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Increasing Membership/Participation

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by DannyR, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. DannyR

    DannyR Moderator Millennium Member

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    Folks, it's been a long time since we discussed increasing participation at GSSF Matches. Now that we are in-between seasons, perhaps it's a good time to solicit your suggestions on increasing participation in 2005. I welcome all ideas and suggestions, and thank you in advance for your input.
    -DannyRyan
     
  2. FotoTomas

    FotoTomas Pure Polymer

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    I have been trying to bring people out to shoot GSSF matches. I have been successful with several and they remain interested and active. The last one was involved in a shift swap to day watch and ended up missing the Orlando match.

    Since the next match he might attend is about a year away I suggest GSSF help with sanctioned matches at the host ranges during the year.

    I realize that the GSSF staff is running ragged as it is and the idea of them doing a match at a location more than once a year is not likely. On the other hand if the club range was willing to run a similar match under GSSF rules at the six month interval and GSSF could in some way sponsor some limited prizes and awards We would have a good warm up for the main event, extra opportunity to get new shooters into the GSSF format, Extra trigger time for those that might not want to or be able to travel to other areas of the country.

    I for one would be willing to help run the thing at my local range and am sure others would too. I envision a fun match with all the GSSF rules in place for a single day only. Maybe some GSSF pistol award certificates for a raffle of the participants. A reduced match fee BUT requiring GSSF membership to shoot it. The local clubs could send in the memberships and money and scores even for the GSSF staff to post in a separate section. Maybe not it could get expensive but hey if it gets new members, sells guns, gives us an opportunity to shoot more with a sport we love then I say try it.

    The Indoor league is a great option and I hope to shoot one of those myself. A similar idea at the outdoor ranges for a bigger shoot on par with a Club IDPA, USPSA or Cowboy match would be a good fit with the GSSF philosophy.

    It will take a dedicated GSSF fan at the local club to make it happen with guidance from Smyrna. For those ranges with the necessary equipment (and I am willing to contribute to a good plate rack) it would be a win-win situation.

    I hope Danny that you, Scott and Chris might be able to run with this and come up with an option to make it happen. Just a couple of clubs to start and see how it works. :)
     

  3. DistantTea

    DistantTea Monkey Vendor

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    I still haven't filled out my membership card, and I can tell you why.

    If I wished I could attend three GSSF Matches within reasonable driving distance from me according to the 2004 schedule (I haven't seen the 2005). Lexington KY, Marietta OH and some place in Indiana (which is quite a trek really). So that would be probably two, maybe three matches a year I could go to. That would be the only GSSF interaction I would be seeing for the entire year. There are no reasonable ways to practice for the match so two or three chances a year would be the only competition practice I would see.

    Yes I practice with paper plates and cardboard poppers but thats just shooting in your backyard... thats not getting ready for competition.

    To see the flip side of competition you only need to look at the SCCA and their autocross system. There are the big national events that travel the US and there are the smaller regional and divisional events that cater to the locals. Your average autocrosser is usually within an hours drive to an event at least 10 times a year. Some regions are based on population and in some areas, like mine there are a good 40+ races you can attend within an hours drive every year. By allowing mass numbers of regional competitions the SCCA primes autocrossers for the larger, much higher level competitions in a manner that is nonthreatening and local.

    I could be talking out my *** again but if the GSSF is serious about building membership they might want to look into a similar thing. Perhaps an equipment package could be devised to be sold to smaller regions so that regional shooting clubs could start popping up. People are much more likely to join a club like the GSSF if its easily available and has a cheap entry price. Local shooting ranges or groups that purchase the equipment and get sanctioned by the GSSF could easily make their money back while growing membership and sport involvement.

    Just look at how that system worked for autocross. Its racing in parking lots for pete's sake! But its incredibly fun, extrmely available and has a very cheap entry price point. Because of that there are thousands and thousands of autocrossers out there.

    Numerical list of things I think could grow the sport -
    1.) Regional matches using standardized equipment
    2.) Open to nonmembers
    3.) Rental Glocks using typical Range Rules for people without
    4.) Paid Test and Tune days
    5.) Special pricing for LEOs and Military
     
  4. DEJ/FL

    DEJ/FL Millennium Member

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    Hey Coach
    We're doing everything we can do here in NW Florida. Every practice session we do at our "home" range, anyone thats wants to try our GSSF courses of fire we have setup is welcome to do so. We also take a few minutes to explain about the GSSF and tell them where and when the closest matches are located. We have even had some GSSF signs made up and placed on the "Target Trailer"! Check out the photo! I even repair any Glocks that show up for FREE!

