Important update about Dorset Rifle leagues

Update – July 19th 2021
The following information was today mailed to clubs who entered the Dorset Rifle Winter 2020-21 league

I have had some feedback recently about the slow return of members that clubs are experiencing and expecting, even now that you should be able to fully re-open. This is not too surprising, I suppose, but it does make it much harder for some of you to turn in a full set of cards by the first week in September.

For this reason, we have decided to make a general 4 week extension to all the Winter 2020-21 cards, as below:

  • Last date for shooting 2020-21 winter leagues is now Monday 4th October 2021
  • Last date for scores to be received by me: Monday 11th October 2021

I hope that this will go some way to helping you to submit scores for all the people who entered, so that we can have as meaningful a competition as possible in the circumstances.

I’m always grateful to get some feedback from you, so please feel free to let me know whether this will help your club.

Update – March 7th 2021
The following information was mailed to all club league contacts on 7th March 2021
This is to update you on the arrangements for finishing the current Winter 2020-21 leagues, and our intentions for the summer 2021 season.

Winter Leagues 2020-21
Now that there is a National plan for gradually relaxing Covid related restrictions, we know that the earliest date for ranges to re-open is mid April, and that many indoor ranges will not reopen immediately due to the restrictions that will still be in place for some additional weeks. It is also very clear that many indoor ranges have not re-opened at all since the Winter league stickers were sent out late last year.

Clearly that makes the current last date for shooting all five rounds (29th March) un workable and unfair.

In order to give a fair opportunity for all participants, and to avoid wasting the efforts of those who have already shot some rounds, the Dorset committee has decided to extend the winter season through to the end of the summer season. It is hoped that enough ranges will be able to reopen for long enough to give participants a reasonable chance of completing the much reduced course of fire.

So please note these new dates for all 5 rounds of the Winter 2020-21 rifle leagues:

  • Last date for shooting 2020-21 winter leagues is now Monday 6th September 2021
  • Last date for scores to be received by me Monday 13th September 2021

Summer Leagues 2021
As we are now extending the winter leagues through the summer period, and because there will still be shooters who do not feel comfortable re-joining the sport yet, the committee has decided not to run the usual Summer League program in 2021.

However, most outdoor ranges will be open, and many shooters will want to do some shooting, and so we will run less formal individual 50m league and 100yd league.

These will be kept simple and reasonably flexible:

  • Course of fire: 10 rounds of 10 shots @ 50m/yds and/or 10 rounds of 10 shots @ 100yds. i.e. 5 cards per distance, 2 stickers on each card.
  • Local scoring only
  • Free entry – for each distance just mail the league organiser with the names of people for whom you’d like a set of stickers.
  • No closing date for entries, so people can enter any time in the season
  • All entrants will shoot as individuals in their most recent Dorset class (see list published below)
  • Highest aggregate in each class wins the class at each distance.
  • All cards to be shot by Monday 6th September 2021 (regardless of when stickers were issued)
  • All scores to be received by the league organiser by Monday 13th September 2021
  • No prizes or medals, but certificates to class winners

We hope that these two competitions will help to encourage shooters back onto the ranges as the restrictions ease off. Please also see the attached document for further details.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the above, and I look forward to receiving summer entries from your club.

Best regards,
Dave Chick
Dorset Rifle League organiser

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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