Let's get rid of the Ladies!

Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by KeithW, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. KeithW

    KeithW Barn door? Where?

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    In HFT we currently have what I believe is a surplus category, that of "Ladies". To the best of my understanding women don't have any disadvantage in HFT shooting, so why should they have a different class? I'm aware of the argument that it is supposed to encourage more women to shoot, but I don't think that holds water. We need to encourage new shooters of whatever age and gender, so it would make much more sense for all new shooters, male and female (adults) to be in their own "Entry Level" class until they have scored, say, 45+ in at least two comps, after which they are lumped in with the the big boys and girls. That would be a great incentive for personal improvement.

    I also feel that clubs should be encouraged to recognise & record Personal Best scores, which would give some extra incentive both to new shooters as well as experienced ones.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. bootneckbob

    bootneckbob Active Member

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    I think you are edging towards a grading system. I'm not saying that's good or bad but if I was pushed one way or the other I'd agree it's better to have a lower or entry level class get an award rather than boys and girls: not very PC is it?!;)
     
  3. Cop Out & Dead Shot

    Cop Out & Dead Shot Member

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    Take cover everyone...... Women & children first. Where's my helmet gone!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. KeithW

    KeithW Barn door? Where?

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    I agree Bob, the current categorisation infers that women are inferior to men ... not at all PC!
     
  5. palmanda

    palmanda Member

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    To be honest the ladies at our FT club out shoot most of us men
     
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  6. Jesim1

    Jesim1 Active Member

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    Sounds about right, my wife is a cracking shot.

    James
     
  7. palmanda

    palmanda Member

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    Unfortunately so is mine
     
  8. KeithW

    KeithW Barn door? Where?

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    Exactly!
    And I know many of the women choose to shoot in the open class.
     
  9. milek

    milek Active Member

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    Whilst many of the ladies on the circuit continue to field some of the finest rear ends they will always be in another class to us lot.
     
  10. Rotherham Owl

    Rotherham Owl Air Arms Poster Boy

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    My wife has been in the ladies class if there is one but has herself questioned why there is one as there is no differential between men and women's capabilities in the sport due to gender.

    I would agree that some sort of grading would be a lot more useful for the sport but it would be very difficult to introduce this as there is no formal grading system as there is in FT. By this I mean no formal monitoring of scores, such as the BFTA rolling 16.

    IMO I don't think it would be too difficult as more shoots than not use UKAHFT rules and could simply input the days scores into a central system that gradings could be based on. Of course, this would work better if scorecards were always handed in after a shoot. :D

    One thing I have really liked about what I have seen of the FT system is some really nice new people to the sport doing well, gaining recognition in their class and moving up the gradings.
     
  11. Dan Smith

    Dan Smith Active Member

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    I’m all for a grading system / handicap system. I think the people to ask about the ladies category are the ladies. I don’t see a distinction personally and might feel a little patronised if I was a lady ( but I’m not ).

    I’d feel a little exposed being a beginner in a small catagory and more comfortable in a bigger class - imagine being a beginner in a catagory with only a few much more experienced shooters.. that would put me off not encourage me.


    That’s my hat in the ring....
     
  12. Dan Smith

    Dan Smith Active Member

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    And another thing.

    Why have a ladies category but not a seperate junior girls and boys category - doesn’t make sense.....
     
  13. KeithW

    KeithW Barn door? Where?

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    Exactly, which you might take to indicate these categories are simply for show, rather than for a properly practical reason.

    Grading would indeed need some form of data collection. Potentially club scores could count. But to what end? Actually, simply to know how you stand in, for instance, the "National League Tables" if nothing else would be interesting, and wouldn't require any changes to the actual structure of competitions.

    A couple of years ago there was a guy, a programmer and shooter, who tried to introduce a centralised scores collection app which also worked out percentages and so on, it could do the job really well. Unfortunately it seemed that too many people, organisers of events, saw it as some sort of threat to their interests / events and if I recall correctly, it was unofficially blacklisted. IIRC the route taken was to say that the data published in event websites was copyright and must not be copied by / into another application.
     
