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Order of Finish vs. Random Drawing Prize Tables

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What are your feelings on order of finish versus random drawing prize tables?  Almost all of the matches I have been to in the last year have been random drawing.  I'm a big order of finish proponent, but I'm interested to hear other people's take on it, especially MDs who have managed larger matchs.  Why the big shift toward random drawing?

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random is easier to manage, drawing numbers before the match even starts, shooter gets award at signup.  So no hanging around for a couple hours after the match managing that stuff.
However there are just tons of variables in how the awards are done, things like donated/sponsor funded, or match fee funded. Often donated prizes come with specific stipulations on who they go to.. Like top lady, top Jr,, that kinda thing.

I would assume the vast majority of shooters KNOW they arnt gonna place all that high over all at a big match and dont give a rip either way about the prize table.  They do it because they enjoy the match,, if they take home a nicknack thats just a bonus,
I think way to much time and effort is spent on this debate. When I think most dont care. I dont think anyone is making any money off of prize tables when you factor in the time and money to just make it to a match.
Personally for me, it would be an entry fee to entertainment value.. If I thought the fee was worth the fun Id shoot regardless of prize table order.

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Looking at it from the perspective of the MD, as well as the shooter, a nice balance seems to fit the needs quite well.  The match is made possible by the majority of the shooters who won't be placing top in their division/class (and the sponsors), and providing some motivation and reward for them helps encourage them to attend.  I also agree that considering the match schedule, and that a large number of people can't stick around until the end of the last day of shooting - reducing the prizes that have to be mailed out (or that require you to be present to earn) helps the flow.  If you can give random prizes out, in an equitable fashion, to everyone who competes even if they are shooting on a Thu or Fri 1-day format instead of waiting until everyone has finished the match - that helps too.

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If you go by order of finish I think it drives some people to behave as poor sports rather than as people sharing a passion. The other thing, if prizes are funded in part by the match fee then it is just a tax on the 80% of people who will not be in the running for the prizes. 

 

If I was one of the 20% who occasionally benefited, rather than the 80% who lost any chance at a prize, I might have a hard time not feeling differently. If I was one of the 5% who were virtually guaranteed a nice prize at every match it would be much harder to look at it as I do now. 

 

If I was a MD and we had extra $'s and goodies to throw about, the staff would take less of a loss for their contribution to the match and/or the hosting range would receive greater benefit.

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I don't really care one way or the other, but what i would rather see is no/very small prize table and reduce the match fees.  If i could shoot a match for $165 with some prize, or the same match for $100 and no prize, i would go to the $100 match every time.  However, i am also not in that upper echelon of shooters, just one of the many also rans, so at least you know what direction my opinion comes from.

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I don't really care if there's a prize table or not at the matches I shoot, but I really don't like giving away all of the prizes by random drawing.  The way they did prizes at Nationals is nice: everybody walks the prize table by order of finish.  That way everybody gets something (even if it's just a squib rod or discount coupon), but the guys who put more work in get the better stuff.  It's also pretty simple from a logistics viewpoint since all the staff have to do is heap the goodies on a table.

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My opinion varies based on match size. Around here we have what I call a big local 3 gun match series. They have trophies and a healthy prize table that always has at least 3 donated $250+ lower receivers on it. Out of the 70-80 shooters that attend at least 90% of them are regulars and there is realistically only 3-6 guys vying for HOA at a given match. They do random drawings for prizes and I get it in this situation. I can't imagine the sponsor companies wanting the same 3 guys to have a stack of lowers and obviously even the people who will never win need to keep coming or a match this size wouldn't be feasible.

 

At a major I favor the order of finish method. If people want to win the big ticket items they're welcome to spend a fortune training to attain the skills required. If they don't like that they can stay home and other people will be happy to take their spots.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, RJH said:

I don't really care one way or the other, but what i would rather see is no/very small prize table and reduce the match fees.  If i could shoot a match for $165 with some prize, or the same match for $100 and no prize, i would go to the $100 match every time.  However, i am also not in that upper echelon of shooters, just one of the many also rans, so at least you know what direction my opinion comes from.

yep,  Im not into subsidizing other peoples shooting,
But if said $100 match staff got some awesome donated prizes that didnt affect fees and better shooters got a new truck,,, I wouldnt care in the least. Be happy for em.

Edited by Joe4d

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I don't care one way or another as long as expensive prizes aren't awarded to class or category 'winners'. Order of finish should mean division order of finish, and not reward sandbaggers, and people who are trying to stay in a lower class until after some major match they are targeting.

