Thread: Hard course
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Old 17th November 2015, 08:02 AM
skires skires is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 950

Originally Posted by RobF View Post
There's a saying in racing, if you're on the track and you can't go any faster, your should be learning how to.
I'm not sure I'm interpreting that right but in cricket you try and push the youngsters and newbies to a level where they can compete, but have to be right on top of their game. They develop quicker that way.

So if a lad playing in the under 15s is basically beating every one up at that level, as he's too good, you give him games in the under 17s or in the Senior 2's XI. Not too much for him but he has to be trying hard or he fails.

Let's go back to the example that Bri gave about Jack not going to miss a 42 yard 40mm sitter ( wind inside kill ). So in that case Bri said that it may as well be a 30 yard 40mm sitter as Jack will get it anyway but a lower shooter will stand a better chance on the 30 yarder and get a point on the card.

So we would all put our houses on Jack knocking that 42 yarder down 20 out of 20 ( sorry Jack to use you as an example ... blame Bri ). He'd probably put a tin of pellets through it, as would most of the other top guys so our homes are safe.

Let's look at an average C shooter. This shooter may knock that 42 yarder down 15 times out of 20. So there is a reasonable possibility of a miss. If they hold on aim for too long, start to wobble, snatch the trigger, get the breathing wrong. Those are reasons why they will miss those 5/20. So they have to concentrate and work hard on their technique to knock down that target. That 42 yarder is making them a tougher and better shooter.

Let's say we brought it in to 30 yards and 40mm ( the top guys are going to get it anyway so why not as we've said ). Let's be honest, and there's no disrespect here to youngsters or newbies, a 30 yard 40mm kill with little wind, sitting, isn't a tough target. You can now pretty much go straight at it and it's going down, maybe give it a touch off centre. The average C shooter, who has been doing FT for several months or more, will probably now get this 19/20 or 20/20. He can c0ck the shot up a tad and still knock it down. What is that target teaching them? It's not improving their toughness or consistency as much as the 42 yarder is.

The reason I asked the questions was to try and find out when a target becomes of no test to even C grade shooters ... and hence not really helping their game ( apart from an easy point on the card ).

Again with no disrespect ... but let's say there are youngsters and newbies who will find that 30 yard 40mm sitter in little wind very hard. They may only get it 10/20 or less. So we have to make even easier targets for them to get some points on the board. So do we now make it 20 yards 40mm sitting in little wind. Again, with respect, but being honest, if you are having to add targets like that to give some shooters the odd point then how many are they going to score over the entire course? Maybe 4 or 6 or 8? So they are still going to miss well over 30 out of a 40 target course, and will see their score as 4/40 Vs the winning score of 39/40.

Realistically how many shooters are going to be struggling with that 30 yard 40mm sitter in little wind and scoring overall less than 10/40? Out of a field of 70 maybe 2 or 3? So 68 shooters will shoot at targets that are of no test to them.

If FT is looking at HFT and thinking they definitely got something right by having this 1 point for a plate to get newbies and youngsters in and coming back, then maybe it needs to trial something like that for new and younger shooters. Have a 'Novice' class where newbies can choose to shoot in that class and they score 1 for a plate and 2 for a knockdown. No gonks or prizes ( they wouldn't win anything in any other class anyway ). It's just an introduction grade. When they have been shooting for a wee while and they start scoring 60/80 ( so 20x 2 for knockdowns = 40 and another 20 for plates = T 60/80, so they are knocking down half the targets now ... or make it a 15/40 of targets knocked down ) then they are advised to move into C grade and score 0 and 1 like everyone else. If someone wants to cheat in 'Novice' class and claim they hit the plate then it's only themselves that lose as there are no gonks.

Try it for a year. Advertise it. Encourage people just starting HFT to come and have a go at it at their local FT clubs. See what numbers you attract ... and keep. If it doesn't work ... dump it. If someone just starts and is already knocking down enough targets within a few weeks then they come straight out of 'Novice'. Anyone can choose not to shoot in 'Novice' and go straight in at A grade like you do now. 'Novice' is an option for newbies/youngsters to get into the game and get some points.

Ok we could say at this point that we still have to put some easy targets on the course so that the 'Novice' shooters get some 2's. They don't do that in serious HFT comps. Virtually every shot is tough but you do get that 1 for a plate. So you get some sort of score, which is what some FT guys are saying gets people into the sport and keeps them coming back.

Of course, and I think it's a problem I have, I'm looking at this from a 'competitive sport' angle where people are looking to improve their game etc. I probably have to realise that although this is a serious sport to some, it's just a hobby and some fun for many others. It's very difficult for the BFTA and clubs, course setters to try and accommodate all levels of competitor. For me, club day courses should be biased for consideration for the hobbyists, but regional and national comps should be biased towards competitive sport, and I'm sure that's the case.

Last edited by skires; 17th November 2015 at 08:13 AM.
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