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How to run the Nats (discuss) - split


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#1 pjb45

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

I know of at least one California GM who has been advocating separate Nationals for the Divisions. I think it is an excellent idea. Although there may some RO issues, I think it is a great idea for the membership.

Who knows, maybe we could get a Division summertime match that could be attended by our Jr shooters and people who can only get vacation during the summer months.

#2 Chuck Anderson

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:08 AM

I know of at least one California GM who has been advocating separate Nationals for the Divisions. I think it is an excellent idea. Although there may some RO issues, I think it is a great idea for the membership.

Who knows, maybe we could get a Division summertime match that could be attended by our Jr shooters and people who can only get vacation during the summer months.


Financially it's very risky to split the matches. Phil is trying it but the cost goes up dramatically on every separate match you hold. The back to back format has taken the Nats from a huge money drain on the organization to at least coming close to breaking even if not coming out a bit ahead. Splitting them into 6 separate events would likely take us back to pouring money down the Nationals hole. Which wouldn't be the worst part. There is already some push back about this format from RO's. We are asking a lot of the experienced CRO's and RM who work our Nationals. There are now 5 completely separate national or world events we're asking them to come to and work. That's more than most of them will be able to make it. If we pushed that to 8 we woudln't come up wiht enough staff. Doesn't mean it's not a possibility at some time in the future but we need to start now with getting RO's working major matches, applying to work the Nationals and get them some experience.

#3 Carmoney

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

The back to back format has taken the Nats from a huge money drain on the organization to at least coming close to breaking even if not coming out a bit ahead. Splitting them into 6 separate events would likely take us back to pouring money down the Nationals hole.


With all due respect, Chuck, I never understand why we keep hearing this claim from USPSA.

This year 868 competitors shot the back-to-back Nats in Vegas. If you figure $250 average entry fee, that's $217,000 in total entry fees, and the prize tables were donated (and pretty frickin' weak). WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO??
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#4 Aircooled6racer

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

The back to back format has taken the Nats from a huge money drain on the organization to at least coming close to breaking even if not coming out a bit ahead. Splitting them into 6 separate events would likely take us back to pouring money down the Nationals hole.


With all due respect, Chuck, I never understand why we keep hearing this claim from USPSA.

This year 868 competitors shot the back-to-back Nats in Vegas. If you figure $250 average entry fee, that's $217,000 in total entry fees, and the prize tables were donated (and pretty frickin' weak). WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO??

Mike: I am with you! A financial statement of the Nationals would be nice? Since USPSA is a .org is this not required? I know it is for some of the other clubs I belong to. Just asking :blush: Thanks, Eric

#5 sperman

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:02 AM


I know of at least one California GM who has been advocating separate Nationals for the Divisions. I think it is an excellent idea. Although there may some RO issues, I think it is a great idea for the membership.

Who knows, maybe we could get a Division summertime match that could be attended by our Jr shooters and people who can only get vacation during the summer months.


Financially it's very risky to split the matches. Phil is trying it but the cost goes up dramatically on every separate match you hold. The back to back format has taken the Nats from a huge money drain on the organization to at least coming close to breaking even if not coming out a bit ahead. Splitting them into 6 separate events would likely take us back to pouring money down the Nationals hole. Which wouldn't be the worst part. There is already some push back about this format from RO's. We are asking a lot of the experienced CRO's and RM who work our Nationals. There are now 5 completely separate national or world events we're asking them to come to and work. That's more than most of them will be able to make it. If we pushed that to 8 we woudln't come up wiht enough staff. Doesn't mean it's not a possibility at some time in the future but we need to start now with getting RO's working major matches, applying to work the Nationals and get them some experience.


It may be time to revisit the rule that says the staff can't shoot at Nationals. I think the CRO should be dedicated to each stage, but some of the other RO's could shoot the match in 1.5 days, and work the other 1.5 days. Just throwing out ideas.

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#6 BritinUSA

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:18 AM

With all due respect, Chuck, I never understand why we keep hearing this claim from USPSA.

This year 868 competitors shot the back-to-back Nats in Vegas. If you figure $250 average entry fee, that's $217,000 in total entry fees, and the prize tables were donated (and pretty frickin' weak). WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO??


Range rental , Match Staff Hotel fees, rental of room for awards etc.

#7 Joe4d

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

Separate nationals are fine as long as MORE people get to shoot at least one nationals. I foresee a select number of people getting to shoot multiple matches while others stay home. Which is fine if the slots are won, and not simply given.

#8 beltjones

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:53 PM


I know of at least one California GM who has been advocating separate Nationals for the Divisions. I think it is an excellent idea. Although there may some RO issues, I think it is a great idea for the membership.

Who knows, maybe we could get a Division summertime match that could be attended by our Jr shooters and people who can only get vacation during the summer months.


