Target "calling", a healthy discussion

Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by Bellerophon, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Bellerophon

    Bellerophon Active Member

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    This has been something that I have mused about for a while now, the recent events in Poland have rekindled this thought pattern so I decided to see if the good people on here would engage in a healthy discussion about target "calling" (I was not present in Poland nor have I received any information about the event other from on here). As I am actively involved in a certain large HFT organisation it would be good to gain feedback from the masses whether that be from HFT shooters or FT shooters. So please feel free to post in this thread if you wish to engage in a healthy, pro active discussion about trying to remove (where reasonably practicable) target calling from main stream events.

    I'll get the ball rolling. My personal opinion (not that of WHFTA) is that targets seldom fail when; targets are of good quality and from a reputable manufacturer, are correctly maintained, are correctly installed and when they are hit cleanly they will fall. It is as clear cut as that for me, obviously there are occasions where mechanisms suffer a temporary failure due to debris build up or a snagged string or even the mounting mechanism failing but for me there can be certain control measures put in place to remove those from the equation.Obviously there will be on a occasion a failure that cannot be foreseen.

    So where does that leave "us", if the targets are deemed "functional" then we must look at the other two main factors. The installer (course setter) and of course the shooters. For what it's worth I do consider myself to have an extensive knowledge of course setting so for those who read this please don't think my next comments are made without real world experience. To put it lightly by applying good preparation to the targets selected e.g. Lubrication, pre placement function checks/post placement function checks and by applying common sense and some basic engineering fundamentals e.g. Target and bracket work secure, square to the peg/lane, level. This removes the chance of target failure during normal operation for the duration of a single shoot. That's where the buck stops for me, obviously there are various discussions to be had on the intricacies of the above.

    Next is the shooter. This is where I think a large proportion of the problem lays. Now once again these are my own personal opinions. I do believe as shooters and I am generalising here. We have lost a some of our humility in a race for those extra points. After all we spend thousands and thousands of our hard earned cash on this hobby of ours not to mention the hundreds of hours worth of practice. But that doesn't make us infallible and I think we as shooters need to not only identify that but also acknowledge it too.

    Some could argue that there is a culture in recent years for "calling". To an extent I agree, that doesn't mean to say that some of those calls were not completely legitimate, I'm adamant they was. But I have seen and witnessed this "culture" first hand. Now before we set down this road this is most definitely not a witch hunt, I honestly believe it's more to do with educating us all as shooters and exercising humility as a collective.

    So how do WE put all of this together to; as far reasonably practicable remove the potential for target failure and as a by product reduce calling of targets to a negligible level.

    Discuss...
     
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  2. stillwater

    stillwater Well-Known Member

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    If targets are well maintained and lubricated then they shouldn’t fail, as stated occasionally the mechanism can become jammed with debris, but this is rare, it always seems that once one group call a target others then start to also question that target when it doesn’t fall and this leads to more calls on the same target.
    The DMHS have adopted the one call rule, where if you call a target and it’s deemed not faulty you can’t call another target on the course, If you are correct with your call you get to keep the call and can if necessary call another target,
    This over the last couple of years has dramatically reduced the number of calls per round.
     
  3. simmmo

    simmmo Active Member

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    I would say you pay your money to enter then you have a right to call.

    Perfectly placed and working correctly can still fail for various reasons. Debris being favourite.

    However on Sunday gone I checked five targets in probably 10 minutes at the begining of the session it was almost like Nottinghill Carnival.

    For Splitters? No, massive rangefinding errors. One, on at the time a very clean target 30mm at 27yds which the whole group of 3 shot at 40yds plus. Because the shooter only saw two misses on the plate he assumed he had hit it, the two shooters before had hit it in the middle, upon going to check it could clearly see 3. One on top of the other and the one apart. Obviously the checker proved the point. Now this target must have been crystal clear and close yet he still called even though no where near the hole. So once battered especially in HFT scenarios where a lot of ranges are blurred people still call. "I saw the pellet watched it all the way in." More likely they saw the pellet go across the paddle or fall out of the bottom. One of the others I checked twice but others also checked it in both sessions 25mm at 40yds. I asked the shooters what range they shot it at one said 35yds the other 27yds so again probably no where near the hole. As I approached I could on the first occasion only see 2 misses right. As I got closer could see the smashed up faceplate below the cover plate. Obviously the checker proved it's point but people just can't believe they miss.

    I like the idea of a penalty for a duff call but not if it stops people making genuine calls because of fear of penalty. No one wants defective targets left in the competition. Especially ones that may well right themselves so the people who shot it when defective get penalised because of a fear of calling.

    I can understand splitter calls on clean targets.

