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Championship Grand events

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by walnutmaker, Aug 18, 2009.

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  1. walnutmaker

    walnutmaker TS Member

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    I was just looking at the number of enries in the championship events at this years Grand and couldn't help but think how pitiful the situation is. The ATA is obviously taking the stance that nothing is wrong but the numbers speak for them selves----- roughly HALF of the number of entries we saw in Vandalia in the good years.

    I don't think the economy is all to blame. What I firmly believe is Sparta-- as nice a shooting facility as it is simply is in the wrong place-- nothing can be done right now to change that! At least until the powers that be come to the realization ----- something has to change.

    Makes me sad---numbers don't lie! Phil inColorado
     
  2. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Your ignorance does not warrant an arguement. Must have been in the mountains too long.-----Matt in Illinois
     
  3. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    The Grand American Handicap entries have been in steady decline since 2002 (pre-sparta). This year was the first year that GAH entries fell below the 2000 mark in ages.

    You can blame Sparta but the decline is throughout the sport. Look at your local club (if you still have one open), not nearly as many shooters as just 5 years ago and about half as many as 10 years past.

    The ATA has made some commendable efforts to introduce youth to our game. What I see from these youth programs is that the kids are shooting, and Mom and Dad watching. Somehow we need to get the parents involved in the shooting as well in these AIM, SCTP families. When I started I wanted to shoot because Dad and Grandpa did. Can we now go about it backwards and have the youth bring the parents into the sport?

    The entire sport is in decline for a variety of reasons, not just the location of the Grand. We all can see the problem, the question is how do we stop shooters from leaving the game and how do we develop more shooters?
     
  4. Rvator97

    Rvator97 TS Member

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    Don't be sad Phil......it's going to be ok.....Walt in Calif.
     
  5. WI Trapshooter

    WI Trapshooter TS Member

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    Thats what I did. My parents never did anything with firearms until we joined 4-H and started shooting there archery program. One thing led to another and now I do it all, (trap is by far the favorite). With encouragment I have gotten my parents to try trap shooting. My dad has only shot 100 times or so, because he is embaresed that he misses so many. I tell him I started the same way and the only way to get better is to practice. My mom does a lot more then my dad she evenjoined a ladies team that shoots a leauge at our club.
     
  6. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

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    I don't think there will be much of an improvement in this sport until there is a Professional division. There is really not much reason for young folks to pursue this sport other than a "fun time" at the range.

    I remember a few years ago golf was just a fun thing to do, fishing was just a fun thing to do...look at them now, and the opportunities are plenty.

    Unless you are the handful of people that make a living competing in this sport, it is just an expensive recreational activity.

    And another thing...of the many professional sports I can think of, none have a limit that reaches perfection by many and is a common occurrence.

    Mark Rounds
     
  7. walnutmaker

    walnutmaker TS Member

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    I think someone needs to come up with a plan to get the excitement back in the sport that once was. There was a magic that existed that is now gone.

    I wish I could come up with it by I'm a mere mortal. Matt from Illinois is missing the point entirely.

    Somehow we have to find a way. Phil
     
  8. texasaggie2000

    texasaggie2000 Member

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    Mark,

    What I don't understand is how having a "pro" division would keep trapshooting from being "just an expensive recreational activity."

    Explain to me why having a pro class would give young folks a reason to pursue trapshooting.

    I am not trying to be argumentative, just curious what your thoughts are.
     
  9. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    The Pro thing was tryed once , It didn't go over to big. mostly because they couldn't get any sponsors to put up the big bucks. Now two years ago there was a shoot that had all the big guns put up their own money. It was divided up into the different disciplines. I think george Digweed took most of it.
     
  10. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

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    texasaggie2000

    It is the money! The golf and fishing professional sports along with many other professional events have boo-koos of money in them. Sponsors add most of the money and they have figured out a way to make it interesting to the public. The last fishing tournament I looked at paid $500,000.00 for first place then graduated down with very good payouts to 26th-50th place which paid $10,000.00 for each place.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/tournaments/classic/news/story?page=b_classic_2009_Payouts

    Check it out for yourself.

