Saturday, 14 May 2011

UK VI winter league results

Today I received the results for the VI winter leagues. It was very pleasing to see a few things with these results, possibly the nicest thing for me being that I had won both division one in both stand assisted and free-standing. It was a bit of a shame to see that in my free-standing my average had gone down a bit, however last summer I think I had a particularly good season and it was going to be hard to improve on it.

Some of the other things which were pleasing to see is how the results have been produced. This was the first time I have been sent an electronic copy of the results, so making it much easier for me to look through to see how other people are coming along. Also it appears that this season when people score 100 in a given round the number of inner tens have been counted and used to find a winner for the round. While this is an improvement to see, the spreadsheet being used does need some tweaking as inner tens seem to be contributing towards the total score and so can raise the average.

I think this set of results is a big step forward from some of the situations in the past and hopefully the slight problems can be ironed out. Now I suppose I should look towards the summer league and focus on that. I know that some might be disappointed with this, but as I need to focus on what I will do in Slovakia, I will only be entering the free-standing league.

Shooting jacket and trousers

Last Monday I went to Wolverhampton to pick up my shooting jacket and trousers and to also do some training with my assistant who will be going with me to Slovakia. This was the first time I have ever used shooting trousers and it certainly is different. Unfortunately due to time restrictions the training wasn't as long as I had hoped for and I didn't really get the chance to get used to the new jacket and trousers. However the training was useful as it was the first time I had tried out the system for communicating shot information with my assistant.

I managed to get some more training done this Thursday at my shooting club and it really gave me a chance to get used to the new jacket and trousers. Towards the end of the shoot I really could feel the additional support being provided by the shooting trousers. The jacket isn't quite so noticable as it still need a bit of adjustment to make it really fit me well. In all though I am very pleased with what I have got and if my score for the Thursday evening is anything to go by this will be money well spent.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Shooting positions

Here in the UK visually impaired shooters do two types of shooting, both from the standing position, one where the rifle is supported by a stand with a spring in it (the spring is to allow the rifle to still move freely) and the other is where the shooter entirely supports the weight of the rifle (the normal standing position sighted shooters would do). Currently only the free standing position is recognised internationally out of these two types we do.

However there are other positions which visually impaired shooters do in international competitions. These are to take the place of 3 position and prone, but they are done from the sitting position because the author of the IBSA rules believes there are issues surrounding the size of prone tables which are used to bring shooters up to the correct height for the target. While I have some dislike for this option, as I feel shooting for the disabled should really only have minimal alterations where the alterations are necessary, I feel that unless there is a chance of this being widely adopted we may do best to fit in with what others are doing.

When I go over to Slovakia for the European championships I have agreed to do the 3 position and prone as well as the standing, although the standing is the only discipline I have done up to now. I hope by taking part in these other disciplines I will be able to find out much about those disciplines and may be introduce others to the 3 position and prone in this country. If sufficient interest was shown may be others will be able to participate in international competitions in the future.

So as to find out about how these positions are done, I asked the competition organiser for photos of how 3 position and prone are done. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get the chance to try out the positions for myself since receiving the photos, but I sent a copy of them to some of the visually impaired shooters in Aberdeen and they have given it a quick go. If their feedback is anything to go on, they are really enjoying it and there is talk that it may be made available for people to try at this year's Scottish championships. All this talk is getting me wanting to have a go at these positions, but I must remember that it is the standing where I will be competitive and so most of my effort must go into training for that.

I know there may be others who want to have a go, unfortunately I am unsure that I have permission to publish those photos on the internet, but if you look at the IBSA rules then you will probably get a fairly detailed view of what is needed. When I have a go at these positions I will get some photos taken and put them online, however I cannot say how good my position will be in 3 position and prone due to my lack of experience in those disciplines.

Learning from training under time pressure

In the lead up to the World Cup I had been focusing very much on training and getting the correct position. This though meant that I had not...