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Excessively Hard Shooting Challenges - MD's need to know the skill set of their customer base


CHA-LEE
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1 minute ago, MikeBurgess said:

so the challenge is to not have that head box a a range where its luck for a good shooter to get As. 

 

Hitting a full target at 10 yards is luck for a lot of shooters.  The top shooters should be able to hit a head A at 25 yards all day long.

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2 hours ago, Dirty_J said:

Yep. I’ve shot at least one Nationals event per year since 2020. 

 

The stages have been mostly garbage. I’ll agree with that completely. JM and team are a bucha of lazy MDs as far as I’m concerned. Entirely phoned in stages. 
 

The best stages at the Nationals events hosted last month at CMP were borrowed (in spirit at least) from other other majors… such as Area 5 (fixed time stage and the stage with the wall down the middle in zone 3). 
 

The area matches I shot in 2022 were far more challenging than Nationals. It’s a shame to be honest.  

 

so you're saying nationals is not challenging enough, and cha-lee is saying matches are too challenging for many shooters. Now I'm confused. Maybe that means they are just right.

 

I shot SS nationals last year and this year, and CO nats this year, and I thought the stages were fine. They challenged your ability to shoot accurately and fast without a lot of elaborate gimmicks, and they avoided getting stages thrown out. Everyone I talked to as a shooter and as an RO seemed to be having a good time. We've stolen several of the stages to run at our local club and they got good feedback there too.

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4 hours ago, motosapiens said:

 

so you're saying nationals is not challenging enough, and cha-lee is saying matches are too challenging for many shooters. Now I'm confused. Maybe that means they are just right.

 

I shot SS nationals last year and this year, and CO nats this year, and I thought the stages were fine. They challenged your ability to shoot accurately and fast without a lot of elaborate gimmicks, and they avoided getting stages thrown out. Everyone I talked to as a shooter and as an RO seemed to be having a good time. We've stolen several of the stages to run at our local club and they got good feedback there too.

I thought CO nationals was a couple of stages light, and that physical constraints at the host range curtailed some stage possibilities. In terms of difficulty it was completely reasonable and had a good balance of skills tested. A friend shot it penalty free. I didn’t, but 2/4 of my mikes were on open targets inside 7 yards, so hard to blame the stage designers. I would have liked more running, more distance shooting, and slightly more creative stand and deliver — but my experience wasn’t colored by the difficulty of the stages. I’m a middling shooter and had no problem calling good shots on everything I paid attention to. 
 

I would characterize Area 6 and 7 similarly, especially Area 6 given the depth limitations of many of the bays. The state matches I shot weren’t prohibitively difficult either. The “hardest,” Maryland, was also the most enjoyable for iron sighted friends of mine. Dragon’s Cup was rough for temperature (and covid for me) reasons,  but the shooting challenges weren’t a stretch. Lots of movers, but two simple continuously raised gun stages for hi-cap divisions.

 

Maybe the complaint is more local to the West and the East has been spared it?

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This issue is one of the reasons that I like that my home club. Before two others and myself took over as a group, there was one guy as MD and he designed most of the stages. There was some variety from what I remember, but they often had the same "flavor" across the match. Maybe I was too green then to notice the differences but I'll stick to that opinion. 

 

Once our new group took over we built up a decent sized group of regular stage designers/builders and we all had our own styles. That made for 5-6 stages that were usually different styles and tested different things every single match. Now that we have moved on, the person we trained up and gave the reins to works the same. Still a core group of us designing each month so the stages are usually very well received with variety.

One of the other clubs I frequent has a similar result, but the other one is usually consistently "flavored" but I think that is somewhat due to bay restrictions

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1 hour ago, OpenshooterAclass4lyfe said:

How am I supposed to get better and know what I need to work on shooting easy s#!t all the damn time.  

 

Isn't that what your practice should be addressing?  What percentage do you think takes this sport that serious?  How many people that participate in USPSA actually pick up a gun in between matches?  Most likely less than 10%.  MDs have to keep shooters around, most of which are recreational shooters at best.  @CHA-LEEis correct, in that matches must be balanced for both recreational shooters and the guys who put in the time, or you will not have enough shooters to "Pay the Bills."

Edited by Boomstick303
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I agree with the OP and the other supporters, but I'm mostly a "hack" competitor that shoots local matches to have fun and don't ever plan to get to a higher level match.  I also enjoy shooting knockdown steel and running local steel matches for the members of our club.  Shooting a couple of 8 inch plate racks at 30 ft is easy enough that even beginners can have fun doing it and get excited about knocking down steel, and yet, it's also competitive for the better shooters because they can increase the degree of difficulty to any level they want, by simply ramping up the speed.  It becomes an interesting shoot for any level of competitor.

