O Great One: (The Editor)
We are a shooting family, father mother and 14 year old son. We have
always looked up your home page when browsing around the web. All three
of us compete regionally (New England) and I have been to a couple of
National Tournaments on the East Coast.
We have been members of a privately owned sporting clays club for almost
2 years. At this club there are three leagues a year, two for 13 weeks
and one for 20 weeks in which we all participate in with enthusiasm. We
noticed that the owner/operator and certified instructor has a select
few shooters he coaches each week for their league score. There are a
few others that take advantage of this coaching on an irregular basis. I
have read every rule book that I can find and I have found that coaching
in any sort of way is forbidden. I feel that whether itís a 100 bird day
shoot or 50 birds for 13 weeks, itís still a tournament. Is this a
common practice or an unfair advantage to these certain people.
Personally I always felt that this was an individualís sport not a team
Roland and I are co-editors, but since he forwarded this to me I will
put in my two cents. Roland’s opinion may be different.
Usual tournement etiquette is that there is no coaching while the
shooter is in the stand preparing to take his targets. It is very common
for shooters to receive advice just before or just after they have shot.
The purpose behind the rule of no coaching while in the stand is simply
one of expediency. It slows things down too much for the other shooters.
That said, many shooters in the box will turn to a friend and ask “Where
was I on that one?” That is why certain shooters just love to shoot as a
team when they can. The no coaching rule is strictly enforced in FITASC,
but I have not noticed it enforced very stringently in English sporting.
Since you are shooting for fun in a league, why don’t you do everything
possible to take advantage of the instructor’s knowledge? Get him to
help you too. Margot Fontaine took dance lessons from her coach until
the day she hung up her toe shoes. Don’t fight it, join it.
If you are shooting for score, there shouldn’t be a coach by your side
teaching you the shot as you shoot. But if you are out of the shooting
box, and a fellow shooter, who is your coach and is in your squad
discuss a target before or after it is shot, off to the side and out of
earshot of any other shooters and in a manner as not to slow up the
squad, well, I can’t say that is wrong either. But you two shouldn’t be
discussing the shot, before or after, while you are standing in the box,
holding up, or breaking the concentration and timing of other shooters.
NSSA rule III-C-g states that you’ve got 15 seconds between shots. I’m
sure there are similar rules for other shooting disciplines. The rule’s
there because in competition you are there to shoot, not get a suntan.