Move over postal matches, it's time for the "internet match"
Griffin, Georgia - You've heard of a postal match, right? Well in 2012 it's the age of the "internet match." A week and a half ago junior air rifle athletes in Georgia shot a match against opponents over 4,000 miles away in Germany. Despite a six hour time difference, the two groups shot simultaneously at their respective ranges with monitors set up to keep track of each other's scores live.
Thanks to the instant communication made available through the internet, teams no longer need to wait weeks for scores to be reported. Granted, international teams don't always have the luxury of being able to shoot at the same time of year, let alone on the same day to the minute. But on occasions such as these the world becomes a little flatter as shooters so far away from one another were able to compete as if they were on the same firing line.
Home base for the US shooters was the Ole Mill Range, a USA Shooting Certified Training Center in Griffin, Georgia run in part by Roy McClain, father of NRA's former Manager of Air Gun & Muzzle Loading Competitions Jessi McClain.
On the other side of the pond, the German junior air rifle athletes shot at their club range in Untergrombach, in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in southern Germany.
The course of fire was a 60 shot standing match, but the format was a little different than the typical US match. Athletes were squadded in ranking order and faced off against the corresponding shooter on the other team - like the Ryder Cup in golf. Everyone still shot simultaneously and scores for each ten shot group were announced as they were brought in. Once the firing line went cold, scores were compared and teams received one point for each match-up they had won.
So how did the United States do? You'll have to check back next time to find out.
The Ole Mill Range is a great place for athletes in central Georgia to get a taste of competitive shooting - and even international competition in this case. Visit their website at www.OleMillRangeCTC.com or call Roy McClain at (678) 772-8185 for more information.