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Old February 21, 2002, 03:27 PM   #1
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How do you improve match participation?

Our club is growing at a tremendous rate with better matches each time. The turn outs are huge and the local club membership list is growing, however the same club officers are doing all the work. Each match the same 5 guys do the course design set up and tear down. Many times we are also the ones pasting targets and picking up brass. My question is, how do we make people want to help more so you don't burn out your officers. I wish I could just show up, shoot and sit on my a#$, but then we wouldn't have anything to shoot at. Suggestions please!
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Old February 21, 2002, 04:22 PM   #2
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Bullitt, as far as brassing and taping, that is best handled by anouncing that at the safety briefing and have the RO's make sure everyone helps. For overall participation, ask for new stage desings, and then have these folks set them up. It turns out it will allways only be 5 or 6 people, but at least you can change the players.
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Old February 21, 2002, 05:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for your advice. Currently, we have pushed the issues of picking up brass and pasting, but its just not getting through. I personally don't want to run around like a range nazi fussing at everyone, but its getting to that point. As far as monthly matches, we have a set schedule mating every local club member to one of the two monthly matches. They design the stages, turn them in, the match director tweaks them and then those guys set up and run their own match. Problem is, too many people are not coming through, then it all falls back to the officers.
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Old February 21, 2002, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have been to some clubs where they read out the line up; John Doe is the shooter, Bill Smith is on deck, Joe Blow is in the hole.
I have been to other clubs where they read out the line up as John Doe is the shooter, Bill Smith is on tape, Jow Blow is on brass.

The set-up/tear down issue is a tough one. The only idea I can think of would be to announce a set up time of maybe an hour before the match and anyone that helps set up doesn't have to pay the match fee. I am one of the guilty parties who doesn't help set up or tear down, usually. Unfortunately I often have to come to the match after work. I have been up for probably 26 or more hours and haven't been home for close to that same length of time. So, I want to get there, shoot, and go home.
I guess you could also get extreme and start barring people from matches who never help. You could come up with some kind of point system for showing up early and staying late. If someone has no points at the end of a few months they are no longer eligible to shoot. Of course you would make an announcement and make sure everyone understands the rules ahead of time. Warn them and if they choose not to heed the warning they brought it on themselves.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
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Old February 21, 2002, 06:49 PM   #5
Join Date: September 11, 2001
Location: Southeast Louisiana
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The club I'm in waives you're match fee if you help set up. Most everyone seems to help tear down.

Another local club that's quite a bit larger that ours has a different strategy. They keep track of who does and doesn't help set up & tear down. If you don't help a certain number of times per year, you're not invited to renew your membership.

As far as taping and brass, that just seems to happen. It's announced at each match that everyone is expected to help, and most everyone does.

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Old February 21, 2002, 09:42 PM   #6
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The way it's done here in Colorado- range officer-the guy with the clipboard- calls the shooting order- Joe is the shooter, Pete is on deck, Fred brass( or two guys if the course calls for it) George tape and set steel ( again, modify for longer, spread out field courses).
There is no easy answer to getting people to set up, the clubs here offer reduced match fees for those who show up and help but it's usually the same guys, and they'd show up without any reward just because it's the right thing to do.The bulk of the work will fall on the club officers, who will do it without bitching for years, until it becomes too much and they burn out. There's one club here where none of the past presidents- for 10 years that I'm aware of- still compete.
For those who won't work, DQ them for unsporstmanlike conduct.
I've been there as club founder, many year president, rangemaster, match director and Section Coordinator, and I'll repeat- there's no easy answer. Good luck.
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Old February 22, 2002, 01:51 AM   #7
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One good reason to tape is that being involved with the targets makes for a better score.
I know what you mean though. At last year's IDPA nationals our squad had five shooters who did all the taping. The ones who didn't were on the far side of fifty (men). You'll find these types everywhere.
I could have verbally blasted them; but, to what end?

I don't think any of them went home with First and Second place trophies like my son and I did.
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Old February 22, 2002, 11:53 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone, I really appreciate the valuable information. I've got a few ideas of some new things we can try. I'll give you and update later. In the mean time if anyone is close to TN, we are hosting our first sanctioned IDPA match on June 15 & 16, check your Tactical Journal for more info or our website at , thanks again.

Last edited by Bullitt; February 22, 2002 at 04:30 PM.
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Old February 22, 2002, 01:38 PM   #9
Neil Casper
Join Date: October 25, 2001
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A few years ago I helped a local range owner put on matches. He would ask the shooters to help paste, pick up brass and set steel. One day after repeated request for help he stopped the match and asked the shooters if they wanted their money back as he was not going to keep shooting without help. Immediately a surge of bodies came forward and assisted. We had very little problem with help after that.
Won't work with every crowd, but it did with ours.
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Old February 22, 2002, 08:29 PM   #10
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Dues is the answer......

One of the clubs I belong to keeps track of who helped out and who didn't. At the end of the year, when those who didn't help renew their membership, they are fined $60.00 more for membership to the club. You will find in all organizations, shooting or non-shooting, that there are a core group(5 or 6) that end up doing everything so don't feel that your club is different in any way.
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Old February 22, 2002, 08:57 PM   #11
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I shot at a club one time where your score didn't count if you didn't help paste & set steel etc.
Maybe just don't paste etc yourself. When the shooter comes up to shoot then he can paste.
KP95DAO, It was good to shoot with you & your son at the Nationals. I hope we were 2 of the 5
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Old February 23, 2002, 02:39 AM   #12
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Yes, Bill. You and your Mrs were two of the five. I hope to see you there this year.
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Old February 23, 2002, 10:34 PM   #13
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I was somewhere, sorry can't remeber where. But they wouldn't post the results until the competitors tore down all the stages. That was the time for the R.O.'s and score keepers to take a break. Come to think of it I think It was the TX. State IDPA match. That Johhny Van Etta is one smart guy. Thanks Johnny, as an R.O. I thought that was really neat!
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Old February 24, 2002, 09:23 PM   #14
Steve Smith
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The way its done at the big matches here in CO is the first pit crew does the setup, and the last pit crew does the tear down.
Favor the X.

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