$0.02 worth. There are two ways to look at "Grades". One is based on individuals and how they see themselves in relation to fellow shooters. The other is what this thread is about - National competitions with 5 different categories which we class as 4 Grades plus Open (and Piston .. 6 different categories ... what have the Romans ever done ... oops).
If you ignore individual variations and look at the scores for the GPs (sessions or day as a whole) it was clear that while AA was consistent there were several instances where A, B and C were clearly not showing distributions as they should be i.e. times where the B results were more like an A band, and times when you couldn't really say from the scores which band was which. Grades A, B and C were not showing the distribution of results which the bands should give. The bands could be changed but the problem is that the Grades based on BFTA plus Regionals have distorted the grades. If you set aside the regional scores and base national competitions on national scores you have a much better chance that shooters of a similar level will be able to compete against each other. There will still be winners and anyone can still elect to compete in a higher grade. There will still be grade overlap (and some will go up or down for the next season).
Having just BFTA scores going to BFTA grades is very likely to be a lot easier than attempting to tinker with how regions set their courses or the number of competitors in regional events or the number of AAs in a regional event or ... etc. BFTA events are hopefully more consistent with each other and we will have much the same number of AAs attending which will provide the reference for course / weather / attendance.
National competitions need national grades. Otherwise, do not have grades at all but then the trophies will just go to the usual AAs and despite a nice day out and interesting courses and conditions it will just be a chance to meet up and swap ideas for the majority of shooters.
Perhaps folks should ask themselves how they would feel if there were no grades at all which is the case for so many other sports - gold, silver, bronze and nothing for anyone else? So just like the Worlds then? Folks will still go for the pleasure (and pain) of trying their skills on demanding courses.
BFTA Secretary 2012-2014
CSFTA Secretary 2014-2016
Last edited by neilL; 8th September 2015 at 08:54 PM.