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TY2012 Singles vs. Handicap data

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About 8 years ago, Neil Winston created a graph that plotted the singles average versus the handicap average for each yardage group. Since that graph hasn't been replicated for awhile, I thought it might be interesting to see what the latest data looks like.

The dataset is composed of those shooters who registered at least 1,000 singles AND 1,000 handicap targets in TY2012. There were 6,825 shooters who met that criteria. Of those, 1,351 had a singles average AND a handicap average of 90 or more.

Immediately below is the graph that is similar to what Neil provided those many years ago.

I then "zoomed" in for the second graph (losing 106 data points in the process).

Below that I then broke each yardage out in separate graphs so that they are a little easier to see.


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Text Line Font Plot Screenshot



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Edited to add: Graph of complete dataset.

Edit #2: Corrected 18- and 19-yard graphs. Singles and handicap averages were switched around on those two groups. All affected graphs have been corrected.
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OK, guys, this is a map to correct policy decisions by the ATA. It's all here and this should be projected on the wall at the Zone Meetings and the Annual Meeting where Delegates could glance up and say "Well according to that, this motion will . . . "

So here's more homework. What does this graph tell us? I should think five or ten things should pop out to you right away. Let's hear them!

Thank you, Scott, for doing this. I couldn't scrape up the energy and I'm glad someone did. Nice job!

Neil
 

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Last year, 60,192 members participated in some 7,151 registered tournaments throughout North America. In total over 1,400 ATA affiliated gun clubs threw 82,480,480 clay targets in 2008. (From the ATA web page) Out of all those members only 6825 registered more than 1000 targets in singles and handicap?

If I read correctly that in itself is a problem.
 

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The 27 yard guys are using tighter chokes!

Edit this out- wrong data!////// below 20 yards handicap average exceeds singles average for too many///// Edit this out, wrong data.

At 26-27 yards, too many people can't even manage a 92% singles average or 82% handicap average, so some type of mandatory reductions must be in order for the system to work properly.

Flame on! GAP
 

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Rusty, thank you for your comment. In 2012 figure is about 28,218 shooters. So about one in 5 shoots 1000+1000. No, the number of participants did not drop like that in 4 years. In 2008 the correct number was 31,653. So the drop is 3,435. That's almost 700 a year.

You have pointed out one of the most important lessons of the graphs. On the average, most of our members don't really shoot much at all. This is why I keep hammering on the point that the EC/BOD has to figure in the "popularity" of any change they make. How committed can a member be if he or she shoots just the State or maybe a weekend locally? How hard would it be to lose him by thinking you can "make him" do something like shoot 7/8 ounce or slow shells or 3-hole targets or fast targets or whatever? If he's not that active now; once he fades off, what are the chances he will ever come back?

You can't make shooters do anything. They always have the choice of not doing it - fishing or lying in a hammock instead of registering targets. _That's_ why you have to be so careful.

Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rustygun,

The data you quote is from 1998, even though the website says it's from 2008.

According to the 2012 Average Book, for TY2012, that same sentence reads:

"... more than 28,000 ATA members participated in one or more of 6,000 registered tournaments contested throughout the world. In total, 59,595,618 registered clay targets were thrown by 869 clubs."
 

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No, User1, that piece of information says that 46% of the 27-yard shooters (who registered at least 1,000 singles and 1,000 handicap) had a singles average AND a handicap average over 90.

The number in the upper right-hand "quadrant" is the number of shooters, in that yardage group who had both a singles and handicap average above 90.
 

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A plea. This it pretty "high level" stuff compared to most TS.com conversations and we are going to have to work to keep it that way.

I worried when I listed possibly controversial, possibly unpopular things the EC/BOD might do that someone would start talking about 3/4 ounce and say people would love it. But that's not a useful counter-argument to my post. If you want to oppose my claim that the ATA has to have a hand on the pulse of shooters and can't "mandate" something and just say to themselves "The'll fall in line," then you are going to have to say why you think people will do what they don't want to. A little evidence is always nice, too.

