Ex­plain shoot change

Field and Game - - RECOIL - Robert Sturza­ker

The an­nounce­ment in the FGA mag­a­zine of rule changes is use­ful but lacks mean­ing when there is no ex­pla­na­tion for the changes. Why is the line go­ing? Why are the shell sizes shrink­ing?

As the mem­ber­ship does not ap­pear to have been con­sulted, we are in the dark about the rea­son­ing.

Let me il­lus­trate with the ex­am­ple of the line on the jacket.

Our rule book is called the Sim­u­lated Field Rule­book, we are mem­bers of Field & Game Aus­tralia, some pretty good hints as to the ori­gins of our sport. The sport has changed over time, from purely try­ing to repli­cate game to a wide va­ri­ety of chal­leng­ing tar­gets tra­jec­to­ries, ter­rain and types. It is rightly the most pop­u­lar form of clay tar­get shoot­ing.

Our sport is still an ob­vi­ous path to hon­ing game shoot­ing skills if mem­bers wish to pur­sue that course. Some may not want to hunt/shoot game and that is fine.

But even a rudi­men­tary anal­y­sis of shot­gun shoot­ing will high­light the ne­ces­sity of mount­ing the gun cor­rectly. Your eye is the rear sight for a shot­gun and in or­der for this to work the eye needs to be po­si­tioned cor­rectly. Gun mount is es­sen­tial to suc­cess­ful shot­gun shoot­ing. Sure, there are dis­ci­plines where tar­gets are shot gun up but the most chal­leng­ing, ISU Skeet, FITASC, SSAA Sport­ing and, un­til re­cently Sim­u­lated Field, re­quire the shooter to mount the gun after the tar­get has ap­peared.

This is the essence of sport­ing clays in any dis­ci­pline: mount­ing the gun, lead­ing the tar­get and pulling the trig­ger.

Why change? We may never know. But the hints I get are that “it is too hard to po­lice the line on the jacket, par­tic­u­larly at the Na­tion­als.”

If this is the rea­son, then it is a fail­ure of ad­min­is­tra­tion not the rule. If the ACTA, SSAA and SCA can all ad­min­is­ter the line, at lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion up to and in­clud­ing Na­tional ti­tles, the Olympics, and the World FITASC Cham­pi­onship, why can’t FGA?

As the but­ton holder and ref­eree for a squad many times over my 37 years’ mem­ber­ship, no one re­peat­edly breach­ing the gun mount rule has been in any doubt about what they should do. While a lit­tle gen­eros­ity for learn­ers is fine, there is no point learn­ing a sport un­less you learn the rules. Be­cause if you don’t fol­low the rules, there is no sport.

Ex­cept, of course, as it now ap­pears at the FGA, we don’t have rules, we have guide­lines. We have prece­dent, if you don’t like a rule, don’t fol­low it. The FGA hi­er­ar­chy will come around and change the rule book.

I sug­gest a line of civil disobe­di­ence un­til they come to their senses. I call on gun clubs to put a sign on the wall to say that the pre-july 1, 2018 lines on jack­ets rules will be en­forced at this club.

• Ed­i­tors note; a ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents to the 2018 FGA mem­ber sur­vey sup­ported the rule changes.

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