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Critique of a Short History Lesson

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Hauser, Apr 2, 2008.

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  1. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    The following is a critique of Neil’s thread a Short History Lesson (with history).


    Neil starts off his thread with the following statement.


    “What happened to “shooting” as target-setting rules moved from wider, faster birds in the 1970’s to the narrower, slower target of today?”


    Followed by a definition of “Shooting”


    “Shooting” here means scores, classes, handicap winners & yardages, that sort of thing. It can be summarized as “In the last twenty-nine years, what’s changed on the field and at the trophy desk?”


    Then a follow-up statement


    A second question, addressed at the end, will be “What can we learn from it?”


    His analysis is based on a review of the trophy winners at 1978 and 2007 Grands and the Minnesota state shoot.


    His Findings:

    Nothing changed in singles. Nothing much changed in doubles. There was a difference in handicap.


    The following are Neil’s conclusions (A-F) regarding differences in the handicap results and my oberservations:


    A) “Short yardage shooters were far, far more competitive in the 1978 Grand American than in 2007”.


    B) Maybe, as I speculated in his “data” thread, it all boils down to the way punches worked then.


    My observation:


    No effort was made to understand if the punch system was structured differently back in 1978. If it was structured differently as Neil suggests then that might explain the difference in the handicap results. While I doubt there was any significant difference it simply wasn’t explored therefore his explanation is a dismissive guess.


    C) Or that people shot a lot less, as Buzz-gun has apparently guessed.


    My observation:


    No explanation of how shooting less translates into: winning at the grand or getting into the top 100 handicap averages for the year.

    Note: The difference in the number of targets shot by the Top 100 handicap averages was roughly 700 targets, 3800 vs. 3100 between the two time frames. Clearly there was a huge difference in the number of non-27 yard shooters between the two time frames so this statement is again a dismissive guess rather than an explanation.



    D) In the days of 3 hole targets, the shorter yardage shooters won more. But they were winning, at least at the Grand, with 99's and 98's. Here's the important thing. If short yardage shooters were shooting the same scores today, _they would still be winning at the Grand_. But they don't shoot those scores anymore. Even on easier targets.


    My observation:


    The reason short yardage shooters won more in the days of 3-hole targets was not answered by Neil. No explanation here just a declaration they did shoot better.


    My observation:


    Neil leaves his own statement regarding the inability of today’s shooter to shoot a winning score unanswered. This statement flys in the face of improvements including softer targets, voice releases, consistent ammunition, guns with interchangeable chokes and adjustable combs.



    My observation:


    The “But they don't shoot those scores anymore. Even on easier targets” statement is an overreach given the narrowness of the scope of his analysis.


    E) One thing’s sure. Harder targets aren’t going to bring these “people we want to have a chance” up to shooting scores like this. Concrete? Three-hole? Bigger springs? Lighter loads? I can’t see how any of that would help at all. King-sized reductions and no automatic punches might help, but I still can’t see it working that well, not to produce results like this.


    My observation:


    His opening statement ignores the fact that they were shooting scores like that and if that’s not the case today then why were they shooting them back then???



    My observation:


    In 1978 there wasn’t extended handicap walkways i.e. more concrete, mandatory lighter loads, or bigger springs. So the conclusion that none of these would “bring these shooters up to shooting scores like this” dismisses the two things that were present in 1978, the 3-hole target, and faster targets, as major players of why the scores are different.



    F) I hope you were as surprised by all this as I was. I don’t see those by-gone days as much better or even much different, not nearly as different as I would have guessed.


    My observation:


    While there wasn’t a significant difference in singles or doubles results, clearly there was a difference in the handicap winners in 1978 and 2007 and just as clearly Neil’s analysis doesn’t answer why.


    My Conclusions:


    The scope of Neil’s analysis (The trophy winners from the Grand and Minnesota state shoots) is too narrow given he was attempting to answer what happened during the transition from wider faster to narrower slower targets.


    In spite of the narrow scope of his analysis there were numerous statements in Neil presentation that clearly pointed out there was a difference and those differences were either not explored, summarily dismissed with an “I think” or “I guess comment,” or glossed over.



    In the end Neil’s Short History Lesson (with history) thread tells the story the Neil wanted to tell and that’s “I don’t see those by-gone days as much better or even much different, not nearly as different as I would have guessed”.