    Stoppages are a pain full stop. But are part of the game unfortunately.

    Monkey
     
  4. simmmo

    simmmo Active Member

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    Like that Greg.

    Andy.
     
  5. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Good idea for a conversation K.

    I think what you really mean is calls for fail-to-fall targets. I don't think anyone would have a problem with someone calling a target before they shoot it because something's wrong - snapped or snagged string, target lose etc etc.

    It's only really the "I hit that, but it didn't go down" type calls.

    While I agree that well maintained targets, of a reliable brand that have been set out, secured and levelled correctly shouldn't fail and hardly ever do fail.

    No one can say that it's impossible for them to fail - and because it's not impossible is the reason shooters call fail-to-fall targets.
    And of course it's certainly true that for every legitimate call you'll get 5 bogus calls because shooters confidence has been lost in the targets.

    The downside is that calling targets is disruptive and I don't think it should be without a penalty if you're wrong.

    Afterall - just as it's possible for a target to be faulty and fail to fall, it's also possible that they fall when they shouldn't and I've never ever heard anyone complaining that they got a target and didn't deserve it.

    The rule we've got in the NEFTA Hunter series seems to work well - if you call a target and there's nothing wrong with it, you get a 0 for that target (where you probably would have got a 1 before).
     
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  6. Zephyr11

    Zephyr11 Member

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    I agree with all of the above, good,well maintained targets are unlikely to fail.

    We also tried the NEFTA rule here for a number of shoots and it drastically reduced the amount of calls for targets failing to fall. Unfortunately it also resulted in people being afraid to call a target for fear of getting a 0 due to an unlucky split.

    At the end of the day it comes down to the shooter. I personally would never call a target unless I was 100% certain I hit the kill.... I have never actually called one to be honest.
     
  7. Cooper_dan

    Cooper_dan Active Member

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    In the spirit of open discussion. Is there any mileage in having a range check before a target is checked?
    If a shooter wants to call a target they have to tell the marshal what they ranged it, and shot it at. If they are 10 or more yards out, they are deemed to have missed due to range. Then the marshal doesn't need to call a ceasefire and walk all the way out to 40/45 yards and back. In this case they also don't lose their one call (if this is also in effect) as there was no ceasefire, and minimal delay.

    I guess people will say 'I had three aim points in the kill so it should have gone over'. But an aim point in the very top or very bottom could be proof of a split, without having to walk 90+ yards
     
  8. Bellerophon

    Bellerophon Active Member

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    In principle a good idea however in practice currently with the infrastructure available at most high profile shots it is untenable. This idea would require the marshal to know the range of the target in question, this introduces another dynamic which just wouldn't be cost effective with regards to time and effort put in to rewards in targets not called gained.

    Also your last comment;

    'I had three aim points in the kill so it should have gone over'

    That epiphanises some shooters attitudes to how ignorant they to how difficult it actually is to put a pellet in the correct place time and time again. Just because every aimpoint is in the kill doesn't mean it will magically go down. The basic fundamentals still need to be adhered to and I do think when people (generally speaking) start attaining decent scores they quickly forget how "on the ball" you need to be in order to consistently repeat the required amount of accuracy.
     
  9. Rotherham Owl

    Rotherham Owl Air Arms Poster Boy

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    I like this but if it was introduced more widely I can see the potential problem of some shooters feeling they should use their "quota" and call a target at some time - especially towards the end of the course if they haven't used there call on a target they legitimately felt was faulty.

    For me, losing a point for incorrectly calling a target is the best way forward as long as quality targets are used and thoroughly checked.
     
  10. frank

    frank Active Member

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    Target calling,Reading the above posts many valid points have been made but lets be honest, The reason organizations have had to introduce a penalty system is not because of the occasional shooter calling a target they are sure they hit,Its the serial callers that call any target that does not fall for them and demand everything is checked in the hope something is found to warrant pulling the target or at least giving them the point, I have seen this done by the same people calling multiple targets at many shoots, Now I suppose they would call it gamesmanship,I would call it something else.
     
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  11. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    I want people to be afraid to call a target for fear of an unlucky split - You should only ever call a target if you're so convinced you got it that you're confident you won't lose that point. If you're not sure - you shouldn't call the target.
     
  12. Yorkshiretea

    Yorkshiretea B Grade Bandit

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    I've called 5 targets in 5 years and I can remember them all. 1st at the Worlds in Portugal, branch in front of the kill, I got told to move, I wasn't happy. 2nd at Quarry, 15mm down a 1 in 10. It went down fine, I must have hit the inside of the plate as the kill size was actually about 8mm, the BFTA changed the rules after that shoot. 3rd and 4th Both at Kinver, they purchased some awful Remmington targets where the paddle moved sideways. 5th Purley Chase, another 15mm that was leaning forward and didn't go.

