It is a crying shame we have no American shooters in the finals. The best shotgun pointers in the world live here but they have no interest in the international game. The NRA did a terrible job managing team selection and it has not gotten any better since then. Remember when Ray Stafford wanted to shoot in the tryouts and was denied entry?
Trapshooters will recognize top ATA winners among these bunker champions, especially Ray Stafford, former U.S. Olympic Trap Champion and 1968 Olympic Games Trap Team. Ray wanted to tryout for the 1984 Olympic Team. The N.R.A. denied him entry to the 1984 U.S. Championships and Final Tryouts, because he had not attended a Preliminary Tryout to qualify with a 170 (B class) score, nor had he been a member of a U.S. Team in the preceding 10 years (even though he had tried out for and made the U.S. Team four times; had tied for the 1970 World Championship with the World Record score of 197; and had broken another World Record with a 298 in 1969!).
Thanks for the followup email Joe. For many years the NRA was in charge of selection of international shooting team selection. It was almost an exclusive group of retired military colonels who had no clue and felt that they could do as they wanted and hence the teams were always military shooters. The great Mike Tipa was also part of the problem. How would you think it appropriate to select the team based on tryouts on a wobble trap when the actual competition was going to be on a bunker?
I got a little taste for this in reverse when traveling to Japan and S. Korea about 4 years. ago. Got the bug to shoot while on the trip and found a nearby club that had a 3 bunker layout where the Korean Olympic teams practiced. (Yes I know that Korea doesn't have any current top level shotgun shooters but they sure do in Archery). Shot my first ever bunker round as a instructional round and then 2 more practice rounds with a borrowed gun. The fellow that ran the club and spoke some English didn't know what I was talking about when I asked him if he knew of the ATA Grand American Trapshoot. We in the U.S. are light years away from many parts of the world when it comes to "international" trapshooting. I never "crushed" a target in those 3 rounds and I found out why when I got back to my brother-in-laws computer. 7/8 oz. max. of shot loads. I wonder what kind of ATA scores we would have with these loads in ATA specially in long Handicap? Those bunker targets are screamers and supposedly harder than ATA targets due to the speed of the targets being thrown by the trap machines, i.e. breakage.