History of Handicap Yardage Changes

Discussion in 'Trapshooting Forum' started by Mike J, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate if anyone can post the years when the handicap yardages were changed since 1900. I understand the 27 yard was introduced sometime in the 1950s, but I need the exact year (if possible) of this and other changes. I would also like to know which year the target angle was changed to the "easier" setting.

    Thanks for any response.
     
  2. User 1

    User 1 Moderator Founding Member

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    If you look here ..... http://www.traphof.org/People-Stories/first-100s-from-27-yards.html ..... it says "27 yards was introduced in 1955" .....

    " I would also like to know which year the target angle was changed to the "easier" setting." ..... has no easy answer ..... the "rule book" was changed a few times, if that is the question .....
     
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  3. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Mike J, Do you want the date the cheating started, or when the rule was officially changed. The upper mid west and California is where the unofficial target changes started. Roger C.
     
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  4. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. The second question was related to 3 to 2 hole setting. I would also like to know when other changes were made in the handicap yardages 23 to 25 etc.
     
  5. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    When it was officially changed, Roger. Sorry for my limited knowledge on these things.
     
  6. User 1

    User 1 Moderator Founding Member

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    You are going to find "hole setting" was something that was referencing Winchester traps ..... The "rule book" used a "diagram" of a "Trap field" .....

    History Buff should be able to help you with the complete history of handicap yardages.
     
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  7. Roger Coveleskie

    Roger Coveleskie Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Mike J, No problem, good luck. You may find more than you want to know as to how our sport was morphed into a feel good agenda. Roger C.
     
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  8. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I am relatively new to trapshooting so I might not be making sense, but I understand that there was a big increase in the number of Grand Slams after the targets were made "easier" I guess mainly because of the smaller target angle. I would like to know when that occurred so I can distinguish who got the GS with the "more difficult" targets.

    According to Roger, "the upper mid west and California is where the unofficial target changes started" ...so was there a time when you could get a GS without throwing targets within the specifications or were there no specifications at that time. Just curious.
     
  9. User 1

    User 1 Moderator Founding Member

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    If you want to spend the time look here ..... http://www.traphof.org/images/stories/records/GRAND SLAM LIST_layout.pdf

    Look at what years had more than others ..... then try to "factor in" ..... target setting changes, "handicap" shell changes, going from "hand pulls" to "voice calls", hand set traps to "Pat" traps, better stocks, better chokes, and anything else that may have changed from year to year .....
     
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  10. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Mike J,

    I will answer your question in a general and broad way because while rule books were changed many times throughout our history, regarding yardage increases, often times higher maximums were already in printed programs for major tournaments, but not used.

    THE INTERSTATE
    ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING IN NEW YORK CITY

    Grand American Handicap Goes to Chicago – Changes in Conditions of
    Trophy Events – Manager E. E. Shaner’s Complete Report
    TOURNAMENT CHANGES

    A meeting of the Tournament committee was held at 10:00 A. M., December 7.

    By resolution it was decided that professionals shall be barred from competing for the money or trophies in all events at the Grand American Handicap tournament, with the exception of the Grand American Handicap proper and Professional Championship events. Professionals may take part in the Preliminary Handicap at the G. A. H. tournament, shooting for targets only from handicap distances as allotted by the Handicap Committee.

    By resolution it was decided that at the subsidiary handicaps given by the Association professionals shall be barred from competing for the money or trophies in all events, but may shoot for targets only, the handicap events to be shot from handicap distances as allotted by the Handicap Committee.

    By resolution it was decided that the number of targets in the Amateur and Professional Championship events at the Grand American Handicap tournament shall be increased to 200 targets each, in place of 150 targets as formerly, the entrance money to be $20 for each event.

    By resolution it was decided that the handicap distances at all tournaments given by the Association, the Grand American Handicap included, shall be from 16 to 23 yards, in place of 14 to 22 yards as formerly.

    ADJOURNED MEETING.

