Have you heard of American Marksman? It’s a new shooting competition where amateur shooters have a chance to win $50,000 in an interesting competition. You can read the official rules here; the idea is local shooters can qualify at their home range, then if they shoot well enough they can move up to the national competition, which will be televised and could win $50,000. Seems pretty cool, right? Except for this one little part about eligibility:
If you have ever placed in the top 10%, in any category, at any of the events listed below, you are not eligible to participate in American Marksman.
Amateur Trapshooting Association – AIM Grand Championships
CMP – CMP National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches
GSSF – Any GSSF event
ICORE – ICORE National Championship
IDPA – Indoor National Championship, US National Championship
International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association – IHMSA World Championship
IPSC National Championship – Any
Military – Any Branch that picks its member based on marksmanship ability (ex – Navy Seal Sniper)
National Bench rest Shooters Association – Long Range Nationals, SR Score Nationals, LR Score Nationals, Group Nationals
National Skeet Shooting Association – World Skeet Championships
National Sporting Clays Association – National Sporting Clays Championship
NRA – National Matches at Camp Perry, National Small-bore Championship, Collegiate Rifle National Championship,
Collegiate Pistol National Championship, Precision Pistol Competition (National Police Shooting Championships), Action
Shooting National Championship
NSSF Rim fire Challenge – World Championship
Outlaw 3 Gun – Any Outlaw 3 Gun match
Precision Rifle Series – PRS Championship Match
SASS – National Championships Winter Range, Mounted Shooting National Championships
Steel Challenge Shooting Association – SCSA World Championship
US Clay Target Association – USA Shooting National Championship
USPSA National Championships – Multi-Gun Nationals, Single Stack Nationals, Revolver Nationals, Production Nationals, Carry
Optic Nationals, Limited Nationals, Open/Limited 10 Nationals
There’s another piece of their eligibility requirements as well that makes me shake my head:
This tour is built on the idea that amateur shooters should have the chance to compete, improve and win. The guidelines below describe how American Marksman classifies an amateur shooter:
Does not have any level of sponsorship (under a shooting contract of any kind, receive product, cash or match entries from a third party)
Has never placed in the top 10% of national level or higher competitive shooting event in any division or category.
Has never been ranked in the top 10% in any national competitive shooting organizations classification system.
Is not a member of a shooting team that is selected based on shooting skill.
So, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t want any professional or sponsored shooters playing their game, which I guess is fine. I mean, if I was going to have a competition to crown someone “the American Marksman” I’d probably want the best shooters in the country to try out for it, but whatever, it’s not my 50 grand.
So you’re probably think “well, I’m not a sponsored shooter, but I’m a USPSA master, so I could probably dust this competition and make some sick cash!” Yeah, not so fast, bucko. My friend Thomas from Precision Response had that exact thought, so he sent American Marksman an email. Here’s the response he received:
Based on the sponsorship criteria provided me, you are correct. You would still be eligible.
As for the second part of your question, you are also correct. Anyone who is a GM or M in USPSA, or an M or EX in IDPA is NOT eligible for this competition. (emphasis added)
Please let me know if you have any other questions!
Best of luck!
You read that right. No IDPA Masters or Experts, and no USPSA GMs or Masters. That…well let’s be honest, that tells me everything I need to know about this competition, and what it says is they’re not interested in getting good shooters. It also tells me that they don’t know anything about the skill disparity between an IDPA Expert and a USPSA Master. I mean take me for example, at my best in USPSA when I was shooting regularly and training regularly I was a high A-class shooter, and I’m an IDPA Master.
Now, here’s the thing. You know what I want to see? I know there are plenty of talented A-class USPSA shooters that aren’t classified in IDPA, and if that’s the case I want all you people to register for this competition and wreck shop. This is actually your chance to make some money, so I want you to get out there and kick ass. Because that’s the only thing that will lend any sort of legitimacy to this farce of a competition. Because by intentionally excluding the most talented shooters in the nation, they’ve created a competition where the winner gets the best participation trophy ever. I know for a fact I won’t watch it when it gets to TV, because I don’t want to see a bunch nobodies compete for a bunch of money, I want to see the best shooters in the world duke it out. Since American Marksman isn’t interested in showing us that, I want all you A-class sonsabitches to get out and there and register for this. Wreck their curve!