Benchrest Survey 2022
Fellow Benchrest Shooters,
As you are aware, the Benchrest discipline, like most other shooting sports, has been affected by Covid 19 over the last couple of years with many shoots cancelled due to government restrictions on gatherings and safety concerns for those at most risk among us. These restrictions seem to be behind us but apart from this the declining numbers of shooters attending matches over the last few years has been a concern to many.
Speaking with other Benchresters, most are of the opinion that change is needed in order to address the declining attendance numbers. Many suggestions were made, some new, some tried before, some minor and some radical however most believe something needs to be done to attract more shooters to our matches.
The State Delegates believe a survey may assist with future direction on some key issues raised by some shooters in recent times. The following are by no means the only questions to be considered however for this survey we will ask the following questions and explain briefly the reasoning behind each question.
1) What is your name and competitor number?
Reason: To ensure the Benchrester has previously shot at a registered BR match
2) What is your contact number and email address?
3) When was the last time you competed in a Registered Match?
Reason: To assess if competitors who have not shot for longer periods are still interested and in touch with BR and if not, possibly provide a reason why they no longer attend Matches.
4) Should the Nationals be held at the same venue every year?
Pros: Same centralised location each year, Benchresters can plan ahead, it may improve numbers as some current clubs are finding it hard to attract shooters due to distances involved.
Cons: Disadvantage to Benchresters from some states or far away locations
5) Should the Nationals be held at SSAA ACT Canberra – Majura Range every year?
Pros: Canberra is the National Capitol, it is central to a large number of shooters, good facility, lots of accommodation, direct flights from most places.
Cons: Low number of local shooters, would require out of state volunteers to run matches, possibly rotational on a state by state basis,
6) If not Canberra, Do we retain the Rotation system used to date?
7) What is your preferred time of the year below to hold the Nationals?
A) Autumn – Starting just before and including 2nd weekend of March
Pros: Mild weather in southern states, no school or public holiday so easier and cheaper to book flights and accommodation.
Cons: Too close to Australia Day shoot, still hot weather if to be held in Queensland. More time off work required then Easter
B) Easter Holiday Period
Pros: less time required off work, traditional, mild weather
Cons: Holiday period so more expensive for flights and accommodation, parents/grand parents away from kids during Easter which is a traditional family time for many as well as school holiday period.
C) Mid October
Pros: All other shoots held beforehand and build up to the Nationals, mild weather in southern states, no school or public holiday so easier and cheaper to book flights and accommodation.
Cons: More time off work required then Easter
D) Please nominate your preferred time
8) Should the LB and HB class be shot on the Saturday and Sunday at the Nationals with Sporter on Friday and Unlimited on Monday?
Reason: Some competitors are limited in how much time off work they can take and can only compete in a two gun event.
9) Should qualification for WBC be as per International rules as this is what will be required to be used at the WBC events, tapered barrels must be used, no parallel barrels allowed?
Pros: Qualifying with same type of equipment that you will have to compete with.
Cons: Competitors who are not interested in competing in the WBC would have a perceived advantage in the Nationals result should they choose to shoot a parallel barrel.
10) If question 9 is adopted, should the rule be implemented for:
A) All competitors at the Nationals matches Yes or No
B) All registered matches in Australia Yes or No
Please note: if the rule is implemented for all competitors and/or all registered matches, we would propose that a 5 year moratorium take place before the rule change takes effect.
I hope the above questions and reasoning behind the questions are clear to you. It is our hope that all our fellow BR shooters take part in this survey. What ever the outcome of the survey is we hope it provides clear and constructive advice to provide input into the way forward for the discipline as a whole.
The survey results may provide a clear indication of changes required to improve the discipline and if so we will advise Benchresters accordingly and undertake a change process in accordance with the Rule book and SSAA National procedures.
In the hope the survey responses are constructive and plentiful we plan in the future to also separately explore the ways available to bring Rimfire and Centrefire Benchrest closer together.
To participate in the survey, please go to following link:
Benchrest Discipline Chairman