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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:45 pm 
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http://www.usashooting.org/news/2017/2/23/908-statement-from-usa-shooting-on-issf-recommended-sport-changes

Statement from USA Shooting on ISSF Recommended Sport Changes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (February 23, 2016)
Please attribute the following statement to David Johnson, Interim CEO of USA Shooting:

Since November 2015, USA Shooting has been forced to deal with the harsh reality that the Olympic shooting program would change based on requirements put forth by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) Agenda 2020. The subsequent interpretation of those requirements by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF), the international governing body for Olympic-style shooting, has led to today’s requested proposal put forth by the ISSF to remove Men’s Prone Rifle, Men’s Double Trap and Men’s Free Pistol events while adding mixed team events in Trap, Air Pistol and Air Rifle.

USA Shooting has opposed these decisions from the very beginning, particularly when considering Team USA’s success in those events at a world level. However, we maintain that all Olympic sports need to review, change and adapt their event program to fulfill the changing needs of sport participation, television viewership and spectator influence.

USA Shooting reiterated our position against these recommended changes to ISSF leadership on many occasions throughout the review process that began back in November 2015. USA Shooting leadership has been involved at the ISSF-committee level, as well when recommendations and input were sought. USA Shooting put forth recommendations for both a Mixed Sport Pistol event, and a Mixed Prone Team event as well as supporting Double Trap program changes brought forth by several countries. USA Shooting was not involved in a public and/or general assembly vote as some media reports have suggested. The program changes were decided upon by an ISSF Ad Hoc Committee and approved by the ISSF Executive Committee and Administrative Council earlier today.

It is important to note that the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has in no way directed these Olympic shooting program changes. The IOC did set in motion certain program requirements as part of Agenda 2020, but placed the responsibility for meeting those requirements at the discretion of each International Federation (IF) as to how to implement changes in their own Olympic program. The USOC has no influence and/or input on the Olympic program; those are IF and IOC decisions.

While the elimination of Prone Rifle, Double Trap and Free Pistol is a big loss to many avid shooters in the sport, we are grateful that 15 Olympic events still do exist. USA Shooting remains committed to its mission of winning Olympic and Paralympic medals and will work diligently to prepare our athletes accordingly to compete and be successful in the new added disciplines. USA Shooting is well-positioned to try and meet the competitive challenges brought on by this decision.

Read today’s release regarding ISSF Executive Committee Approval http://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=2731

Read more from the ISSF on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic program recommendations http://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=2729


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Strange how USAS is talking about their opposition. I recall seeing other NGBs posting letters stating their opposition and proposing alternatives (Sweden, for one), but don't remember seeing anything on it from USAS till today.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:14 pm 
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While the elimination of Prone Rifle, Double Trap and Free Pistol is a big loss to many avid shooters in the sport, we are grateful that 15 Olympic events still do exist. USA Shooting remains committed to its mission of winning Olympic and Paralympic medals and will work diligently to prepare our athletes accordingly to compete and be successful in the new added disciplines. USA Shooting is well-positioned to try and meet the competitive challenges brought on by this decision.


Next OG cycle just change the dates of the letters and the names will be grateful that 12 (or less) Olympic events still do exist.

Ever sooo grateful bowing at the waist and licking boots. Why thank ya massas.

For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. The death procession continues.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:49 am 
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Air Pistol and Air Rifle mixed are pretty gay to watch (There are a couple of videos from European Championship from 2015 and 2016 on youtube), they're boring and uneventful.

Here's an example, it's very long and slow and I fall asleep type of event. Very tedious to watch. Here's air rifle. If you manage to go through that one, you're a real pro.

I'd love to participate, but this to be become part of the Olympics, it's simply not serious enough


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:13 am 
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hundert wrote:
Air Pistol and Air Rifle mixed are pretty gay to watch (There are a couple of videos from European Championship from 2015 and 2016 on youtube), they're boring and uneventful.

Here's an example, it's very long and slow and I fall asleep type of event. Very tedious to watch. Here's air rifle.

Do you know what format is being proposed for the mixed pairs event.

Just because one format has been used in the past, and another is being used at this year's European Championships, it doesn't mean that the same format will be finally accepted.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:22 am 
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It says it right there, mixed team events in Air rifle and air pistol.
Why would it be anything else? There's not much else you can do, in the end you have two teams competing for gold and silver and the other two for Bronze.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:38 am 
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hundert wrote:
It says it right there, mixed team events in Air rifle and air pistol.
Why would it be anything else? There's not much else you can do, in the end you have two teams competing for gold and silver and the other two for Bronze.