    No one should doubt the accuracy of the data he presented but when you leave as many questions unanswered as Neil his conclusions are flawed. Clearly the short yardage shooter faired better in 1978, Neil’s analysis proves that, and just as clearly he is not going to answer why, because in my opinion he doesn’t want to go where the information leads him.


    His original thread was based on steering the data towards a conclusion you want rather than letting the data lead you to a conclusion.


    Jerry Hauser
     
  2. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Mr Hauser - you should get the book by Don Zutz and read the chapter on trap shooting. Seems allot of the same topics that are discussed now about the changes in the sport were discussed 20+ years ago as well but be prepared that no matter what that book says Mr Winston cant find Mr Zutz listed in any ATA books so nothing he said has any importance at all.
     
  3. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes simple observation is more valid than a lot of complicated statistics.
    What is more significant about the ability of a short yardage shooter is WHY he is short yardage. In the 70's there were many more shooters entering the sport, and young talented shooters were at short yardage because they hadn't been around long enough to get punched to longer yardage.


    Today: More older shooters shooting at short yardage because of reductions or just not shooting well enough to get punched- a situation not likely to change with advancing age. Even now, many handicaps are won by short yardage shooters who are both young and new to the sport - and won't be short yardage for very long.
     
  4. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand how the elimination of an automatic half yard punch for a score of 96 would in any way hurt the Average Shooter. All it would do is slow down a too rapid move to the 27 by shooters who are not yet good enough to get there and compete with the top dogs on the 27. This change would in no way interfere with the normal placement punches that are awarded by the Earned Yardage Table. This change would make it easier to get a reduction because a reduction in the mail would not get nullified by an automatic punch for a 96 where scores like 100 straight and 99's, 98's and 97's have taken all the placement trophies. I figure it would take about 3 years for the dust to settle on this change just like the last time the Earned Yardage Table was quietly tweaked to make it a little harder to get a punch.
     
  5. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    Many of Mr. Hauser's observations concerning Neil Winston's analysis of 2 vs 3 hole targets mirror my own. Neil Winston is a very convincing protagonist but his anaylsis is NOT impartial by any means. The sample size and composition of Neil's comparison certainly seems too limited, or more likely. calculated to support his position.

    Thank you Jerry, for the candor and acuity of your observations.
     
  6. LV Trapshooting Park

    LV Trapshooting Park TS Member

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    Jerry- One thing that hasn't been addressed- we had a whole lot more to shoot for back in the 60's and 70's. When you started as a short ydg shooter, you knew if you could become proficient, you might go to a tournament and win a new automobile, or $10-15,000 in a good handicap. Someone had stated earlier that short and mid-ydg shooters were better back when, and I think that is the real reason for it. You had some incentive. What's out there today to make you really want to work that hard?

    Steve C
    LV Gun Club
     
  7. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Look, Hauser, you posted the 100 high scores for somes years. I posted the scores at big shoot from about the same era. The critical difference is I didn't make any claims for my data; I just listed them.

    They certainly tell a different story than we were led to believe about singles and doubles, and all I said about the handicap scores is that they are different. Specifically, there were 9 short-yardage shooters in the top 10 at the Grand with 99's and 98's.

    You cannot criticize these data as unrepresentative or being of too small a sample size. They are simply the data I posted. I did _not_ go beyond these data to make other generalizations. If people want more data, then they can go out and get some. I am under no obligation to do so.

    It's bizarre. I post some data and people think it's not enough. Here I post the only data around except about a dozen numbers by Hauser and they give me a hard time.

    Hauser somehow thinks I either promised or owe an "explanation" of what I posted. Neither is true. He wants us to share his delusion that of all the things that might have changed since 1978 the punch for 96 is the sole cause of what we see today. I don't, but await his proof.

    But I do have a question, Jerry. At the AZ state meeting a couple of weeks ago, did you make a motion that would require your delegate to make a motion at the BOD meeting to end the punch for a 96?

    Neil
     
  8. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Re Mr.® comment that I don't put much stock in Mr. Zutz as a good source of advice about trapshooting.

    I explained it to him this way, right from the chapter his is so impressed with.

    "Mr. ®, I've read it, in fact all I had to do was reach down and pick it up off the floor were it was lying next to my chair. And I can find the "sleeze factor" as well. It is, putting it as gently as I can, Classic Zutz.

