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#1 Jim Norman

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:48 AM

OK, we run 7 pits at our club, this means 7 stages or sometimes 8 if the classifier is short. We've recently had matches with over 90 shooters show up an dhad it been 5 degrees cooler that might well have been 105 as we had over 90 pre-register of which several didn't show but then we have walk-ons.

The question is, Do you place a capacity cap on your match? If so what is it? How do you handle it when you have a full match in pre-registration and people don't show up? Do you allow any room for walk-ons?

We figure we can handle 105 shooters if everyone contributes their fair share. Tape, Set, Score, RO, tear-down. that is 15 shooters on a squad and it is a L-O-N-G day!

My concern is capping the match at say 84 then having people sign up because they THINK they will be out, but then they fail to show and then there are those who were sure they couldn't make it, but things changed to they are now handled as Walk-ons, but with a cap would they bother driving an hour or more to risk not being able to shoot?

Yeah, I am in a quandary here.

For the record, I am so far not looking to place any limits on participation. We want everyone that wants to shoot to be able to shoot.

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#2 bbbean

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:14 AM

What if you reduced the number of stages and staggered starting times? Say, 4 or 5 stages and start squads at 9A and Noon?
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#3 Flexmoney

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:02 AM

Might have them buy their places in the match...in advance?
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#4 vluc

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:06 AM

Many of our clubs have more bays than they use, but for us, 5 stages is a typical match, 6 if a side match. Not too much pressure on workers, and staff can get out at a reasonable hour.

What we have done is limit when you can sign up for a second or third gun. Come at 9, sign up for 2-3, no problem. Come at 1 or 2 pm and sign for more than one, problem.

So our clubs are beginning to limit that. Other than that, no limit to number of shooters. That and we are cracking down on 3 or less as a squad.

Edited by vluc, 16 August 2011 - 07:08 AM.

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#5 Jim Norman

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:13 AM

We cannot set up a day early. We have to tear down when done. An AM and PM start would be good IF we could set up the day before an had additional staff to tear down and make sure it was all put away otherwise I don't see it saving us anything. We only allow one gun. Each Gun is a Shooter. We have recently had over 90 individual shooters.

Pay in advance sounds the best so far, no refunds without either a person to take your slot OR a note from your Doctor. That might limit the No-Shows.

At this point in time we have no plan to limit our match. I am just wondering how if anyone is placing a limit it has worked out.

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If ignorance is bliss...Why aren't more people happy?

When you look back on your life and think 'If Only" remember this, if you had done it differently, you would still be looking back and wondering "What If?" but only about different things

Experience is something you normally get right after you need it.......


#6 CHA-LEE

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 03:38 PM

The club I help run matches at regularly gets 70 - 80 shooters at a club match. We only have four berms to work with so we end up with four squads of 20 which can be painful. Without additional berms to spread out the shooters and make the squads smaller we are faced with the same issue. Do we start cutting off entries at a certain count basically making it first come first serve knowing that there will be some pissed off shooters that drove out to shoot but missed the cutoff. Or do we just deal with the long shooting days and grind through it. So far we have not instituted any cut offs but the highest entry count we have had has only been 88 shooters. If it ever cracks the 90 - 100 shooter mark I am sure the club will start thinking hard about instituting a cutoff of some kind. Believe it or not one of the hardest tasks is getting everyone signed up before the official start time of the match. When you have 70 - 80 shooters and they all need to sign up, squad up, and pay it takes a lot of time. The one thing that we did do is set a hard sign up dead line of 9AM. If you are not signed up by 9AM you don't get to shoot. We don't do walk in's either because that just promotes people being late in signing up. We do the shooters meeting at 9:30 and usually get starting shooting by 10AM. This gives the score keeping crew enough time from 9AM to 10AM to get all of the shooters input and loaded into the Palm Pilots which we use for scoring.

The main challenge we face in running the match is keeping the huge 20 shooter squads motivated to work. You would thing that with 20 people on the squad there would be plenty of people to RO, Brass, Tape and score. But we almost always end up with 4 - 5 people on the squad busting their hump all day and the rest of the squad standing around shooting the shit or off wondering around killing time between stage runs. I think this is a strange social happening where everyone on the squad thinks that someone else will do the work. But when everyone thinks the same way then nothing gets done.

Edited by CHA-LEE, 12 September 2011 - 03:39 PM.

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#7 MoNsTeR

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:21 PM

Shooting at Cha-lee's club twice a month, I'm used to 15-20 shooters per squad. It's not that bad as long as there's a little shade and people keep working. To maximize efficiency with large squads, you may have to be a hard-ass and shuffle people between squads to make sure each squad has the same number of people, with enough ROs and otherwise experienced shooters. Otherwise you may get one bloated squad, or a squad of mostly newer folks that slows everyone else down. At yesterday's match one squad ended up with only 5 people, while the rest had around 15, due to excessive post-signup squad-jumping.

