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When a Sport Stops Teaching It's Heritage, It Loses It's Identity

Truer words were never spoken, and the rules changes by the BOD in the last 20-30 Years has caused the ATA Trapshooting to lose it's Identity

Faster Shells, Slower, and Narrower Targets are causing it's demise.

Gary Bryant
Dr.longshot
 

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It's the ECONOMY. But our ruler said, "The private sector is doing fine."
 

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Have to agree with your opposition Dr. L. The survey said the economy. Fixed incomes and lack of good jobs/overtime puts the kabosh on loafing and shooting as much as one would like. It looks like soft targets made a showing, but its not the overwhelming reason shooting is down.

Most of the guys I know go to shoots to have a good time and enjoy some drinks and food back at the camper visiting with friends. . . (the after-party) Sure they go to a shoot to try to win. . . . (the party). But as "The Most Interesting Man in World" says about the two party system. . . "Its the after-party you want to attend." So drinks and eats back at the camper with good friends trumps a good score.

BTW, Did you find yourself a sugar momma?
 

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During the dot com and housing bubble years the economy was doing pretty well yet our numbers were dwindling then also? It's a combination of ills that's hurt our sport, not just one single thing can be blamed.

Hap
 

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Gary,

Agree with your points! My way of thinkin' as the ole Grace Slick sang in a good song..."Doesn't mean shit to a tree." All this smoke blown about wide angles-35yd line (why not make it the 50yd line) to penalize the great 27yarders?

How many sports do you see where the participants cry like babies because they can't keep up with fellow competitors? And want all kind of rules changes so they can level the playing field? I've been shooting a long time, and don't care if I get beat by better shooters. I'm still going to try like crazy to beat them, but I want to compete on a level playing field!

And I can tell you one thing, from my past experiences when we had our range operating...guys like to break good (great) scores!!! If you want to draw a good crowd, throw the best legal targets you can! Especially the new shooters want this!
 

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The problem, as I see it, with Phil's survey is most who participated never shot in the times when about as many handicaps were won by less than maximum yardage shooters as maximum. The "dead horse" is our sport prospered when the difficulty was increased as, and when, a few became dominate. We are well past that phase at this time. Jimmy Borum
 

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Regarding Bryant's comment, I would agree that the ATA has been remiss in its task to promote the sport of American Trap, to anyone who is not already participating. Further, new American Trap shooters do not get any sense of history or legacy as members.

Comments made by Waalkes, which I have echoed, is that the ATA has NO program in place to attract and/or retain membership and has left those critical tasks to the clubs...

One comment that Waalkes made and one which I agree with as well as apply to my operation, is the need to explore and develop new markets. It is a touchy subject - speaking of money, and the need to find new people who have it...

I hear the grumblings every week - "who the hell are all these NEW people?!"... "I don't know alot of these new faces"... but numbers are up and we constantly have a pool of new bodies to recruit membership from... we figure out who all the new folks are, once we get a hand in their wallet!

THE FACT IS business required a constant replenishment of the customer base. Clubs and the ATA requires suspects and prospects who have the capacity to purchase the ATA product.

To grow, the customer base must be retained - that requires an occasional thank you and communication...

The ATA has put its eggs into too few baskets... children are not a customer. They are targeted for their FOLKS money, but as we all know, the kids interest only lasts so long and then they're gone... then what do you have...

My operation is thriving, our success is not dependent upon the ATA and will never be... if we get to 10% of the rank and file to be ATA shooters, we'll have accomplished something for ourselves, not the ATA...

Jay
 

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Gary...

I think your analysis is valid but I also think you're overlooking something else that I feel has had more effect...the gun itself.

I see shooting as an inbred activity. The people who use guns for sport don't seem to be the kind of people who just take it up without having some traditions of it in their families. It's not that other people necessarily hate guns, it's just that they have a subconscious uneasiness about having them in their homes and around their families.

Golf clubs and bowling balls are not necessarily cheap but they don't have that potential for harm connected to them. People looking for an activity to engage in are less uneasy about owning and handling clubs and balls than they might be about a handling a gun.

Kids need the support of parents to get started in shooting activities and those parents may feel a bit reluctant to associate themselves and their families with something that has polarized the country.

