Originally Posted by MikeeUK
If its not a measure or ranking then how can anyone win a trophy in A. B or C grade? It is a measurement and ranking system and the only way for it to not be so is to get rid of grades entirely. (Not until I win a flipping GP trophy though!)
All grading does is suggest what grade you should be in order to compete for that trophy. Your score gets you your trophy.
There are pools of opinion across the issue. As many as some want C 'protected', some feel they are genuinely on the slide and can't compete within their grade fairly. And some say lets get rid of the grades anyway.
FT is a very flat sport at the moment. It's extremely easy for a new club shooter to be shooting alongside a world champ. However between your new club shooter and world champ there is a performance gap. If FT had more participants it may be easier to have shoots and leagues which encourage new shooters with trophies and open leagues which simply award the highest score. It's even been voiced that other league sports don't allow dropped scores.
So as ever I think there needs to be a balance between encouraging shooters and encouraging competition, and sometimes that ends up with a solution thats less ideal for each but equally less ideal rather than biased towards one another.
My thoughts (based upon thoughts and comments of others) are these (to be looked at with the actual data to see if it actually works or not)
To enter grading, region suggests a grade based upon club scores or region scores (we don't have that many people coming in each year). That provides some documented basis for a decision.
12 shoots only of BFTA only scores, to be taken over a max of 2 years (so this year and 2014 for example)
Highest and lowest score discarded for calculation (but obviously retained for the next calculation where they may be exceeded and thus become valid)
Percentages not published.
In the event the person only has less than 3 by end of season, it's put to grading officer to decide based upon scores submitted to date. All decisions final as decided by grading officer.
Grade boundaries divided at end of season into equal amounts of shooters (unsure about how those that elect up should be treated)
Regions do what they like
To me that solves the A grade issue, and puts an onus on the region to provide some basis for their suggestion. A region's trend of suggestion can then be looked at later if there is an issue (like they always put everyone in C and they're always way better)...
12 shoots of BFTA scores stops the regional swing due to courses, conditions, less targets and anything else that means it's not the same as a 50 shot timed GP course. 12 shoots is a national season. So if you do a season complete, and you are compared with someone else who hasn't they still have 12 shoots to compare with in theory.
Where they don't, and lets say it's under 4, the grading officer makes a call. It can be open to appeal, but unless there's an error in the data presented, the officer's opinion should be respected, like a marshal's should be.
Not presenting %'s and also with variable grade boundaries means deliberate ringing is impossible, and to go up, you can't hit cruise control, because you may go down!
That's my thoughts...
Or throw the whole thing out and hope new shooters don't get the hump with Jack winning everything till someone in Wales lets his tyres down.