Last updated on February 1st, 2018 at 06:19 pm
1. CLASSIFICATION or CLASS
A measure of your skill level compared to other shooters. You will generally be shooting against people of relatively equal ability. Starting at the bottom and moving up we have MARKSMAN, SHARPSHOOTER, EXPERT, MASTER and HIGH MASTER classes. In a LEG MATCH there are no classes. You are shooting for the top 10% of all non distinguished shooters. Your CLASS is based on the last 240 shots fired in approved or registered competition as received by NRA. Let's say you shoot 3 consecutive 80 shot OTC or 4 gun matches that average 780 and you are expecting your HIGH MASTER card soon. However the club from the 3 match did not submit your scores in a timely manner. You then shoot a 4th match with gun problems and save 5 shots. This score might be a 730. This score plus the 2 that got turned in on time does not average 97% and you are NOT a high master. This is why NRA requires scores to be submitted within 14 days. You will automatically be moved UP to the next higher class as your skill improves as outlined above. You will NEVER be automatically moved down no matter how bad your scores become. However you can write NRA and request that they review your recent scores and reclassify you as these recent scores indicate. If you then move back up to the higher class you can not move back down a year later if your scores go down again. Therefore use this option wisely!
The categories seen at smaller matches are JUNIOR, SENIOR, and WOMAN. At the National championships or other bigger matches you will also see these categories: SUB JUNIOR, INTERMEDIATE JUNIOR, GRAND SENIOR, COLLEGIATE, and various military such as GUARD, RESERVE, AIR FORCE, ARMY etc. Generally the program will state that there must be a minimum number in a category for an award. Clubs may also have special awards for a category such as HIGH SERVICE RIFLE in an OTC match or HIGH PALMA RIFLE category for a shooter using a Palma rifle in all 4 matches of a 4 gun 600 or mid range course. I have always hoped for a high lefty category, but alas, no one else cares!
A match can be several sub matches such as standing, sitting, 300 RF & 600. Those 4 are then added up for a grand aggregate match. An event can also be set up so that you can shoot the above 4 portions to make a grand aggregate but no individual matches. An example of this is a LEG MATCH or NATIONAL MATCH COURSE. One still shoots the 4 positions but they are not individual matches, they are STAGES of a match. You can shoot 100-X10 sitting, 100-X10 at 300 yards. And a 200X20 at 600 but if you shoot 10 misses standing those other scores are meaningless because the only score that matters is the aggregate of 400-X40 out of 500-X50 possible. Some clubs also have a rapid fire and slow fire aggregate match as a way to increase your odds of winning a few bucks.
Match is also a device used by ATF entry teams in places like Waco, Texas.
4. APPROVED MATCH
A proposed course of fire and other details are sent to NRA for their blessing; and NRA will bless pretty much anything you can dream up. The so-called standard course of fire is the 4 position event, standing, sitting, 300 prone rapid fire & 600 prone slow fire. This standard course can be modified in almost any way and approved by NRA. An example is our 100 shot standing match fired as 5 individual off-hand matches. Another example is the 4 gun 600. It's never been done, to the best of my knowledge, but NRA would certainly approve a 100 shot sitting RF or 300 RF match if a program were to be submitted. Scores fired at any of these approved matches will count for classification for over the course. If it's a 4 gun 500 or 600 these scores will count toward the new mid range card. Even a 4 gun prone on the MR63 600 reduced to 300 would count toward a mid range classification.
5. REGISTERED MATCH
A registered match is much like an approved match with the addition that scores fired in a regular over the course event will count for national records as well as classification. The 4 gun 600 and 100 shot standing events are not a recognized course of fire for national record purposes so if a club shoots this kind of event there is no point in having it registered. If you were to shoot 5 perfect 200's with 20 X's standing it would get you recognized around the world but would not be any kind of record. Here is another way to look at this. To be recognized as a national record a 20 shot score must be fired as part of a regular OTC event either an 80 or 100 shot regional course. Also at a registered match the NRA may send a referee or if not available the host club must appoint a 3 person jury to settle disputes and verify records.
