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Is it really that simple?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GrandpasArms, Jun 4, 2012.

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  1. GrandpasArms

    GrandpasArms Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    About 40 miles west of Chicago, IL
    Per ATA, I'm old enough to be classified a Veteran, though I've only been shooting for about three years - improving consistently, but still haven't hit the pot-o-gold, 25 (got three 24s yesterday, though).

    Except for visiting The Grand once to see what was happening, I haven't been active in ATA. Local "fun" matches are fine, but I've wondered about getting more involved competitively. I've just begun to peruse the ATA handbook and it seems like a dense read - meaning that it makes an effort to define each detail. What's missing - for me - is a "guide to getting started". It probably wouldn't seem so onerous if I had been doing this for decades or if there were people around who had been talking about ATA. As a newbie veteran I'm hesitant to leap into something new.

    I'm a member of ATA and the most I know about the operations is that there are "registered targets" and a variety of ATA events throughout the year. Watching from the outside hasn't been very instructive. Might be fun to get involved, but after absorbing TS.com tirades for a few years I get the distinct impression that a lot of hostility abounds. I'm not stupid, ignorant, maybe, but not stupid. Still, I don't have a firm grasp on what it's all about - getting started, score keeping, fees, reporting, squad assignment, an so on. Of course, I've asked shooters at some of the clubs about these issues and the answer is always about the same, "just show up and shoot" - and then the topic changes. I'm not convinced it's that simple - if a person wants to do it correctly and not make a bigger donkey of himself than he probably already is.

    Is it actually that simple? Just pick a date, show up, register, pay a fee, and shoot?

    Larry Frieders |
    Grandpa's Arms, Inc. |
    http://www.grandpasarms.com |
    340 Marshall Ave #100 | Aurora, IL 60506 |
    Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm |
    Office: 630.859.0333 Cell: 630.992.7513 FAX: 630.859.0114
     
  2. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Having been in the same boat, I shot my first big event last week (Buckeye Classic at Cardinal) and in truth, it is that simple. You show up, give your ATA cards to the guy at the Classification desk, he puts you in the computer then you go to the next desk over and tell the nice ladies what event/s you want to shoot and about what time of day and they will put you on a squad and give you a slip of paper telling you what the squad number is, what your starting position (1-5) is and what traps you will be on. One desk over is the cashier who will take your money, offer you the "games" if you want and you are done. After that you will just have to monitor the calls to ensure you get where you're supposed to be at the right time. I did not understand the sequence and missed the first 25 of my singles. Embarrassing a bit, but not the first person and it was no big deal to anyone else. "just show up and shoot" is really about it.
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,423
    When getting started at ATA shoots you can run into a number of penalties until you get the required number of registered targets. A good way to acquire targets and avoid the penalties is to shoot what is called the Big 50 shoots at your local club. HMB
     
  4. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,390
    Yeah, it is. Certainly helpful if you know someone that can show you around at the local club, since how the sign-up goes is a local thing. Really, just ask someone at the club and they will get you started. Just have both your ATA cards handy and ask where the line starts.

    You really should read the rulebook. Don't worry about flights and angles, etc. so much, but you need to know lost targets, no targets, failure to fire, etc. Also, since you are a VET, you probably want to declare that status, at least at a small shoot. That issue gets a little complicated if you think you might qualify for a Vet trophy and a class trophy; again read the rulebook and ask questions. Make sure you find out how the club uses any penalty classifications, since you could very well find yourself there.
     
  5. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Penalties, to a new shooter, are really no big deal and not something to get upset about. You're going to be squadded with AA shooters and D shooters and not one person on your squad is concerned about your shooting other than you. If you can routinely shoot in the middle 90s and you want to win that Class D trophy then work hard to get those 1,000 registered targets in - will only take 20 Big 50 events - but if you're like most of us newcomers, scores in the upper 90s probably ain't happenin - go shoot anyway - enjoy the experience. If you have to shoot penalty (two class bump, B minimum) or get bumped back 2 yards in HCP - so what. Go shoot, have fun. I had a great time last week. Shot lousy but I will be right back there in two weeks for the Ohio State Shoot - penalty or not, I'm shooting and taking part. Don't care about the bling. And who knows, I might win some money from the bottom tier of the Lewis.

    Rich
     
  6. schockstrap

    schockstrap Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    325
    Is it really that simple? Yes, sort of... In essence all you do is show up, get classified, sign up for a squad, pay, and then go shoot. There are a few things that are probably different from what you're used to when shooting practice or fun events:

    1. Probably the most confusing thing to new shooters is knowing when and where their squad will be shooting. Unlike a practice session, you will have one trap field assigned as your starting point when you sign up to shoot (this is assigned by squad when you sign up). You will not hear an announcement telling you that it's time for your squad to head to your assigned trap -- you have to watch the field to know when your squad is up. There's normally a sign posted on or near the scorer's chair that tells you which squad number is currently shooting (and sometimes which squad is next to shoot on that field). If you have any questions about how this works, ask someone at the registration desk for help.

