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I shot my first sporting clays tournament this weekend. Just happened to be the state shoot where I live. Up until then I'd shot about 3 complete 100 non registered birds in the past 3 years. As might be imagined I didn't fare too well at the state having to shoot in Class A but that's another story.

Like the topic says, I read the rule book and the punches thing still confuses me. I kind of understand that depending on how well you shoot and how many shooters there are you may or may not earn 1-4 punches. And to raise from one level to the next to the next takes an increasing number of punches.

I came from the skeet world and there figuring out your classification was easy. Shoot x number of targets, find the arithmetic average, look at the chart and Bingo ! You're in class ___. Shoot the required number of additional targets, do the math, check the chart, repeat.

No guessing how many shooters will get you how many punches if you win, come in second, etc.

Not quite sure how the punches "thing" is the better system ? I understand the concept, I think, but it seems the system lends itself to being manipulated. Perhaps that is true of the skeet classification as well, but at least it's easy to understand and calculate when your scores will bump you up or down in class.

The question comes mainly from looking at the scores from the state shoot. The winner of Class E in the main event shot an 89 the first day. That would have also been good enough to win Class D and only 2 targets short of the best score in Class C. Seemed obvious to me either the E class shooter was just starting out but was improving incredibly fast or he figured out how to shoot the required 300 target minimum with low scores to get classified as an E class shooter, and then practiced on unregistered targets to get good enough to win Class E. Undoubtedly the E Class winner got some punches but I have no idea if there were enough shooters to give him sufficient punches to move him up to the next class. From the way I understand it, you could your class at a state shoot and still not possibly move up to the next class.

So, again, why is the punch system designed the way it is ?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Punches award you for your best performance without penalizi g you for your worst. Its just a way. There are many otger ways. This has been hashed and rehashed twothousand times. The rules are what the rules are. Either abide by the rules, get them changed, or dont shoot registered.
 

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amboy49 said:
I shot my first sporting clays tournament this weekend. Up until then I'd shot about 3 complete 100 non registered birds in the past 3 years. As might be imagined I didn't fare too well at the state having to shoot in Class A but that's another story.
Why were you in A class? Unless they've have had a skeet or trap classification, new shooters go to E automatically and punch up.

amboy49 said:
Like the topic says, I read the rule book and the punches thing still confuses me. I kind of understand that depending on how well you shoot and how many shooters there are you may or may not earn 1-4 punches. And to raise from one level to the next to the next takes an increasing number of punches.
Basically correct

amboy49 said:
The question comes mainly from looking at the scores from the state shoot. The winner of Class E in the main event shot an 89 the first day. That would have also been good enough to win Class D and only 2 targets short of the best score in Class C. Seemed obvious to me either the E class shooter was just starting out but was improving incredibly fast or he figured out how to shoot the required 300 target minimum with low scores to get classified as an E class shooter, and then practiced on unregistered targets to get good enough to win Class E.
Never mind what others do unless they are cheating. And what you just described above is not cheating.

amboy49 said:
Undoubtedly the E Class winner got some punches but I have no idea if there were enough shooters to give him sufficient punches to move him up to the next class.
You need to learn how to use scoringpro, winscore, or iclays to figure out how many are signed up in your class at a shoot. And again, you should be doing that lookup for yourself only. Worrying about what others do is a waste of time.

amboy49 said:
From the way I understand it, you could win your class at a state shoot and still not possibly move up to the next class.
Absolutely correct. Happened to me at the MI state shoot. It only depends on how many punches you go into the shoot with and how many you win at the shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sobrepuesta said:
amboy49 said:
I shot my first sporting clays tournament this weekend. Up until then I'd shot about 3 complete 100 non registered birds in the past 3 years. As might be imagined I didn't fare too well at the state having to shoot in Class A but that's another story.
Why were you in A class? Unless they've have had a skeet or trap classification, new shooters go to E automatically and punch up.

amboy49 said:
Like the topic says, I read the rule book and the punches thing still confuses me. I kind of understand that depending on how well you shoot and how many shooters there are you may or may not earn 1-4 punches. And to raise from one level to the next to the next takes an increasing number of punches.
Basically correct

amboy49 said:
The question comes mainly from looking at the scores from the state shoot. The winner of Class E in the main event shot an 89 the first day. That would have also been good enough to win Class D and only 2 targets short of the best score in Class C. Seemed obvious to me either the E class shooter was just starting out but was improving incredibly fast or he figured out how to shoot the required 300 target minimum with low scores to get classified as an E class shooter, and then practiced on unregistered targets to get good enough to win Class E.
Never mind what others do unless they are cheating. And what you just described above is not cheating.

amboy49 said:
Undoubtedly the E Class winner got some punches but I have no idea if there were enough shooters to give him sufficient punches to move him up to the next class.
You need to learn how to use scoringpro, winscore, or iclays to figure out how many are signed up in your class at a shoot. And again, you should be doing that lookup for yourself only. Worrying about what others do is a waste of time.

amboy49 said:
From the way I understand it, you could win your class at a state shoot and still not possibly move up to the next class.
Absolutely correct. Happened to me at the MI state shoot. It only depends on how many punches you go into the shoot with and how many you win at the shoot.
Since you asked - I'll answer. In the mid 1980's I shot registered skeet and I was a AA shooter in all four guns. I also had 30 year old eyes and reflexes. Fast forward - I'm now 66. I haven't shot a registered target of any kind in 25+ years. My shooting now consists of a couple of rounds of skeet a week with friends at a local club. One of those friends suggested I come and shoot the state shoot.

