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Step Scoring For Singles

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by JBrooks, Jun 4, 2007.

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  1. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Following along from the various treads generally about "What's Wrong with ATA Shoots" there is apparently a great deal of consensus about the following points concerning 16 yards singles competitions:

    1. At any shoot of any consequence, it takes 100 or 200 straight to win any class. At even smaller shoots, it usually takes 97 or better to win even B class. Consequently, shooters in lower classifications who shoot a high score are often accused of sandbagging, rightly or wrongly, and correctly classified D, C, B or even A shooters become discouraged about competing.

    2. If you are in A class or above, and you miss one target, or maybe two, depending on the size of the shoot, all remaining targets are "practice". This also applies at large shoots regardless of class.

    3. There is no money in singles because nobody plays the purses, primarily because they don't believe they have a reasonable chance of winning.

    4. It is relatively easy to average 90 but incredibly difficult to average 98. Consequently, most shooters get bunched between 92 and 96 regardless of their ability to actually post winning scores of 98+. As such, you can have A class shooters who have never shot 100 straight and maybe never will, you have C and B shooters who have never shot 98s. These shooters soon realize that they will never win a shoot of any consequence.

    5. Shoot handicappers are faced with having to classify shooters based upon their actual average, adjusted perhaps by most recent scores or by known ability.

    So, what is the solution? I ask you consider the benefits of Step Scoring. For those of you who are not familiar with step scoring, it is based on working down from the highest score, in fixed steps, which establishes the classes for a particular event. There are no pre-established classifications for the shooters. Everyone begins the day equal. At the end of the competition, the highest score is awarded champion. The classes are then established by stepping down two or three targets at a time. By example:

    If the highest score is 100, then 98 would be AA, 96 would be A, 94 would be B, 92 would be C and 90 would be D. Three target steps could be used in C and D class if a larger range is preferred. All ties could be shot off or determined by the longest run of hit targets from the end, commonly referred to as the "backrun". To keep people from conveniently dropping a late target to get on an odd number, a score would not qualify unless at least the last five or 10 targets were hit. If runner up positions are awarded, then the steps begin from the champion runner up’s score.

    So how does this answer the five points above?

    1. This system eliminates the perception that you have to shoot a perfect or near perfect score to win a class. Further, there is no reward for sandbagging an average and it removes the "mathematics" that keep rapidly improving shooters stuck in lower classifications than what their current abilities indicate. If a lower average shooter has a great day he can win champion, if a high average shooter has a bad day, he can still go home a winner.

    2. Every target counts. Even if you miss early, you still have a chance to win a class. You don't start "practicing" until you have missed 10 or 12. At that point, you should be practicing.

    3. Because shooters have the chance of winning a class regardless of whether they have a great day or an average day, they have a reasonable chance of winning a class purse. Consequently, it makes playing the money far more attractive. This makes Singles far more interesting.

    4. Because you don't need to shoot 98s, 99s or 100 straight to win a lower classification, shooters who are truly classified actually have a chance to win their classification.

    5. Because everyone starts equally at each shoot, there is no need to classify shooters thereby eliminating either mathematical or human unfairness in the current classification process.

    Setting the dreaded “tradition” aside how does this sound to you ATA shooters?
     
  2. perga1

    perga1 Active Member

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    It sounds like grading on the curve. I really liked that in college. If no one is ever classified then your method would be acceptable but classification is so engrained in ATA that it will never be accepted.
     
  3. bigclown

    bigclown TS Member

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    JBrooks, you have a great idea which would and should work. I would certainly be encouraged to shoot singles..again. Like many, I am in "A" class, but find the singles game boring, if not annoying, knowing the requirement to shoot a 100 just to be moderately competitive. So, I just do not shoot singles. Your ideas are welcome and what is needed to encourage participation. However, get ready for all the "nay-sayers" who will want to keep the game unchanged.
    Meanwhile, this is why I stopped registered skeet shooting. Although I achieved "AA" in four gages/events (12, 20, 28 & Doubles) and "A" in .410, the "mandatory purses" mentioned by Bob Finger and the "100" requirement took the fun and relaxation out of the game. I won my share, but wasn't having fun...too much hard work on my days off. Best Regards, Ed
     
  4. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    JBrooks- Many posters have claimed that what you have posted as problem item 1 is true; however, the official scores in Trap and Field indicate that it is incorrect.