 

As someone who used to sponsor local bicycle races, I'll say that I stipulated that our donations would be given away by random draw, and not to the same old sponsored athletes every time. We got alot more exposure by giving product and or gift certs to ordinary folks that would actually use them instead of selling them, and who might come into our shop and become long-term customers.

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Posted (edited)

Random drawing every time, even for Nationals, offer a potential reward to the 80/90% who are the true bedrock of the game.

Winners take their trophy home. Honour without reward - the ethos of the original Olympics.

Edited by PhilTerry

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No Prize Table and lower entry fee's is my vote both as a competitor and match director.

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Random, at best. Have to admit I don’t go to a match for the prizes, my prize is how I performed at the match. 

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50 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

No Prize Table and lower entry fee's is my vote both as a competitor and match director.

I agree fully... Prize table should be donated prizes or none at all. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 10:44 AM, Ssanders224 said:

Honestly, I'd rather the match just write me a check if I win.

I'm with you.  I shoot a sectional match where they give you cold, hard cash if you win or place well in your division.  It can vary from being about equal to the entry fee up to ~$200 depending on the number of competitors in your division.  It's great!  You basically get a free match if you win.

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1 hour ago, CHA-LEE said:

No Prize Table and lower entry fee's is my vote both as a competitor and match director.

 

The disconnect there, is that very, very few matches are spending money on prize tables. So giving up the prizes doesn’t usually free up $. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 10:55 AM, PhilTerry said:

Random drawing every time, even for Nationals, offer a potential reward to the 80/90% who are the true bedrock of the game.

I totally understand giving away a few door prizes or raffling off some of the more expensive items so that everyone has a shot at winning something.  However, I do think that division HOAs should get something of value out of winning the match.  It seems a bit unfair to me that a division winner who pours a lot of time and expense into the game can walk away with nothing while another guy who doesn't practice at all wins a $500 gun.

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3 hours ago, Ssanders224 said:

 

The disconnect there, is that very, very few matches are spending money on prize tables. So giving up the prizes doesn’t usually free up $. 

 

It absolutely does when you change the whole "Match Sponsorship" dynamic by asking potential sponsors to cover specific expenses within the match instead of sending product to give away. In the major matches I have run it was way easier to pitch match sponsorship to companies when their sponsorship dollars were going to a specific expense that could be directly and repeatedly communicated through the whole event. A good example of this would be ABC Company Sponsors the lunches, DEF Company Sponsors the Trophies, GHI Company sponsors the Targets, Tape and Paint, and on and on and on. Its much easier for potential sponsors to associate a tangible marketing value by focusing their support on a specific thing like that instead of sending a random collection of product and hope that it yields any level of return on that investment.

 

Reducing the match expenses through sponsorships like this absolutely works towards providing a higher quality match for the competitors at a much reduced entry fee. Here is a good example. The last time I ran the Mile High Showdown (Level 2 USPSA Match) the entry fee was $100 and that included a well run match, Lunch for everyone, Drinks for everyone, Shirts for everyone, High quality trophies and multiple $1000 Custom gun certificates. The club also managed to make some profit off of the event to help us pay for steel frame walls.

 

In comparison, I have lost count of how many Level 2/3 matches I have attended over the years that required a $150 - $200+ entry fee which didn't include lunches, shirts, and also had poor depth of trophy recognition and weak prize table offerings. I honestly don't know how some of these matches can justify their high entry fee's given the relatively weak match product offering. What I can tell you is that I usually vote with my feet when I run into these poor value matches and choose not to attend again.

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18 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

It absolutely does when you change the whole "Match Sponsorship" dynamic by asking potential sponsors to cover specific expenses within the match instead of sending product to give away. In the major matches I have run it was way easier to pitch match sponsorship to companies when their sponsorship dollars were going to a specific expense that could be directly and repeatedly communicated through the whole event. A good example of this would be ABC Company Sponsors the lunches, DEF Company Sponsors the Trophies, GHI Company sponsors the Targets, Tape and Paint, and on and on and on. Its much easier for potential sponsors to associate a tangible marketing value by focusing their support on a specific thing like that instead of sending a random collection of product and hope that it yields any level of return on that investment.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I 100% agree with the sentiment.

 

However, the reality is, under the current popular “sponsor” model almost no match “sponsors” are writing checks to matches, and frankly given the lack of financial transparency of some matches, I don’t blame them. 

 

Many sponsors aren’t going to see sponsoring the lunches (etc) as a beneficial investment. A lot of companies see donating product to a match as a way of getting their actual products out in front of potential customers. I’m not saying I agree or disagree, that’s just been my experience. 

