Originally Posted by Barndoor
HFT has changed over the years. At first it was designed to try to make a sport that could be shot fairly and evenly with entry level equipment. It has however evolved into a full out target sport and that's the reason there are people who shoot with four grands worth of kit. We just need to be glad of the fact that it is recognised as full on target sport. Nothing wrong with evolution.
As long as you realise that having top level shooters, with experience and using 4k worth of top level kit, has meant that the courses have had to evolve to test that quality of shooter/kit. On a windy day, even some of these shooters struggle on courses that are pushed to the limits of the modern rules.
So a sport that, as you say
, was designed for average Joe with his average Joe kit, now finds average Joe spending time travelling to a shoot, and then 3 hours going around a course that his ability and his kit will struggle to knock down half of the targets. If there's wind then average Joe may be lucky to knock down a third of the targets.
A top shooter with average kit can still do well, even win, a HFT comp. An average Joe with average kit, in some wind, on modern courses, has a lot of targets where it's aim and hope. These were the people that were the foundations of HFT ... and the people that HFT was invented for ... hence pegs for support and gloved hand and butt on the floor etc.
Most of these folk are probably just happy to be part of the scene and enjoy the banter and meeting up with old mates etc. As the frontline of a sport evolves forward, with better quality competitors and better equipment enforcing tougher playing conditions, what happens to the people that it was original designed for?
I've said it before with these tin chicken sports. In football, cricket, rugby etc. you find your own level in the leagues. So a Premier league footballer plays against other Premier league footballers. A Sunday morning fat lad plays against other Sunday morning fat lads. The competition is on an equal level. In these target sports the competition is the course ... and the course remains the same for all levels of competitors. So to challenge the very best, with the very best kit, you may be putting too much pressure on the newcomers and lower end shooters.
That's a tough job for the organisers/rule makers and course setters. Like I said in an earlier post ... all the comps are still very well attended so the balance must still be good regarding testing the best but attracting newcomers and keeping newcomers and lower end shooters coming back for more.
That may be because there are many hundreds of HFT shooters in the country and the Nationals can only support @ 180 per shoot ( Worlds @ 360 ). There may be many that have tried a National and thought they were too hard for them ( I know some of those ). I suppose they can shoot their club courses, which will probably be easier to accomodate local club shooters, until they reach a standard that they move on and try a National etc.
I've actually seen problems with that though to be honest. If your local club typically has all levels of shooters from starters to blokes that shoot all the Nationals, then if you put on easy courses to keep the local, not so good shooters happy, then the National shooters will probably go elsewhere as they want to be tested to National standard as practice for when they shoot those tougher comps. So it can cause problems down at club level when that evolving frontline stretches the distance between the very best and average Joe.
There's often these comments that one second it's just a bit of fun between a bunch of fat blokes in camo on a Sunday morning ... and the next second it's a very serious target sport. Like I said ... it's a tough job making it both.
Edited ... typo of 4k instead of 3k ... I picked up someone saying 3k in the thread and just realised they were talking about FT.