 

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I know what OP was talking about and agree with him mostly. Some "challenges" I have encountered this year throughout the local and major match I shot were more of tests for luck instead of skills. For example, tuxedo swinger at distances beyond 10 yards without apex exposure, 20+ yard mini popper with 2/3 area exposed from behind a barrel at weakside hard lean, 50-yard mini popper array, 20 yards+ IPSC NS stacks, ~30-yard IPSC NS stack bobber, on an on. I don't know about you guys, but I was in "survival mode" when I engaged all those ones mentioned above. 

 

And I do agree with some of the notions above, that some of these might be due to the rise of optic divisions, some PCC but mostly CO. I have personally heard from MDs, multiple times, things like " we don't want to make things too easy for dot shooters", little did they know while they try to screw dot shooters (a little over 50% of the match population usually), they already screwed iron shooters over 10x more. When there are zero rewards for taking risks, the stage becomes a contest for "who turtles the hardest". 

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There are two distinct groups within the sport; There is the participant that just wants to have fun and hang out with their buddies and shoot. Then there is the competitor that wants to challenge their skills and pursue excellence.

 

Designing stages that satisfy both groups might be difficult.

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8 hours ago, BritinUSA said:

There are two distinct groups within the sport; There is the participant that just wants to have fun and hang out with their buddies and shoot. Then there is the competitor that wants to challenge their skills and pursue excellence.

 

Designing stages that satisfy both groups might be difficult.


just because it might be difficult, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Hmmm, I think I read that somewhere before…

 

:)

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All the match directors where I shoot have full time jobs and don’t have time to study scores and see what percentage of shooters have penalties and or misses. Most are desperate for a little help with any stage. Most my shooting is 2 1/2 hour travel time so I don’t do a lot of set up. 

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2 hours ago, EEH said:

All the match directors where I shoot have full time jobs and don’t have time to study scores and see what percentage of shooters have penalties and or misses. 

I don't study scores to look for penalties and misses, but I do ask shooters what they thought of my stage and many folks volunteer their thoughts before I even have a chance to ask.

 

I don't tend to put crazy hard shots in my stages tho because people would think I was trying to get an advantage (i'm a bit of an over-aiming turtle). 

Edited by motosapiens
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40 minutes ago, motosapiens said:

I don't study scores to look for penalties and misses, but I do ask shooters what they thought of my stage and many folks volunteer their thoughts before I even have a chance to ask.

 

I don't tend to put crazy hard shots in my stages tho because people would think I was trying to get an advantage (i'm a bit of an over-aiming turtle). 

Was not directed at you, shucks I’m just glad someone sets up so I can shoot.

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3 hours ago, EEH said:

All the match directors where I shoot have full time jobs and don’t have time to study scores and see what percentage of shooters have penalties and or misses. Most are desperate for a little help with any stage. Most my shooting is 2 1/2 hour travel time so I don’t do a lot of set up. 

 

"I don't have time to do XYZ" is an excuse. Most Clubs only host 1 match a month. MD's have a WHOLE MONTH between matches to proactively review the match results, compile solid viable stages, coordinate their team, etc. This "I am only a volunteer and my donation of time to hosting a match only happens on the day of the match" is what causes the bulk of their match issues.

 

Hosting matches becomes much easier if you actually work on it one task at a time throughout the whole MONTH from one match to the next. Or you can scramble trying to do everything on the day of the match and it result in a lack luster product. One way is sustainable long term and produces a solid match product and the other way is unsustainable in the long term as well as produces a marginal match product.

 

I have said this many times in the past on other threads with regards to Match Management..... Do the job RIGHT or don't sign up to do the job. Volunteering your Time and Effort to host a match doesn't justify doing a half a$$ job at it.

 

Hosting solid high quality matches is 100% doable if you invest time and effort into doing it throughout the whole month between matches.

Edited by CHA-LEE
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Way back in the old days when I and one other guy founded a local club I was stuck as RM/MD for the first year because I was the only USPSA RO and only one of 3 that had ever shot anywhere other than my home club. It sucked. Even I thought the stages sucked.

 

To fix it first we had an RO class, then we added that you could earn extra points by going to other club matches and even more if you when to Section or Area. After a year of doing that we started rotating the RM/MD role among all the ROs but every member had to submit 3 stages on paper every year.  

 

It worked great. It got everyone involved, it got fresh stages and it turned out some members that really gave a crap about the sport.

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2 hours ago, rowdyb said:

Being a volunteer doesn't automatically make you a martyr. 

