Chapter 1: Introduction to Tournament Operations
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Your First Tournament
Every individual and all organizations want projects they undertake to be successful and something they can be proud to have conducted. To assure this success, you must start your planning early, the earlier the better. In your early planning, consider these points: • To be successful, a tournament does not have to be a big one with a large number of competitors. A small affair can be lots of fun for both the shooters and the host club. In fact, a club’s first tournament should be kept small in order for the club to get their feet wet before going ahead with a larger project. To keep a tournament small, the competitors can be limited to members of certain clubs, leagues, or similar organizations. Entry may be limited by invitation if desired. An NRA Club Champion tournament is a great first tournament. • Restrict your matches in both number and type to those you believe will be entered by the majority of all who attend. Do not schedule a match that only a few will wish to fire. Do not schedule so many matches that you must start early and continue until dark. Plan to start about 8:30 A.M., take a short breather at noon, and finish by 4:30 P.M. During firing, move right along without wasting time and you will find that you can conduct a lot of shooting in this time frame. • If you have attended tournaments as a competitor before acting as a sponsor, you have a fine yardstick to measure your prospective tournament. • Remember, the rulebook that governs your event is a valuable tool with a wealth of information. You must have the appropriate rulebook available at all times. The latest updates are available on the Competitive Shooting Division web site, at this link: http://www.nrahq.org/compete/nra-rule-books.asp • The NRA may be able to furnish the names of veteran classified shooters in your area that may be willing to assist your club in setting up and officiating your first tournament. Call the NRA Tournament Reporting department at (703) 267-1454 for more information.
A tournament should have the approval of an entire sponsoring club or association so that everybody will lend their support. After initial approval, the tournament should be turned over to a Tournament Committee for detailed planning. Be sure the sponsoring club has access to a range or facility that matches the tournament type. Each NRA rulebook has a section on standards, see Section 6. If you have any questions or need guidance on how to get started, please contact the specific NRA Competitive Shooting department that can assist your needs. Select your statistical and range workers carefully. Explain their jobs and teach them how to do these jobs. Do not plan on workers also being shooters except in very small tournaments. To do either well requires full attention, so plan accordingly. Some sponsors solve this problem by asking rifle shooters to work the pistol tournaments, and then the pistol shooters to return the favor during rifle tournaments. Inexperienced officials should attend one or more tournaments of the type they will conduct. Observing what other officials do is a big help, and the inexperienced officers should actually work on a range or in the statistics office, depending upon what their job will be at home. Most tournament sponsors will be glad to receive such help. Order your awards well in advance. Put awards on display in a local business’s win-
Tournament Operations Guide