    The adjourned meeting of the stockholders was called to order at 10 P. M., December 7, with President Haskell in the chair.
    The action of the Tournament Committee on the different matters taken up by it was duly approved.
    Mr. Irby Bennett, in view of his long and efficient connection with the Association, was unanimously elected an honorary member.
    After discussing several matters' of no particular interest to the general public, the meeting adjourned sine die, with all business fully covered.

    [ SPORTING LIFE, December 15, 1906, page 12 ]


    1907 – 1920 16 to 23 Yards 07 DEC 1906

    However, the Interstate Association Handicap Committees would not assign shooters to the 23 yard mark until the 1912 GAH. (Note: the 23 yard maximum had been previously used in the 1900 GAH)


    1924 16 to 25 Yards 18 FEB 1924

    High Spots at the A. T. A. Annual Meeting
    Important Changes Made, and Line-up for 1925.

    While a careful perusal of the minutes of the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s meeting at A. T. A. headquarters, Vandalia, Ohio, December 15-18, 1924, published in the last two issues of SPORTSMEN’S REVIEW, has informed our readers on the doings of the meeting, a brief summary of the outstanding features of the actions taken and the line-up of work for the year 1925 will not be amiss.

    A new rule for handicapping and classifying shooters will be in effect, as follows:

    Class. Yards.
    97 per cent and over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AA . . . . 24-25
    94 and under 97 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A . . . . 23, 22, 21
    93 and under 94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B . . . . 20, 19
    88 and under 94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C . . . . 18
    86 and under 88 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D . . . . 17
    86 and below . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E . . . . 16

    [ SPORTSMEN’S REVIEW, January 10, 1925, page 28 ]


    1934 - 1936 16 to 27 Yards

    1934 - 1936 Grand American Handicaps – Maximum Handicap Assignment was 27 yards in the GAH Program however shooters were only handicapped to 25 yards maximum.

    1955 – present 16 to 27 yards

    Annual Trapshoot Expected To Draw Record Entries

    VANDALIA, Ohio – Aaron Bird, resident manager of the American Trapshooting Association, said Tuesday that this year’s grand American tournament was expected to have a record entry of about 2,050 sharpshooters from all over the world.

    The grand one of the nation’s most colorful and most noisy of sporting events, attracted a record 2,009 shotgun experts last year.

    The ATA made a number of changes for this year’s target shooting, including increased yardage on the firing line and a switch in the program.

    Trapshooters at the 56th annual grand American tournament opening Friday will be shooting at distances up to 27 yards for the first time in history. Only eight of the nation’s best scattergunners however will have to fire at the new maximum 27-yard handicap distance, two yards further back from the trap house than in previous years.

    The crackshots penalized an extra two yards include Mrs. Evelyn Primm of Los Angeles, the only woman ever to be handicapped at the maximum yardage; Maynard Henry of Los Angeles, ATA president this year; Arnold Riegger of Seattle; Dan Orlich of Reno, Nev.; Julius Petty of Stuttgart, Ark.; and Merle Stockdale of Los Angeles.

    [ THE NEOSHO DAILY NEWS, (Neosho, Missouri), August 16, 1955, page 6 ]

    A little later, I will happily provide some history on how shooters were handicapped prior to and for the first Grand American Handicap at targets, held June 12-15, 1900.

    I will also address this question in a follow-up post.

    Enjoy Our History !

    HB
     
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  11. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Interesting! Thank you HB.
     
  12. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Based on the information provided by HB, I compiled the data below of the GAH winners taken from the HOF website (I added 2016 and 2017). I highlighted the first time the winner was from the back-fence.

    upload_2018-1-6_16-57-20.png
    upload_2018-1-6_16-58-0.png
    upload_2018-1-6_16-58-29.png
     
  13. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Here are the 27 yards winners:

    upload_2018-1-6_16-59-30.png
     
  14. User 1

    User 1 Moderator Founding Member

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    It is hard to tell what your goal is .....

    As far as "27 yard winners", look at things like the "2014" GAH very close ..... It was decided by "shoot-off", and caused what I call Target-Gate .....

