It has come to notice that SSAA has decided, without consultation, explanation or justification to alter the criteria for International selection. This action totally disregards the tried and true formula that has prevailed and been adhered to for just on two decades and has resulted in winners and top places at the World Benchrest Championships (WBCCF & WBCRF).
Last November Benchrest Chairman, David Billinghurst was approached to endorse the changes but having allegiance to and wanting to follow the wishes of his discipline members declined and advised the hierarchy that he would seek the views of his constituents. This was transacted at Easter at the BR AGM with a resounding NO. The result and affirmation of the already successful criteria/formula along with an addition to the for IRB formula to cover a malfunction was forwarded to National on 25.5.19 and to date no formal acknowledgement.
A bit of history - WBC events started in 1991. Between 1990 and 1999 several criteria were trialled but each formula was found to have flaws, loop holes and disadvantages.
In 2000 a formula was arrived at after input from competitors via their delegates and Chair that expunged the problems in the 1990-1999 criteria/formulas. The 2000 formula fulfilled all aspects to ensure a well rounded and balanced team, that had the approval and endorsement of the SSAA National body and resulted in multiple successes at WBCs and enhanced the standing of SSAA on the world stage in both CF and RF.
The new model that National is espousing is available for perusal on SSAA website under Benchrest discipline and apart from being in reality and practise unworkable has some real conundrums. Such as -
No provision or avenue for a competitor to experience a malfunction or problem.
Another negative is only one National to count that leaves the way open for every second National title to be a non event without the added advantage of being the event for qualifier points especially when the deadline of 6 months pre event entry deadline is set by the host country and an recommended guideline by WBSF Championship Rules.
A National championship that doesn't count for qualifier points has a real minus and is hardly attractive to shooters, especially if they have already qualified the previous year or have to travel long distances. With the chance to lose competitors for these reasons States and or branches could be reluctant to host given the staff and finances required to host National events.
Again with the 6 month entry deadline one National could or have to be counted twice - hardly fair to competitors.
One National under the proposed formula makes no concession for a competitor to experience a malfunction or other problem by being able to eliminate one aggregate or score.
The advice "best of the Top 10 placings" - 3 teams of 4 in CF = 12 and 3 teams of 3 in IRB = 9 hardly equates to Top 10 only being eligible or takes into account for qualifiers who decline a team place that has to be filled by the next best or subsequent qualifier.
Not all competitors who qualify for a place in a WBC team are able to take their place for reasons such as self employed, others cannot get time from employers but the most heard reason is financial. Members of the A team get a budgeted amount for apparel (not blazers), nominations and travel but must meet any shortfall over the budgeted amount. The B and C teams are self funded that means travel (air and on ground), nomination fees (usually $US400 each), excess baggage (if any), accommodation, some times National provides apparel (except blazers) etc., etc. sans some sponsorship. It can be a costly business to wear the colours of the Australian affiliate to WBSF i.e. SSAA. at World titles.
Chairman and delegates have been inundated with phone calls and emails about this subject from those who have read it and in the main two questions dominate
2. How can one express opposition and dissatisfaction?
The only advice one can offer is contact your State President who is a voting and decision making member of the SSAA National Board and in a couple of cases a member of the SSAA Executive all of who apparently engineered and approved the change. As a member you have the right to ask the reason for change, what justification, why aren't the competitors' views taken into account and respected and express your views. Email addresses are as follows:
Qldfirstname.lastname@example.org NSWemail@example.com Victoria firstname.lastname@example.org ACTemail@example.com SA - firstname.lastname@example.org WA - email@example.com Tas - firstname.lastname@example.org NT - email@example.com
National Pres - firstname.lastname@example.org National Sect. email@example.com & Comp Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of all the callers who asked the questions