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justaute

Nationals - experience?

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justaute   

For those who have shot National Championships, what is your view of the event experience? Why?

- Is it run professionally?

- Is it unorganized and poorly run?

- Besides watching Super Squads, is your experience similar to that of Area championships?

- Does it have that "national championship" event feel or is it just another large shooting competition?

The reason for my asking these questions is that I have read and heard about how poorly the National Championship is organized. I know many shooters have had positive experience and enjoyed the camaraderie, but still thought the event was poorly run. Another reason for my posting the above-listed questions is to be more circumspect by increasing sample size.

Notwithstanding of what I have read or heard, I have yet to form any meaningful perspective as I have not attended or shot a National Championship.

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Neomet   

My thoughts with the caveat that I had to take off before the awards presentation.

Is it run professionally?

Absolutely. I have nothing but positive things to say about the event organization and the ROs. My only critique is that I was not a fan

of the 4 day format. I'm not sure why this was done and there may well be very legit reasons but the extra day meant another vacation day

as well as hotel and doggie boarding costs. Moving the vendor area up to a central location was a great decision.

- Is it unorganized and poorly run?

No. See above.

- Besides watching Super Squads, is your experience similar to that of Area championships?

Not quite sure what you mean by similar. There were more stages, as well as a lot more short and intermediate stages than at Area events I have gone to.

Other than that stages are stages. Last year there were more NSs and hardcover than in any two Area matches I have attended. Not so many this year.

- Does it have that "national championship" event feel or is it just another large shooting competition?

Nobody is ever going confuse this with the PGA tour. It is the nature of our pretty obscure sport. There are no bays of spectators and a blimp overhead. Just one camera crew

following the SS around. I watched my buddy shoot with the SS on 4 stages and there were really no more people watching them than some of the other "unknown" squads.

To me it has the National Championship feel because it is the National Championship.

Not sure if that answers your question but if not here is a more succinct answer. I had a great time and it darn well felt like the Nationals to me. ;)

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HI5-O   

I've shot the last 3 Open Nationals in Las Vegas.

This one was very enjoyable for me because...

It is run professionally in my opinion and I have been to smaller matches and area matches. With this many shooters and volunteers, it went well.

Much more organized this year at registration and the awards ceremony and the prize table line was the best yet (could hear your name called and there was not congestion trying to get into the prize room) :cheers:

Even though the registration started late, once it got going it was pretty fast and painless.

I did not get to see the super squad shoot as I was more focused on shooting my match. It is almost like shooting some of the area matches but on a larger scale. Some area matches have small, medium and large courses of fire and some have mostly large field courses. Depends what type of match you want to shoot.

For me it does have that "national championship feel" because most all of the best shooters in this sport are there competing also. Good to see them in person amongst the many shooters who are striving to be the best.

I like going to the nationals and seeing where I "rank nationally" and the location was good for me (I'm a warm weather shooter). Some shooters rather shoot matches where there are mostly field or run-n-gun stages so it's whatever type of match you want to shoot.

I liked it and will attend again.

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One thing about the nationals that is different from any other stateside match - a team of range officers who function as a team dedicated to the match, who take pride in their skills at running the event "by the book".

You won't get screwed out of a re-shoot you are entitled to under the rules because "we need to keep the match on schedule", nor will an RO let an offense like handling ammo in the safety area slip with an informal warning. Expect polite, "by the book" officiating. The manner of officiating, while not dramatically different from area championships, is one thing that makes the nationals worthy of that designation.

If you run into one of these folks in a bar (which is unlikely given the early AM start they have each day) I suggest you buy the drinks if you are a competitor.

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CAB33   

One thing about the nationals that is different from any other stateside match - a team of range officers who function as a team dedicated to the match, who take pride in their skills at running the event "by the book".

You won't get screwed out of a re-shoot you are entitled to under the rules because "we need to keep the match on schedule", nor will an RO let an offense like handling ammo in the safety area slip with an informal warning. Expect polite, "by the book" officiating. The manner of officiating, while not dramatically different from area championships, is one thing that makes the nationals worthy of that designation.

Wrong!

Stage 9(Stand still Bob)at the 2009 Open Nationals was changed twice after the start of the match.