    Trying to use "ATA" published "data" for much of anything doesn't tell a very accurate "story" ..... If that is how you want to spend time, good for you ..... just don't take everything at "face-value" .....
     
  15. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted to create a file of the GAH winners and other relevant info around the GAH that is of interest to me.
     
  16. User 1

    User 1 Moderator Founding Member

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    No offense intended ..... just some of my thoughts about accuracy of the available information .....

    It is like when the attendance numbers were published by the "ATA" as doubled ..... someone can research attendance numbers, find those numbers, and not have accurate information .....
     
  17. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Elite Poster Founding Member

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    The Grand American Handicap was also won nine times by a short yardage shooter from KY. Your point is?
     
  18. 10Guns

    10Guns Active Member

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    Mike J;
    Not sure what you are looking for but here's a couple of books that might be of interest to you.
    Homegrounds, 1924-2005, Vandalia, Ohio, A Grand Place for Trapshooting, by Jim Morris and Road to Yesterday, A Collection of Old Trapshooting Stories, by Dick Baldwin.
     
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  19. Family Guy

    Family Guy Elite Poster

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    Great documentation again from History Buff.

    Lot of info. Something that catches my eye.

    Note from 1955 - about GAH attendance - 2050

    You think target setting and location aren't important. We had 5,000 before the targets and venue were changed.

     
  20. User 1

    User 1 Moderator Founding Member

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    Some always take the position that increasing the "max yardage", is nothing more than "punishing" the more accomplished shooters .....

    That seems to be just a modern Kool Aid flavor, if you look at the "participation" numbers for the next 50 years AFTER the last "yardage increase" in "1955" .....
     
  21. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff Elite Poster Founding Member

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    The below Interstate Association rules from 1910 will educate today's shooters in how the sport was shot in the early days. No doubt target setting in earlier years contributed to winning scores being lower than they have been the past 50+ years. It's sad to see that while all aspects of a shooter's equipment have seen marked improvements, some leaders with good intentions, thought less difficult target flights leading to higher scores would benefit our sport.

    1910 FLIGHTS & ANGLES-01.jpg

    Now note the angles of legal double targets as well as the desired flight paths.

    1910 FLIGHTS & ANGLES-02.jpg

    Hopefully you will see just how impressive winning scores of 47x50 made by many of our old-time great shooters actually were in the early days.

    For those interested, a couple years ago, on this forum, I provided the history of how targets were set. Use the search feature in the upper right corner and type in Evolution of Flights & Angles. There is also a part 2.

    Enjoy Our History !

    HB
     
  22. bestol

    bestol New Member

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    Someone thought easier targets would benefit our sport? Who?
     
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  23. dr.longshot

    dr.longshot Ultra Elite Poster Founding Member

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    Thank You Very Much HB Fantastic History

    Gary Bryant...................................Dr.longshot
     
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  24. HistoryBuff

    HistoryBuff Elite Poster Founding Member

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    There were many who believed easier targets yielded higher scores and produced more interest, diminish the number of shooters leaving the game and would be of great benefit to gun clubs.

    I would assume that it was the gun club managers who first started throwing illegal targets. It was reported in Trap & Field as far back as 1958 "Another bad habit of some clubs is throwing narrow angles instead of those recommended by the rule book."

    Just like today, shooters, gun club mangers, delegates and even members of the ATA Executive Committee have differing opinions of the easier target vs. harder target debate.

    I will say that Executive Committees and ATA Presidents made an attempt to make gun clubs throwing registered ATA targets follow the rules. Some tried harder than others. But there were Executive Committees who made the decision not to throw legal target during the G.A.H. and old ATA minutes bear this out.

    In the 1965 the Board of Directors discussed the issue of non-compliance by clubs regarding the Flights & Angels rules. Apparently there were some Delegates who were in support of easier targets because the minutes of August 25 state "the President admonished all directors that it was their duty to see that the ATA rules relative to the throwing of legal targets were enforced at all shoots within their respective states."

    The debate and non-compliance continued by some gun clubs all because Delegates turned a blind-eye to the abuses, refusing to enforce rules they were required to uphold.

