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Musings on ATA participation

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by zzt, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    I was reading the Nov issue of Trap & Field and noticed the Shoot Attendance 2007, page 71. The page lists shoots that contribute points toward All-American team selection. I was initially struck by how small the turnout was. Except for the Satellite Grands, a few big State Shoots and a few other large tournaments, it seems everyone stayed home. I had always been told the ATA had a huge membership, and was wondering why no one showed up.

    That prompted a call to the ATA. It seems we have 152,207 "members" listed for 2007. I'm not clear on what constitutes a listed "member", because only a little more than 58,000 of that number were paid members in 2007 (approx 22,000 of which were life memberships), and only 34,388 were active members. An active member was defined as a paid member who shot at least one registered ATA event in 2007.

    Adding the number of events shot results in 86,660 for all the Satellite Grands, other large tournaments, the WSRC and the State and Canadian Provincial Shoots, but not counting the Grand. So the average active member shot only three events in one of the shoots listed. What gives???

    Another thing I found fascinating was the distribution of participation. It you take the Mid-Atlantic States and continue a swath due West to NE and KS, then include the great Lakes States, you have the bulk of the participation. Except for New England, that corresponds almost exactly to what the USDA calls the Eastern Hardwood Forrest Area.

    The two States with the highest participation (and the highest competition factor) were OH and PA. OH had two shoots where over 1,000 events were shot, the Ohio State Shoot (3101 events) and the Cardinal Classic (1261 events). They had a couple other shoots that totaled about 1,200 events.

    PA had the PA State Shoot (3434 events), the Colonial Classic (1617 events), the Keystone Open (1431 events), the PA Grand (1493 events), and the Westy Hogans (2086 events).

    All in all, that appears to be a surprising concentration of participation in a relatively small area of the country.

    Comments?
     
  2. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Yep.....should have the Grand at Elysburg!

    Curt
     
  3. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Just one comment. Whenever I get an impossible result I look for my mistake, and decimal points are the first place I look.

    Neil
     
  4. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    OK Neil, I'll bite. Where is the misplaced decimal point.
     
  5. Ray Brasser

    Ray Brasser Member

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    In total targets thrown in 2006 California was #4, Arizona was #5, and Texas was #10.
     
  6. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    That's even more interesting Ray. If Arizona was 5th in total targets thrown, why were there only 329 singles, 275 Handicaps and 239 doubles shot at the Arizona State Shoot? In your State you had twice the participation.

    It would be interesting to know how many ATA targets were thrown in each State. How does one obtain that info?

    BTW, that radar gun you sold me works just fine. Thanks.
     
  7. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I see, ZZT, I didn't realize you were just talking about big shoots other than the Grand. I see now that you specified that. My error.

    But you see the impossible part too. In fact you write: "What gives?"

    What gives is that you are musing about participation and are considering only about 10% of the targets shot, in round numbers. Where there are a lot of shooters there is a lot of participation - but big shoots have little to do with it. The action is in small shoots. Half of daily fees come from shoots of fewer than 20 participants. Next come medium shoots, next come the ones you cite, but they are just a small part of shooting ATA wide.

    Likewise, there's no average shooter. There are several populations of shooters but they are so different form one another that the average based on mean doesn't wok at all. Median tells you a lot more but still obscures the most important information.

    Though the median shooter cards about 1200 total targets in a year, what we have is a relatively small number who shoot way, way, more than the median, and many, many who hardly shoot at all. For example, of the 20/21 yard group, less than half shoot even 500 handicap targets.

    So I think that explains what you see. People who shoot a lot also go to big shoots. But there aren't all that many of them, so the target totals at those shoots is not very high.

    Sorry for misreading your first post.

    Neil
     
  8. Ray Brasser

    Ray Brasser Member

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    Arizona is pretty unique. No state except Florida throws more targets to non-residents than they do. They throw the Autumn Grand and the Spring Grand. 2/3 of all the targets thrown in Arizona are shot by out-of-state shooters. If you haven't shot Arizona you're missing something.

    California is unique too, but for the opposite reason. We don't get many out-of-state shooters here. Over 95% of the targets we throw, and we throw a lot of them, are shot by California shooters.