Squads had already shot it the faster way(activate the swinger from the door and skip the window)

and these squads did not re-shoot it while the other squads were forced to shoot the new adjusted stage.

They 1st put no-shoots on the prop(plywood tree)to keep people from the above, then people started going

to a knee to shoot around the other side of the tree. Deep into the match the made the 2nd change...

they changed the written stage briefing to say that it is a FTD... I mean "forbidden action" to shoot the

activating steel around or under the tree.

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dillon   

This was my first Nationals (production). I am spoiled by living in Area 2, and have shot the Desert Classic for several years. There were a bunch of shorter stages. With a couple of exceptions I felt the ROing was stellar. On one stage the RO was a bit cavalier about scoring; three times the tapers pointed out errors. On another stage the RO scored and taped while shooting was going on, and not waiting on Mikes and no shoots for the shooter to see them. This portion of the stage required a couple of headshots, so there were some Mikes and No Shoots. Area 2 has the room to store some great stage props, but the stage design was challanging without becoming a memory contest, and very few 180 degree traps.

The awards ran like most awards, this is the nature of the beast. I won D class, and when my name was finally called for the prize table the folks in the room told me I should have been called much earlier than I was for a class win. I don't know what order people are called to the prize table,and no way to recover a better prize anyway if that was the case.

I felt that shooting in the Nationals was a memory of a lifetime for me. I met some great folks, had a great time, and strongly recommend to anyone who gets the opportunity to attend.

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I just shot the most recent Limited/Production Nationals and for me, it was one of the biggest learning experiences of my brief time as a USPSA competitor. The match itself was run very well and everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. The quality of the stages was top notch. There were a couple bottlenecks where squads got hung up, but nothing too excessive. All of the shooters were really trying to perform and were very focused, so the squad environment was very conducive to shooting your best. For the most part the RO's were on point. The range itself was great, with plenty of space for all of the stages and parking. The match hotel wasn't my favorite, but I'm not really a fan of casinos or the Vegas scene either. Overall it did have the feel of a National Championship match, which I got mostly from the mindset and skill level of the shooters more than the match itself. Definitely more so than an Area match. I'm already looking forward to attending next year. If you're even remotely considering going, I would without a doubt recommend it. You'll experience a lot of different shooting situations, meet new people-many of whom you may know from this forum, and can test your abilities in a high stress match environment. I started competing in USPSA matches in December of last year and outside my first major match experience, this was the most beneficial thing I've done so far.

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The 2011 Nationals were held despite not running the September 15th classification report. How many shooters shot the Nationals with an incorrect classification? This never should have happened. The pinnacle event of USPSA shooting didn't follow it's own rulebook.

It happened and nothing can change it now. I'd like to know what's going to prevent the same thing from happening in the future? Professionalism is, in part, is admitting mistakes and taking the right steps to insure that they will not occur again.

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I put some comments in the Postcard from Vegas thread, but I will put them here too with some additional ones.

Some observations from Nationals:

1. Prize awards for both matches was INFINITELY better than last year, no scrum, no pushing no yelling, screaming etc....

2. Every time someone clicks on something in my web-site it scores a hit. I have had just over half-a-million hits since Nationals started !!!

3. My web-site was updated every night with a short review of the days action along with photographs and video (the same could not be said for USPSA.org which apart from scores had nothing about action at the match).

4. Location of the vendor tent was much better and avoided the gridlock that plagued the lower corner in the previous two years.

5. Range crew was great (as always) though they looked a little ragged at the end of the match.

6. New trophies were awesome.

7. The main reason for the delay in registration for the Open/L10 match was the competitor name tags. They arrived stuck onto sheets in alphabetical order (by first name, not last name). The decision was made to remove them all from the sheets and sort them into order. All the tags were in one lump, for both matches, there were hundreds of them.. It took forever ! I'm not sure how they are ordered but perhaps this can be fixed for next year. I suspect that the names are in a spreadsheet and they need to be re-ordered by surname before submitting to the printers (this is just speculation on my part).

8. I did not like how they scheduled the Super Squads so they were all shooting at the same time. It made coverage very difficult and left me running from one berm to another each time, trying to get video and photos of as many stages as possible.