    2. The concept of being classified before you shoot... In ATA tournaments, the trophies are handed out not only to champion of the event, but also by different groups of shooters -- classes in the Singles and Doubles events (based on average score and known ability), and sometimes by yardage groups in handicap. In all cases shoot management decides what the classes and yardage groups will be, and one or more classifiers assign shooters to each group.

    3. You'll be shooting a minimum of 50 targets in an event, but typically 100 or 200 targets. In a 50 or 100 target event you'll shoot all targets in a row, usually with a small break between each round of 25. For a 200 target event you typically shoot in 100 target increments (i.e., all squads shoot their first 100 targets, and once everyone is through the first half they'll start over with squad 1 shooting the second 100).

    4. Options and purses. Your best bet is to ask someone at the registration desk about how these work, as the rules/payouts can vary. All of them are basically bets on your own ability to win the event, and you're not obligated to enter any of them if you don't want to. For most options, all money that is taken in is paid out to the winning shooter(s), but there are some types that reserve a portion of the entry fee as a donation or to go into a "pot" that will be paid out once certain conditions are met.

    Really your best bet is to ask an experienced ATA shooter to guide you through the process OR just go to the registration desk at an ATA shoot and ask for help. Everyone has been in the beginner's shoes before and should be willing to help. If you run into a grump, they're either a jackass or just having a bad day -- either way you should take pity on them rather than taking offense. Nobody understands everything that is happening in their first couple of shoots, but everyone catches on eventually. Pretty soon the little differences between clubs won't seem like a big deal.

    --Dan
     
  7. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest going to the ATA website and downloading any of the satellite grand programs. Those will tell you in detail about entering a large shoot.
     
  8. 12ShotTwo

    12ShotTwo Member

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    Larry -- I'm new to ATA shoots and am (12-11293) and you can checkout my scores for the two shoots I went to. Being I shot the big events and I don't have 1000 birds in singles or HCP I'm shooting in the B class and 23 yard HCP. I made a number of mistakes which I'll tell you about. On the Spring Grand I drove 4 hours to the Tucson and shot the HCP and did very poorly because I was really tired from the drive. On the second and third days I shot the 100 singles events and did much better. I wasn't use to shooting the 100s so it's easy to get tired on the 3 and 4 fields. A month later I shot the AZ State shoot and in this case I shot the 100 singles in the morning and 100 HCP in the afternoon. Here I learned to bring water AND lunch/fruit etc to keep your energy up for the afternoon. Again I faded some in the afternoon, I didn't bring enougth lunch/water with me. I did better on the 200 singles the following weekend after learning these lessons. Joe
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    As all above have said it's not really all that hard to learn, just a lot to absorb the first couple shoots you attend, try to make a friend that is familiar with these things to guide you through the 1st few shoots. Personally I wouldn't "play" any money until you understand how all that works. Maybe the Lewis if you like to gamble a little and feel lucky that day. Main thing is ENJOY. Ross Puls
     
  10. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    find the small clubs registered shoot for a few times.Then try the bigger ones
     
  11. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    If anyone is new to the Shoots at the Cardinal, PM one of the Ohio shooters, including myself, and we'll help you out with the "lay of the land" and the system.

    The Ohio State Shoot will be larger than the Buckeye, so some pre-planning on sqadding and events is suggested. You may want to watch the weather and squad for 2-3 days in advance if they'll let you when you get there.
     
  12. plux001

    plux001 Member

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    Jul 4, 2011
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    This was my first year at the Cardinal. Couldn't find classification. Didn't know until I tried to pay that debit cards were a no-no. Didn't realize banks 1-4 were to the east of the practice traps. And, of course, I was squadded on bank 4. Thought the number on the back of the scorers chair was the next group out, not the group shooting, so I missed my first 25....and I have three college degrees....

    Despite all this, I had the best time I have ever had shooting. The people were great, the food had all the necessary grease, and I shot some of my best scores ever...even ending up in a singles shoot-off (which, of course, I lost).

    Larry, my point is that even if you tried, you simply could NOT make more mistakes than me, and it was an amazing experience. Can't wait for the Ohio State Shoot.

    Paul
     
  13. bcnu

    bcnu Active Member

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    Once you get squadded, you have just met 4 shooters. Shooting is also about being social. Just ask a few questions. You should be able to meet a number of great people. It is a blast and it really is that simple. Enjoy. John
     
  14. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    OK, not stealing thread,but I noticed this year I'm classed sub-vet,,what's that,a new class or did I miss reading the ata book on that one?

    Doug H.
     
  15. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is really that simple. Show up with a pocket full of cash and they will provide the rest - rule book and all.
     
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