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Time to Fix ATA Handicap

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by JAAS, Jan 8, 2012.

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  1. JAAS

    JAAS TS Member

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    When established the ATA Handicap system was meant to equalize shooters competitively by positioning them at various yard lines. Early leaders of the ATA recognized the need to increase the backfence as shooter abilities, guns, ammo etc. dictated. The recent 2 Yard reduction offered by the EC was a nice gesture but is a band-aid on a system that needs a real fix.

    The current backfence of 27 yards is outdated by at least 25 years and today’s shooter skills, technology (voice pull, etc.), ammo, guns, chokes, etc. mandate that the backfence needs to move back. The result of not moving the backfence has created sandbaggers of the Bigdogs (BD) – my definition of a BD is a shooter that shoots scores and wins events from the backfence, is awarded honorary punches but is never moved back in yardage to keep him/her equitable with the other competitors. These are sandbaggers not by choice, but because over the years ATA leadership has failed to increase the backfence to keep the system equitable for the times. It is time to move the backfence to get ATA Handicap into the 21st Century.

    The first argument that arises in opposition to increasing the backfence is the cost. Doing nothing has already cost this sport and the ATA plenty. Let me explain why cost is not prohibitive. After all this is America with the most ingenious people on the planet. Gun Clubs and their management will find economical ways to accommodate increasing the backfence:
    1) Only clubs that host shoots that award All American points would be required to provide an extended backfence. Other clubs that hold competitive shoots may want to provide an extended backfence to not discourage attendance of shorter yardage shooters because they may not feel competitive if everyone is not correctly handicapped.
    2) It is not necessary to modify all trapfields. Only about 10% of trapfields would need to be modified to accommodate the need. For instance a 20 trap club that holds a State shoot would probably need only 2 traps to accommodate the shooters beyond 27 yards.
    3) Most clubs have members with construction expertise and members with deep pockets that if asked, would probably be willing to donate labor and money to accommodate changing the backfence at their club.
    4) Is it necessary to pour concrete? What is wrong with shooters standing on sod, gravel, or patio blocks beyond the 27 yard line as long as it is level with the existing sidewalk and marked properly?
    5) If a club has issues with trap spacing and separation problems between traps, allow yardage to move straight back from the 27 yard line instead of extending at the normal sidewalk angle.
    6) Lets use a little ingenuity and get this done.

    Here are some ideas:
    • Mandate target presentation to 3-hole and 50 yard equivalent.
    • Utilize the 18 yard line (maybe the 16 and 17 yard lines should be utilized for handicapping as well).
    • Have an unlimited backfence. All shooters will be punched back until they cannot maintain the trigger point average at which time they will be offered a yardage reduction. To keep ATA Handicap equitable, all shooters need to move back and forth dictated by scores, wins, and averages.
    • Do not mandate reductions. If a shooter elects to remain at yardage at which they are not competitive, they are only hurting themselves.
    • Leave the current ATA ammunition rules as is.

    Any ATA leadership that read this thread, please consider making changes to ATA Handicap to bring it to the 21st Century. To anyone that supports improvements to ATA Handicap please urge your delegate to do something. To everyone else that thinks it is not broken, you do not understand the origins of ATA Handicap, how it evolved, and why the current backfence fails the system today. The need to increase the backfence is long overdue. It is time to drop the negativism and think positive about changing and improving ATA Handicap.

    JAAS (aka Just An Average Shooter: 59 years old, ATA Life Member, have shot ATA targets for 40 years (have registered about 70,000 targets), have never been punched beyond 25 yards)
     
  2. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    God not this again.

    Don
     
  3. showdawg

    showdawg TS Member

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    There is not really enough 100 straights from the fence to support your argument, I mean there are several each year, but not like singles. Or did I miss the point????
     
  4. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    "100 straights" weren't even mentioned are are irrelevent to the gentleman's post.
     
  5. JAAS

    JAAS TS Member

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    Its not an argument. The current backfence no longer handicaps shooters that are on the 27 yard line that consistently average 94+ and constantly win shoots and never move back in yardage.
    JAAS
     
  6. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    BIGDON an All American that does not possess good common sense towards other shooters and their ideas, Constipation of the brain and Diarhea of the mouth says it all, you are a disgrace to your fellow All Americans.

