Does anyone run stats over a season to find out what targets and target ranges competitors find easiest/hardest? It would probably be of interest to course setters. Then you could probably grade courses. Just a thought

Yes. I'm the scores sec for SWEFTA this year and I do an analysis of the scores at every league shoot. It's a simple matrix table with the target numbers across the top, and the names of the shooters down the left hand side. Initially I order them by grade, as that's how I get the cards, but Excel will in an instant reorder by any recorded parameter such as club, overall score, ungraded, etc. The host club gets a copy of the analysis for them to use as they see fit. Over the course of a season it could enable anyone to compare their success with the norm, and to get real evidence of what they should be practising.

interesting. So could you tell from your gathered informatiom that say a 15mm standing @ 22yds for example was the most missed target over a season?

Well, in a year league we only usually shoot each course once, so any target on a given course that was the most missed at the event is also going to be the most missed for the year. We could say at the year end, the average strike rate on short standers is xx%. I hasten to add that the data is only recorded for league shoots, it's enough work as it is without adding ordinary club days' results into it as well.

I'd love to see that Rich... even if it's just for the Shebbear round. I wonder if it could be automated with a card reader of some sorts.

If it helps, when designing a course I take into account the kill size, the distance and the shooter's position (standing, kneeling, freestyle) as measurable parameters. Such things as wind exposure are daily condition variable and more difficult to put numbers to. I work on the basis that rangefinding the long targets is important, and to a slightly lesser extent so it is with the very short ones, as it's easy to miss a 9 yard mini kill. If you mis-range a 25 to 30 yarder then it often doesn't matter. So I take the actual distance then apply a factor to create an index of difficulty for that distance. A little bit of arithmetic: call the distance D. The factor I use is D x (1+(abs(D-30)^2)/1000). This gives a factor of 1 for 30 yards, and increasingly above 1 as the range differs from 30. Then I apply a factor for the kill zone diameter. If you want to know that number you'll have to pay me a lot of money first. Finally a factor for the shooting position, 1 for freestyle, 1.3 for kneeling, and (another secret!) for standing. Multiplying all the factors together gives me an overall "difficulty" for that target, then I can decide how to arrange them, for example make the course of uniform difficulty from start to finish (which is useful if you need to split it into 2 for a showdown), make one lane a real stinker, or weight it so that the first few easy lanes suck them in, and the last few are the killers.