problem. They came up with a solution. They are permitted to get approval to shoot registered targets for a whole month at a time. The approval is listed in the skeet magazine so the shooters know. This way if you get a nice day you can register targets. HMB
     
  3. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Bobby- How about this? With agreement with the state secretary, a copy of the request on his FAX machine, in his e-mail or even on his telephone answering machine, would be considered as an official request as long as it is made prior to the shoot. When he reads the request is not an issue as long as the request is made prior to the shoot. I know this has been accepted in other states.

    When a client send me a work request, the date it is sent is critical. The date I read the request is not relevant. If I am out of the office for a few days and a 10 day turn around it required, it is my problem, not the clients.

    I do support what you are trying to accomplish. I just have a little problem with going around the state secretary.

    Pat Ireland
     
  4. dennis b

    dennis b Member

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    It seems that you either need approval from the state secretary or you just need to let the state secretary know. Which is it? If you just need to let them know, what difference does it make if you leave a message or send a fax before or after?

    There must have been a reason that approval was needed from the state secretary at the time the rule was adopted.
     
  5. bobby ward

    bobby ward Member

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    Pat,

    I love the idea you present, but how do you square it with the official ATA policy and specifically the sentence that says: "IF IT IS RECEIVED AT THE ATA OFFICE before the shoot occurs." If the state secretary is not available to receive and forward the fax to the ATA office, any targets shot would not be accepted by the ATA correct? And Pat, I have never suggested or supported eliminating or going around the State Secretary. I am saying he is not always available. I would love to operate under your suggestion. I think it offers a good solution and everyone wins, but then there is that nagging ATA policy in the way isn't there?

    Jim Walkowiak, Same point to your suggestion sir. The ATA policy suggests that the State Secretary must know ahead of time AND the approval from him MUST Be
    in the ATA office BEFORE the shoot occurs.

    dennisb, Same point sir. It appears clear from the way the policy is written that the ATA must have the approval from the state secretary in their office BEFORE the shoot occurs. That being the case, Pats good solution does not work if the secretary gets the request a day later and the shoot has already been held.

    Thanks guys!
     
  6. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

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    If I might point out the obvious, Mr. Ward specifically uses winter months as examples. And the rules requiring approval seem to be in place to discourage competition with shoots that have been set up in advance, I would wager that all of them are during the spring, summer, and fall. Why not ask your state secretary to send you some pre-dated approvals. A few dated January _____, 2008. And a few for February ____, 2008. You get the idea. Your Illinois secretary knows there are no registered shoots scheduled for those months, and you can fill in the missing part of the dates, fax it on over to the ATA, then shoot. And your state secretary has not written you a blank check, since the shoot date and date of approval could be partially filled out to exclude use in other months. Since your state secretary is still involved, the secretary would be able to act if abuses are suspected or problems develope, whereas a rule change for the entire ATA would eliminate the state secretaries from the process.


    I didn't sort through all the responses on the other thread to see if this was already discussed.


    Edit: And doggai was thinking along the same lines of thought as me as I was typing!
     
  7. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Red Mountain Trap and Skeet has had Tuesday and Thursday of each week scheduled for a registered shoot and its there if they use it or not ... This has been set up this way in the past and I'm sure its still set up that way ... I'm not sure that they reserve the dates during the winter chain when there would be a shoot at another club in the rotation ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  8. bobby ward

    bobby ward Member

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    Folks,

    I appreciate every opinion and suggestion on this thread. I think however if you read Pat Irelands recommendation above, he has hit a Grand Slam. How could it be more simple or effective than what he suggests? It alleviates the State Secretary from having to stand by a phone or fax machine or check his email every hour. It would be simple for me as club manager to ascertain that there are no shoots in competing distance and simply make a call and then throw targets.

    Great Idea Pat! I agree 100%

    Bobby
     
  9. bobby ward

    bobby ward Member

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    Jimmy,

    I quoted the passage word for word from the Illinois State Trap Shooters Association website which is monitored and administered by our state secretary. At least there it definitely says as I have it worded above. I will check the ATA rule book for sure but accept your word that it is as you state. I agree completely with your sentiment about not competing with a club in close proximity. No one wins in that situation. I also agree with my friend Pat Ireland who in slightly different language suggests the same system that you support. I have yet to see a legitimate concern lodged against what I have suggested. We all win when the clubs are throwing targets!

