Originally Posted by Brian.Samson
I think there's a perception that the GP's aren't for beginners.
Having an Open class will do little to change that perception, SFT grade was possibly more successful in that respect.
It's not hard to see why the GP's attract that perception. First off 50 targets against the clock, courses tend to be very long - some more than others. The name doesn't do much for bringing in newcomers - when you're a fresh faced FT shooter, are you going to have the balls to enter a National Grand Prix competition series?
Personally I don't think it's a problem though - the Regional Winter League shoots are there to bring newcomers into the sport and feed into the GP's over the summer.
That probably explains the lack of C grade support for the GP's too.
My perception of the Open class is that it was introduced in an attempt to try to solve the Dispensation Rules problem the BFTA painted itself into a corner with. I'd imagine I'm not alone in that perception.
Completely agree with you Brian; regional comps. allow a new shooter to get used to FT competition, courses are generally shorter in target numbers and duration. Also the shooter can obtain a proper grade before embarking on 500 mile journeys.
It's my understanding that 'Open Class' was a direct response to the disabled controversy. It's full on FT with all the kit and rules but shoot in a recognised position that doesn't cause you injury and any 'advantage' in your final score won't impede other shooters in the grades. Having tried it once it's still challenging and I could see scope at Millride to have walked off with a much lower score than 42, and again my score doesn't reflect or compare with anyone who tackled the disciplines in the graded shoot.
In addition entrants can shoot anyway they like within BFTA rules; piston only, low mag, no focusing, all kneeling etc. but this is not a trial class for a new format of shooting e.g. SFT or HFT style. At least that's my understanding.
If we end up with shooters being criticised in Open for sitting down with a full FT rig because someone else guesstimated ranges, or stood all the way round then I fear we're back to square one