    "Another trick among trapshooters has been exchanging membership and classification cards so that a good shooter has the yardage of a lower class shooter. This has happened any number of times." (page 228). He then cites the New Jersey case. Does any shooter really think this has happened "any number of times?" Can anyone remember a case in the last decade or so?

    He then goes on to talk about the very vote I cited above. He was at the meeting. But the 1983 average book discloses that he _didn't shoot a single registered target that year_! He's at the Grand, doesn't shoot, and lectures us on how we should run a sport he doesn't even play? In fact I can't any average book which says he _ever_ registered a target. Which makes me wonder what he's basing the following on:

    "Their dreams must be to break ensless (albeit easy) perfect scores and make the 27-yard handicap line (at which time they'll receive a pin to commemorate the occasion.)"

    If you don't think that is the stupidest, most offensive, most condescending thing you've every read written about trap by someone who doesn't shoot any, I'd like to hear your candidate."

    Neil
     
  9. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    Neil


    No. I did not make that motion because I don't have sufficient data to know if the system needs changing.



    Jerry Hauser
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, Jerry, that's a good answer. Same with me.

    Neil
     
  11. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Neil ... if your going to dissect what Mr Zutz wrote to justify your thoughts and beliefs so be it, we both know the page after page of comments he made about trapshooting which reflects the exact same things people say now but with a time frame of some 20 years ago but as I said before "I'll stand by your findings Neil."

    Neil ... it is your word again Mr Zutz's when you accuse him of having no shooting experience, your word against his and his words, his written words and opinions have been out there far longer than yours. It is beneath you to accuse him of not knowing anything to justify your thoughts and understandings.
     
  12. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I did see Don with a shotgun in his hand a long time ago. It was at a registered Skeet shoot. In 20 years that was the only time I saw him and he lived 60 miles away.

    so change "no shooting experience" to "not much".

    His forte was writing reloading columns for Frank Kodl.

    HM
     
  13. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    . . . and of course, halfmile, I did not accuse Mr. Zutz of having "no shooting experience" as my post above makes clear.

    Neil
     
  14. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Well lets also look at it from a slightly different angle ... if your wifes gynecologist is a man does it mean he lacks the ability to speak about treating your wife because he does not have ... well ... I think ya might get what I'm hinting at.

    Mr Zutz made observations along with voicing his thoughts and opinions on our sport back some 20+ years ago. The same thoughts and opinions that shooters of today voice themselves. What is upsetting though is people will try and discredit him by saying he never shot trap but it is very interesting that allot of what he said back then is still what shooters in our sport are saying today.
     
  15. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Zutz kept far better notes on things he read, heard and wrote about. Much better than J.R.s note keeping abilities he tried to put in book form! I don't put much stock in most "rag" writers abilities to sell nothing but the facts. Scarce commodity for writers with an agenda. Hap
     
  16. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    birdogs has written "Many of Mr. Hauser's observations concerning Neil Winston's analysis of 2 vs 3 hole targets mirror my own. Neil Winston is a very convincing protagonist but his analysis is NOT impartial by any means. The sample size and composition of Neil's comparison certainly seems too limited, or more likely. calculated to support his position."

    Just my observations but reading what birdogs posted I must ask does that make his observations any different than Jerry's or your's? Or does it just mean that he just supports his with data not just opinions such as yours?

    Mr.Newbius so "wisely" said "Well lets also look at it from a slightly different angle ... if your wifes gynecologist is a man does it mean he lacks the ability to speak about treating your wife because he does not have ... well ... I think ya might get what I'm hinting at." I might have a tendency to agree with that statement as long as he doesn't start trying to get under the hood of my vehicle and try to repair it. You are comparing apples and oranges. Mr.Newbius if you knew that Mr Zutz had no documenter experience shooting trap would you let him give you advice on how to shoot?

    Steve C LV Gun Club you stated "Someone had stated earlier that short and mid-ydg shooters were better back when, and I think that is the real reason for it. You had some incentive. What's out there today to make you really want to work that hard?" that is a interesting question. I was one of those that have taken this position. From the figures that Jerry posted about number of shooters and number of targets shot by long and short yardage shooters just what is the difference in incentive for the long yardage shooter to shoot between 4 and 5 times the number of targets in the same time frame?