You could always raise the match fee, maybe with an offsetting increase in the setup discount.
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#8 remoandiris

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:41 AM

The main challenge we face in running the match is keeping the huge 20 shooter squads motivated to work. You would thing that with 20 people on the squad there would be plenty of people to RO, Brass, Tape and score. But we almost always end up with 4 - 5 people on the squad busting their hump all day and the rest of the squad standing around shooting the shit or off wondering around killing time between stage runs. I think this is a strange social happening where everyone on the squad thinks that someone else will do the work. But when everyone thinks the same way then nothing gets done.

Ever think of naming a squad leader? That person would be responsible for making sure squad members are working during stage reset and everything else that happens per squad during a match. Of course you'd have to personally know several shooters who can handle the responsibility, the ass-pain that goes along with it, and have thick skins incase someone whine about being told to get out of the shade and into the rest mode.

I usually shoot with several of the same guys each match. We normally work. But, we call each other out if only 1 or 2 people are taping while 4 or more are on the "executive shooter program".

#9 CHA-LEE

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 08:27 AM


The main challenge we face in running the match is keeping the huge 20 shooter squads motivated to work. You would thing that with 20 people on the squad there would be plenty of people to RO, Brass, Tape and score. But we almost always end up with 4 - 5 people on the squad busting their hump all day and the rest of the squad standing around shooting the shit or off wondering around killing time between stage runs. I think this is a strange social happening where everyone on the squad thinks that someone else will do the work. But when everyone thinks the same way then nothing gets done.

Ever think of naming a squad leader? That person would be responsible for making sure squad members are working during stage reset and everything else that happens per squad during a match. Of course you'd have to personally know several shooters who can handle the responsibility, the ass-pain that goes along with it, and have thick skins incase someone whine about being told to get out of the shade and into the rest mode.

I usually shoot with several of the same guys each match. We normally work. But, we call each other out if only 1 or 2 people are taping while 4 or more are on the "executive shooter program".


We do have squad leaders assigned to each squad. These are the people we use to crack the whip when needed as they have a vested interest in keeping the shooters churning through the stages. But it still sucks when you have to badger adults multiple times a day to keep them doing what they know they need to do. As I said before, once you get above 15 people on a squad there is a strange social happening that makes a lot of the shooters think there are enough other people to do the work so they don't have to. But then that plan implodes when everyone is thinking the same thing.

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#10 kevin c

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:48 PM

We've had up to 100 shooters for our 5 stage/5 bay matches. Makes for long days. We're fortunate to have a dedicated range where teardown after the match is mainly pulling paper targets and putting away the specialty steel.

We have a cut off for signups, but aren't consistently applying it. No advance signups.

We have the same problem of people on big squads not pitching in.

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#11 ziebart

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

One thing I have thought of is having the match start early like 6 then have a second match start at noon. You would need twice as many ROs and a second signup crew. Not only that but a way to keep the afternoon and morning even as far as shooters.

#12 Jim Norman

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:38 AM

Just to keep going on this, due to the lack of daylight in Nov, Jan and Feb, (We don't shoot in December as our match usually falls on Christmas Weekend) we have instituted a limit of 77 shooters. January would have been a full match had we not gotten snowed out. We actually are not limiting the number of people that can shoot so much as limiting the pre-registration. Members of the host club will always have a slot, we cannot and will not turn down a dues paying member in favor of a non-member.

We do make them wait until the pre-registered shooters are all accounted for or the regular sign up time closes and then they get put on what ever squads we can fit them to.

The interesting thing is that when you do the math and assuming no back-ups of course, one squad of 12 or 7 squads the match takes the same time to shoot. 3 minutes per shooter plus travel between stages plus reading the WSB and 5 minutes to walk, multiply by the larges squad and you have your match time. Taking this into account we run just about exactly on this. we aim to start at 1000 but usually the first shot is closer to 1030, 5-1/2 hours later we are usually done, maybe one squad is still shooting their last stage, so about 1600 we are tearing down and putting the match away. Sometimes we are done by 1530 if the stages were not too complex and the squads did their part to keep it moving. Probably our number one problem is that the squads think that they can fix a problem and rather than call the RM/MD and Mr. Fixit on the first failure, they will do two or three reshoots and then call, or more likely the squad coming up will call and then our time goes out the window. If everyone would remember a simple rule, on the first failure call the RM, we'd be running ahead of schedule most days.

