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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:03 am 
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USA Shooting Statement on USOC Resource Allocation for Pistol


The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has informed USA Shooting of the 2018 funding it will receive as part of its results-based resource allocation process. USA Shooting will receive the same level of funding it received in 2017 with $1 million earmarked for program support. However, one significant change to that allocation is that the USOC will not fund pistol initiatives next year.
Since being informed of the decision, USA Shooting staff and leaders have been meeting to determine next steps relative to the future of the pistol program. USA Shooting Board Chairman Jeff Price is announcing the formation of an ad-hoc pistol committee led by pistol athlete representative and Board member Jim Henderson.
The committee will meet soon to discuss the ramifications of the decision relative to athlete participation at 2018 events, including next year’s World Cups, World Championship, as well as coaching modifications and Olympic selection procedures. The committee will be tasked with working quickly, diligently and creatively to address the needs of the program and recommend manageable solutions.
This is the second big setback for a pistol program seeking relevancy as the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) chose to eliminate the international pistol program back in 2015. The program helped provide opportunity and funding to athletes like Henderson as well as 1988 Olympic silver medalist Erich Buljung.
The future of USA’s Olympic pistol program requires the development of new strategic partnerships, widespread shooting industry involvement, the support of our organizational and volunteer leadership and a commitment to excel within the context of this challenge.
In an effort to maximize resources, USOC grants are strategically allocated to give the greatest number of American athletes the opportunity to reach the podium using a results-driven, resource-allocation process. In 2016, a total of $84.7 million in grants— up $8.4 million from 2015—was distributed directly to NGBs/Paralympic organizations and athletes. Grants are awarded to National Governing Bodies and administered through Performance Partnership Agreements. The USOC allocated $55.9 million in grants to more than 60 organizations—including 46 NGBs and High Performance Management Organizations—in support of sport programming. A total of 13 NGBs received more than $1 million, while four received more than $2 million and three received more than $4 million.
Despite winning just one Olympic medal since 1988, the program enjoyed some good results within its junior ranks this past season as team members broke six national records. A junior team athlete is leading Women’s Sport Pistol selection after the recent Fall Selection Match while another junior team athlete is third in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol selection as well.
We appreciate your support and patience as the organization works through this transition and towards an important year ahead.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Location: Haymarket, VA
brutal....


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:06 pm 
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I suspect USAS is going to have to do some building up of the base, as opposed to just supporting elite shooters.

Were the situation not so tragic, I'd point out that the U.S. International Muzzle-Loading Team has openings for a few good pistol shooters. Managing a muzzle-loader isn't as hard as you think - our top pistol competitor went from black powder novice to World Champion in two years flat. It helped that he was shooting 560 in AP.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Location: Wisconsin
Let's stick it to USOC! If we all worked to bring kids in to 10 meter air pistol and one of them medaled in an Olympics I cannot think of a better way to grow our sport...and to show USOC they made a ridiculous decision.

Chip


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:36 pm 
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Location: Colorado
We hadn't had a pistol shooter for years in our Jr club. Then the past couple of years we have been gaining a few. We now have from 6 to 8 shooting air, and one shooting air, sport and rapid. The OTC club has a few great pistol shooters and some still on the T stands doing the PPP route. Across the country are quite a few up and coming pistol shooters. In Kim from CA is an awesome coach and has some real talent in his program. Then there are the 3 Leverett kids out of GA. They are really coming on strong. The problem at present is all these I have mentioned are all so young. I predict great things in the near future for pistol in the USA. As has been stated, we will do it in spite of the USOC.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:58 am 
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Location: Nebraska
I do hope they can find a way to keep things going.

It saddens me the levels of junior participation i see in all shooting sports across the boards.

Today’s youngsters just do not seem to be as interested in the shooting sports in general as they used to. There is so much competition for their time and parents dollars. I know it sounds preachy, but I’ve seen it in my own grandkid. It seems almost impossible to pry him away from his electronic crap so I can actually teach him something useful. But, should the zombie apocolypse actually occur, and game controllers can be used to fight them, we’re in good shape. I asked him scout camp was and he said awful. There was no WiFi and they had to do all these stupid activities. Being an eagle scout myself, I reflect back to those times as some of the best I had in my entire life.

But I’ve drifted OT again, my apologies.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Location: Wisconsin
ChipEck wrote:
Let's stick it to USOC! If we all worked to bring kids in to 10 meter air pistol and one of them medaled in an Olympics I cannot think of a better way to grow our sport...and to show USOC they made a ridiculous decision.