    Support for a softer target grew each year and in 1992, for the first time in history, an ATA Delegate stood before the governing body and made the motion for targets to be thrown from the 2-hole setting and 49-51 yards distance. His motion was defeated.

    Delegates would again revisit and vote on this issue at the 1995 annual meeting and again more Delegates opposed throwing easier targets and defeated the motion.

    In February 1996 the ATA President offered a reminder of the rules for setting legal targets.

    At the 1996 annual meeting during the August Grand American, a majority of Delegates believed it was beneficial to the organization to reduce the angles target were thrown and voted in favor of reducing target flights from 22° to 17.14°.

    The new target setting rule was implemented September 1, 1996.

    So, the answer is that, some shooters, some gun club mangers, some delegates and even some vice-presidents and presidents were the "someones who thought it would benefit our sport."

    The debate rolls on and both sides on the issue still believe they are correct.

    Enjoy Our History !

    HB
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  25. Brad's friend (I hope)

    Brad's friend (I hope) A NoBody Founding Member

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    I don't know about the rest of you, but most of my missed targets have come from those STRAIGHT away or tiny angle targets.

    Less angle wasn't kind to me.
     
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  26. paracongo308

    paracongo308 Member

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    I copied this from a 1928 annual average Sportsmans Review yardage changes. Note the "E" class. IMG_0526.JPG
     
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  27. Mike J

    Mike J Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to tie handicap yardages to singles average. Maybe not a bad idea once you allow for punches based on performance so a C class shooter, for example, can shoot higher than 19 yards. This might help control the thing nobody wants to talk about.... sandbagging! No "A" shooter should be handicapped below 22 yards.
     
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  28. Flyersarebest

    Flyersarebest Moderator Founding Member

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    YEP, VANDALIA, home of the GRAND AMERICAN. Pre-lim Handicap Thursday evening in front of the packed grandstands.

    Missed #12, shot down the right side of a straightaway from 1,( when it WAS a straightaway) and #23, short shot a quarter left from station 3. Always seemed to bear down on the HARD lefts and rights from 1 and 5.

    That was the difference between 3rd place silverware and a chance to go into another shootoff round. I have shot those 2 SOB's over in my mind about 10,000 times since, HA!
     
  29. Brad's friend (I hope)

    Brad's friend (I hope) A NoBody Founding Member

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    Too funny (Now) "Flyers"

    I Loved missing the 1st target out (straight) and then going 198, missing another tiny angle along the way. Ever heard of PEEKING ?

    Would rather have a flushing Rooster going to the hard right hand side of me, than a straight flying pigeon any day.
     
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  30. Flyersarebest

    Flyersarebest Moderator Founding Member

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    You said it brother. I killed the first 3 in ring three one day and the forth the was a driver from box 5. I killed the first 10 so I was feeling pretty good. While it was still in the crate it made the decision in its little pea sized brain that if it went into 5 it was going straight for the back fence, about two feet above the ground.

    I pretty much missed him with the 1-1/4 3-1/4 first barrel but that is why I shot the big P154 Fed, 1-1/4 3-3/4 in the second. They usually stopped any of that nonsense. I hit him with the second and he folded up about half way to the fence. He was sitting there, had his head up, but at least he was on the ground.

    I killed the last one, the next one after a miss or near miss always pays the price, and the trapper hollered, "bring me 5, and watch that one sitting in the middle". Whoo, got away with that one I thought. The last one the boy went to pick up was that driver.

    YEP, the kid got to within about six feet of him when that little flying rat woke up and remembered what it had decided to do when he was put in that trap. It never did fly in any direction except straight, even as it crossed the back fence.

    Bring me four the trapper yelled. I could only stand there, shake my head and laugh. I looked into the trappers shed and he was just shaking his head too. There is a reason the say that shooting flyers is the toughest game there is.

    Visible Pieces Don't Count!
     
  31. Doug Kennedy

    Doug Kennedy Active Member

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    Lol what about the 18 yard shooter braking the 100 and winning the GAH? He shot a k-80. Does the opossom look a like still shoot?
    :D
     

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