    Your suggestion would be unfair to a B,c, or D shooter who shot his highest sore, say 98, but was eliminated from winning because a AA shooter shot a 99. Much of the suggestion you made sounds to me like awarding trophy wins on a Lewis System.

    You are correct with the statement that their is little money in singles events. But, there is less in Doubles and the purses are becoming smaller in handicap. Some see this as a problem, but many do not.
     
  5. perga1

    perga1 Active Member

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    JB, you see how Pat I. dismissed your idea based on his evaluation that B,C, and D shooters would be out of the running. The classification/average mindset eliminates the possibility for such a change. JRM
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    perga1- My post referred to an B,C,D shooter shooting his highest lifetime score (98). The remaining middle group of shooters would depend on luck, rather than shooting ability, to win.

    I do not have a problem with dividing money with a Lewis type system but I do not think it is a good way to award trophies and All American Points.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Bob,

    You missed the whole point. Excellence is still rewarded. Just show up and shoot a 100. However, if you have classes, they need to truly be classes. They are not truly classes if they all require the same, or nearly same score to win.

    Pat,

    Follow this link to shoots of consequence and you can count on one hand the number of D winners who shot less than a 97 and on the hand the number of B winners who shot less than 99 and if they did, it was probably because all scores were down due to weather.

    You are an A shooter. How many times have you won with less than a 100 at a shoot of 100+ shooters? Tell me that when you drop your first target you don't think you may have just lost, when you drop your second you figure you probably will lose and if you drop a third you know you're done for the day.
     
  8. perga1

    perga1 Active Member

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    Pat, exactly.
     
  9. GrubbyJack

    GrubbyJack Member

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    some fine point and ideas.... this has about as much chance as a snowball in you know where....because of the mental state of some at ATA.....I wish is could fly....Grubby
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    JBrooks, I tried to look up "step scoring" on the net to see where it is used and how, but never got anything useful. Where is it used? Where can we find out more about it?

    Neil
     
  11. balance365

    balance365 TS Member

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    I've been through a similar debate with classes before. I believe that there are flaws in the current system, flaws that, in the long run, hurt the health of the sport as they scare away potential shooters. If a D class is based on an 88 average, then I have problems (and I say this as a D class member that has shot a couple of 96's to win a shoot) with the number of high scores that win that class, often needing a 95 or 96 in a smaller shoot and 97+ in larger shoots. At the same time, D class is where you have people like me, who can be highly erratic as they learn and develop their shooting skills, emerging shooters who have taken the proper steps to improve their game, and maybe an occasional trophy seeker. Will creating a step class improve that, maybe, maybe not. People can get good at shooting their way into a score. I personally like the idea of a breakout number. If a shooter breaks a score a certain number above their stated class, they "breakout" of the class and are automatically reclassified on spot into the next highest classification. Example, a D shooter breaks 96, they are automatically moved to C class for that shoot determination. Would this fix the system, maybe, maybe not, but it would help with the perception (and perception, like it or not, is reality) that you have to break outrageously high scores to have any consideration for trophies, money, purses, etc. Both ideas do make an attempt to give consideration for how a person shoots on a given day, at a given location, against a field of shooters on the same baseline for determination of the best shooters for that set of conditions.
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    JBrooks- I could not find the link you mentioned. I remember a similar discussion last winter and at that time I looked up the winning scores for class D for the Grand, Dixie Grand and Southern Grand. I remember very many winning scores in class D that were between 93 and 96. Last week at the NC State shoot a friend of mine won a class C trophy with a 93.

    Pat Ireland
     
  13. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Here you go Pat. I think Neil said on another thread the difference between averaging 90 and 98 was not a 10% improvement but a 1500% improvement. If so, those D shooters shooting 98s are sure doing good.
     
  14. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Neil,

    We use a form of it in our trap league. I don't know if it has a name and I didn't know what else to call it. It is a very easy system to use and to score. In fact it can be done on an excel spreadsheet by just using the sort function.

    I guess you could also call it a the "Day Average System" in that it uses just scores for that day to create the class average range, classify the shooters and determine the class winner.

    As it is now, we use an arbitrarily set class average range, the shooters get classified on an inderminate number of targets shot under varying conditions, with varying equipment, a range of developed skills and "known,(or in many cases unknown), ability" and then the shooters shoot against these preset numbers. This system does not produce the intended results of creating true classes if every class winner has to shoot in the 97th+ percentile of the maximum score that can be achieved in the sport.

