October 2020

Practical Shooting

What we did

We implemented a system of forming groups of participants (called squads) of ten or less persons per squad and rotated the squads on five competition areas and introduced two sessions, morning, and afternoon.

The initiative focussed specifically on allowing members to return to weekly competitions while being compliant with the constantly changing COVID-safe plans as soon as possible after restrictions eased.

  • It required changing the previous participation method in competition, which allowed signing in no later than 2.00 pm on the day, and competitors forming up in groups and gatherings of over twenty persons - which clearly was not COVID compliant.
  • When the restrictions were first eased, the Club was ready to resume competitions and did so within two weeks.

The design considered:

  • The requirement to prepare five competition areas for each Saturday;
  • The ability to accommodate up to 100 competitors per Saturday;
  • Access to an electronic scoring system to manage competitor inclusion and performance.

The design resulted in:

Five widely spaced competition areas set up by the participants for each weekly competition;

  • Maximum of 10 persons per squad;
  • Two sessions per Saturday with maximum of five squads (50 persons) per session, thus accommodating up to 100 competitors per day;
  • Ability to use the electronic scoring system to pre-book entry into a squad prior to the day's events;
  • Access to the pre-booking capability via smart phone app, or by access on stand-alone computers;
  • Dedicated Range equipment supplied to each group which is carried through the competition to "quarantine" each group;
  • No additional equipment was needed - the successful use of the changed entry into competitions Is by competitors’ personal smart phone or computers.

Why we did it

We have 300 members who regularly compete.

  • some of these compete at International level;
  • many have this sport as a regular competitive and social activity;
  • all were very keen to get back to participation once the restrictions were eased;
  • the members expectations were sufficient to give us reason to act.

The Committee had a clear and pressing obligation to ensure members could re-invest their time in their preferred sporting activity. It also had to be sure that recommencement of competition would meet all COVID-safe obligations.

COVID-19 gave the impetus to introduce a significant change in the way our weekly competitions are run. The old ways were appropriate to the original small Club of 40 members, but not for a Club of 300 and growing.

How we know it worked

The initiative has been a complete success.

An objective measure is that we have a 20 to 30% higher participation rate each Saturday. Comments from participants are almost all positive, in that:

  • Competition preparation is complete for the designated start time;
  • Members who have other personal obligations in the afternoon can complete their competition early;
  • Morning workers can access the afternoon timeslot;
  • On-line pre-booking allows participants to group with friends and collectively make a commitment to compete;
  • The "squads" flow through the programme smoothly and get a better social interaction because they are participating with their chosen associates;
  • Social distancing and "quarantining" groups and equipment makes COVID-compliance much easier.
  • There is a very small minority who do not have smart phones and had Initial concerns, which have been resolved by a Club member doing their "squadding" on the day at the Club.

This initiative has been so beneficial to members that it will certainly continue after the full removal of restrictions.