Explain shoot change
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.