Signing up for a Match Director subscription on the Precision Shooting Matches website does not make you a Match Director. The subscription gives you access to tons of information, instruction and features that make setting up, running and post-match activity simple, fast and effective. But actually running a match? It’s a whole world of difference than being a competitor. Why become a Match Director then? Because precision shooting sports needs more of them. Here’s why.
More directors, more matches
It’s simple arithmetic that the more matches being offered out there in the USA, means that more competitors will attend them. I find it amazing and puzzling that so many ranges out there go month after month with an empty calendar. If you’ve got access to a facility then why not make use of it at every chance you can get? Perfect example; I happen to be the New Jersey State Director for the CMP. Yes, we are still allowed to own guns in New Jersey, at least for the time being. I have access to information on eighty-four shooting organizations in this state, most of which have or share a facility for shooting sports. As I check to see what is going on with these facilities and how we might expand their match scheduling as well as clinics and leagues, on average there is maybe ten percent that have something running on a regular basis. TEN PERCENT! When I inquire as to why this is–most common answer–because we have no one to run the matches/clinics/leagues. I find that unacceptable.
Running matches CAN be a pain
So the way it used to run was this:
- Print out all the sanctioning (approval) paperwork from the NRA, CMP or whomever it is that “owns” the match you are running. Or more recently, fill out an online form.
- Receive your approval, create a match bulletin, send out your match bulletin by mail or email to the same forty or fifty people in the hopes that half of them will sign up and that the other half hasn’t died of old age.
- Start keeping track of responses as match day approaches. Gather all the paperwork you’ll need to have with you (you DID remember scorecards, right?).
- Run the match (this can and will take up an entire blog post in the near future).
- Now the real work begins. Adding up shot values to ensure that math was done correctly. Recording scores. Checking for Personal Bests. Checking for National records. Pulling stats together. Mailing out prize money. Mailing out copies of match results to competitors.
- Send all these results to the sanctioning body along with match fees and their required paperwork.
- Get to work on your next match
It’s also entirely possible that I may have missed a step or two above because some organizations require more paperwork than others. Now do you see why I created this website? The ability to automate and/or streamline about 75% – 90% of what is listed above is what, I believe, will encourage more people to become match directors.
It doesn’t have to be that way
Directing matches does not have to be the confusing, difficult, painful and penetrative experience that it is now. Using the technology that this website is offering, we are taking steps to convince the shooting organizations of the benefits of allowing us to help make changes. What is in place right now will already make life easier as an MD and those first steps of setting up and “advertising” your match are now a breeze. Literally EVERYTHING you need to set-up, run and complete your match can be found on this website. Even if you are not a technology-friendly person, all the forms, links and info can be found here within the Match Director Resources.
Go ahead…try it
Running a match is not rocket science. I advise that you give it a try with something simple, local and low cost and be sure to make it amateurs-welcome. Maybe offer a little prize money from the match fees collected. Don’t run it as an “official” match with sanctioning from one of the three-letter organizations–and BTW, the ONLY reason that you look to get sanctioning for these matches is in order to obtain official scoring, ranking and records. You don’t HAVE to run an “official” match if you and your shooters don’t care about that…or at least not yet. That’s exactly how I ran my first match and know what? I thought it was fun!
It aint pricey
Match fees do not have to be high! Just charge enough so that your range makes a little money after expenses. You’ve got enough to cover your expenses and maybe a few bucks to give away as prize money. It’s up to you. Why do you think the fee for being a Match Director on this site is only $3 per month (and you can pause that subscription during your non-match months) because running a match does not have to be expensive.
Another benefit of becoming a MD is the camaraderie. Other MD’s are always willing to answer questions and help out in any way they can to promote and expand our sports. Whether you find them here on this site (all matches have MD info listed) or on outside sources and message boards, there is a wealth of experience out there for you. Now hoist up those pants and get to making our sport grow.
Go set up a match.