A few days ago, the Board of Directors was asked to review a request by members of the LR discipline to replace paper targets with e-targets at LR Nationals.
The decision rendered by the BOD has resulted in some strong reactions on blogs and on various social media sites. Since I do not use social media, I cannot judge what is being said.
I believe that you, the membership, deserve to know how and what formed our decision in the matter of the use of e-targets in registered NBRSA LR matches.
For background clarity, the NBRSA Bylaws/rules governing the process of tournament rule changes are summarized in the 3 paragraphs below.
Any proposed rule change must be delivered via a regional director to the BOD for consideration. Proposals are normally made at the annual board meeting which is held on the Saturday preceding the SR Group National Event each year.
If the BOD determines a proposed rule has merit, the BOD will grant a trial period of the proposed rule. The trial period duration is set by the board. During the trial period the rule change which may or may not be accompanied with specific restrictions of use is evaluated.
Upon completion of the trial period, the proposed rule along with any supporting data is brought to the board for review at the next annual meeting. If approval is granted, the board recommends adoption of the rule at the general membership meeting which is held on the Wednesday during the SR Group Nationals. The general membership must adopt any rule change before it can be implemented.
The use of e-targets in LR matches was first introduced at a special meeting of the board on March 14, 2023 to consider a request submitted by LR members to change the LR rules to incorporate the optional use of e-targets. The board was presented with an extensive revision of the LR rules to accommodate use of e-targets. Even though such requests are normally made at annual BOD meetings, the board agreed to review the request. After reviewing material and discussion among the board members, the board approved a one-year trial period in which LR shooters could use and evaluate e-targets.
The following annual board meeting was held on August 12, 2023. Since the one year minimum trial period was not completed, the rule change permitting e-targets was not reviewed or considered by the board. However, at the same board meeting, Sloughhouse LR club placed a bid to host the 2024 LR Nationals. The 2024 LR Nationals were awarded to Sloughhouse contingent upon the club’s commitment to use of only paper targets. Sloughhouse LR Club agreed to that provision.
On December 26, 2023 an email was received from the LR rules committee chairman requesting the board to consider allowing e-targets in place of paper targets in the 2024 LR Nationals. In support of their request, they noted that one range had not renewed its annual membership due to low attendance and high cost of hosting the 2023 LR Nationals; the loss of that club resulted in the LR discipline having only one venue capable of holding both 600- and 1000-yard matches, an assumed requirement, to hold LR Nationals. They estimated using e-targets could reduce the cost of hosting the event by as much as $3000.00.
In response, the board agreed to meet and review the issues via teleconference on January 15, 2024.
The major points made during the board’s discussion included:
1. Prior agreement made to use paper targets
2. Potential loss of members and ranges
3. Accuracy of estimated cost of hosting the LR Nationals
4. Bylaws defining procedure of changing rules
5. Effect of outcome on future, both positive and negative views
After an intensive discussion of the issues, a roll call vote was taken. The board vote was split, 4 in favor of allowing e-targets, 4 against allowing e-targets in the LR Nationals. In cases of ties, the president casts the deciding vote.
I voted against the approval of the rule change. My decision to do so was based on the Bylaws and the rules change process. As the chief officer of our organization, I felt compelled to uphold the NBRSA Bylaws as written.
I want to assure everyone that the decision was made using the exact procedural rules as used to approve/deny all prior tournament rule changes.
To be sure, no one won in this decision, the organization lost as did the shooters.
To those members who have been affected by this ruling, I understand your reactions; if you have decided to move on, I and all board members wish you well. The loss of any NBRSA member is a disappointment to all of us.
I sincerely believe that the LR benchrest shooting was and continues to be an essential discipline of NBRSA’s future.
David L. Woodward,