The rules state if an entrant has ever shot any registered clay targets ( which I have ) and there haven't been a minimum of 300 sporting targets shot to determine ability ( which I hadn't ) then the shooter must shoot in a class not more than one class lower than their highest classification. Since I was a double A shooter 30 years ago that put me in A class.

I didn't enter the shoot expecting to win. Thought I would try out a different shooting sport, get a feel for how the competition went, and experience what a state shoot was like. As a result my 74 on prelim day was the third lowest score out of 9 shooters that shot in Class E. And, as I mentioned, the Class E winner shot an 89. That tells me I'd have to make a 20 target improvement (20%) improvement to win in the lowest class. Not sure, at my age, if I want to commit the time and the dollars to gain those targets. Yes, I know i would also be shooting in the Super Vet Class - and there I was still in the middle of the pack. If I do compete I've always wanted to shoot against the best. By entering the shoot I was just trying to gauge how good the competition might be and how my current skills would translate.
 

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I figured that was the case but thought I'd ask anyway.

In any case, there is a section in the rules about asking for a downwards classification review after X many targets for those like you who start in a higher class due to past classification in other shotgun sports.

You can't, however, measure the competitiveness of E class by the results of just one shoot in your area.
 

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Also, don't count yourself out. Sporting and skeet are different animals but as an experienced shooter I expect you will get comfortable with some of the varied presentations in short order.

In my area, many top level shooters are older than you or have various vision issues. I shoot fairly often with a couple gents in their early 80's that are pretty tough to beat.

As noted, you can request a review for possible down classification. That process should be covered in the rule book as well.

Hang in there.
 

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As you concluded, punches are awarded on a sliding scale determined by class placement and the number of shooters in that class. As you also concluded, at a large event (e.g., a state championship) the winners in each class are probably going to shoot Master-class scores.

We adopted the punch system because an influential subset of NSCA membership did not like averages-based classification. We have retained the punch system because NSCA management believes that it sells more registered targets than an averages-based system would. In any case, as GTO pointed out, it is the system we have; so we live with it.

You should probably keep track of the punches you collect to assure that you do not enter a registered event in a class lower than the one in which you belong (DQ); otherwise, they really don't mean much.
 

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Ultimately you should shoot because you enjoy it. Gauge your results on how you felt you performed in relation to the target difficulty of the day. Unlike skeet, every sporting coarse is unique which is what I like most about it.

You have no control over what the others in your pool score so don't worry about it. Have fun, do your best and improve your skills.
 

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Skeet is a game of repeatable target presentations. Sporting clays presentations are ever changing.
 

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The way I remember changing to the punch system from averages was because some were shooting difficult courses to keep their averages down thus improving their chances of winning at a large tournament. The head of NSCA changed it. NSSA also had a punch system for many years.
The semi-average system (NPA?) was voted on a few years ago by the delegates and did not pass mainly because it was too difficult to figure out and the ever changing difficulty of sporting clay courses.
 

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Like others have said go out and shoot for fun and see where you end up at years end and ask for a reclassification.

You can't always judge what E class shooters are shooting based on someone throwing up an 89.It happens but if you look more at the averages for the class they will be much lower (usually).

For example this weekend I shot in a registered shoot and someone shot an 87 in E class which was better than D (68), C (84), and matched A classes top score. The rest of E class ranged from 71-41 with the majority in the 60's. Then for the second 100 I won the E class with a 67 so it really just depend on the day and whether or not someone is feeling the targets.
 

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ysr_racer said:
Skeet is a game of repeatable target presentations. Sporting clays presentations are ever changing.
exactly why a "average" system would never work in our game, that and every region, state, county, etc throws different levels of targets and presentations.

is the punch system perfect...........it is, but it isn't.

Go shoot, have fun, don't worry about the results, and enjoy the friendships that you will make, the lessons in shooting that you will learn, and the experiences you will have.
 

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amboy: No disrespect intended , but you fit --precisely-- in the group that is always petitioning NSCA for a "I want to win even tho I don't want to spend any actual money getting better" class :D [actually that group is way over-repped here on SGW.] Some folks just call it the whiner's class , for ease of description. :D

PLUS , any shoot where E class is won w/ an 89 , is a butt easy fluff shoot. Around here , a 56 would likely win E class. So , sadly , your 74 means you have a lot of work to do. As you get better , you will have to shoot against better and better people--the winners from the classes below who have advanced --by winning. 8) I , for example , have to shoot against the pros , which instead of griping , I welcome as a challenge {hs#

Punches are awarded for winning a class , and, just in case , if you also "would have won" a higher class, no one is awarded punches for that reason. The system is easy and straightforward and while some think it's the 1st sign of the apocalypse , it isn't. :lol:
 

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Amboy - Don't get discouraged it will take a little time for you to get the feel for things and get your classification worked out. Totally disregard some on here that think its their job to talk down to new people when they are asking questions. Most people arent like that so continue on with your shooting and have some fun.
 

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ysr_racer wrote:
Skeet is a game of repeatable target presentations. Sporting clays presentations are ever changing.

exactly why a "average" system would never work in our game, that and every region, state, county, etc throws different levels of targets and presentations.
I totally disagree, but this is not the thread for this discussion. It is done all the tine in other sports, notably baseball.
 

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It's funny you cite baseball-- which has learned that their old stats are more or less meaningless.
 
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