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Nolan

How does your local club compete?

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This may have been asked before, or this may not be the correct forum, if so just quietly mutter "Moron" and point me to the correct link.

I'm looking for ideas on improving match turnout.  I shoot at several different clubs in the Northern Cal. area.  One club has free hot dogs, sodas, chips and cookies at each match.  They also give a free match by random drawing from everyone who helped clean up after the match.  A different club gives a free match to stage CRO's who build stages and half price entry to 2 helpers.  Another club gives out primers instead of trophies at each match.  The best local club has the Swedish Bikini team pick up brass, oops I was daydreaming!

What does your local club do to bring in shooters, both new and old?

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  Flex is right on the money -- well designed, well run stages will keep 'em coming back. Unless your giving away substantial prizes at your local matches, bad course design and unfairly run stages tend to minimize the repeat "customers".

 We are vying for peoples "entertainment dollars" and unless you provide a quality product, no amount of inducements will keep 'em attending the matches, especially those who must travel any distance.

 

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Set up a display at a gun store or show. Have a class for new shooters teaching safety, basic rules and basic stragedy. Send new people with an experienced person(no jerks). Then get ready to limit # of shooters.

Remember this is an ego intensive sport. A lot of the people who leave our sport are never coming back. They can't/won't do what it takes to accomplish their goals. They blame rules/people/equipment race/stages/whatever for their lack of ability and desire. They are "losers" in the best sense of the word. Usually they go invent another game or shoot a current new one and then quit that when the rules/people/equipment are not "fair" anymore.

BUT a lot of people who are running matches forget that they are hosts. They don't treat people like they are visitors to their home and then scare others away. Macho trips make me laugh. They make a lot of other shooters go away. Smile, have fun, and invite a friend shooting. Personally I only shoot clubs that have big matches or I really like the people, unless I am getting in practice for a big match.

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The good & bad:  Several area 8 clubs have a policy whereby 1st time shooters don't pay entry fees; at least one club offers 50% off entry if you bring a new shooter to the match (excellent idea).

One bad idea is a certain Area 8 club's required 1/2 day "safety seminar". I am not against safety (so don't go there). I have seen plenty of other clubs safely instruct new shooters during the course of a match (under the watchful eye of a good RO) without making them sit around for 1/2 day just to spend the other 1/2 shooting.  Its a drag; worse, they sometimes cancell the class thus closing USPSA competition to new shooters! Regardless of the good intentions of such a class, it has had the effect of turning away potential new shooters.  Moreover, its unnecessary.

I like the ideas of free cookies (gets the non-participating spouse/kids involved) and the brick of primers give-away. Keep sending in the terrific ideas.

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Fun, challenging course of fire are mandatory for good match attendance, BUT that isn't always enough when there are 5 or 6 other clubs within a 150 mile radius.

Bill is exactly right that a lot of clubs forget about hospitality and hosting.  Some clubs lose sight of having fun in the rush to get the match set up, shooters run through the stages as quickly as possible, stages torn down, and  stats posted.  There seems to be very little room left for the social side.  Maybe that's why the Cowboys are flourishing?

So are there any more suggestions?

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