    Bob Lawless
     
  17. C1

    C1 Member

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    Don Zutz writing about trapshooting is the same as Bob Newhart writing How To books in the series Newhart.

    Gary Riecke
     
  18. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Bob ... you dont have to shoot to have an opinion. Many of our spouses do not shoot and could care less about us shooting but know just as much about the sport as we do because we talk to them, complain to them and they must deal with the obsession of our sport on a daily basis. Now if your wife were to give her opinion or thought about our sport would you tell her she had no clue at all as to what she is talking about because she doesn't shoot? Yeah I know ... you may not say it in fear of getting the skeet kicked out of you but your going to think it even though you know she just might be right.

    Seriously though I know of one shooter whose wife I honestly dont think has ever picked up a gun but she could be one heck of a good coach. She has been around the shooting sports long enough that she has learned many a thing on how to shoot and on the rules of the various shooting sports and she has learned all of this by being around the sports with her husband. I value her opinion most times over others who are shooters.
     
  19. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    Mr Newbius says

    "Many of our spouses do not shoot and could care less about us shooting but know just as much about the sport as we do because we talk to them, complain to them and they must deal with the obsession of our sport on a daily basis. Now if your wife were to give her opinion or thought about our sport would you tell her she had no clue at all as to what she is talking about because she doesn't shoot? Yeah I know ... you may not say it in fear of getting the skeet kicked out of you but your going to think it even though you know she just might be right."

    Well let me say first that if I were not interested in keeping peace in my home I would tell her she was full of sheep dip. I can however unequivocally say that I would not buy a book written by her about trap unless I were out of Toilet Tissue. Does that cover your curiosity?

    Bob Lawless
     
  20. Phil Kiner

    Phil Kiner Well-Known Member

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    I had almost forgot about my experience with Don Zutz.


    A friend and I were marketing subliminal tapes specifically designed for trapshooting. This was sometime in the late 80’s and whether or not you personally buy into the theory of subliminal training is not the purpose of this post.

    Mr Zutz ran an article in Trap and Field (this was before I was a monthly columnist with T/F) and in that article he specifically “took a shot” at our product as being a hoax. I called T/F to get his phone number which they would not give to me. I then asked if they would give him my phone number and ask him to call me. I also told them that I would accept a collect call from him.


    Sure enough I am home one evening and I get a collect call (I will inject some personal bias and tell you that should tell you something about the individual) from none other than Don Zutz. We had a conversation and I ended up sending him a free tape to test since he had not actually tested our product. I was to call him (note who is spending $$ on phone) in two weeks to get his initial reaction.


    Like a fool I thought I could get him to write a positive article after he had tried the tape and liked it (me thinking positive).


    Well after two weeks he called the test off because the tape did not work. When I asked him how he knew it didn’t work after only shooting 25 targets in practice and why not wait till he shot the next registered shoot and see if it helped any. I was informed that he did not shoot registered and further more did not even like to shoot trap practice as he much preferred to shoot practice skeet. He refused to shoot registered as long as the ATA condoned cheating.


    Back to why the tape did not work—his theory was that there was no way he could give it an unbiased test because he already had perfect mental control and there was no way any product on the market could improve on perfection. He assured me that he no longer thought I was trying to run a scam but he could not print a retraction because he could not prove that it (the subliminal tape) worked and he would not be able to unbiasedly test it, once again reiterating that it was nothing personal but only because he had the perfect mental approach to trapshooting and shooting in general. You cannot improve on perfection.


    I asked him why he was so down on the ATA and why he thought everyone was cheating. It was at this point that he told me he quit shooting registered because he could not win and the reason he could not win was due in part to the proliferation of pro’s and or sandbaggers that took everyone’s money including regular guys like him that had to pay for their own entry fees and targets and ammo and motel rooms and meals on the road etc etc etc. He was unhappy about the 100 straights in all the classes at the Grand and in general felt like the deck was stacked against him. So then I asked him what class he was and after all this time I don’t remember but I think he was B class and when I asked why he was so upset about the scores at the Grand was informed that he had broken 99 a time or two in practice but had never broke 100 in either practice or registered. As a consequence he was not going to donate.



    Now I don’t know about you but I was amazed at the arrogance he displayed with me. This is long enough so draw your own conclusion. pk
     
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