    BIGDON name one other All American with your views that post them on other peoples threads.

    Other All Americans try to help their fellow shooters, but you are the opposite.

    I am ashamed you are an All American from your hostile posts and quotes.

    One thing myself being a Buckeye and from Ohio, Glad you are in Michigan.

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  7. Sportshot

    Sportshot Active Member

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    Good post JAAS and a GREAT screen name btw!...

    I think even a 28 yard line would begin to get the point across to the pro's and the average shooters that the ATA is working to equalize the game for all. We could work that yard through the system and add more yards as needed.

    There will be a psychological handicap of doubt and unfamiliarity at 28 yards in addition to a 1 or 2% percent penalty in pattern performance. There comes a point in yardage that the pattern just cannot hold together and some perfect shots will miss a target.
     
  8. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Famous Quotes,



    <p style="font-size:30px;">"God not this again. "</p>
     
  9. JAAS

    JAAS TS Member

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    Thanks for the support Sportshot. I really liked what Phil Kiner attempted to do when he proposed the 29 yard line, ammo changes, etc. a few years ago. Lengthening the back fence is long overdue - backing it up to the 28 or 29 yard line would be a start. I still feel that the ultimate Handicap backfence would be unlimited.
    JAAS
     
  10. pigeon101

    pigeon101 Member

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    BigDons an All American?




    Jason in PA.
     
  11. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    This has already been debated on here how many times - ad-nausem.

    Don
     
  12. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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  13. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Sportshot, here's where the shellcutter offers start coming.
     
  14. JAAS

    JAAS TS Member

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    Sportshot, that is why I left ammunition changes out of it. Keep it simple - enforce 50 yd. 3-hole targets and move the backfence.
    JAAS
     
  15. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I doubt you'd call BIGDON an "All American___________" if you were standing right in front of that 6'5" Marine. He is one All American shooter i can tell you does not cherry pick his shoots. He shoots year around wind, rain, snow, sleet or shine. 20,100 targets registered last year alone. How many can say that? Just Say'n...............
     
  16. The Literalist

    The Literalist Well-Known Member

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    While I rarely voice a "we should change" opinion about the ATA, there's one thing that's obviously wrong. Albeit we have classes, but the overall winners of singles and doubles went head-to-head with everyone. Same yardage, etc.

    But handicap, by it's very definition, is/was an attempt to handicap shooters according to ability...much like adding weight to race cars and horses and knocking strokes off golf. That's what a handicap event is supposed to do...make it harder for superior competitors to win. Winners in handicap trapshooting are moved back in yardage to make it more difficult for them to win again.

    But when some shooters "win" dozens of yards a year...but remain on the same yardage (27)...that's not being "handicapped."

    The great shots own the 16s and doubles, as they should. Handicap was designed to be a game which equalized things a bit, and each subsequent win becomes a little harder as you move back. If someone averages 94-96% from the 27...they aren't being handicapped (unless most of the rest of us shoot from the 18 or so).
     
  17. showdawg

    showdawg TS Member

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    My point was how can you sandbag once your "on the fence" , dont see a whole lot of 100's in handicap period, when you do its normally shorter yardage, which is where the "baggin" takes place in caps.. Im my opinion a 27 yarder with a "95" is a better score than a 22 yarder with a 100. Never been a rulebook wrote that will make average shooters whip great shooters.

    showdawg
     
  18. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    How bout we just don't punch winners back as quickly...

    Why don't we allow someone to average 94-96 on 24 yds over a period of time or shots...
     
  19. JAAS

    JAAS TS Member

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    The Literalist gets it - shooters are to be moved back to equalize them. Early ATA leadership recognized when the backfence needed to be extended and they did. To 23 yards until that was not far enough at which time they extended to 25 and when that was not far enough they extended to 27. The fact is that 27 yards no longer does the job and it is time to extend it again. There seems to be a majority that think there is something gospel about the 27 yard line and it would be a major sin to move beyiond it.
    JAAS
     
  20. JAAS

    JAAS TS Member

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    showdog, maybe the use of sandbagging was a poor choice of words on my part. I think The Literalist stated it better with: But when some shooters "win" dozens of yards a year...but remain on the same yardage (27)...that's not being "handicapped."

    JAAS
     
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