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Classification, a thankless job

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by senior smoke, Jul 15, 2012.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Active Member

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    Hello:
    If you have been in the shooting sports for any amount of time I'm am sure you will agree that being on the classification committee can be a tough thankless job at times.

    Over the years, I have witnessed some heated arguments pertaining to shooters stating they were not classified correctly. Accusations accusing that certain classifiers had it in for certain shooters.

    One year, I even had a problem at our state shoot with a member of the classification committee. I went through the classification line and missed being placed in class A by 1/10 of a point. The person who classified me stated that I just missed being placed in class A, but I had plenty of targets and he would allow me to be placed in class B.

    As I was standing in line about to pay for my entry, another member of the classification committee grabbed my entry card out of my hand and looked at my card and crossed off class B and marked class A. An argument started and I was told "Known ability".

    Over the years, I had a personal history with this particular member of the classification committee as I beat him in a shoot off years earlier as he never forgot it. In my opinion, he went out of his way to over classify me at each shoot that I attended at his particular club.

    I complained to the person in charge of the classification committee who just happened to be the man who originally classified me. I asked him why do we have average cards if we do not intend to go by the shooters card? He said he did not know me and it came down to "known ability".

    I personally have the highest respect for people who volunteer their time to sit at classification tables and try to do a good job classifying shooters. But just like any job, you have some people who are more qualified than others.

    Personal feelings about shooters should not enter into the classification process. once classified, should another member of the classification committee be allowed to make changes to another members classification?

    All I can say is even though I shot well at that particular state shoot, I still would not have won class B if I would have been allowed to stay in that class. I would have missed winning class B by two targets.

    I strongly believe that classification members should go by the shooters average card and stop hiding behind "known ability". I feel this will stop any potential allegations of certain classifiers having it in for certain shooters.

    I also believe when classified, you should always classify shooters so they do have a chance to win, not be classified so high that you remove any possibility of that particular shooter winning anything. I believe that is a sure way to lose shooters in the shooting sports.

    What do you think?

    Steve Balistreri
  2. bcnu

    bcnu Active Member

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    I think that known ability does play a part in our averages. If you are only a tenth out of class A, that means that you should have a goodly number of A or better scores. Classification is a fine line. I do agree though that no person classifing should use his or her position to mess with a shooter just because of some personal reasons. Do the job you have taken and do it right. Myself, if I was that close to an A average, I would have been happy to have the A classification. I still remember making A calss and I couldn't have been happier and have never shot less than that since. I would rather not win in A class than win in B class. John
  3. BeerKing

    BeerKing Active Member

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    almost as bad as being in charge of the trap help young folks.
  4. yakimaman

    yakimaman Active Member

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    Make it easy on all, take away personal interest, favoritism, and go by what is on the card. If it's not up to date, too bad - it's the shooter's responsibility to keep it up. No paper card - you get what is on the ATA website, period! Don't bring your buddies over, don't go get your delegate (same as buddies most times) because it's your card or your documented avg and nothing else. Put it in the program and stick to it.

    rm
  5. ljunatic

    ljunatic Member

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    If you were only 1/10th of a point from the next higher class with a high target count, I would do a quick average of your last 500 targets to get a feel for your recent success. I might throw out any scores that were well below the average, and then I would also take into account any class wins in recent events..if you are still in B class after that, so be it.
  6. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    Most classifiers I've seen giver greater weight to the last 500 targets than previous ones and take a hard look at the score trend. Increasing scores would be looked at differently than decreasing scores. Blindly using an average of the year makes no sense. Using judgment is a good thing to do, not cheating as one above has claimed.
  7. senior smoke

    senior smoke Active Member

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    You all bring up some good points. When I was young, I had a hunger to win. Now that I am older, I am just glad to be shooting. My days of winning something at a shoot are slim to none.

    Like I previously said, I hold the highest regard for classifiers. With that being said, I do not believe these same people should hold grudges or show favoritism to their friends.

    People are human, and all I ask is that we are all on the same playing field.
    Steve
  8. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Active Member

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    My classifiacation tale is a little bit opposit of seniors, I had a low average justly earned with a bad slump.

    I woke up in the morning, the first thing in my head was "today is a 100St!"

    I get to the classification table, where the gent looks at my average, both on the card and computer and says D class. I say I think my ability is better then that. He say's D class. But I am better that says I, he pounding the table say's " D CLASS !!!!" So as not to get upset before I shoot I walk away.

    And yes first score of that shoot was 100.

    It has to be no fun behind that table! I am sure he got grief the rest of the shoot for my classification!

    Al Lingham
  9. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Active Member

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    Frank C. "known ability" sneaks in because people cheat.
  10. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    oh, I'm sure it's just a quota system....
  11. Donm

    Donm Member

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    Steve I hold a big grudge against you for what I don't know but I will be classifying starting tomorrow at the Wi State shoot and boy I don't think I am even going to look at your card, just your face and then AAA here you come. Known ability all the way.




    Just kidding.
  12. senior smoke

    senior smoke Active Member

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    Donm:
    It will be a hot one. I remember one year at our state shoot that it was so cold that most shooters used their winter shooting jackets.

    But I am sure you'll remember the time it was about 105 degrees. I would rather shoot with a winter jacket than shoot in 105 with high humidity.

    If I see you at the shoot I will make sure to stop and say hello. Thanks for classifying.
    Steve
  13. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

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    Just sat classification table at a shoot, and it is difficult. However, the shooters were great, and in discussion with those that were border line (B-A), they all agreed with the decision. Great bunch of guys, and I'd do it again in a heart beat.

    Regarding a shooter requesting a higher class - I can't imagine that is an issue. I do it all the time for myself and it is always granted.

    I do have one disappointment - D class was not to my liking - too many shooters, and won with a tie at 96. I think we need a way of assuring that these shooters have a fairer chance at winning, and not be so crowded and with with a pair of 96's winning.

    TURN ON THE FLAMES GUYS!
  14. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Doesnt drag racing require you to have times within a range to win a class..
  15. running bear

    running bear Member

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    What's drag racing got to do with it? Why not give spots like bowling?

    Buck
  16. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    BigM-P,


    Interesting, I appreciate one who thinks outside of the box...


    From my non-expert experience in drag racing the contestant must declare their ET bracket before the race and scribe it on the window with white shoe polish for all to see. If you go faster than you declared lowest ET, ye get the gate.



    Extrapolated to Trap:



    Everyone must declare their highest projected score for an event printed right there on the entry receipt. Shoot better than that and you're disqualified. All of the best scores that didn't bust out would compete for win, place, show, etc. It would seem that this paradigm would make the sandbaggers really happy!



    We could even employ a Christmas tree for launching targets. Pre Staged, Staged, blink, blink, blink, GO! Shoot too fast and you get red-lighted--too slow and miss, you loose.


    I can't figure out how we'd do the burn-out part yet....


    Guy B.
  17. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    it is only thankless if people do not appreciate the classifier's efforts. I go to shoot,it doesn't matter what class, or handicap. Don't moan or bitch or disagree, I always say thank you.(you should always say thank you when someone does something for you) The fun is in the shooting and if I have a good day so much more the better!
  18. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    It's not only a thankless, unappreciated job, it's usually air-conditioned!
  19. bkt514

    bkt514 Member

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    I like TwinBirds view.....say thanks to the person doing the clssifying, and be thankfull you can shoot. I have never won much at ATA shoots, but give it my best in whatever classification they give me, and really enjoy being able to do so.
  20. senior smoke

    senior smoke Active Member

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    Twinbirds:
    You make a good point.
    Steve
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