Financially it's very risky to split the matches. Phil is trying it but the cost goes up dramatically on every separate match you hold. The back to back format has taken the Nats from a huge money drain on the organization to at least coming close to breaking even if not coming out a bit ahead. Splitting them into 6 separate events would likely take us back to pouring money down the Nationals hole. Which wouldn't be the worst part. There is already some push back about this format from RO's. We are asking a lot of the experienced CRO's and RM who work our Nationals. There are now 5 completely separate national or world events we're asking them to come to and work. That's more than most of them will be able to make it. If we pushed that to 8 we woudln't come up wiht enough staff. Doesn't mean it's not a possibility at some time in the future but we need to start now with getting RO's working major matches, applying to work the Nationals and get them some experience.


Thanks for the perspective. I'll be working more major matches beginning next year as an RO, and depending on how Nationals is (are) structured I would like to work one of the matches as an RO, provided I can also shoot the match. Just something to think about...
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#9 MarkCO

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

With the splitsky, I think you will get more people willing to RO. We need new faces in the RO group anyway. I am going to make every effort to shoot one and work one and personally, the split will benefit my performance and fun factor at both.

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#10 CHA-LEE

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

A tremendous amount of money is spent on the match staff for the Nationals. Lodging, Travel, Meals, Awards, Equipment, etc. When you add up all of those match staff expenses it quickly takes a huge chunk out of the match budget.

I am not saying what is done currently is right or wrong. Just stating what I have observed first hand.

Maybe the Nationals should be scaled back from a match staff perspective? Simply have a single CRO on each stage and have the squads RO themselves? This is done at a lot of major matches around the country today and works. Hell at the club level you don't even have dedicated CRO's on each stage and we somehow manage to produce fair and fun club matches every month all across the nation.

Edited by CHA-LEE, 29 November 2012 - 02:17 PM.

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#11 Chuck Anderson

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

The back to back format has taken the Nats from a huge money drain on the organization to at least coming close to breaking even if not coming out a bit ahead. Splitting them into 6 separate events would likely take us back to pouring money down the Nationals hole.


With all due respect, Chuck, I never understand why we keep hearing this claim from USPSA.

This year 868 competitors shot the back-to-back Nats in Vegas. If you figure $250 average entry fee, that's $217,000 in total entry fees, and the prize tables were donated (and pretty frickin' weak). WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO??


The most significant expense is staff. Travel expenses, lodging, rental cars and food for the staff alone comes to the better part of $100k. Some of the staff was there for almost two weeks. Other big expenses are the range rental, awards, hotel ball room rental, both for registration and awards, etc. etc. You keep hearing it because it's true whether you want to believe it or not. This year the Pistol Nats and probably even the Multigun will be in the black. In years past that was not always the case. Sometimes the Pistol Nats pulled a small profit but it was offset by a loss at the MG Nats which have a very similar cost for staff, but fewer entries. This year the profits of the Pistol Nats and possibly the MG will be offset against what I'm pretty sure will be a loss for the Steel Challenge.

As far as the prize table comment I think that's completely off base. I've been shooting Natonials for a little over 10 years now. I just missed the big tables of the 90's, but this year had the best prize tables I've seen since 2004. The MG had a great table and the L10 and Production tables I saw were a lot better than last years. As for the statement that the prizes were all donated, that may be true, or it might not be. I know USPSA has purchased prizes in the past. I don't know if they did this year or not. It's been a few years since I know they made any purchases.

#12 Carmoney

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

I understand it's tough to get everybody on the same page when you're trying to run a not-for-profit organization, but private enterprise has proven over the years that major pistol matches can be money-makers.

Frank Garcia runs great matches, and they make money for him. Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman made enough profit with the Steel Challenge over the years that they were able to sell the match twice, and they made out quite nicely this last time when USPSA was the purchaser, didn't they? Richard Davis made a bundle off Second Chance (no matter what he might have claimed on his tax returns at the time). Those are just a few examples that quickly come to mind.

There should not be a problem turning a profit with well over $200K coming in. Sounds to me like maybe the spending side of the ledger has gotten a little out of control.
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#13 remoandiris

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

I am going to make every effort to shoot one and work one and personally, the split will benefit my performance and fun factor at both.

Me too. I hope to work Prod and shoot Open. Hope the CRO class is offered just prior to the Prod match, too. I would likely be in St George early as well to take the course, but have no plans to work the Open match if I work the Prod match.

#14 gose

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

The most significant expense is staff. Travel expenses, lodging, rental cars and food for the staff alone comes to the better part of $100k. Some of the staff was there for almost two weeks. Other big expenses are the range rental, awards, hotel ball room rental, both for registration and awards, etc. etc. You keep hearing it because it's true whether you want to believe it or not. This year the Pistol Nats and probably even the Multigun will be in the black. In years past that was not always the case. Sometimes the Pistol Nats pulled a small profit but it was offset by a loss at the MG Nats which have a very similar cost for staff, but fewer entries. This year the profits of the Pistol Nats and possibly the MG will be offset against what I'm pretty sure will be a loss for the Steel Challenge.


Let the ROs shoot the match and shoot it for free. Id be surprised if this wouldnt lead to more ROs being interested while at the same time cutting cost. Are there any other major matches, domestic or internationally, where ROs arent allowed to shoot? Heck, even the MG nats allows it now.