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The 2011 Nationals were held despite not running the September 15th classification report. How many shooters shot the Nationals with an incorrect classification? This never should have happened. The pinnacle event of USPSA shooting didn't follow it's own rulebook.

Please be so kind as to cite the rule that was violated.

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pjb45   

I have shot Nationals at IL, OK, and NV.

From an organizational standpoint Tulsa was superior. The weather was the worst. Tulsa had great facilities but the stages were these little postage stamp stages on huge berms.

IL was fine. A lot of history there. Generally good stages.

This is the first year where we only had one squad member draw blood from rocks or bullet fragments. The sign up for registration was better than the last two years but nowhere near as good as Tulsa. The weather was good and it seemed like we did not loose any ROs to the heat.

As usual, the awards ran late.

Area 2 is the best run, has the best stages, and great staff of any match I have attended in my short time with USPSA. Nationals should aspire to be as good as the Desert Classic.

One of the fundamentals of project management is a Lessons Learned aspect. Putting on Nationals is a large undertaking. Bringing in the techniques of project management would significantly improve the Nationals experience.

The bottom line is I enjoyed Nationals but there is room for improvement.

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dillon   

On my "inviation to compete", the form states "Competitors will compete in the class that is in the USPSA database as of the August 2011 reclassification.

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spanky   

On my "inviation to compete", the form states "Competitors will compete in the class that is in the USPSA database as of the August 2011 reclassification.

Which tells me that USPSA knew well ahead of time that the September update would not run.

Why not plan to do it early or at least notify the membership of the planned delay.

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this was my third time shooting the Nationals. I felt that the match was run professionally by the staff. Stages felt like national championship stages, challenging. The caliber of shooters in my class appeared to be higher than the last Area match I attended. I happen to like Las Vegas and plan on shooting the Nationals again next year, though I wont be shooting back to back matches (too much bullets to carry on the airplane B) )

(also realize I suck at Open and should stick to iron sights, but thats a diffrent matter :D )

Had a great time overall.

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I flew in from Canada with my wife and some family members. I was fortunate to get a slot. I shot unclassified. I could not make the awards ceremony as my flight left about the same time the banquet was going on. The stages were well thought out, and RO'd well. Different ways to shoot them made it interesting. The only thing I did not like was waiting in different lines for nearly an hour to get my registration. I have been to 2 area 7 championships, and a match in SC. Good people and volunteers make good matches. My hats off to the volunteers and people that did the work!

I like the use of both targets, it should have made me aim better...LOL

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Joe4d   

A thought just occurred to me, Why do we stand in lines for hours plus to register at Nationals? I have shot alot of local, section, and Area matches and havent stood in any lines, ever. Seems like the staff "registers you" when you send in the application and money, squad assignments should be handled online and a stage matrix could just be hung on the wall somewhere. Couldnt score sheet lables be mailed with the welcome packet and the actual stage score sheet blanks in a pile at each satge. I am kinda trying to figure out what the purpose of registration actually is.

I last shot Nationals in 2009. I had a blast. was really great trip for me. Saying that I probably wont go back until Nationals is in driving distance. Or the airlines and TSA are forced to obey basic civil rights.

SOunds like some of the issues were fixed this year though things I noticed in O9,

long hour plus line at registration to get basically nothing, a bag full of junk mail, and if I remember no map or directions to the range.

A stage being thrown out, and another stage with a texas star not being scored in IAW the rules.

I really like the 5 a day format though. Hope it stays that way and I like it for area matches also. Shooting is supposed to be fun and marathon matches shooting 10 plus stages along with all the standing around all in one day just isnt fun to me, Usually by 7 I just want it to end,

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The 2011 Nationals were held despite not running the September 15th classification report. How many shooters shot the Nationals with an incorrect classification? This never should have happened. The pinnacle event of USPSA shooting didn't follow it's own rulebook.

It happened and nothing can change it now. I'd like to know what's going to prevent the same thing from happening in the future? Professionalism is, in part, is admitting mistakes and taking the right steps to insure that they will not occur again.

How far in advance did USPSA advise members the Aug classification would be the one used for the match? I know it was several months. Was it prior to applications being taken? If so, no one who attended the match has any reason to complain. If a competitor failed to notice that detail, it isn't USPSA's fault.

