apologies, speed. missed a very important part of your question. how does one know when he is ready to compete?assuming you are currently range safe, as in all guns empty and on the bench, and no touching of said guns when anyone is forward of the line. and, of course, keep em pointed downrange at all times, you are ready today, now. recommend go to a shoot, see how it is done. dont get wrapped up in BSing behind the line, you are there as an observer, observe. go practice what you saw. you can enter the next match. everyone has their first day, dont be bashful. much can be learned in actual competion. and dont forget to watch the "big boys" when in the off relay. i wont say good luck, for luck has little to do with it. its dedication .and work. if you like to shoot, you will love competition.