I know there is at least one proposal for a different, possibly more interesting, format.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:34 am 
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Quote:
USA Shooting has opposed these decisions from the very beginning, particularly when considering Team USA’s success in those events at a world level. However, we maintain that all Olympic sports need to review, change and adapt their event program to fulfill the changing needs of sport participation, television viewership and spectator influence.

USA Shooting reiterated our position against these recommended changes to ISSF leadership on many occasions throughout the review process that began back in November 2015. USA Shooting leadership has been involved at the ISSF-committee level, as well when recommendations and input were sought. USA Shooting put forth recommendations for both a Mixed Sport Pistol event, and a Mixed Prone Team event as well as supporting Double Trap program changes brought forth by several countries. USA Shooting was not involved in a public and/or general assembly vote as some media reports have suggested. The program changes were decided upon by an ISSF Ad Hoc Committee and approved by the ISSF Executive Committee and Administrative Council earlier today.


Sounds to me like there was significant strife among the various federations concerning this decision. It also sounds like it was forcefully solved with the use of an extra committee filled with people who would approve the necessary decision. I can't say I'm too impressed with the ISSF's method of handling this.

While I'm relatively new to olympic shooting, I'm not stupid, and I can't imagine how some people feel right now. Imagine spending your whole life training from a young age for an Olympic event only to have it axed because of this:

Quote:
USA Shooting has opposed these decisions from the very beginning, particularly when considering Team USA’s success in those events at a world level. However, we maintain that all Olympic sports need to review, change and adapt their event program to fulfill the changing needs of sport participation, television viewership and spectator influence.


My issue isn't with USA Shooting. They never had a choice from the sound of it. But if I spend the next ten years of my life dedicated to air pistol and learning it as best I can to compete, am I going to find that energy wasted because it is too boring for viewers to watch? The ISSF is already attempting to use music to make things more exciting. I mean...why bother training for an event you aren't sure will exist when you are ready to compete?

These actions have me seriously wondering whether it is worth the financial and time sacrifice required to train for an Olympic sport if they will just be axed to fulfill some committee board's agenda. These sports demand a lot of the athletes, and this type of action will eliminate training programs very quickly.

Anyways, enough out of me. The ISSF will not listen to me any more than they will listen to USA Shooting or other federations. And the IOC will not listen to the ISSF and they will certainly not listen to me. But that won't stop me from calling bullshit when I see it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:06 am 
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Chia wrote:
But if I spend the next ten years of my life dedicated to air pistol and learning it as best I can to compete, am I going to find that energy wasted because it is too boring for viewers to watch?


If you're dedicating your life to air pistol for fame and fortune, I think you're wasting your time.

I'll be a pariah for saying it, but no matter how much we might like the sports we dedicate our time to, and no matter how obsessively and completely some devote their lives to them, no athlete is owed a world stage unless the world outside the sport is interested in watching or there are enough athletes within the sport to maintain competition.

And considering the number of sports and disciplines that have come and gone at the Olympics, and the dozens of new and old sports that want a place there too, no sport or discipline should be able to demand that they are worthy of permanence regardless of world participation or viewership.

Personally, I find the focus on the Olympics an unfortunate distraction as the sports associations recognised by the IOC make neglected step-children out of all the disciplines in their sport that aren't Olympic events. IMO, healthy and inclusive competition in as many events as possible, and good infrastructure and facilities should be the focus of the national and international federations.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:23 am 
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Fair point. Perhaps not fame and fortune, but it's pretty hard to argue against the fact that the Olympics have their appeal. I would love to compete at the Olympics some day. That's a dream I've had for a long time, although it never had an outlet before.

