I've thought for a while that the Grades could do with tweaking, and actually think something between the current system and Rich's is the way. Instead of a fixed % break, or a fixed number of shooters (which would vary as some would and some wouldnt shoot), move the % brackets to the scores... so say you want 25% of shooters to be C, 25% B, 25%, A, 25% AA...so move the % margins so they do that at the end of each season.
As for the course, scrap the mandatory amount of reducers, thus allowing regions and course builders to flavour their offering.
1x 25mm on kneelers out to 35 yds
1x 25mm on standers out to 15 yds
Normal kneelers out to full distance.
25mm reducers out to 45 yds.
But 6 standers for me make it tougher. I don't know if there's a statistical analysis available, but i seem to remember a trend that 4 standers = close to clear, 6 = closer to 45/50.
But we have to make courses for all those that attend. If we make courses about seperating the top then we'll end up with no bottom. Making the grades more even should take the sting out of a harder course though, as there will be more people alongside to compete with and it won't all be about AA. Touhger targets do test, but we don't need courses full of them. I think if we find out what the winners missed on the GP's it won't be 55'yders.
I'd also suggest looking at a loading on regional grades. It's all very well for regions with a strong top end, their grades are thus orientated around those shooters, but it means that regions with a bias towards lower grades have their grades artificially inflated... thus when they get to GP they suffer. That's not the fault of the shooter, just the situation of the region they find themselves in. I dare say that quite a few of CSFTA and SWEFTA's grades would be different if they were put in MFTA or NEFTA. It's different if you compete across the whole season and have some national grades to temper the adjustment, but for those that dip their toe then it can be a different story.
BFTA/NSRA County Coach
CSFTA Chairman/BFTA Rep