Important update about Dorset Rifle leagues

Update – September 30th 2020

The committee has reviewed responses from clubs about their willingness and ability to shoot in competitions this winter, and has decided that a limited set of Dorset Winter rifle league competitions will be run this year.

The competitions will be one team and one individual league; the normal course of fire will be halved, and all cards will be due to be shot by Monday 29th March 2021. The league organiser will send out entry forms in the next few days.

Please note that the last date for shooting the remaining cards of last winter’s team of 3, championship and JR Newman has now passed, and final results will be published shortly.

The following message was today (5th July 2020) circulated to all rifle league contacts by the rifle league organiser. (NB! Decisions regarding Dorset Air and LWR leagues will be taken later in July)

Dear league contact,

I hope that you and your club members are safe and well.

It is about 3 months since I last contacted you about how we were adapting the Dorset rifle leagues to the covid-19 crisis, and now it’s time for a new update. This time I’d like to cover the remaining parts of the 2019-20 Winter leagues, the Summer 2020 leagues, and our intentions for the Winter 2020-21 leagues.

Against the background of the lockdown being eased and many outdoor ranges re-opening, we still have social distancing and hygiene rules to contend with, indoor ranges are closed, there is a general nervousness amongst many of our shooters and a common expectation that there will be a second spike in infections with potential for more lockdowns. It is hoped that indoor ranges will be allowed to re-open in the next 3-4 weeks, allowing some shooting to take place over the summer, but it is very doubtful that restrictions will be completely lifted before the winter season.

When deciding what to do about the various leagues, the Dorset committee has considered these factors as well as their duties as an organising body. 

Taken all together, the committee has decided the following:

Remaining parts of the 2019-20 Winter leagues

We still want to give all participants the opportunity to complete these competitions, as they were so close to finishing when the crisis hit.

SR Team of 3 – teams from Flight Refuelling, Wimborne, Parkstone and Dorchester were unable to shoot the last round due to unavoidable range closures or self-isolation. To give those clubs a chance of completing the competition, the due date for round 5 of this competition is extended again to Monday 28th September

Dorset Short Range Championship – 5 people were unable to shoot their stage 2 cards (Tony Edwards, Mike Frizzle, John Henderson, Chris Anderson & Beth Stephenson). To give those people the chance to shoot their stage 2 cards, the due date for stage 2 of this competition is further extended to Monday 28th September. Please make sure to inform the affected individuals in your club.

NB! There will be no shoulder to shoulder final, and the championship will not be awarded this year. Prizes by Class will be awarded as usual once all cards have been shot.

The JWR Newman knockout – Range closure meant that Wimborne were unable to shoot the final round by the due date. The due date for the final round of this competition is extended again to Monday 28th September

If your club is one of those affected by these three extensions, please check that you and your members still have the remaining cards – if you have disposed of any unshot cards, please let me know and I’ll re-issue stickers for the individuals involved.

2020 Summer leagues

The committee has reluctantly decided to cancel all 2020 summer rifle leagues, including the long range competitions.

The outdoor competitions have been cancelled mainly due to the highly restricted range capacity in Dorset, especially at Queens Park where many clubs shoot. It is felt that the capacity will be so tight that it is unfair to expect all clubs to be able to complete the course of fire.

We appreciate that this may be a particular issue for Dorset, and apologise to other clubs where such capacity restrictions are less severe.

Clubs may choose whether their Summer league entry fees are re-funded, or carried over to the next season. I will assume that fees will be carried forward, unless you request a refund from me.

2020-21 Winter leagues

Normally, I would send out winter season entry forms during July, with the aim of issuing stickers by the end of August, and first round due early October. This year, due to the general uncertainty, the committee has decided to play it safe by postponing the start of the winter leagues and reducing the course of fire appropriately.

In practice, this means that we will review the situation again in September with the hope that I can send out entry forms early in October, issue stickers in November, with first cards due in January 2021. Some competitions might not be run at all due to the shortened period for shooting. But if the situation is still bad or highly uncertain in September, we may cancel the winter leagues as well.

Cancelling and shortening leagues are not decisions that are taken lightly by the committee, and it is very regrettable that we feel forced to take such actions. With 2020 more or less written off for shooting, please join me in hoping that 2021 will be a good year on the ranges for us all.

Also, we sincerely hope that all shooters will see the lack of league cards as an opportunity to shoot for the sheer enjoyment it. Enjoyment is, after all, supposed to be why we do this sport!

I would be glad to hear how each club has managed during the crisis, and especially about any plans you may have to re-open when circumstances allow.

Yours in shooting

David Chick
Dorset Rifle League organiser

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