Keller
 

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It would be nice to hear from shooters who play the ticket at major shoots. Trinket shooters seem to have all the answers but lack the guts to play a dime in options. Please tell us at what yardage you stand and how it's a great honor to award the "big dogs" your weekly grocery money!!
 

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Get the burr out of your ass, Andy...you might poke an eye out. You're confusing being Andy with being right.

It doesn't take an ATA card and a pocket full of money to understand what people have on their minds; you're proof of that. It just takes listening more and blabbing less.

Keller
 

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I have not heard many (any) people complain about losing to the Top Guns, they just don't play the money because they are convinced they don't have a chance of winning ... Neil Winston said at one time how slight the chances of Joe Average shooter winning when shooting against the Top Guns, so it appears that a lot of people are getting smart and holding back on the options ... The ATA came up with a bunch of additional catagory's that did nothing more than increase cost for trinket trophys and medallions and added losers to the list of winners ... This action did nothing but take away from the integrity of winning because they truly didn't ... The attendance at the bigger shoots for the most part is decreasing unless the shoot is exceptional and those exceptional shoots are fading away also ... Once the attendance drops to a certain point the Top Guns won't show up and shoots like the Grand will end up being nothing more than a good sized State shoot ... Thats just the way it is folks, have fun while you can ... WPT ... (YAC) ...


Grammie said to say hello to you all ...
 

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It looks like you can still count on ollie and hap for the repetitive posts.

It looks like when the easy money dried up their feeling got hurt.

Its still the economy that hurts the most, not only in trapshooting but any event that takes disposable money to participate in.
 

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unknown 1 and likes-to-shoot, please tell us how many ATA gun clubs you've actually ran and what you know was the main attraction to get shooters to join the ATA. Next tell us if you're a trinket or money shooter!!
 

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What the heck difference does that make to understanding why there is less interest in gun related activities now among both adults and kids than there was 20 years ago...10 years ago?

One issue in this thread referred to how to get more people interested in trap, NOT in the ATA. They don't even know what ATA is and don't care. They DO know that they would prefer that their kids not have guns or violent video games for toys and that non-gun related activities get them fewer odd likes among their peers. They don't especially mind that you and I play with guns, they would just rather not have own families involved with them...and that extends to the activities they choose for themselves.

Keller
 

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Well ollie, if your so good at running the gun clubs fix the economy and the ATA instead of crying on here!!!!! Your easy money is gone so grow a pair and get over it!!! Like so many before you all you can do is to try and belittle someone for comments that doesn't agree with your posts.

I shoot to have fun but I do play all the options also and lately my entry fees have been returned at some shoots because no one else entered. That's their privilege and no big deal.

There are several of you guys that I really enjoyed reading your posts but in the last year or so you guys turned from being informative to just down right bitchey because things aren't going your way.

Bill
 

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Unknown 1, I got news for you. Kids, young people are buying guns more than ever. Have you actually entered a gun shop lately and stood at the handgun counter or searched for a so called assault rifle-obviously not.

Likes-to-shoot, please don't tell me more crap about the economy destroying Trapshooting. I saved lunch money and trapped plenty of fur bearing animals in the 60's and 70's just so I could shoot some targets. I sure would like to know what kind of shoots you attend where no one plays a dime in options-except you. I sure don't know much about easy money in shooting as I always needed to break a great score to win anything!!
 

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Regarding the issue of newbies into the shooting sports... I can say with personal experience, while brought up in a non-gun culture family; all it took was a series of repeated invitations and personal mentoring to get me started...

Ask enough people to try a shooting sport, offer to mentor them and hand-hold them while taking their first steps and you've made some new shooters... offer to guide them with their purchase and follow up to help them become a standalone shooting sportsman or woman and you've created a fellow shooter.

Money is one aspect of why shooting sports are dwindling. The others are lack of access, unfriendly environments and sheer lack of mentoring. Too few shooting sportsmen really walk the walk after talking the talk...

Shooting sports are hot... trap can be as hot as anything, it depends on the club/range's attitude - lousy attitude, poor environment - of course folks will leave...

My range was packed today, packed last week, will be packed next week... the regulars are grumbling about parking and longer waits for shooting... it's a problem we've got to deal with - retention and keeping folks happy... a problem I'm glad to deal with...

Jay
 
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