I disagree with you about the Olympics being an unnecessary distraction. They are why these sports exist in some cases. Other precision disciplines, such as Bullseye and IPSC, exist without Olympic support, but sports such as air pistol would not exist in the United States without Olympic support.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:39 pm 
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I do air pistol because I enjoy it, not because it will bring me fame or fortune. I enjoy doing something better than the average person, as I think most people do. I have never competed, but I am planning to start entering some postal matches as there are no competitions locally. I agree that the Olympics is, or has become, as much as a spectator sport rather than athletes just coming together representing their countries and demonstrating their skill at whatever their discipline is. This is in some ways unfortunate because there are many activities that require extraordinary skill but are mind numbing to watch. This includes most of the shooting disciplines. If we want the sport to remain in the Olympics and not be cut due to poor TV ratings, not that it is televised anyway, we need to find a way to make it more exciting and audience-friendly. Preferably without changing the core discipline too much. So, rather than complaining about reasonably logical, but unfortunate, decisions being made by the IOC and ISSF, let's start proffering suggestions to make the sport more audience-friendly.

I have a few ideas that might help. Look at golf. It is a sport that I don't consider much more stimulating than shooting disciplines. But they have TV channels dedicated to it. They have given names to how well a given shot or series of shots are. They have engaging announcers with intelligent and pertinent commentary. I don't see much of this in the ISSF videos that I have seen on youtube or other venues. The most I have seen is a slogan that says "10.9 and I feel fine." But we don't call the 10.9 a whammo or zowee, or a special name. We don't make a waa, waa, waa sound if a shooter scores a 7 or ends up in the white. I have spent most of my life working with the media. I am not an expert on marketing or selling a story, I was a broadcast engineer working with many of the people who did these jobs. As such one is bound to pick up a thing or two. Basically, the shooting sports, not just 10M AP or AR need an advertising agency or publicist to give us a fun and engaging look while maintaining the core shooting disciplines and skillset.

Just my thoughts,

David FInell


Last edited by Finelld on Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:35 pm 
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One more thought or concern- Just because the IOC and perhaps the ISSF stops supporting certain shooting disciplines, doesn't mean that they still can't be enjoyed individually or on a club, local, or postal level. By biggest concern with the IOC and other organizations stopping support for some of these shooting sports is that the tools, guns, and equipment will no longer be available for those who wish to continue practicing these sports. I hope that the tools of the sport will remain available for a long long time to come.

Best Regards,

David Finell


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Problem is always funding. Pretty much all national sports organizations fund athletes according to Olympics events / potential medals at Olympics. And young athletes will spend their training time on event that matters to this funding.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:14 pm 
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mhkhung wrote:
Problem is always funding. Pretty much all national sports organizations fund athletes according to Olympics events / potential medals at Olympics. And young athletes will spend their training time on event that matters to this funding.


This is pretty much my point. Finelld has some good ideas as well. Hopefully someone with some influence will read this thread. I think we all want the same thing: for the sports to stay around for the next generation of shooters. The issue is just how to do that...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:03 pm 
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One thing that can make the shooting sports stick around would be to make them more popular. As individuals, we can recruit our friends into the sports. We might be able to suggest that equipment manufacturers and dealers engage in alternative marketing and perhaps open precision shooting venues where they are lacking. I live in San Antonio, TX. Home of the Alamo and resting place of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Yet we have no local support or public venues for precision airgun sports, and minimal or not very publicized for other precision shooting activities.

I would love to see precision shooting sports marketed as a family friendly activity similar to going bowling or miniature golf. I want something to separate it from the negative publicity that gun related crime attracts. I still want safety to be emphasized because this sport like many activities can be dangerous if not treated with respect. But it can also be fun and enjoyable. I want precision shooting, especially the indoor sports to be as much as a social activity as a sporting activity. I think 10M airguns are ideal to introduce youth and other family members to the shooting sports and teach them gun safety with a relatively safe tool.

I am just saying let's inject some fun and excitement in a safe and responsible way into a sport that from an observer's point of view is about as interesting as watching paint dry. And let's try and separate the positive aspects of shooting sports from the negative things some criminals choose to use guns for.

We can also start making a list of positives gained from shooting sports.

Shooting sports-

Improve concentration
Develop hand-eye coordination
improve balance
improve breathing
etc...

Growing the sport also would benefit manufacturers and retailers as well. Let's push them to step up to the plate.

These are just some ideas. I do not want to cheapen the sport but enrich it. These are just some of my ideas.