I have never run an operation as big as Nationals...have you? If you have, perhaps you can assist USPSA in reducing the timeline needed between the classification run and getting everything ready for registration. Logistically, I think getting things printed up within 2 weeks with the latest classification and dealing with oter classification issues in that short of a period of time is likely problematic, hence using the classification from August.

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On my "inviation to compete", the form states "Competitors will compete in the class that is in the USPSA database as of the August 2011 reclassification.

Which tells me that USPSA knew well ahead of time that the September update would not run.

Why not plan to do it early or at least notify the membership of the planned delay.

So one month out of the year you want USPSA to alter it's operations. Even though everyone who submitted an application received written notice their classification in August would count for the match, that isn't good enough. I disagree with you and don't understand why you have tanke the position you have. Notice was given by USPSA wellin advance. Now that the match is over, naysayers are coming out.

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For those who have shot National Championships, what is your view of the event experience? Why?

- Is it run professionally?

- Is it unorganized and poorly run?

- Besides watching Super Squads, is your experience similar to that of Area championships?

- Does it have that "national championship" event feel or is it just another large shooting competition?

The reason for my asking these questions is that I have read and heard about how poorly the National Championship is organized. I know many shooters have had positive experience and enjoyed the camaraderie, but still thought the event was poorly run. Another reason for my posting the above-listed questions is to be more circumspect by increasing sample size.

Notwithstanding of what I have read or heard, I have yet to form any meaningful perspective as I have not attended or shot a National Championship.

Professionally run, yes. Unorganized or poorly run, no. Not sure what you mean in the 3d question. I thought it was like a big match, which it is. Not really sure what you consider a "national championship". It isn't NASCAR, the US Open, or the SuperBowl.

All of your questions are subjective. Some people will like Nationals no matter what. Some will hate it no matter what. Was it a great match, IMO, no. Was it a good match? IMO, yes. I would like everystage to be a 30+ round COF. Probably can't happen at a match with 20 stages. That is why I said it was a good, not a great, match.

Edited by remoandiris

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I am kinda trying to figure out what the purpose of registration actually is.

One important thing is that the nationals staff knows exactly who is actually present for the match - something that cannot be done just by mailing the packets.

Also, your packet is reserved for you, and there is a window of several hours during which registration is open. There is no real benefit to showing up at the opening bell as you are picking up an envelope with your name on it, not concert tickets that are in limited supply.

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ima45dv8   

There is no real benefit to showing up at the opening bell....

Especially when they still don't ring that bell for another hour or so.

dry.gif

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Notwithstanding of what I have read or heard, I have yet to form any meaningful perspective as I have not attended or shot a National Championship.

Hmmmm....

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38supPat   

Hmmm, well I didn't have to wait in line at all for registration, went to the range first then came back...no line.

I keep hearing about the classificat5ion update not being run (on the 15th...the match started on the 16th....) can anyone actually cite any examples of someone who would have been bumped up in that month?

Overall I thought the match was very well run and the awards much better this year. The stages were really good and I liked the mix of short medium and long which should be that way in a National Championship (or any Championship in this sport IMO) I've shot Area 2 on a number of occasions and I think it would be great with some medium and shorts mixed in. I think the stage designs lent themselves or resulted in the close finishes we saw in almost every division which makes for a more exciting match.

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spanky   

On my "inviation to compete", the form states "Competitors will compete in the class that is in the USPSA database as of the August 2011 reclassification.

Which tells me that USPSA knew well ahead of time that the September update would not run.

Why not plan to do it early or at least notify the membership of the planned delay.

So one month out of the year you want USPSA to alter it's operations. Even though everyone who submitted an application received written notice their classification in August would count for the match, that isn't good enough. I disagree with you and don't understand why you have tanke the position you have. Notice was given by USPSA wellin advance. Now that the match is over, naysayers are coming out.

Because only a small percentage of active USPSA members attended and thusly were notified of the intended delay in classification update. That left the majority clueless. Also, I did say "or at least notify the membership.". By "the membership" I meant everyone, not simply the participants of the nationals matches.

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justaute   

Yes???? Is there something inappropriate with that statement?

Notwithstanding of what I have read or heard, I have yet to form any meaningful perspective as I have not attended or shot a National Championship.

Hmmmm....

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