    Dan:cool:
     
  5. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Sandwich!

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    I think Distant Tea and FotoTomas are on to something.

    GSSF matches are great but most folks only shoot one or two matches a year and that's it. I only get to four matches a year which is peanuts compared to the Florida Crew!

    If the host clubs were putting on sanctioned monthly local GSSF matches we would see a membership increase and more shooters at the larger matches put on by the GSSF staff.

    This would also be a relatively easy start up as well. Every single club that GSSF currently holds a match at has contacts and RO's already in place that have some knowledge of the game, so GSSF already has the proverbial iron in the fire in this regard.

    Another additional benefit would be an ease on the work load of the full time GSSF staff. Instead of going to clubs that only host one match a year they would be going to clubs that already have monthly matches, so set up and match management should be easier, at least in theory.

    If GSSF wants to hire somebody to spearhead this project I'm available! ;f
     
  6. glockess56

    glockess56 CLM

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    People, between the GSSF outdoor matches, don't forget the GSSF Indoor League matches. These are challenging matches for three months at a specified range. In Ohio, Columbus and Cincinnati are coordinating it so that they are being held on alternate Saturdays to accommodate people. For example, in March, Cincy is on the 12th and Columbus (New Albany) in going to be held on the 19th. The indoor matches are fun too, and that adds to my fun at the Gssf outdoor matches. Granted, I would like to see more closer to OHio, as I went to Indy, Marietta and Lexington last year. So I have fun doing the Indoor League matches as well as the outdoor ones.

    One thing I'd like to suggest is the lifetime member dues. I'd like to be a lifetime member, but coming up with the $250 all at once is a lot. The lifetime dues are reasonable, but I think if they had an installment program like the NRA where we could pay so much quarterly, or some pay schedule, more people would become lifetime members.;a ;a ;a
     
  7. DannyR

    DannyR Moderator Millennium Member

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    I've been shooting GSSF since May 1999. Distance has not been a factor, as I have been willing in the past to travel as much as 1,000 miles in a weekend for the opportunity to shoot and be among my friends. Closest match to me is 300 miles round trip. This year I plan to shoot Anderson (720), Richmond (320), Waldorf (500), Topton (800), Statesville (300), Conyers (850) and Lexington (740).

    My plan is to bring at least 1 new friend to each match--7 new members in 2005.
     
  8. jay.shebuski

    jay.shebuski

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    I've been spreading the word..and have @ least one NCO who wants to start..and another interested.

    ..just that we've been deployed so much lately (ie 8 months out of 04, and 2 months so far in 05).

    ..hope to bring these interested shooters to Anderson.

    I actually convinced James Austin, from WA, who made the Gunny challenge this year, to start shooting GSSF. Hope to have the same impact in SC...

    Jay
     
  9. TXMike

    TXMike

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    GSSF provides some significant value for $. Quality COF, great prizes, fun atmosphere on-site Glock technical support, etc..... While we play with our unlimited guns always searching for the ultimate solution, it is nothing like what has happened to IPSC. While there are rules, they are simple and preserve what GSSF was originally started for. Compare this to the massive IDPA rules.

    Travel is required to most events, but it is reasonable depending on how you manage this as an individual. In addition, the evening dinners with friends and sharing a little "aiming fluid" is worthwhile.

    A drawback I have is not having the range facilities necessary for quality practice. Just a fact of life where I live now (for now). The entry fees are nominal compared to other activities. As an example, my son and I are shooting a 2-day sporting clays tourney in LA next weekend....$350 in entry fees.

    I have encourged a number of friends to participate in GSSF with positive results. Again, In my opinion this is one of the best values and opportunities.
     
  10. dport

    dport

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    I want to start, but I'm waiting on this mythical beast known as "shore duty" before I can really nail down a shooting schedule. So maybe not 05, but 06 I should be able to participate. Unless, of course, I'm sent TAD to Iraq.
     
  11. FotoTomas

    FotoTomas Pure Polymer

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    I think I have simplified my concept a little. I would like to see the Parent GSSF organization create a set of rules to govern local affiliated clubs that would like to operate "sanctioned" matches at the club level.

    Similar to the IDPA or USPSA we could have a club willing to meet the minimum requirements to run local GSSF matches and have the parent GSSF run the bigger two day events around the country with our "National Championship" in Atlanta.