Best Regards,

David Finell


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Whether or not the Olympics keep a certain shooting sport or not, is almost immaterial. What should be if concern is the greatly diminished pool of competitive shooters and the dearth of appropriate matches. Back in the day, selection to the US National team was by performance at the National Championships, held at the Prado Tiro range, and the other spots awarded to the high average compiled over events on a regular circuit. I do not know how selections are made now. Regardless, you cannot have a deep pool of developing shooters with out local matches and that is just not happing. Here in Illinois, there are only three or four venues, one match a year in Iowa, and none in Mo. Most of the shooters that participate are older, young people are just not interested. There is a couple of bright spots in the various postal matches but that's really it. Progressive pistol is helping in a few spots and there are a few Jr. programs here and there. I guess that's the real bottom line. The grassroots of competitive shooting needs to be revitalized with an emphasis on engaging young people, not only in the international disciplines, but across the board. We have a 30 point conventional pistol range that was once filled on match day, now a 2700 brings out maybe 12 or less. Our club members expend thousands of rounds a week, just at big targets at less than 21ft distance. They have no interest in competition and could not list the shooting events in the Olympics. I sure do not know the answer but something needs to be done. Just my thoughts, rambling as they are. Dan Ide USAF MSgt RET. former member USAF International team, former member US International team.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:25 pm 
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Dan Ide wrote:
What should be if concern is the greatly diminished pool of competitive shooters and the dearth of appropriate matches.


Wholeheartedly agree. The concentration IMO of sponsorship and advertising and association financing should be refocused to growing clubs and local competitions. From there the sports and sales grow.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:09 pm 
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So here in Texas we are a fairly firearms friendly state, but if I asked my co-workers who shot small bore or target pistol growing up I doubt anyone would have. My high school in the mid 90's didn't have it, and to my knowledge still don't. Even with an active 4H program it just wasn't something offered. Collegiality we didn't have a shooting team for any events, and I think the university would have had a heart attack if we did.

My suggestion is to get it out to the kids in middle school/junior high with a follow on at the high school level. Probably 80% of Texas youth play football at the MS/HS level, and even though only about 10% of them go on to play at the college level, football is a religion in Texas. If we can get the same type of interest/participation at the youth level, we'll see it carry on into the adult world. One of the wonderful things about shooting is that you CAN continue on after school, for as long as you physically can versus teams sports which are much more difficult to pursue.

Honestly the programs aren't even that expensive to fund and supply EXCEPT insurance. While it is a very safe sport, the cost to insure have to massive (I've never looked into it). Honestly a steel building for 10m events run between about $8k-$10k, which is about what one good set of bleachers cost for a stadium. Also there are plenty of business that have ALOT of space that they can rent out or donate the use of for tax purposes (old grocery store out of business that you can use, congratulations you now have a 50m range!). For the air events you can even get pre-built portable ranges (Creedmoor's run's about $300 a lane) that can be set up and taken down anywhere you have 35' of space. Pistols and rifles at the club level don't need to be super expensive, and overall a $20K investment would probably setup a school to have a pretty solid juniors/youth shooting program. If it was done at the district level where multiple schools chip in, it would be even cheaper on a per school basis.

-Jenrick


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:57 pm 
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Is it even realistically possible to reverse the trend and revive the shooting sports back to where they used to be before computer games, Internet, Facebook, mountain biking, action shooting, snowboarding, surfing, etc. made life so much more dynamic than it was in the 20th century? Shooting is a niche sport with dedicated but, unfortunately, narrowing (and aging) following.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:31 am 
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One thing I can tell you, is that kids find firearms "cool." There is a reason BB guns and pellet guns sell so well at sporting goods stores across the nation. Same thing with Airsoft, firearms are "cool." The trick is that for many folks in the US there almost no knowledge of the Olympic shooting disciplines. Most people know what "ultimate frisbee" is, but how many have a clue what 25m Sport Pistol entails? Even in pro-gun households if the adults have no knowledge of things, how can we expect the kids to? The easiest option would be to introduce kids to Olympic style shooting in school, so that we start to build a base of knowledge among adults who can steer interested children that direction at a younger age. I didn't know squat about the Olympic disciplines before I turned 30.

Also we we need to do a better job of publicizing the events at the local and state level. I can guarantee you that everyone in Texas knows who one the state Football playoffs that their school competes in (we actually have 12 different state championships based on school size). Also every town you go to if they've won state in a sport has it on their "Welcome" sign, we need to do the same for the shooting sports. When someone makes the Junior Olympics or the US national team, that's a big deal that needs to be publicized just like we do when someone makes the Olympics for a more well known sport. We can't expect interest if we don't have publicity.

-Jenrick


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