    Thank you my good friend..
     
  10. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

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    Mr Ward,


    Just curious, have you discussed this issue with your state secretary? Did you ask your state secretary how to solve this issue?
     
  11. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    First let me say that I am in favor of holding registered shoots whenever conditions permit, just as Bobby described in his first post. I realize that the type of shoot he is refering to usually would only occur in the "off-season" when there are few shoots on the calendar.

    However, I know that the Illinois directors spend a great deal of effort on the shooting schedule for each particular zone in advance of the shooting season. To allow a club to shoot on very short notice by simply notifing the secretary, could bypass the schedule and open up the possibility of a club manipulating shoot dates for it's own gain, at the expense of the nearby clubs with previously scheduled shoots.

    To be fair to all the clubs, the permission of one of the state directors in the zone where the "short-notice" shoot is to be held, should be required to avoid any conflicts. That director then could be responsible for notifying the secretary by whatever means.

    Ron Cox
     
  12. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Bobby Ward why wouldn't a letter written to the state secretary notifying him like this: Mr-Madam Secretary ABC gun Club will be throwing ATA registered targets in 2008 target year on any given day as the weather and shooters see fit.

    Secretary Reply ABC gun club you have my authorization to throw ATA registered targets in 2008 target year at your clubs discretion, and use the proper forms and guidelines for submitting scores and earned yardages stated in ATA rules

    This is plain and simple for all concerned.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  13. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Ward, I hope this doesn't mean that you've addressed two threads - maybe 100 posts - to ATA delegates before you read the rulebook. It's on the ATA website in the new rules section and what you want is Section III, paragraph A, page 9.

    If I may speak frankly, this is the second thread you've addressed to ATA Delegates and in those scores of replies only one current delegate has responded and he said he'd never vote to change the current rule, though he did support the opinions of the only other person posting from the "inside", Jimmy Borum.

    I think this means that if the only thing that's going to satisfy you is a rule change (though how could you know if you didn't know the current rule?) you might as well toss in the towel now; I'll promise you that no delegate will propose that secretaries be stripped of the power to approve shoots and if he or she did, no one would vote for it.

    I told you earlier that the present system works almost everywhere. If it doesn't locally, then locally is the place to fix it.

    Neil
     
  14. bobby ward

    bobby ward Member

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    Ron Cox,

    In order for this to work and we proved for 3 consecutive years that it would work, it assumes and in facts demands the cooperation of all clubs NOT to compete with the regularly scheduled shoots of a neighboring club.

    Neil Winston,

    You and several other delegates have pointed me to my state association and the association secretary several times over the course of the two threads on this subject. I now respectfully request that you visit the ISTA website and read the rule as posted there under the heading of being the official ATA rule. If it reads differently than I posted here, then I owe you and everyone else an apology.

    That being said, why should I not trust that the rule posted there is anything but accurate since it comes from the people you so adamantly suggest I deal with?

    And if I may speak frankly in return to you sir, no where in any of my postings have I suggested that the state secretary be stripped of his/her power to approve shoots. I have clearly stated that I think in the best interests of the sport and everyone involved, the policy should be changed.

    I'll wait to hear back from your investigation as to whether the rule posted o n the ISTA website is correct or incorrect before I address it locally as you suggest here.

    Thank you for your interest and participation Neil
     
  15. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Ward, I've no doubt that you have accurately transcribed the posting on the ISTA website.

    Now that you actually have read the ATA rule, based on what you have now written, I assume you think that the Illinois policy should be changed. Now I've said this to you I don't know how many times: If you want to change a policy, get going on it. You have a state meeting; it's got to be in the state shoot program (another ATA rule.) Next you get a copy of the ISTA articles of incorporation and by-laws and see what, if allowed at the meeting, a majority vote of those attending requires the state association to do - if indeed you can get that majority vote, and, frankly again, that will depend on your individual persuasiveness and the merit of your argument. Maybe nothing; maybe something.