    I have heard of many clubs putting on GSSF styled events but this would be a GSSF "sanctioned" club with support(minimal)and guidance from Smyrna. The GLOCK Report has our rules for the matches all we need is a club to put up enough members to support the concept. From there we can bring in GSSF members to the local level and hopefully get them to the bigger matches. :)
     
  12. mr glock-fl

    mr glock-fl

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    Hi Tom--I like Your Idea!!!

    I second the idea, It will give our Bro's and Sweet Sisters in Ga a needed break, keeping the game and fun alive. Maybe not every month but mix it in with the other games as a way to get back to a practice for the real GSSF matches(even some new events could be added from Ga's HQ).

    No insult to the indoor Gssf(Ok A little) but it's falling a part here in Orlando. The host club is not sure if they want to contuine- a little support from Gssf would help, But they are not seeing it. We have lots of Indoor ranges but to close down for the match they need to know if it's worth their time(Yes I have been talking to some-they don't see it being worth their while). Indoor Matches are a long drive from here to do it 2-3 times in a 3month time frame on the chosen days is hard for those of us that work every other weekend. I can only go on the ones I am off on --too short of manpower to even help at our Re- Quals.

    This is a Good Idea but Only If Gssf is behind it. What do You say Guys and Gals at Gssf- you told me you wanted more events and people involved -The Ball is in your court- does it stay stagnent(like Indoor is here) or do you run with It!!

    I hope you Run--Makes Sig, S/W and H&K Jealious of our love and devotion to Glock-I have had their reps admit to it ;a

    We will see ????
    Mike;f
     
  13. Fireglock

    Fireglock Which is worse?

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    In my opinion the easiest way to increase participation is to clean up the way the stages are run. Matches need to be smoother with a better time frame of operation. Until that happens too many folks will continue to be irritated or disappointed to the point of not shooting another GSSF match. Another thing that I know affects some folks is showing up, shooting and seeing the disparity between their scores and those of the better or Master shooters. Getting folks to a match isn't as hard as getting them to keep coming.

    The first issue actually falls predominately on the clubs, getting competent ROs that "follow the GSSF guidelines" in running the match. I have a couple of ideas to send to GSSF but if used they would only help if the ROs follow the program. When you have six pits and them administered six different ways there's going to be problems. The longer it takes the average folks to shoot the match the more likely they are to pass on a repeat, especially if they have to drive any distance to get to the match. Adding to that is how to get past the "snob" factor. These are the folks that don't consider GSSF competition. Those are the IDPA and USPSA folks at the matches. Add to them the "those plastic guns" haters running a stage and sharing their "expert" opinion to those same new shooters you are trying to reach and bam, bad news. Who wants to hear how their new gun is not really a good pistol? :(

    The second issue is harder. Having a course of fire that works for Joe and Sally the new folks and the Bobbys, Tonys and Dales is tough. GSSF has an interesting course of fire, no running, no moving and no holster work. That gets everybody a chance to shoot, new guy, old guy, good guy. But it's getting a little stale and it takes time to score the targets. There's a couple of things that could help get the score disparity down but it'll be tough to improve to any great extent.

    Adding matches or adding prizes may make some of us happy but to reach new folks and keep them coming will require more refinement of the current matches. I think the GSSF folks are thinking about refinements, we'll have to see if they bring any this year.
     
  14. njl

    njl

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    Is there really room for "more participation" given the current format and schedule of matches? This past JAX match, there were over 400 entries. There's only so much range space for stages, and they couldn't keep all the stages staffed and running as it was (shortage of ROs).

    I don't mind waiting a bit between stages to shoot, but it does get quite annoying when each stage is being run totally differently (as to shooting order), and it gets old sitting there watching people come up and argue with the ROs (wasting everyone's time) about when their turn should be. It's even more frustrating when there's a line of people waiting to shoot, and there are vacant stages because there weren't enough ROs to keep them all running.

    I think I suggested this in another thread, but I think ideally, there should be at least 3 ROs at each stage. A timer/target reader. A score recorder. Both at the line. And a competitor relations RO who manages the stack of score sheets, builds the "on-deck queue", and deals with the people who want to argue about why they're not up yet...while the other 2 ROs keep the match running. Too many times, I've seen a stage grind to a halt because someone is arguing with the ROs about shooting order.