    This is a once a year tournament like the Grand. However there are weekly tournaments all over the country that pay from $45,000.00 to $150,000.00 to the winner and graduate down many places with attractive payouts.

    Professional golf tournaments make these numbers look tiny.

    How you get this kind of money in any sport is up to the participants and the marketing experts.

    It has only been a couple of years ago there were ads on TV (maybe the Wall Street Journal...but I am not sure) that depicted if you read their magazine or paper you would surely become successful. But if you read fishing magazines, you were stupid and doomed to poverty. Some of you may remember the ads.

    Mark Rounds
     
  11. mono1393

    mono1393 Member

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    It isn't the youth that keep trap shooting going. My kids go to shoots and say, "Hey Dad, everyone here is old!" It is the retired folk that keep trapshooting going or the people that have jobs(which they can take the time) and the money to trapshoot.

    Most people, including me cannot trapshoot anymnore. I am selling my K-80 so I can pay my debts and try to keep my home. I am done until I can afford this sport if I will ever be able to again.

    Chris Morris
     
  12. texasaggie2000

    texasaggie2000 Member

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    Mark,

    I am not sure how having a pro class would bring in more money. This is just not a spectator sport, and it would have no appeal on TV. As for the gun makers, ammunition manufacturers, etc. I just don't think they have much incentive to sponsor these events and put in more money. If they are adding money to "pro" class shoots, how does that help the people that are not in this class? How would this sponsorship and money help grow the sport?

    It is just hard for me to understand why so many people think that having to compete with the "pros" is bad for our sport. If this is the case, then what is the excuse for lower attendance at local shoots that feature no pros? If competing with the pros is such a hinderance, then why do so few folks play their own yardage purse that the pro has no shot at, but are willing to play every lewis purse they can that is guaranteed to pay the top gun?

    I am a realitively young shooter (by trapshooting standards) and I can tell you that I believe the reason youth do not get involved is not that there is nothing to work towards, as thousands of youth participate in sporting events that they never have a shot to go pro in or make money in. It is probably due to the wide variety of options available to them today, and the general lack of accessibility of trap shooting. Think about it, I cannot turn the corner without running into a golf course or driving range, but you practically have to pack up for a road trip to go to most trap ranges.

    I also believe that the majority of youth that do participate in shooting sports do so until they begin to have to pay for it, or life gets in the way. I took off many years to get out of college, get married, have kids, etc. and I am just now getting back into it, and I know that pattern has held true for many of the people I shot competitively with as a youth.

    Just some thoughts, always good to hear other sides of the debate.
     
  13. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

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    texasaggie2000

    You actually answered most of you questions if you think about what you wrote for a minute. The only thing that I disagree with you on is your statement about not being a spectator sport.

    Trap shooting or shooting of any kind could be a tremendous spectator sport with the right marketing strategies. Gun ownership and shooting is already popular with millions of people all over the world right now. It just takes someone with the right ideas to make it interesting to watch. I don't have them and the people that tried it before didn't have the right approach either, but to make this sport interesting to watch is far from impossible.

    Just look at what is on TV right now! Reality shows comes to mind. How boring can you get!

    Mark Rounds
     
  14. texasaggie2000

    texasaggie2000 Member

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    Mark,

    Guess I am slow (note I did go to Texas A&M) but I fail to see how I supported your argument with my own. I don't think having a pro division would benefit trap shooting at all and I was trying to argue that point...it appears that I would not do well on a debate team!

    I am going to get killed on this board for saying this, but I believe that the reason that trap shooting (or skeet shooting for that matter) would be a poor spectator sport is due to the fact that in an entire 100 bird race, no great shots are ever made. Don't get me wrong, the sport is full of great shooters, and running 100 from the 27 is great shooting...but in all those 100 shots, none of them were great or exciting in and of themselves. Let me say again, I know this sport is full of great shots, and exceptional competitors (the new singles record is mind boggling to to anyone that has ever shot trap) but no individual great shots are required during the course of an event. If we were talking about some miss and out type format with shots from all over the place, or a skins format, or something like helice where people make individual great shots, then you might have something people would be interested in watching (or find a way to let folks watching wager on the outcome...that seems a surefire way to get people interested in stuff).