Chip


I am doing something about it. On March 31st, 2018 we will have our second annual air pistol match. $8 gets you entered, use of an air pistol and pellets, awards, fried chicken lunch. Top score wins a Brazen $550 watch to boot! https://nebula.wsimg.com/8c4763c15308ed ... oworigin=1

Think how sweet it would be if one of the kids that enter someday win an Olympic medal!!

More information available at https://wisconsinairpistol.com

Chip


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:03 pm 
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Location: Omaha NE
Hey Joe58. Nebraska has experienced an exploding number of high school and junior high kids in the shotgun sports. The Eastern Cornhusker Trapshooting Conference (http://www.shootectc.org) has more than 50 schools and 1,000 kids shooting a six week league in the spring and the state shoot in Doniphan (http://www.cornhusker-trap.com) has more than 2,500 competitors.
Minnesota has gone from a few hundred to more than 6,000 students shooting their Clay Target League (http://mnclaytarget.com). More than 16,000 students shoot in Clay Target league in various states. Iowa has more than 3,000 kids shooting trap. Midway USA foundation has really helped scholastic teams with their endowment.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:56 am 
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tachyonbb wrote:
Hey Joe58. Nebraska has experienced an exploding number of high school and junior high kids in the shotgun sports. The Eastern Cornhusker Trapshooting Conference (http://www.shootectc.org) has more than 50 schools and 1,000 kids shooting a six week league in the spring and the state shoot in Doniphan (http://www.cornhusker-trap.com) has more than 2,500 competitors.
Minnesota has gone from a few hundred to more than 6,000 students shooting their Clay Target League (http://mnclaytarget.com). More than 16,000 students shoot in Clay Target league in various states. Iowa has more than 3,000 kids shooting trap. Midway USA foundation has really helped scholastic teams with their endowment.


Yes, I’ll agree it has been great to see that trap at the high school level seems to be going strong. Both my niece and nephew shot trap in high school. And the UNL rifle team is doing pretty good as well. A wonderful thing for sure. Hopefully the upward trend will continue and bleed over to other disciplines too.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:43 am 
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For the youth shooting programs, desire on the part of the shooters is a major part of it, but having coaches/volunteers/parents interested in taking the time to run these programs is just as big.

Shotgun is an action sport, SPP is a very exciting action sport as well. However, in my area we have had one of each of these programs flop because there are not coaches that are willing to put in the time. In my mind one practice every few weeks or once a month just does not cut it.

Our (4-H based "club") international R & P programs do well because we shoot 3 times per week ... the kids have to stay in it to be interested, otherwise they get bored and go do something else. When shooting is more boring than sitting on the couch with your X-Box, well that says something in itself.

On the specific topic ... USOC Resource Allocation .... USA Shooting brought this upon themselves. They over promised on the medals and under delivered. And their program(s) have not significantly changed their training process. They have taken a step back in their youth promotion of the Junior Olympic Events, now being very biased against states that have lower population and shooting programs, making it very hard for a program to start up and keep going anymore if sending kids to the JOs is a goal for a club.

JROTC programs (rifle only, no pistol) have great participation, but almost no follow on shooters after High School. The equipment is owned by the school and by far too many do not "loan out" gear after HS. Some do, but not nearly enough.

Pistol will not grow, and will not succeed unless there are clubs (Pistol is too "scary" for High School programs) and volunteer coaches that make a long term commitment to mentor the youth to pass on to our national programs. Our National program has to be willing to go way above and beyond to get these shooters to National level events to stoke and keep their interest going. Shooting week to week in a club atmosphere is one thing, get them to the OTC for the JOs and they will work all that much harder to go back.

Oh ... as a postscript ... IMO


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:13 am 
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An open trial to make the Olympic team might be an inexpensive and fruitful approach. Shooting does not require enormous amounts of equipment and younger shooters might be surprised that they could beat the professional shooters with enough practice, especially if the AMU and other big organizations do not compete. In the Olympics it is one competitor vs another. If you are the best, and demonstrate this by winning the trials, and know that the winner of the trials will be the US representative, who knows who will practice, appear on the line and win.

50 plus I did just that in Rowing and got a medal, to many peoples surprise. That was in the days when the Olympics was an amateur affair (except for the Eastern bloc countries, and shooting, sailing, and a few other sports) and the winner of the trials got to go to the Olympics. In theory it was a pure meritocracy. After Avery Brundage died, the Olympics went professional and the coach, appointed by the governing body, chose the team. The results have not been good. In 1984 the people the coach cut, sued to get an open trial, and then beat all the boats the coach had carefully selected. Instead of rejoicing, the governing body responded by making it impossible for this to happen again. The coaches simply cannot predict who will win under the pressure of the competition. The coaches do not want an open trial for fear that their carefully chosen teams will be defeated and they, the coaches, will look foolish. If their teams are the best then in an open trial they will go. I think the same is true for shooting and all other sports.