    I'd use the Yellow and Red card system and some common sense, we all know who culprits are, just let them know.
     
  13. AlexS

    AlexS Member

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    The "serial callers" could be reduced with a open and clear naming of these guys. A public notice at the end of a competition should be in order, with the target number and if it was found faulty or not; maybe put the names on a "wall of shame".
     
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  14. Conor

    Conor Never been banned from sales Staff Member

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    Indeed Brian. All this fear of calling due to the fear of loosing a point, if you are 100% certain you hit a target and it didn’t go then you deserve to get it checked.
    Experience has meant I know the sound of a split, in the same manner that experience has demonstrated that most half pellet splits hit dead centre for some unknown reason!
     
  15. frank

    frank Active Member

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  16. AlexS

    AlexS Member

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    I was in Poland and still don't know who called the marshals and for what reason. But I know the targets they used. I have some on my home club and they look really nice and fall flat, which is a very pleasurable sight, but they are utterly unreliable. At the training course in Poland I practiced headshots in order to clearly see my hits and in half of the occasions the target still fell. This doesn't boost confidence in the targets and encourages calls.

    The "one call rule" wouldn't work in a competition with 450 starters for obvious reasons. Substraction of a whole hit on the other hand would be a harsh punishment, but in WFTC we have a clever form of penalty, the "warning". Actually it is -1/3 hit. Some marshals were very frank with these warnings. Barrel was 1/2 inch behind the firing line on the steep targets - warning. Roll touching the leading foot on a kneeling lane - warning. Taking fotos with your cellphone - warning. Pressing the button, but the clock didn't start - warnings for the whole squad. Let's make it a warning for an unfounded call.

    If you look at all the shoot offs, that won't happen with a warning, it would demonstrate an effective way to discipline the crowd without to much damage. But: Please remember, there are still faulty targets possible, that don't fall with a clear hit, but an unexperienced marshal finds them working. Imagine you perfectly hit a target with some lead splatter in the hinge, the squads before didn't have this problem, the paddle moves a bit and then stops suddenly. The marshal uses the target checker, the debris clears of and the target falls. Imagine this happens to you.
     
  17. Darron

    Darron Trainee Dwarf Slayer

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    We won’t stop this unless there is a penalty for a false call. I still say a false call should cost 2 targets.
     
  18. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    I think there should be a penalty, it's the only way forward. When you say 2 targets, I assume you mean the called target plus one other?.

    The loss of a target seems quite harsh, but on the other hand giving an official warning ( WFTF ) still means that 450 shooters could call a target 3 times before they lose a point.
     
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  19. Ash Bailey

    Ash Bailey Herder of delinquent cats.

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    I do some marshalling on the UKAHFT circuit.

    There are "known callers" - I assure you. "Divas" sums them up. Many refuse to admit they might have missed a paddle. The names are well known to marshalls ;)

    Others are simply "chancers".

    A couple of years ago a guy called a target. I was asked to check it; the target did not fall. The guy got his two points; I removed a load of lead splinters etc... from the mechanism. At that point in the day (it was a second session) there had been circa 100 people taking a shot at that target - hence the lead build up. The target was tested; the competition restarted.

    Then - FFS - about every eighth or ninth person who "dinged" the target called it - "I saw the pellet hit the paddle; it didn't fall over" and similar billshut. The target was tested every time, it fell every time.

    It showed that people will take a gamble, they will try to get that point.

    It also showed that simple maintenance (clearing out the crud) during the repaint at lunchtime would have averted the call.

    There needs to be a sensible rule to discourage the divas, the mickey-takers and the selfish people who think they should hold up a comp for "that extra point".

    I'd suggest a fine of 75% of the caller's disposable income, to be donated to a charity of the organiser's choice. ;););)
     
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  20. Total SS

    Total SS Member

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    There are two sides to this. A world event and a local event. The World event should have every target checked with a target checker, proper use of the target checker. This will eliminate 80+% of the calls, especially if it's made known at the shooters meeting that all targets have been checked with the checker.
    To put in such work at a local event might not be possible.
    As long as its allowed in the rules that you can call a target they will be called. The point should be how to minimize the amount of calls. 2 or 3 per round is ok but 10+ is a concern.

    I think that the course builders should face the blame if an "X" number of targets are faulty. This will push them to make sure that the course is running 100%. This will drop the calls.

    Because the targets are mechanical things can always stop working.

    To absolutely stop or prevent calls would take a load of money. Electronic targets would measure the hit pressure and score a hit or a miss, no calls possible. Electronics either works or it does not, there is no halfway working.
     

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