  14. DreamGenie

    DreamGenie M.A.D. Air Arms HFT team

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    When I started shooting the competitions in 2006 ish, I was intimidated by the number of male shooters and their knowledge - they made me feel I was not in their league!
    Having a ladies class is not so much about women who can shoot as well or better, than men, but having a class that they feel comfortable in and can realise their potential on the circuit - be it National or local.
    Obviously a lot of ladies go on to shoot other classes, dependent on age or category.
    Do you not think this is a starting point for ladies just as the 9-13 juniors is for the youngsters?
    We all want to shoot as well as the men,but I know from experience, and talking to other ladies, that this takes time and confidence.
     
  15. what barn door

    what barn door Now them tin chickens are going to get it....

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    It looks as though the argument does hold water as posted above by DreamGenie and as the ladies are not objecting to the current system, why not leave it as it is? My club (Kingsley, if I am correct, just put the scores up after the shoot. They do indicate juniors, or vets or 0.22 or springer but can't recall seeing 'Lady' after a shooters score. Our club is very friendly but even I was a bit duanted the first time by all the camo clad, steely eye shooters, once I got to know them all it became much easier to fit in. Just for completeness, some of the ladies that turn up continue to kick my butt every time and I applaud their efforts and results and I see everyone that does better than me as an inspiration to try and get out more and do better.
     
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  16. KeithW

    KeithW Barn door? Where?

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    I'd say that any new shooter can feel intimidated, irrespective of gender. Sadly many women may feel intimidated by men in other aspects of life. I feel true equality comes from treating people the same, starting with respect ...
     
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  17. SteveC200

    SteveC200 Active Member

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    Women: "We want equality in all aspects of life!".

    Men: "Shall we get rid of the Ladies class so there's equality?"

    Women: "No. We want our own class".

    Men: Sigh.
     
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  18. Where's Molly

    Where's Molly Active Member

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    For what it's worth I agree that a grading system would be better for encouraging new shooters than a ladies class as although a lot of us more experienced ladies are opting out of the ladies class to encourage new ladies if we didn't it would be just as daunting for a new lady as being in the open. as the top lady shots are often in the high fifties...and the flipside is some lady shots have won titles but obviously wasn't the highest lady score of the weekend....that must take the edge off of winning that title?....when I started HFT I didn't even know about hold over etc and was up against top lady shots in the high fifties....would have been more encouraging personally for me to be with mixed shooters of my ability like in c grade in FT
    Jennie x
     
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  19. Bellerophon

    Bellerophon Active Member

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    For what it's worth with the current infrastructure that is in place for most major affiliations within the HFT community multiple grading systems would become a nightmare to monitor/update. Those who do dabble with FT will know the grading system is far from perfect and is constantly under scrutiny as unfortunately people do take advantage of it to fly high in the top end of a lower grade as opposed to moving up. Once again that's a personal thing.Basically what people tend to forget is that sports such as HFT/FT are ran and organised by volunteers and there is only so much effort these volunteers can put in alongside dealing with the demands of life, every subtle change requires administration in the background etc.

    As it stands having a separate Ladies class (in my opinion) does helps to actively encourage women into the sport, at the beginning. It is a male dominated sport but that is just how it is if I'm honest, the same as rhythmic gymnastics is predominantly participated in by women. Anyway slightly back on track, most women once they do become competent and start doing very well will transition into the open class.
     
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  20. Mrs Owl

    Mrs Owl Active Member

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    As a female shooter, I have shot in ladies categories and the open - not brilliantly, but that's beside the point - and I would have no problem at all in there being no ladies class. I have said many times (to Steve) women are just as able and competent as men. Yes, it can be intimidating shooting with more experienced shooters, but, as I was saying to a fellow (male) shooter at the weekend, shooting with someone better (not difficult in my case) can sometimes, make you shoot slightly better. just my opinion, for what it's worth! At the end of the day, I go to comps to have a good day out and even if my score isn't great, I always have a great day out, with great company and usually end up learning something and surely, that's the whole point! :D:);)
     
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