As for people not working, that is a problem, back in the 'Old Days' we used to call out Hooter on Deck, Shooter in the Hole, Tape, Tape, Brass, Brass, Steel, Steel. this is 8 shooters, plus the CRO, RO current Shooter and Shooter that just shot make for 12 people. Everyone is working or getting ready to shoot or picking up from just having shot, everyone gets the same treatment and has the same prep time. If the stage doesn't require a lot of steel setting etc, more people can brass or tape. The works down to about 8 on a squad if everyone really pitches in. Below 8 without dedicated ROs it falls apart.

Probably the biggest problem we face is the people that don't feel they need to work. Yes this is a social sport, but we really need to have everyone pitch in, everyone can tape or brass, most people can set steel, a pretty good size group can RO and darn near everyone can keep score, although technically the score keeper should also be an RO.

Not really sure where I am going with all this. I suppose what I am saying is that if everyone pitches in the upper limit for a match is a lot higher than if only a few do the work.

We are really lucky in that we have usually more than enough stage designers and we have groups that work together to build the stages and each squad stays to tear down their last stage. There are still a number of people however that get tot he match just at the close of registration and rarely help to build. If everyone made an effort to get to the match 30 minutes sooner and pitched in for those 30 minutes, we'd get started probably 40 minutes sooner and the day would end sooner for all of us.

OK, my minor mini-rant is complete for now.

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If ignorance is bliss...Why aren't more people happy?

When you look back on your life and think 'If Only" remember this, if you had done it differently, you would still be looking back and wondering "What If?" but only about different things

Experience is something you normally get right after you need it.......


#13 ChristianHE

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:02 AM

From only 5 years of observation at local matches (I'm not speaking of higher level matches, which in my experience are run very well). This "people not pasting, resetting, picking up too much/not enough brass etc., not helping setup, leaving without tearing down" has been a constant theme over and over.

From what I've seen there are 3 types of shooters:
1. "I have my 4th cousin's best friend's grandson's barmitzvah to go to so every one hurry the hell up because I am choosing to shoot the match AND do something I committed to when there really isn't time."

2. "I am here at 5AM till 5PM busting my ass so I expect you to do the same. (but I say I do it for the sport or for everyone not the recognition)"

3. "I am here with enough time and patience to help and deal with what ever happens and how ever the match goes and will enjoy myself and help others do the same because I am truly here for that purpose, no pretenses, I can choose to shoot the match or not".

I know which one I have been and so do the shooters in the community, we all know which types the others are. However, trying to get others to change their nature will always cause friction and doesn't seem to be worth it, just shoot it or not. Frog and Scorpion. I could be wrong too.
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#14 BillChunn

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:56 AM

Detroit Sportsmens Congress shoots year-round. We tried several different methods for our indoor winter matches. The "open registration" failed because people would arrive at 8:00 AM and not get to shoot until 3 or 4:00 PM. Sitting around for 7 or 8 hours didn't cut it. So the next thing that was tried was an "appointment" time to shoot. The shooters had to drive out to the club and register for a specific time to come back and shoot. That didn't work because the match filled up in the first 25-30 minutes and people drove all the way out to the range only to find that they didn't get to shoot.

So one of our automotive-based engineers did a time study. We found that running a 4 stage match takes 90 minutes to run 9 shooters which averages 2.5 minutes per shooter per stage.

To hit that timeframe, you have to be organized and have a visual display method of showing who is shooting what stage and when. We do it with a magnetic board showing the persons names down the left side and a set of sequence numbers across the top. Small, round magnets are used in the row and column "intersections", each having a stage number on them so the first sequence column would be the first 3 shooters, shooter one on stage 1, shooter two on stage 2 and third on stage 3. Once they shoot, all three stages are scored, taped and the brass swept. The next sequence column is the fourth shooter on stage 1, fifth shooter on stage 2 and sixth shooter on stage 3. Etc., etc., etc... All this is laid out before the shooters even walk on the range so everybody knows who is up on what stage and when. Everybody has enough time to reload mags as they know it will be two more sequences before they have to go back up to shoot their next stage. The 4th stage is either a speed shoot at the beginning of the match or all three stages are combined into a field course run at the end of the match where each shooter goes through individually.

For these winter matches, we require pre-registration via e-mail when the match is electronically announced. First come, first serve based on e-mail response. We limit the 4 squads (with different start times for each squad) to only 9 people, maybe 10 in the last time slot. The club members shoot on setup day so that reduces the number of people shooting on "match" day. If you reserve a spot in the match and then don't show up, you don't get to register for next month's match, you go on the waiting list.

Yes, this method severely limits the number of shooters in the match but it guarantees that everyone that does get in will shoot, they know what time to arrive and they will be done in an hour and a half. Normal attendance for winter matches is between 45 and 50 competitors depending on the number of club members shooting on setup day.

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