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Do averages tell the truth?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by jdsfarms, Mar 29, 2009.

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  1. jdsfarms

    jdsfarms Well-Known Member

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    I have read in several threads that averages don't lie,but I an not sure I agree.Here in the great Northwest we often shoot in wind,rain,snow and temperatures below zero at times.If someone shoots in the Arizona winter chain is their average really a fair comparison,I have shot in Tucson on occasion in the winter when visiting friends and my scores are always better shooting in a t-shirt and vest than at home shooting in inclimate weather in a heavy coat with cold feet.Looking at some of the pictures of clubs in another thread I would have a hard time shooting into some of those backgrounds,if you shot there all the time you would get used to it but backgrounds right into trees are just harder for me than a big open space.I have also seen shooters pull out in really poor shooting conditions because they don't want to ruin their average,kinda handicaps the guys who stay and shoots when the state teams go strictly on averages.Jerry
     
  2. 90Tshooter

    90Tshooter Member

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    My local range holds many ATA shoots through out the year and when the weather is bad so is the turn out. There are many shooters who refuse to shoot in bad weather.

    In my experience averages only tell the truth if someone shoots alot of targets at several places.If a person shoots several ATA events plus a couple of leagues then his average would be accurate. If a person shoots one team at one club and ends up with a good average that's different. He may fall on his face somewhere else.

    I shoot leagues (it's the time/money thing with ATA) and my averages usually reflect my ability. The years I shoot on more teams in more leagues I tend to have a higher average. When I shoot the 16 yard league I usually start the year with a 45 average (spring league) and end up with a 47 (fall league). I did shoot winter leagues in the past but I must have blocked these scores from my memory, they were that bad. When I shoot places where yardage is shot for the second 25 I average 42-44, depending on the club I'm at. Now you big dogs out there may be laughing at these averages but I shoot what I shoot and take my score. I've seen people shoot and walk away saying "that was practice" and continue shooting until they get a score they like. They end up with a good average. That $7 trophy must be pretty important to them also.

    I know averages don't mean a thing when it comes to annie oakleys, hunt and covers, or the other "after league" games.

    An old trapshooting buddy put it the best and I repeat it often. He told me "I can shoot with the best of them and I can shoot with the worst of them, depends on the day". Truth is his average showed he didn't shoot with the worst of them too aften.

    Joe
     
  3. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    "Statistics don't lie but liars use statistics".

    We have a small state and a small ATA registered shooter base, in the past we have had a member of the state team that only shot targets in our state at the annual state shoot. All his accumulated targets were shot out of state in a venue with better weather and on days with no wind.

    Curt
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Did he break any rules? HMB
     
  5. below 0

    below 0 TS Member

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    Not only do you have to look at the clothing the shooter is wearing, but the targets themselfs are much harder at 10 below than they are at 80 degrees. Shooters averages go with the temps.
    Dale
     
  6. Michael Jobe

    Michael Jobe TS Member

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    PA state shoot is in mid June. Last year at the end of May I was scoring a squad at a local (NW PA) league shoot. I had on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and a heavy wool jacket, and I froze. We get some nice days in April and May, but really it isn't until June where you know you're going to get consistently decent weather. So with the state shoot as early as it is, we have have no choice but to start registering targets in March, April and May, and shooting in March and April (and sometimes even May) will certainly bring down your averages. Went to a shoot yesterday in NW PA where it rained on most of the squads, was overcast, cold, and there was a 15 to 20 mph wind coming from behind, keeping the targets very low. I shot singles later in the day when the sun was out, but the wind was still blowing like a son of gun, and managed a 98. I believe a couple shooters had 98s earlier in the day, but most others were struggling to reach the 90s. I didn't look at any handicap scores, but I'm sure they weren't good.

    ~Michael
     
  7. tuscarora 99

    tuscarora 99 TS Member

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    I also shot a shoot in southern PA at greencastle. I shot my singles in complete darkness it seemed. I managed 94 and won d class, but to cap the day off in caps i broke a 74 in a rainstorm that was laying down hail that was as big as my thumb nail. I guess thats just a throw away score.
     
  8. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Statistics people out there: Perhaps a statistic that might be more reflective of how well a shooter shoots would be a t score; a t score compiled after each event by computer. The average t score would be very telling. Such a score might reflect "relative performance" which is a comparison to all other shooters at a particular shoot.

    But...tradition is tradition and why change things? Heck, I know of a shooter who has a very low average in part due to his always shooting once he is at a gunclub despite wind, weather, or other impediment(s). He also had a very low average last year due to his gun getting out of adjustment when he shot; heck he had handicap scores, he said ranging from 68 to 94!
     
  9. jdsfarms

    jdsfarms Well-Known Member

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    HMB asked if they were breaking any rules by only shooting good targets,I don't think they are doing anything illegal according to the rules.I guess the question is are they being ethical.We have two fine young shooters that I watch at local shoots,shooter A has a higher State ranking by average than shooter B but he is not the better shooter.I have never seen shooter A beat shooter B.At a recent 200 bird singles event they both ran 100 straight the first day.The second day it rained and the wind blew,shooter A pulled out,shooter B shot a 95 and tied for AA class,he won the Junior class but declined and opted to shoot off for AA.The weather improved and he proceeded to ink a 175 straight targets to win the shoot-off and had a big grin on his face everytime he came back to get a box of shells.I heard someone ask him why he didn't just take the junior trophy and he said,I have lots of trophys I just got to shoot a 175 free targets I wish he wouldn't have missed so we could shoot another box.I don't think their averages reflect who the better shooter is or who is more worthy of the higher state ranking.Jerry
     
  10. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Your average is simply one description of your scores. Your average cannot be directly compared to another shooters average. Two shooters with the same average can have significantly different scores (eg. 89,91 = 90 average: 80, 100 = 90 average). Also the scores of two shooters with different averages, say 88.5 and 90.5 may not have significantly different scores even though they will be in different classes. It would be very nice if we recorded our scores, calculated our averages +- one standard error.

    This, of course, could only happen in my dream world. By August, the averages written on many shooters cards will not be correctly calculated and I suspect the majority of shooters have no idea what a standard error means.

    Pat Ireland
     
  11. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    I live in Iowa and we usually don't have any opportunity to shoot registered in my area until the first of April. 2 years ago until the zone shoot at the first of July or so, the winds were about 25 to 40 mph on the days I could shoot due to some family obligations on Sundays. some places are worse than others for wind, but it sure bothers me.
     
  12. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Pat, that's an interesting observation about a standard deviation. I might try and keep track of mine thru the target year....
     
  13. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    I know that there is a lot more distance in ability between a 96 average and a 98 than a 91 & 93.
     
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