    In general, what makes a class system work in sports is where there is enough range from top to bottom to actually create meaningful classes and the best score can not usually be attained accept by the top class participants. Such as, you don't see many 150 average bowlers rolling 279+ games. However in trap, we see a lot of D shooters shooting 97+ to win.

    A lot of the bunching of shooters in a narrow average range is probably due to better trap machines, voice calls, better guns and gun fit, more consistant target setting and better ancilliary equipment as well.

    In short, is there a way to make the sport more competitive, fun, rewarding and make every target count thereby increasing participation and retention?
     
  15. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    JBrooks, you quoted me correctly: "Here you go Pat. I think Neil said on another thread the difference between averaging 90 and 98 was not a 10% improvement but a 1500% improvement. "

    But read it again. I said average. Not individual score. I said nothing about individual score, and in fact my point was that a A-class shooter is more than 15 times as likely to even post a 96 as a D-class shooter. The corollary is that if there are enough D-class shooters, it _will_ happen.

    Neil
     
  16. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    Class means very little in singles as it takes a good score to win anything . The D class shooter is trying to make it to C class and the C class is trying to make B class and so on . But really we are just shooting targets and trying not to miss . Singles is very little fun and very much a game of perfection . Stand there and shoot target after target miss one or two your out . THIS SPORT NEED SOMETHING NEW
     
  17. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Why not just not keep score and draw cards for the winner?

    "So how does this answer the five points above?

    1. This system eliminates the perception that you have to shoot a perfect or near perfect score to win a class. Further, there is no reward for sandbagging an average and it removes the "mathematics" that keep rapidly improving shooters stuck in lower classifications than what their current abilities indicate. If a lower average shooter has a great day he can win champion, if a high average shooter has a bad day, he can still go home a winner.

    2. Every target counts or doesn't count, what's the difference? Even if you miss early, you still have a chance to win a class. You don't start "practicing" until you have missed 10 or 12. At that point, you should be practicing. 3. Because shooters have the chance of winning a class regardless of whether they have a great day or an average day, they have a reasonable chance of winning a class purse. Consequently, it makes playing the money far more attractive. This makes Singles far more interesting.

    4. Because you don't need to shoot 98s, 99s or 100 straight to win a lower classification, shooters who are truly classified actually have a chance to win their classification.

    5. Because everyone starts equally at each shoot, there is no need to classify shooters thereby eliminating either mathematical or human unfairness in the current classification process."

    Neil
     
  18. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    JBrooks- Thanks for the link, it supported my position. I looked up the winning class D scores for the Dixie Grand. It was a fine shoot. The following scores won class D trophies:94,95,95,93,193,189. All Around class D was won with a 368. The scores for class D at the Southern Grand were higher. They were 98,97,95,95,97,97,189,187. The Southern Grand was a much larger shoot. These numbers do not suggest to me that we have a major problem.

    Pat Ireland
     
  19. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Appears to me you could have an A or AA average shooter winning all the classes they, don't always shoot their averages. Bear in mind that a C shooter averages under 91% and a D averages under 88%, which means they have scores above and below that. So if they have a good day and get that high score they might only change their average a few points and may go up a class or stay where they are. Also if it is a multi day shoot and win their class they will get bumped up a class for the rest of that shoot.

    My conclusion is the current system might not be perfect but it is the best we got and the "step system" would totally turn off the lower classes. Is it fair if as a A or AA shooter that I could have a bad day and be rewarded with a C or D win. To many flaws in your system, a sandbaggers delight.

    Don
     
  20. bcnu

    bcnu Active Member

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    Heck, let's just post the scores on a dart board and throw darts to determine winners. Sounds about like the same to me as this step system.

    I must be an anomaly or something because I don't find singles the least bit boring. Maybe it is because I have not won umteen thousand trophies or something but I really like shooting those little orange devils. (I sometimes pretend that they are itty bitty democrats) Besides of which, how on earth are you going to win a HOA or HAA without shooting them?

    Any shooter is likely to have a banner day at any given moment at any given shoot. The bigger the shoot and the more people, the more likely. The winner should be the best score, not some contrived score to give out trophies to people that did not really win. Who on earth would want one of those? Not me.

    John
     
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