Lewis Class And Templating

Hi, Bruce

Once again I go to the source of knowledge for the correct answer. Recently my squadmates and I have had discussion and some disagreement as to how to correctly apply Lewis classification to a group of scores. Nothing seems to be published by any of our shooting organizations. Would you be so kind as to give us the rules and perhaps an example of Lewis application? We would be most appreciative and whenever an argument is quietly settled your name will be mentioned in hushed and reverent tones.

Thank you in advance,


Dear Marty,

My name in hushed and reverent tones? Gotta love that. I hear my name a lot around the house, but the tones are not of the hushed and reverent variety. Even my wife’s toy poodle, Brulee, says “Hey, you!”

Lewis class should be easy to explain, but E=MC^2 sounded easy too. Here goes:

1) Decide ahead of time on how many Lewis classes you want. Let’s say that you decide on 5 Lewis classes.

2) Divide the number of classes into the actual number of shoot entrants. Let’s say 65 people come to your shoot. This will give you 65/5 or 13 people in each of your Lewis classes.

3) After the shoot is over, arrange all the scores in a list highest to lowest.

4) Now form the classes. Lewis Class 1 will contain the top 13 scores and the highest score will be the winner. Lewis Class 2 will have the shooters who’s scores ranked 14~27 and the person who shot that 14th best score is the winner of that class. Lewis Class 3 will have the shooters who ranked 28~41 and the winner will be the one who shot the 28th best score. And so on.

If the number of classes aren’t perfectly divisible into the number of entrants, you will have to add a shooter to one or two of the classes. Since this will change the winners, make sure to mention ahead of time that the extra shooters will be added to the top class first, then the second class, etc. Example: If you have 67 shooters, Class 1 might have 14, Class 2 14 and Classes 3~5 13 each. You can add the extra shooters to the lower classes if you choose, but make sure to spell it out ahead of time.

Lewis class is really just a matter of luck, other than the person who wins the shoot and comes in first in Class 1. Lewis really doesn’t have anything to do with talent. It’s more of a lottery. That’s why it’s popular for fun shoots and not popular for more serious competitions.

There are lots of other ways to form classes after the fact based on a group of scores submitted. “Templating” is one of my favorites and involves a little less luck and a little more skill. In “templating” you simply select about half the targets by lucky draw, after the score cards have been turned in. In skeet or trap, you might put the numbers 1-4 in a hat. If you draw 2 and 3, each person’s score for his second and third round of 25 would be selected. They would then be added together and doubled to give him a classification average for that shoot. Classes would be formed based on that 50×2=100 templated score. Then person’s total real 100 bird score would be looked at to see where he finished in his class. In sporting clays, it’s often done by lucky draw of half the stations.

Since there is nothing really formal about Lewis or templating, there may well be other variations. These are just the usages that I have seen.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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