 

Have a victim mentality and you become a victim.

Yeah, I'm co-md-ing on sunday. I haven't done crap about it the rest of the month except draw up the stage I'm going to build. The match is still going to get built quick, shot quick, and tore down quick, and the stages will be fun and interesting and challenging and shooters will like them. Of course someone (not me) had to originally develop the volunteer culture we have here, but it's not too hard to keep it going.

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34 minutes ago, motosapiens said:

Yeah, I'm co-md-ing on sunday. I haven't done crap about it the rest of the month except draw up the stage I'm going to build. The match is still going to get built quick, shot quick, and tore down quick, and the stages will be fun and interesting and challenging and shooters will like them. Of course someone (not me) had to originally develop the volunteer culture we have here, but it's not too hard to keep it going.

 

And that's really the thing.  If you go to a club where the culture is such that it is expected and normal to volunteer, and it is NOT acceptable to not help out---that club is going to keep doing well, because as more people show up, that culture perpetuates itself.  (With help, obviously.)

 

Building that culture in the first place can be really, really hard.  And if a club doesn't have it, and doesn't try to build it....that club is probably going to suck after not very long, because the few people working to make it good are going to burn out pretty quickly.

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1 minute ago, Thomas H said:

 

And that's really the thing.  If you go to a club where the culture is such that it is expected and normal to volunteer, and it is NOT acceptable to not help out---that club is going to keep doing well, because as more people show up, that culture perpetuates itself.  (With help, obviously.)

 

Building that culture in the first place can be really, really hard.  And if a club doesn't have it, and doesn't try to build it....that club is probably going to suck after not very long, because the few people working to make it good are going to burn out pretty quickly.

 

And clubs need to be careful once they build that volunteer base. A new MD can quickly destroy what took years to build. I've seen it at my local club, I stopped building stages a few years ago. I'm not going to put a bunch of thought into a stage, then show up early and build it by myself for it to be torn apart because someone doesn't like it. I've talked to others that had the same thing happen at that club. 

 

Now that club struggles to get help, the stages the build are super vanilla and in many cases I'll drive a extra hour to shoot another club if I can. 3 or 4 years ago I'd of told you it was the best club in the region.

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To get back to the original post:  I no longer shoot anything other than L1 matches.  I like complicated, thought provoking stages.  The very last thing I want is an entire match of easy hoser stages.

 

At my favorite USPSA club we have a bunch of new CROs.  They are designing stages now, rather than the GMs.  Yes there are no hosers.  Yes they ensure you have to move backwards and to every corner of the shooting area.  What they don't provide is options.  At the last two matches, EVERY shooter on my squad shot every stage exactly the same way, except for the lone Production shooter.  That's no fun.  It simply means the fastest jackrabbit will win the stage.

 

I really preferred it when the GMs and Ms would pluck stages from LII and LIII matches and set them up.  Very thought provoking and challenging.  You see four or five different stage plans.  A couple of times you ask yourself, why didn't I think of that?

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

To get back to the original post:  I no longer shoot anything other than L1 matches.  I like complicated, thought provoking stages.  The very last thing I want is an entire match of easy hoser stages.

 

At my favorite USPSA club we have a bunch of new CROs.  They are designing stages now, rather than the GMs.  Yes there are no hosers.  Yes they ensure you have to move backwards and to every corner of the shooting area.  What they don't provide is options.  At the last two matches, EVERY shooter on my squad shot every stage exactly the same way, except for the lone Production shooter.  That's no fun.  It simply means the fastest jackrabbit will win the stage.

 

I really preferred it when the GMs and Ms would pluck stages from LII and LIII matches and set them up.  Very thought provoking and challenging.  You see four or five different stage plans.  A couple of times you ask yourself, why didn't I think of that?

everyone likes stages with options.

 

what did your local stage designers say when you mentioned this to them?

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@CHA-LEE,  You are shining a big spotlight on what I’ve observed over the last 30 years in shooting sports.  
 

I’ve watched another sport go from creative and fun stages to a hoser fest because “these were the stages at the World shoot”, forgetting that the World shoot was mostly Top guns and trying to manage an ever increasing number of shooters in a couple days of shooting.

 

It seems that USPSA is moving in the same direction, geared towards the top 10% and high end gear. It is a challenge for those of us shooting Single Stack/Revolver. Not knocking the need to develop a GOOD stage plan, but it has a tendency to scare off the new shooter who is coming out with bare bones Production/SS gear.

 

I don’t expect to be anything more than a “C” class shooter because I’m shooting too many disciplines and M.D.ing two matches a month, but want to grow ALL of the shooting sports

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