So far this is going great! We are still talking about the subject of the original post! Let's discipline ourselves to keep it up; there will be plenty here to argue about, you wait and see!

Neil
 

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Its must be difficult to put any kind of strategy when the ATA cant get the numbers correct on the introductory page of their web-site.


The ATA has habitually overstated the number of active shooters. The data quoted above is just the one of many. Here is another example from the 1989 average book. The summary in the 1989 average book contained the following passage:


“The 1989 membership roster contains 111958 members of which 54372 participated in our lifetime recreational sport”.


The validity of that statement was checked as follows: All average books list the names, targets shot, and other information of members registering any targets during that particular year. Normally this information is detailed in section “B” of the average book, which contains several hundred pages.


One full page (no spaces between entries) in section “B” contains the information on 120 A.T.A. members. The 1989 average book contains 311 pages of member information and if each page were full (120 names) the active membership would for that year would total 37320.


Not all the pages in section “B” of the 1989 average book or any years average book is filled with names which indicates the actual active membership for 1989 was less than 37320 and certainly nowhere near the 54372 members sited in the summary.


Jerry Hauser
 

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Jerry is correct. That's why an accurate look at what's happening so is important for ATA policy and why I wrote at the beginning:

"OK, guys, this is a map to correct policy decisions by the ATA. It's all here and this should be projected on the wall at the Zone Meetings and the Annual Meeting where Delegates could glance up and say "Well according to that, this motion will . . . "

The EC, the BOD, the ATA don't have anything like what Scott posted.

Neil
 

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Neil, I agree with your assessment, I certainly don't pretend to have an answer.


Should the hi volume shooters input be weighted heavier than a low volume shooters? Does that 20% actually shoot the majority of targets?
 

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The majority of shooters I have known over the years are good people. That said the idea that you can somehow monitor their likes and dis-likes and make policy solely based on that information is wrong headed.


The ATA is not a retail store with retail customers it is a governing body for a sport. It needs a relevant mission statement then needs to put things in place that meet the requirements defined in that mission statement.


Jerry Hauser
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jerry,

One observation that I've made to people is that the ATA is in the business of "accommodation." Now that the barn door is open, it's hard to get the horse back in.

If we were starting over, I think we'd all do things differently.

I think that Neil's counsel needs to be taken very seriously.

We could revamp the ATA's rules to make things tougher and be more hard-nosed about changes, but I think there would be a tremendous cost in the levels of participation.

Some might say, "Great. Go for it." And that's fine as long as people understand that there will be a lot of people shut out of that type of organization. If you look hard at the data posted above, you can already see that happening.
 

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Truth is it seems to me those plots show pretty much what I would expect, with the exception of the 18 and 19 yarders looking strange. Why do they shoot so much better at caps than singles???

I'm not saying the charts tell the whole story, but the story they tell is things look about as evenly distributed as you could hope for with the current yardages. You have to expect 27 yarders to look better, I'm just surprised they aren't more dominating, and the real short yardages look about the same, at least at the top. How does a short yardage shooter maintain such a high average?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
870,

<strike>Look at the gap between the 18 and 19 yarders and everybody else.</strike> Graph has been corrected. There is no "gap" between the 18- and 19-yard groups and the other yardages.

Maybe Neil will re-post his chart from years ago. But that gap wasn't there then. That's an interesting development.

I think shooters on the 18 and 19 shoot generally better handicap than singles because the angles are less, albeit, not tremendously. But I think everyone knows that you have to swing the gun through less of an angle as you move further back.

If my thought is correct, then going back to a "3-hole" target will have a greater impact on short yardage shooters.
 

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V10, can you shoot a (mean) line thru each yardage? It looks very linear. Then plot a chart with just the lines. I think this would be a very clear graph and show the mean trends easily.

I work with a lot of experimental data that looks like this and what you have done to sort out the trends is exactly the kind of engineering post processing that you need to do to understand a system. My guess is that ATA participation could be modeled as a mathematical system, if we had enough years of data.
 
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