    What's not going to work is posting on TS.com. As I've also said many times, TS.com speaks almost exclusively to itself. Typers here will (almost- ok, twice it's worked. Two Rons -one in Texas the other in Ohio and the brother of a well-known poster here- have posted here and made a difference, but in both cases it was not a "policy" question but rather as simple mis-implementation they brought to the ATA's attention) ) never get action. It's clear that you "want changes." Whether you get them will depend on where you go from here.

    You got your hundred posts; now turn to something that may have an effect.

    I'd like to add a closing thought. The ATA (and by extension it's rules) are a supertanker. If you want a course correction by the time it's needed it's practically too late. Much of what I've gotten done took, it seemed, forever. The Grand Penalty, which I'm going to work on this year once again, was ten years between appearing in T&F and adoption. Speed by radar and chronograph started, again in T&F, in 1999 and passed in 2007.

    But they all started somewhere. It's just a question of how much:

    1. Effort your are willing to expend. TS.com is not effort; it's keyboarding.

    2. Money you will invest. Letters to everyone with a vote is almost a prerequisite.

    3. Patience you can muster. Being shut out for half a decade will test your mettle, prove whether you are genuinely interested or not. If this is worth it, the time spent getting it is nothing at all, just a few added steps up a hill you were going to get to the top of anyway.

    Neil
     
  16. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    If we always do what we've always done, we always get what we've always got...

    I think the concept of having a "mail box" rule in place would simplify the process for applying for an "open" target-only shoot date. I would hope a state secretary (SS) viewed their job as a facilitator and would be open to more of a clearinghouse approach. SSs would still be needed to approve the shoot application (even if, in arrears) - if the applying club didn't meet their obligations under the posted guidelines, that becomes secretary domain to apply sanctions/penalties.

    If it ain't broke don't fix it!

    Registered target counts are down and registered shooter numbers are decreasing, yet the recreational shooting industry as a whole is experiencing a resurgence. Shooting sports were/are the 3rd fastest growing recreational activity in America, with more shooters than waterskiers, tennis players and something else... so there appears to be something broke with registered trapshooting.

    Unless this discipline is willing to take a hard look at itself, registered trapshooting will continue to die a slow and ultimately agonizing death. Cowboy and Sporting Clays are the hot disciplines - SASS can't issue badges fast enough and Sporting Clays offers the variety of target presentations - both of which have no problem attracting younger participants, while canabilizing other discipline's shooter ranks - its not happening the other way around.

    Its not necessary to throw the baby out with the bath water, but to resurrect this discipline from its present course, ATA/STAs leadership better start thinking outside the box on every aspect from recruiting, programming and shoot management, because registered trapshooting is mired in some antiquated rules/administration.

    Trap is a 19th century sport competing for participants and dollars in a 21st century recreational environment!

    Jay Spitz
     
  17. flyfishinfool

    flyfishinfool TS Member

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    Great thread. Neil hit it on the head.


    Dan Bogler
    Secretary, Arkansas State Trapshooting Federation
     
  18. flyfishinfool

    flyfishinfool TS Member

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    One other thought.

    As a general rule state secretaries are over paid.

    I know for a fact that the big, ugly one in our state gets a brand new hat every year. And he doesn't even have to pay for it.

    Dan
     
  19. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Yes Dan, for the many hours of work you do for shooters, a $4 hat is way too much pay.

    Pat Ireland
     
  20. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    Bobby. If you do decide to proceed with this and attend the annual ISTA meeting on Friday evening during the state shoot I believe your proposal will be well received.

    During last year's meeting it was brought up from the floor that many shooters were unhappy with the way trophies were awarded in handicap events. Trophies for yardage groups had been replaced by simple "place" trophies in the event. The directors listened to what was brought up and asked for a show of hands vote to get the true opinion of the attendees. The majority was for returning to a yardage group award system. Our directors then concurred that they would look into changing back for the 2008 shoot.

    I have attended this meeting for many years and every question from the floor has been received with respect and given consideration by the directors. I am sure your request to change policy would be treated the same.

    Ron Cox
     
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