    Even people that shoot this sport don't tend to stick around to watch and I am not sure people who are not familiar with the game are going to be interested in learning the little things that make watching a great shooter interesting to observe (I think hockey suffers from this, for the uneducated it really looks like a mess...).

    Just a few thoughts.
     
  15. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    The whole idea about a pro-class, as the money class, is already evolving. The fact is that the spread between the pros' skills and the general trapshooting publics' skills has broadened greater than ever. By not playing money the average shooter, the hearts, souls and revenue sources of the ATA, have segregated themselves from the pros'.

    Trapshooting is no longer the so called "Sportsman's Sport." The professional shooter's are few yet their impact on options has been detrimental to the greatest number of shooters. I know there's a lot of my shooting buddies (most of them sportsmen and sportswomen) that would like to play the options more but have reduced their participation for all the obvious reasons.

    Because the pro's are few and the rest of us are the majority I think the ATA needs to take a close look at who "butters their bread." The Amateur Trapshooting Association owes it's existence to the majority and needs to act in their best interest in this matter. People like to gamble a bit, especially on their own skills, but they wont if they know the deck is stacked against them.
     
  16. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

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    texasaggie2000

    For this sport to become interesting to watch does not mean that the format can not be changed. I agree with you that posting perfect scores is becoming less and less of a challenge for some of the top shooters, and to watch them do it would be about as interesting as watching paint dry.

    The reason other sports (fishing, golf, etc,) are so popular and draw the money they do is because there is no such thing as achieving the perfect score. From a golf stroke to a fishing cast, no one knows for sure what will happen.

    If you watch Tiger Woods on the green with a 25 ft. putt to win, the outcome is debatable. If you watch Leo (or for that fact many shooters) call for their last target on the 16 yd. line to win, the outcome is almost none debatable.

    Mark Rounds
     
  17. texasaggie2000

    texasaggie2000 Member

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    Mark,

    Ok, uncle. I think we can agree that a 200 bird singles race is not going to be good TV. I am not even sure that 100 birds from the 27, 30 or 35 is going to be good TV.

    It seems to me that attendance at local/regional shoots is falling (if I am wrong please someone correct me) and there are generally no pros there...so why is that? Perhaps that is only my area, what do I know.

    I just don't think the "pro" aspect is what is hindering trap shooting. By all accounts, the pros offer their secrets and advice (for a fee) and appear to be the nicest guys in the world (at least that is what you always hear about Leo, Phil, Ray, etc.) and great ambassadors of our sport...just seems to me like these are not the folks we need to get rid of.

    Also, last I checked, there is a perfect score in golf...18 (I didn't say it was possible...just that it existed...but i concur with your point).
     
  18. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

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    I don't think for a minute we need to get rid of them either, but I do think they need to be in a class by themselves for a multitude of reasons...many of which has been discussed several times on this forum in the past.
     
  19. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    If we neglect the one's "who butter their bread" much longer,the sport is on a steep downhill slope. Forget for a moment about growing the sport, that just ain't happenin with todays economy. What is happenin is ATA is counting heavily on holding more and more Grands to add to the coffers and pay the freight. The folks are saving up for one of those Grands instead of attending ATA shoots at the local clubs and a lot of those small clubs are disappearing faster than the economy is sinking! Small club ATA shoots/shooters were once said to be the lifeblood of ATA? How many more do we lose before we all lose? How can we fix or address that, if that's a problem?

    More targets shot by less shooters seems to give some the false idea that everything is hunkie dory but that won't pay all the bills! Or does it?

    Gene Hapney
     
  20. walnutmaker

    walnutmaker TS Member

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    Hey Guys, Nice feedback on the subject---we need a lot more of this before something may get done some day. Phil S.
     
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