A non-profit organizaton for the promotion of skeet shooting both in Mississippi and Nationally.

Mississippi rolls out the Multi-Club Shooting Event (MCSE)

MCSE Club Locations

On December 6th and 7th, 2014 the Mississippi Skeet Shooting Association (MSSA) held their first two 200-target events (Holiday Open Saturday & Holiday Open Sunday) of the 2015 Skeet season.   While there is nothing new about one-day 200 target shoots, these events were hosted simultaneously at multiple clubs across the state.  On Saturday the 6th, the Coast Rifle and Pistol Club near Biloxi, MS, the Starkville Gun Club, in Starkville, MS, and the Whitetail Ridge Gun Club near Tupelo, MS each hosted shooters for this single event.  Similarly on Sunday, the Coast, Starkville, and Capitol Gun Club in Jackson, MS simultaneously hosted another 200 target event. 

So how can a state association host a MCSE?  By using iShoot of course!  Each club registers shooters for the event as they would if they were hosting the shoot.  Shooters are placed in squads and shooting begins at each club at roughly the same time.   Scores and long-runs are recorded using Mike Valerio’s Skeet Manager Software.  Now the magic happens.  Each club uploads a compressed backup of their Skeet Manager shoot to a web portal hosted by the MSSA.  Clubs are encouraged to upload this file after each squad or rotations scores have been entered.  As a result of some sophisticated programming by Clark Hartness, data from these uploaded backup files are elegantly combined from all clubs and displayed in an internet format that instantaneously displays score and long-run data that can be sorted by event, class, or concurrent.  The application displays any required shoot-offs and even develops shoot-off score-sheets for the clubs.  Since these results are now in a web format they can be viewed in near real-time using any computer, tablet or smart phone providing an online scoreboard for the day’s events.Barrett Gutter

How do shoot-offs work?  If you find yourself in an event championship, class, concurrent or a special handicapped event shoot-off, you simply shoot NSSA shoot-off doubles from 3, 4, and 5 until you miss twice or finish the round.  Two misses were chosen to reduce the cases where shooters at different clubs missed on the same first target.  These 1st miss and 2nd miss long-runs and total targets broken during the round are calculated for each shooter and entered into the iShoot web portal. 

While you may have many questions related to the why and how of a MCSE.  Below are the two most common questions. 

Who benefits from a MCSE?

The short answer is that everyone benefits from these events.  For the shooter, travel expenses are greatly reduced.  With less shooters at each club, the events tend to move a bit more quickly.  The clubs benefit by having targets in the air.  The NSSA benefits by having more registered targets thrown.  In 2011 and 2012 (the last two years the Holiday Open was held (2013 cancelled due to weather)) there were 12 and 17 shooters respectfully.  This year’s event hosted a total of 27 shooters, a 125% and 59% increase in shooters. 

What about the “fairness” of the field background and weather across multiple sites?

This is by the far the most common question / concern.  First, shooters are not assigned a club to shoot at based upon proximity.  Any shooter can travel to any club that is participating in the event.  While I believe most will continue to shoot at their “home” club, some shooters may choose to travel based upon a perceived better background.  With the exception of vegetation turning colors through the season, backgrounds are generally static. Clark Hartness

The element that is considerably less static is the weather.  As a professor of Meteorology and the Climatologist for the state of Mississippi, I am well versed in the local variability of the weather (I am also well ridiculed and have garnered many less than favorable nicknames in the Mississippi Skeet community).  So how do we make the weather fair?  Simply put, we can’t.  Just as at a single site event, the weather is rarely the same from one rotation to the next.  Changes in temperature and wind through the day have more impact on some squads and individuals than others.  How many of us have thought about how nice it was for the morning squad to have mild temperatures and light winds only to find yourself shooting in sweltering heat and gusty winds from an approaching shower?  The MCSE actually gives the shooter more control over the weather.  By looking at forecasts a few days in advance (please no comments on the accuracy of forecasts) shooters may choose a location that they perceive to be more favorable for shooting. 

 Frank Callahan

I tracked the weather at the club sites for this multi-site event.  The differences in the weather from location to location was striking as a cold front was moving through our state.  At 1pm on Saturday there was a 30 degree temperature difference between the Coast club and our northernmost club near Tupelo.  The coast recorded a temperature of 77 degrees and light southerly wind around 6 mph, while Tupelo was registering a temperature of 47 and northerly wind of 16 mph.  Starkville was in the middle with a temperature of 57 and a northwest wind at 11 mph.  Once the cold front pushed through the coastal area, Sunday’s weather was much more uniform with temperatures generally in the upper-40’s or lower-50’s and winds around 10 mph. statewide. 

Without question, on Saturday, the Coast would be the place to shoot, or is it?  For the simple analysis below, only B, C, and D class shooters were considered since B, C, and D class shooters composed the greatest number of shooters for evaluation and were fairly evenly distributed across the participating clubs.  Nevertheless, this is a small sample and the results are far from conclusive.  I intend to continue to collect data through the year for a more thorough analysis. 

In the table below are the average scores of the B, C, and D class shooters for the 12 gauge event each day.  It should be noted that Whitetail Ridge (near Tupelo) only participated on Saturday and the Jackson club only participated on Sunday.  The Coast and Starkville clubs participated each day.Marie Callahan

 

Clubs

Total

Sat

Sun

Coast

90.75

90.50

91.75

Starkville

91.77

91.50

92.00

Tupelo

90.25

90.25

Jackson

91.00

91.00

Some very simple non-parametric statistical methods indicated that the differences in the targets broken between clubs has no significance.  Is it possible that familiarity with a club (play where you practice) may be as or more important than the weather?  I bring this idea up since in 2012 (single site event on the coast) the weather was 72 with winds around 9 mph yet, the B, C, D average was 89.10 targets broken (lower than any club during the MCSE).  It is far too early to know the answer to this or any question related to a MCSE.  What can be said for this shoot is that the number of shooters increased over past years and differences in broken targets between clubs showed no statistically significant difference. 

Results from the 2014 Holiday Opens can be found HERE
iShoot reports for the 2014 Holiday Opens can be found HERE

The MSSA has decided that 200-target one day events will be held with this multi-club format.  However, our more traditional 4-gun/5-gun events will remain as single site events.  I am sure many folks have questions, comments, etc… about this new format.  Since we are still in our infancy with this type of an event, I would like to hear what you have to say.  I can be contacted ByEmail

Happy New Year from the MSSA!

Mike Brown

MSSA President.