 

If a a match can get sponsors to write checks and/or actually PAY for match expenses, that would be great. I’d be all for it, and at that point lowering fees would be a reality. Sadly, just don’t see that being an easy task. 

 

For instance, we have a local company that donates at least $1000 worth of retail product to our sectional every year.  Next year, if I go to him and say.. “Hey, this year just write me a $1100 check to pay for RO lunches”... I can tell you with certainty what his answer would be. 

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45 minutes ago, Ssanders224 said:

 

Don’t get me wrong, I 100% agree with the sentiment.

 

However, the reality is, under the current popular “sponsor” model almost no match “sponsors” are writing checks to matches, and frankly given the lack of financial transparency of some matches, I don’t blame them. 

 

Many sponsors aren’t going to see sponsoring the lunches (etc) as a beneficial investment. A lot of companies see donating product to a match as a way of getting their actual products out in front of potential customers. I’m not saying I agree or disagree, that’s just been my experience. 

 

If a a match can get sponsors to write checks and/or actually PAY for match expenses, that would be great. I’d be all for it, and at that point lowering fees would be a reality. Sadly, just don’t see that being an easy task. 

 

For instance, we have a local company that donates at least $1000 worth of retail product to our sectional every year.  Next year, if I go to him and say.. “Hey, this year just write me a $1100 check to pay for RO lunches”... I can tell you with certainty what his answer would be. 

As you mentioned financial transparency is key along with sharing your long term goals for the club and match. I think you might be surprised at what potential sponsors would be willing to do when they are allowed an honest view of the situation. This also requires that the MD follow through with their promises. 

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11 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

As you mentioned financial transparency is key along with sharing your long term goals for the club and match. I think you might be surprised at what potential sponsors would be willing to do when they are allowed an honest view of the situation. This also requires that the MD follow through with their promises. 

 

Bingo. Hopefully someday those characteristics will become the norm. 

 

Also, we shouldn’t forget that it used to be much more common for companies to sponsor matches with a check. PD used to, along with many other companies that have been involved in the sport for decades.  Something caused that to diminish. 

 

The retail value of product being recognized as the sponsorship amount comes into play too. As long as companies can “sponsor” at a higher $ level with a smaller “investment”, they will choose to do so. 

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This is a very important topic with me, there should be no such thing as random draw at a competition. If you are going to do random draw then get rid of the timer. This is the kind of s#!t that is ruining our society, everyone wants a participation trophy, no one wants to do any work. If your worried about the people that won't place not coming back f*#k em, they will eventually quit anyway and somone else will gladly take that spot. If people don't want to work hard to get something good they don't deserve it. I've worked my ass off for everything I have and every skill I have and if I go home with a pack of stickers I won't be back (not that I would ever go to a match with random draw anyway). So have fun with the people that come and go in this game (it's not a sport) just to get a couple participation trophys instead of the people that have been in this game for years and will be for decades more. I know a lot of people that agree with me (some not for the same reasons) and won't go at a random draw match because they work hard to be a good shooter. 

 

Dont try to say that the sponsors don't want the winners selling their prize either, that's a BS debate. 

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12 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

No Prize Table and lower entry fee's is my vote both as a competitor and match director.

 

I've never been a MD, but aren't prizes donated - would that mean that entry fees would NOT go down without them.

 

My understanding  ??   is that entry fees pay match expenses, and prizes don't figure into expenses, at all ???

 

Am I wrong (again) ?

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Posted (edited)

I've "won" two times in the past 30 years  ….     😂

 

Once was a random draw, which I thought was nice but had no effect

on how much fun I had or whether I would ever go back   (I would

go back, anyway).

 

The other was Hi Super Senior at Area 6 and I got a piece of stuff I don't need

or want.

 

Prizes have NO effect on ME - I shoot to have fun and mark improvement, solely.    :) 

Edited by Hi-Power Jack

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Random drawing for Prize Table items is the best for the sport. 

 

I can't even remember how much money I won from shooting in past matches, but I certainly can remember the randomly-drawn prizes I won.  I also remember buying some new products that I learned of from friends who got them from the prize table.  

 

Placing well in the match is its own reward, while getting product into the hands of competitors is both a bonus for the shooter who didn't win, as well as the manufacturer that is trying to gain name recognition. 

 

Items on the prize table are never purchased using match fees, and should not be distributed based on match placement.  If they are, attendance will diminish, and then donations will suffer.  Not good for the sport, and not good for the match.  

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