My club gave me a few hundred dollars toward airfare across the US to the trial and I got some help in shipping my boat. Shooters can carry their own equipment and probably their clubs would raise a bit of money to help them with expenses as mine did then. I had zero competitive experience and no coaching. I could read what sort of time over the course was necessary to get a medal and I practiced until I could do that and then went to the trials. Shooters can do that too.

The problem is that there is no open trial. I suggest that this be changed, and then the word put out in the shooting community about the opportunity to make the team.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:17 am 
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I dropped a couple of words at the beginning of paragraph 2. It should read: 50 plus years ago...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:14 pm 
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USA ... Indeed it is an open trial.
The only requirement is you are a member of the federation .... USA Shooting. Not expensive ... $40


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:01 pm 
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If the winner of the trials gets to compete, without any veto by the coach, then I am a bit puzzled. Does the US send a representative to the pistol matches each Olympiad? Are the Olympic scores so high that full time training is required? If the US sends a representative to each pistol event, who has gone and how have they placed?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:19 pm 
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OK James ... I was not fully correct .... I was on the USA side of things though.
In general here:

In order to compete in the Olympics you must have fired a Minimum Qualifying Score. That is an ISSF rule ... not USA Shootings.
In order to fire an MQS, it has to be in a qualifying World Cup.
So, you need to qualify for, compete in, and shoot the MQS in a qualifying World cup.
(Usually those are in the last 3/4 of the quad ... years 2,3 & 4)

Also, a country has to win a quota slot in a WC or other Quota generating event to send an athlete to the Olympics.
Different events award a different # of quota slots. (i.e. some are awarded for 1st & 2nd finishes, some only 1st place finish.)
Here in the US, winning a quota slot does not mean it is yours to take to the Olympics ... it is awarded to the country, and the country sets the rules for how the quota slot is awarded to it's athletes.
The USA uses an Olympic Trial match as the way quota slots are given to shooters.

In order to be considered for the Olympic slot here in the USA, at the Olympic Trials, you must have that MQS.
Lots of times the USA has selections for WCs and while 1-2&3 qualify to shoot for medals, sometimes, the USA will send up to 2 other shooters, just to shoot their MQSs.

Now, for the USA to send you (funded) to a WC, you must have shot a Performance Standard Score .... twice in qualifying matches ... these are specific matches (usually national level ones). Why??? So we don't send athletes that really don't have the scores to do any good/offer any hope of winning a quota slot.
The PSSs are adjusted so to be the approximate score required to make a final in a WC. They are based pretty much on the previous year's WC final qualifying score average.

So ... while the Olympic trial is indeed an open event, there are some expectations & proven performance that are required/expected coming into the match.


All this is in the USAS Policies & Procedures documents ... there is no secret.
Yes, it is a bit of a convoluted read. But there are many here on the forum that know much better how it works.
No secrets ... just ask.
Has USA Shooting changed the rules at the last minute? Yes, and a lot of flack came down. Are there "favorites"? Absolutely
But going into the trial, everyone should know what the rules are as they are written down.

An example ... My daughter qualified for a few WCs last quad. In one she did not have the required PSS for a funded trip by USAS. Wanting to give her more international experience as well as the required MQS to be eligible in our OT, I paid for the trip ... self funded.

MQSs are pretty low scores from the perspective who trains all year. In rifle, many of the top 50% of high school shooters can easily shoot these.
===================================

In terms of how we did, well you can do the research, and if you do not see a USA shooter in some years it is because our shooters did not finish high enough in a WC to win a quota slot.

My opinion follows:
As you might guess, our pistol program has been lacking. We have had what I really consider "super stars" that have pretty much trained on their own. With few exceptions, i.e. there are jr pistol programs that are doing well, but we simply do not have enough juniors in the pipeline, and for the most part, that is not USA Shootings fault.

Pistol is not "P.C." High School JROTC programs across the country have literally tens of thousands of junior shooters ... shooting rifle. The "PC" cadet commands do not have the guts to get a pistol program going.

Pistol does not have enough junior coaches. I do not know why or what the mindset of pistol shooters is, but very few will volunteer to coach juniors. Don't get me wrong, finding volunteers is hard even is rifle and shotgun too, but not nearly as hard as pistol. Again, with exceptions (I don't want everyone to hate me), older pistol shooters just seem to me to be more selfish. I've chatted with both rifle and pistol coaches and a vast majority agree with my statement.

