Originally Posted by Scooby
It's difficult to state exact participation numbers in both HFT & FT as you have people shooting club courses for either plinking or practice then you have open comp, club comps, regional comps & national comps plus of course you have comps that are run to variations of both sets of National rules (UKAHFT & BFTA)
As mentioned above what criteria would you use to say they have shot HFT plus there are probably more clubs who either use our rules but don't affiliate or run HFT shoots to their own rules.
We are the "official" body in the UK, the majority of HFT clubs in the UK use our rules or slight variations, there are also more that a dozen countries using those same rules. Not really sure we are the arbiter as such as although the UKAHFT organisers create the rules we don't force anyone to use these rules so don't have any ultimate authority & where the national shoots are concerned the Chief Marshals have more authority whilst shooting is taking place. The main job for the organisers are to maintain a set of rules which allow shooters to compete on as level a playing field as possible & run a national series of events.
Then as the official body there's no reason why UKAHFT shouldn't require affiliated clubs to complete an annual membership return as part of their affiliation, such a return could indicate total membership, broken down by gender etc, and the type of shooting undertaken at the club, perhaps even with an estimate of how many members compete, on average, in any club HFT comp.. I'm sure such an exercise would get support from the various magazines and would thus drive membership / affiliation / competition. I think that driving club membership (and affiliation to UKAHFT as a by product) is an excellent way of promoting the sport and safe gun use.
I believe it is only a matter of time before yet more attempts are made to license or otherwise control gun ownership and use, and if you'll pardon the metaphor, forewarned is forearmed.
Again, let me emphasise, this is in no way any sort of criticism of the way UKAHFT is run or of the people who run it, merely developing some ideas for discussion.