#15 The Antichrome

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

The RO's shoot SS Nats.
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#16 Chuck Anderson

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

Mike, you're more than welcome to go through the Orgs financial records and show me where to cut. They are posted on Guidestar.org.

#17 pjb45

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

Staff is the most expensive part of the match-I would not disagree with that statement.

However, having worked for one of the world's largest accounting and consulting firms, I would venture to say there are more efficient ways to put on a match.

I fail to see how 4-5 CRO/ROs per stage is required to run a match. Yes, I realize the first or so Nationals in LV did send some to the ER but I think we have gone over-board with the solution of such redundancy.

I acknowledge the Board, USPSA Staff and volunteers are wanting to be good stewards of our organization. But, there are a significant number of our membership that could also contribute to improving our products.

Edited by pjb45, 29 November 2012 - 07:06 PM.


#18 Carmoney

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

I acknowledge the Board, USPSA Staff and volunteers are wanting to be good stewards of our organization.


Me too. And I hope nobody misinterpreted my post as suggesting otherwise. Overall, we are blessed with excellent leadership in this organization.

The first savings measure that comes to mind is to consider switching to a modest per diem cash payment to the staff (payable upon completion of service), and allowing them to make their own arrangements, rather than footing the bill for all those travel and accommodation expenses. Some staff members might want a private room at a nicer motel and bring a spouse or significant other, some might want to use their travel points, some might want to get together and stay four to a to a room, or camp at the range--whatever they want to do is fine, because USPSA would be out of the "travel agency/cruise director" business.

And I do like the idea of finding a way of letting staff shoot the match gratis. That would increase potential RO interest tremendously, and make the above suggestion even more feasible.
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#19 Flexmoney

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

I understand it's tough to get everybody on the same page when you're trying to run a not-for-profit organization, but private enterprise has proven over the years that major pistol matches can be money-makers.

Frank Garcia runs great matches, and they make money for him. Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman made enough profit with the Steel Challenge over the years that they were able to sell the match twice, and they made out quite nicely this last time when USPSA was the purchaser, didn't they? Richard Davis made a bundle off Second Chance (no matter what he might have claimed on his tax returns at the time). Those are just a few examples that quickly come to mind.

There should not be a problem turning a profit with well over $200K coming in. Sounds to me like maybe the spending side of the ledger has gotten a little out of control.


What do you want to give up?

And, are you volunteering to work the match and pay your own expenses?
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#20 MarkCO

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:00 PM

The 2013 will be the Strader's first real crack at producing the Nationals, so regardless of any past issues, I think it prudent to see what he puts in place and not get too wrapped around the axle at this point.

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#21 Mitch Harrington

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:14 AM

Im new to this sport having only been shooting for three years. In that time I have worked two Handgun Nationals and one Multigun Nationals. I feel I have enough experience now to make the following statements.

Every stage I have ever worked at a Nationals match had just enough staff to run it. The "compensation " is the furthest thing from the definition of the word. Its a money losing proposition EVERY trip I have made.

I have good news though. Those that are complaining about how it is currently done are VERY welcome to volunteer their time and resources to USPSA next year to help offset the "over spending".

Edited by Mitch Harrington, 30 November 2012 - 06:15 AM.

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#22 remoandiris

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:27 PM

Every stage I have ever worked at a Nationals match had just enough staff to run it. The "compensation " is the furthest thing from the definition of the word. Its a money losing proposition EVERY trip I have made.

+1. I've worked 3 Level II and 2 Level III matches since we went thru the RO course at Nats 2 yrs ago, Mitch. Cost me money everytime. I don't do it for the compensation. I do it because it is necessary and I'll bet you feel the same way.

Maybe I'll see you at Prod Nats next yr.

Edited by remoandiris, 30 November 2012 - 01:28 PM.


#23 motosapiens

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

Get rid of some of othe dead wood divisions, like open, revolver, singlestack and limited. Simplify things a little. :devil:

#24 motosapiens

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

I fail to see how 4-5 CRO/ROs per stage is required to run a match. Yes, I realize the first or so Nationals in LV did send some to the ER but I think we have gone over-board with the solution of such redundancy.


I worked the LPR match this year. We had 4 RO's on our stage (burn it down), and I was exhausted at the end of each 12 hr day on the range. I know I'm younger and fitter than many of my colleagues too.

Could we have done it with 3? maybe. Or maybe we would have started making mistakes, having safety issues, getting squads backed up, etc....

If the format is similar next year, I'd like to work one match and shoot the other. I think that would be funner than trying to work half the match and shoot the whole thing in a day and a half.

Honestly, except for the problems with the doubled-up bays, i thought nats went pretty well this year.

#25 remoandiris

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

I was exhausted at the end of each 12 hr day on the range. I know I'm younger and fitter than many of my colleagues too.

Could we have done it with 3? maybe. Or maybe we would have started making mistakes, having safety issues, getting squads backed up, etc....

Folks who have never worked a big match over a period of 3 or more days may fail to understand the importance of multiple ROs. I felt tired, like you, after the IPSC Nats. They were long days at the range with only 2 of us on the stage I worked.

An option would be to have a few floating ROs. They could provide 30+ minute breaks throughout the day for assigned ROs.




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