6. MATCH WINNER
A match winner is the person with the highest score in a match regardless of CLASS. If a SHARPSHOOTER shoots the highest standing score he/she is the MATCH WINNER and can not also be first SS. This person can however be a high CATEGORY. If the match winner in standing is a woman sharpshooter then she is standing match winner and high woman. If this person is also over 70 she would also be high GRAND SENIOR. If she were also in college she would be high collegiate! The match winner can also be a resident of any state even when competing in a state championship. So, if a shooter from Florida shoots a Minnesota state championship and is the high score they are the winner of that match, either individual or an aggregate.
Now comes the tricky part and this is just my opinion. I believe that to be a state champion one must be a resident of that state. Anybody can be match winner and should be properly rewarded but I believe state champions should be a resident. This part is subject to different rules in different states.
7. SHOT SPOTTER
A 3 inch round disk (do not confuse with VALUE DISK discussed next) white on one side and black on the other with a wood or plastic spindle in the middle. The spindle is inserted in the bullet hole to show the score keeper and shooter the LOCATION of the shot hole. If the shot location is in the black the spotter is inserted white side showing. If the location is in the white... yep you guessed it!
8. VALUE DISK
A 5 or 6 inch red or orange round disk that is placed in a given location on the target for each different shot location. The disk is used for every shot; however its sole purpose is to verify the actual shot value of shots close to the line. Score keepers should first look at the spotter to determine the location and value on each shot in slow fire. Generally the value will be obvious as most shots are not close to the line. If unable to determine the value due to closeness to the line then check the value disk Common errors are that the VALUE DISK is placed in the wrong location and the score keeper marks the VALUE based on the red disk rather than where the SPOTTER is located. Remember that as score keeper it is your job to advise the shooter only of the shot value and not the location. If you tell the shooter his shot is a 9 at 3 O'clock you are acting as a coach and coaching is NOT ALLOWED during individual matches. To avoid errors you as the shooter should request the scorekeeper to follow the rule book and verbally advise you of the shot value is writing on the score card for each shot.
NOTE: Some shooters can't hear you or simply may not want their shots called out. They should advise the scorekeeper of such, otherwise expect the score keeper to call out the shots.
9. RE: DISK COMMAND/CHALLENGE
The request to re-disk a target is supposed to come from the score keeper only and it's up to him/her to make that request of the line officer. If the shooter thinks there is an error in the disk they can ask the score keeper to request a re-disk. The scorekeeper can refuse this request if they think the score is correct. At this point the shooter can then challenge the score by paying 2 bucks. As the shooter my policy has always been to just go ahead and challenge if you think there is clearly an error. Don't worry about the 2 bucks, if you are right you get it back. If you are worried about losing 2 bucks then don't challenge. As the scorekeeper my policy is to just give the shooter the higher value if there is clearly an error. I don't waste my time or the shooters time if there is clearly an error between the shot spotter and value disk.
10. MARK TARGET #
This means the shooter fired at that target and you should pull it down whether you see a hole or not. Now and then I see shooters who do not follow this command because they did not see an impact or see a hole. The shooter may have missed or cross fired so when you hear the MARK command pull it down and mark a miss.
If you as the shooter think there is an error in your shot value or 10 shot score in rapid fire you may pay a small challenge fee to have the value or score verified by the pit officer. Remember that when you challenge value or 10 shot score you are simply saying that you disagree with the score and nothing more. Therefore it is possible to challenge a rapid fire score, win the challenge, get your money back and LOSE points. Yep, that's right. Let's say you have a 99 with 1 X. You look through the scope and think you have another X or even that the 9 is really a 10. You disagree with the score and pay to have it checked. The pit boss discovers that the 9 is really a 9 but another close shot is not a 10 but a 9 also. The pit boss could also determine that there are 3 X's not 1. The correct score is now a 98-X3 and you lucky dog, you won the challenge and get your money back. You are now a happy camper because you won a challenge and lost a point! Y'all be careful out there.
Information courtesy of Capt'n Bob Peasley
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The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Life Of A Shooter’s Wife™, the Minnesota Rifle and Revolver Association, any affiliated gun clubs, sponsors, contributors, or guests.