cedestech wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:03 pm
Actually... I don't have an opinion... It may be a panacea... or a death sentence... we'll find out...
All I do know is the old, terrible system seemed to work fairly well for a long time... The devil you know....
Glad to see you recognize everyone may not share your viewpoint though...
It's all good though. The books are gone. Your mission in life has been fulfilled and you can go into the ether with a clear conscience...
long post with little tact due to running out of patience with complainers...
You have an opinion and you have made it clear. You even have it in your signature, so if this is anyone's mission it is clear whose mission it is. It's fine that you have that opinion, although you make it seem like the books are easy and have no downside at all. That's not the case. See following paragraphs for examples that have all actually happened to shooters around here, but first I will address the complaint about having to have or buy multiple cards if you shoot multiple silhouette events.
The books are effectively a big stack of cards for every single silhouette match that a competitor might possibly shoot and it costs $13 for those cards that will mostly go unused. Despite that, there are complaints in this very thread about having to deal with multiple cards if you shoot different events. We have all had to effectively purchase a big stack of cards every year for years. Some of us who also shoot pistol silhouette have had to purchase two big stacks of cards, one for rifle and one for pistol, for $26 and even fewer of the pages in the pistol silhouette book get used. The argument advocating staying with books to avoid having to have multiple cards is completely invalid.
I'll lay my opinion out a little more thoroughly. My "mission" within this thread and within this sport, if I have to explicitly state one, is to not have the sport die. I can see that silhouette is getting left behind when other shooting sports are modernizing. Even so, there are many who are against any changes and then complain about lack of improvements and support for the sport from the NRA and low participation. Do you really not see where continuing on this path goes? I'm 45 years old and there have been way too many matches where I'm the youngest person there, sometimes by 10 or more years. If I go to any of my other shooting sports, with Steel Challenge as an example, I am definitely older than over half of the people shooting but there are shooters who are in late 60s and early 70s at the match, too. It's not a young person's game. It's an everyone game. The scores are all kept online, and I can pull them up on my phone. I have heard one of the late-60s guys say how great it is to not have to have his range bag be full of score cards and books like it used to be.
I have a 60-hour-a-week job and three teenage kids with all their activities. I don't have as much time to devote to being a match director as I should, but I am still a match director because I don't want the match to die and no one else will step up and run the match. I have had a couple consider it. The last one, a younger guy, saw all the paper books and was less interested. It was completely foreign to him. He commented that they looked like something his dad had from the 60s when he was competing in shooting sports. He just didn't want to deal with them. Other than him, I have had no prospects for a new match director for that match that are younger than 60 years old. Every silhouette match director that I know in this state is older than I am... every single one. Most are older by more than a few years. I only have three shooters out of everyone that ever comes to my matches more than once or twice that are younger than I am. That shows what the system that "seemed to work fairly well for a long time" brings you. It brings you stagnation and withering participation. This is the second time that the NRA has tried to do something to modernize our sport even a little bit, and this is the second time that their effort has been met with complaints. That's the root of my frustration here.
People want to be able to share what they're doing with their friends and family, even if they didn't come to the match. They want to be able to link to some website that shows they earned a new class or shot 10-in-a-row on Facebook or Instagram. This isn't only kids. This is most people under 30, and a lot of people who are a lot older than that. Speaking of kids, I used to coach 4H junior shooting sports kids in position rifle when my kids were a bit younger, and one of my kids was fairly deep into USA shooting junior competition. I got a few of those dedicated shooting kids interested in silhouette because shooting targets that fall is more fun than shooting paper. Not a single one ever bought a book and shot more than a few matches, because it seemed ridiculous to them to have to carry around a paper book. Their scores for their position matches were online soon after they were shot. They could see them on their phones and could tell others about them. Silhouette wasn't a match for them. Silhouette, along with its paper books, was an antiquated match shot by old people. That was their perception.
In 2019, it is
ridiculous to have to carry around a paper book. Books that can be lost, forgotten at home, damaged because something got spilled on them, stolen in a range bag (actually happened to one of our shooters, and he had all his past books in the bag), burned in a fire (also books from all years lost), or otherwise suddenly gone should not be used as the sole place to keep records. It's inefficient and ineffective. Every other aspect of life is online now for the majority of people in this country. Bank accounts are online. Bills are received and paid online. Communication is via text or email, not via paper mail. An increasingly high percentage of books themselves are read on screens. Many shooting sports are using electronic targets. The days of having to pull targets in the pits in NRA and CMP high power matches are numbered, and those matches are older than silhouette. The paper world is going away, and it's almost gone. Anything stuck in the paper world will go away with it when the last few people who are stuck in that world go. I don't want silhouette to go away, but it will if it's still stuck in that world.
Look around at your next match and think about how many of your silhouette shooting friends may not still be with us shooting the matches in 10 or 15 years. If those silhouette faithfuls don't bridge the gap with newer, younger shooters before that happens, then the sport dies. If the only way that any scores are kept or reported is a system that is completely foreign and perceived as antiquated by those new shooters, then it's going to be very difficult to get them interested.
We should be thanking the NRA for trying to modernize the sport so it won't die. With all of the complaints that they get relative to so very little thanks and very little revenue, they should have told us that we are on our own by now and stopped sanctioning silhouette matches at all. If there are enough complaints again this time and little enough cooperation, we can be fairly certain that the NRA will leave silhouette behind to concentrate on the other sports that already are or are moving online with full cooperation from the competitors.
We each have a choice here.
- If you want to kill the sport, you're almost there. Keep complaining about modernizing the sport to fit better within the lives of prospective new shooters.
- If you want to keep silhouette alive, do everything you can to help it modernize (like Al's idea of sending only the top two scores instead of pictures of whole pages) and tell the people who complain to shut up and start helping the sport instead of killing it.
Which are you going to choose? Your choice will show your goal. This post shows mine. I intend to keep making the same choice in the future, so expect it.