Pistol does not have (or more accurately) enough qualified coaches for our open shooters. Now that is indeed USA Shooting's fault. The jury is out on that statement for this quad.

Now, I'll admit, action pistol, three-gun & the like are growing (and are great fun), but those events are not in the Olympics. The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is growing ... but again these are action pistol, rifle & shotgun programs ... not the Olympic disciplines. As different as pool sports ... swimming & water polo ... are from each other.

=========
Lastly, while unfortunate, once shooters begin to get involved in "real life", their jobs, their careers, their families, it just becomes so much harder to compete at a high "Olympic" international level. Just the way it is.
You pretty much have to put those items on hold. May of our resident athletes, across all of our sports are giving up major career/work experience & some years of earning potential to pursue their dreams ... never doubt there is a huge cost.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:57 pm 
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The part that upsets me most in your description of the selection procedure is that each country can award its slots, shot the previous year by competitor A to competitor B if it wants to. I think this the same in rowing nowadays. I am also bothered by the procedure of needing to qualify the country in one year for a spot for a competitor the following year. Someone who develops to the top in an Olympic year can potentially be denied the opportunity to compete if no one opened the slot for his country the previous year. All this requires a competitor to spend a lot of time, years, traveling to far away places competing and this is emotionally draining, not to mention time away from work and family.
I took off a couple of months to compete, and did my training before and after work as did my teammates. I assume shooters could do the same now and reach the top performance levels, but they couldn't do the multiple preliminary international competitions unless they did have money backing and didn't have a career.
So what? Maybe this is just a rant against the sellout of the amateur ideal to the professional entertainment industry interests, and a rant against what I and I think others feel is governing bodies which do not have the best interests of the athlete and the sport as their principal duty. Some of this could be changed IF the athletes make their interests known.
You have addressed a couple of other issues, namely the paucity of qualified coaches ( who can actually help shooters develop and not just meet the endless qualifications of being certified in CPR, defibrillators, record keeping, and other bureaucratic demands made by insurance companies, lawyers, and the like. Can they be found and paid? Are the precision shooting disciplines declining in part because they seem dull to the uninformed? Can this be changed by proper PR? I hope so.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:32 pm 
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You have absolutely valid concerns/observations.

However: (and I'll admit I'm a cynic)
Quote:
Maybe this is just a rant against the sellout of the amateur ideal to the professional entertainment industry interests, and a rant against what I and I think others feel is governing bodies which do not have the best interests of the athlete and the sport as their principal duty.

IMO --- You have hit the nail on the head ... it's only entertainment.

Quote:
Some of this could be changed IF the athletes make their interests known.

IMO --- Totally incorrect. ISSF is totally beholden to the IOC, and all IOC cares about these days is the money coming in from the events. Watch the movie Icarus.
Also note that against athlete protests, we lost Free Pistol & Prone for goodness sake!

Quote:
Can they be found and paid? Are the precision shooting disciplines declining in part because they seem dull to the uninformed? Can this be changed by proper PR? I hope so.

IMO ---
1) Anyone will take the money, ... if they are not qualified in anything else. Whether they can produce ... ??? Do the research.
2) YES ... so IOC & ISSF have come up with ways they think the sport can have more entertainment value.
3) Doubt it
4) You are (still) an idealist. (and I'm not saying that in a critical way)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:36 pm 
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The irony here is that one of our shooters just won another World Cup medal in Rapid fire.

It's not like US shooters aren't winning.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:00 pm 
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They are not winning OLYMPIC medals. That's all that counts. Doesn't matter how many medals you win in World Cups, World Championships, European Championships, Pan American Games, CAT Games, World Cup Finals, etc.

No Olympic medals, no funding. Period.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:54 pm 
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jmdavis wrote:
The irony here is that one of our shooters just won another World Cup medal in Rapid fire.

It's not like US shooters aren't winning.


Not to diminish the Gold Medal, anytime it is achieved it is a great accomplishment, just a point of clarification - It was a World Cup Final not a World Cup which has a significant difference in competitor count and environment. If the WC circuit 2017 is reviewed for rapid fire, Keith was our outstanding pistol shooter with a 6th place finish in Gabala (USA also had a 37th). New Delhai USA didnt send anyone, and Munich there was a 53/59 finish (Keith had a DNF). Obviously we all hope the USOC would fund all the USAS Olympic Sports and not hinder any of them in an already challenging field, and all the success should be funded and celebrated.


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