    I've done my part to encourage friends to shoot, and several of them have become regulars at the nearby matches. One friend though, even though he won a gun in his first match (got lucky in AmLE), has had no interest in going back because he was so turned off by the waiting. Others are just afraid of competing.

    Without more better/better trained ROs, or more match dates, I don't see how you can get many more people participating. The pool's full already.

    Living between JAX and Orlando, I was thrilled when I heard at the JAX match a few years ago that they'd be doing an Orlando match as well. Those are the only 2 matches I've gotten to. Several hundred miles each way to GA or matches even further north just isn't practical for me. I realize they probably put JAX and ORL next to each other on the schedule because it's just too cold further north that time of year, but it kind of sucks having 2 matches back to back in Jan/Feb, and then nothing for 10 months. The fact that it's right in the middle of cold season here hasn't helped...I've missed several matches now due to being too sick to shoot. If there were more matches (either more nearby locations or multiple dates at existing locations), I'd be there (health permitting).
     
  15. DistantTea

    DistantTea Monkey Vendor

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    I'm not so keen on the indoor league. Yeah I might win a gun but its not really anything different than what I do in my backyard. I didn't really buy a glock to do bullseye competition with it. Now if the indoor league changed formats so that the competition was the GSSF stages I'd be more prone to go.

    For regular GSSF I would be so happy if there were ongoing monthly matches at a regional level. Prizes don't have to be anything other than a sheet of paper with the shooters placing on it... or maybe a shot glass with the glock logo on it for top shooters... whatever. I really don't want to shoot for prizes. I can do that at an amusement park. I want to shoot to compete and I want to do it often and easily. Until GSSF can offer that I'm going to be gunshy about sending in that membership and attending a real match.

    Oh and fiber optic and express sight rules... wussup with that?
     
  16. TrooperDan

    TrooperDan

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    A couple of the posts above mention that sometimes the same stage is being run differently in different bays. That is certainly true! I know that GSSF currently depends on volunteer RO's, almost exclusively just from the host club. I say almost because I, at least, have volunteered to RO at an out of town GSSF shoot where I was also competing.

    I'd like to see a program of certifying RO's and insuring at least one certified RO at each separate event. Doing so would hopefully eliminate the non-standard (although sometime very creative! :) ) I realize the difficulty of each host club having enough certified RO's but if there was a cadre of such officials and the hosting club requested volunteers, even if just half a day, I think it could work. It might take some time to train enough RO's but I think it would be a good idea..I'd be the first to sign up!
     
  17. Fireglock

    Fireglock Which is worse?

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    GSSF is a product offered by Glock to encourage the use of their pistols by providing a safe, fun environment to compete and possibly win a prize. Since their goal is not the same as say IDPA and or USPSA it is unlikely they would enter into becoming another club oriented organization.

    The rules are therefore organized towards using their pistols in stock form with limitations to modification so as to maintain a level playing field at an entry level competition. IF you would like to shoot a match with equipment not meeting the stock gun rules as Glock/GSSF have formulated them then there is still Master/Unlimited. Fiber optic and express sights work well in that category.

    If the $20.00 membership fee is to much then maybe GSSF isn't for you. There are other venues to enjoy your shooting. Maybe IDPA or USPSA would be something more to your liking. Club level, no prizes and you would only have to join IDPA or USPSA and pay club match fees. Many clubs offer monthly "matches" like you would prefer. I would hope you realize what a great opportunity GSSF is for shooters, all shooters at all levels. I admit GSSF isn't for everybody but it is fun and I have made a host of friends from around the country shooting it. But it isn't and I expect never will be a club level competition. :)
     
  18. dport

    dport

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    More maddening is the restrictions on slide stops and mag releases, considering they don't affect the course of fire. However, I can certainly see why Glock wants to keep their game simple and free of the arms races that go on in IPSC and the like.
     
  19. DistantTea

    DistantTea Monkey Vendor

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    Hey thats all fine and dandy. But if the question is "How do increase participation" you don't say "its fine the way it is, if you don't like it don't play". Because thats how you decrease participation... donchya think?

    It really is fine if the GSSF dosn't want to expand the sport. But this thread is about increasing parcipation and I've stated the reasons I personally haven't participated yet and the things that could really expand the member base.

    If the GSSF isn't looking for change... then whatever. Nothing grows without at least some changes.
     
  20. Fireglock

    Fireglock Which is worse?

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    Have you ever shot a GSSF match?