    You should be able to get the targets-shot-by-state info through your state secretary or delegate. It's interesting stuff.
     
  9. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ray. I sent an email to my Delegate requesting that info.

    Neil, and Ray (and other State Delegates), if over 4 million targets per year are shot at shoots with fewer than 20 participants, that suggests where the ATA should place emphasis on increasing participation. I know I've suggested this before, but I'm going to do it again just in case someone listens.

    Our club is small (only 4 fields, lighted) and we bend over backwards trying to accommodate everyone. For instance, this past Sunday we were scheduled to hold an ATA Shoot. Winter leagues have started here and participation on Sunday shoots is way down. So, of the 15 or so people who showed up early, a majority were not going to shoot ATA. They were going to the practice trap, but were willing to shoot a prize shoot. The rest didn't care, so we ended up shooting five 15-man, 25 bird prize shoots instead of registered. Later on, a few showed up and wanted to shoot registered. They cobbled together a squad of 5, and shot singles. By that time a lot of others had already left. So we shot the equivalent of 19 non-registered events and only 5 registered events.

    We can afford to be accommodating, because we have no time restrictions. Most of the other clubs I shoot at do. Not before noon on Sundays, and not after 4PM or 5PM at two clubs. If this happened there, there would have been no ATA shoot.

    Even at our club, if registered and prize shooters could shoot at the same time, as in the Big 50, we would not have had to make a decision. We'd have shot both simultaneously. I'd have shot registered, as would 5 or 6 others at a minimum. Plus, there would have been caps and doubles, so another 10 or 15 events would have been shot.

    So if you are trying to increase participation, do what you can to make it possible for the small clubs to promote ATA shooting without financial penalty. Otherwise, they will chase the revenue they need to survive. Allowing mixed ATA shoots is one way that would help.
     
  10. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    I agree with zzt, in that we need somehow to make it easier for clubs to throw registered targets for the small number of shooters that want them. Practice pricing plus daily fee's and no prize's. I think that gradually you may draw in shooters that otherwise would not have participated. Bob H.
     
  11. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    <I>"I agree with zzt, in that we need somehow to make it easier for clubs to throw registered targets for the small number of shooters that want them. Practice pricing plus daily fee's and no prize's. I think that gradually you may draw in shooters that otherwise would not have participated."</I>

    The opposite thing happened at one of the clubs I shoot at on weeknights. In mid summer they began offering a Big 50 on the same night they shoot weekly practice and attendance went down. The few people who wanted to shoot registered couldn't all seem to get to the club at the same time often enough to meet the "minimum number of shooters" regulation. And most of the rest of us weren't interested in paying extra money to shoot the same targets we could shoot as practice simply to fill out registered squads. So some of the registered shooters started going to another club and some of the non-registered shooters quit coming because they didn't like people trying to persuade them to shoot registered to fill out the ranks.

    Morgan
     
  12. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Capt., that just doesn't make sense. On a Big 50 you only need three shooters to make it a registered event. They don't have to shoot at the same time, and registered and non-registered are allowed on the same squad. We don't charge the non-registered shooters more to shoot. We only charge the ATA fees to those who want to register.

    It's really simple. Each shooter is asked if they want to register when they sign up. They have to declare then yes, or no. If yes, they have to declare which sub-events will be registered, and they pay the ATA fee. If I remember correctly, it's a buck for the Big-50. After that, everyone pays either the practice rate or the green bird prize rate, depending on what squads they signed up on. Green bird shoots are popular, and being able to shoot them and still register 50 targets is very popular.

    Big-50 is a big plus for our Tuesday night shoots. Quite a few shooters depend on it to help them accumulate the minimum target requirements. It has resulted in several new ATA memberships. And it lets friends shoot with friends, so average protectors will shoot when they otherwise would not because they don't want to drag down their averages. Any way you slice it, that's a win-win situation (at least for us).
     
  13. KelleyPLK

    KelleyPLK TS Member

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    QUESTION 150000 t members , 58000 paid members and 34000 shooting members ?
    something here seems out of place ?


    Pat Kelley > must be lots of salesmen working the 34000 shooters then ! Bad economy !
     
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