Tennessee A.I.M.

TN AIM Letter from May 15th, 2020

I know that some of you missed this email on May 15th. I used the AIM Coaches Portal email function and evidently many of you did not get it or it went to your spam folder, etc. The following is the contents of that email….

TN AIM Shooters, Parents, and Coaches:

I hope you are all doing well under the circumstances.

These are surely crazy days we live in.  We all want to get back to our regular “pre-pandemic” lives, there are still many obstacles to overcome and some realities that cannot be reversed .   For example there is no way to reverse the fact that many students had their spring sports canceled including the seniors who lost not only their spring sports memories but also their milestone celebrations such as prom and graduation. Additionally many people have suffered financially and are having to make tough decisions about their employment and businesses.  And finally, for a few, there is no way to reverse the loss of a family member, loved one, community member, or acquaintance to COVID-19.  We have all been impacted at some level and everyone deserves sympathy and respect for their individual losses and hardships realizing that everyone’s experiences may be different.

As for the effects on AIM shooters, many school based teams have been forced to suspend their official season and coaches who are school employees are limited on what they can do related to practices and official team events. Regardless of school based team affiliations I am sure nearly everyone in the TN AIM program has had to deal with school closures and schedule changes.

A couple of days ago the Tennessee ATA Board of Directors got word that city officials have given tentative approval for the state shoot to proceed on the originally scheduled dates.

This approval is conditional and can be revoked at any time and all plans and intentions detailed below are subject to change at any time.  We will need to continue to be flexible and patient as we move forward with planning and preparation.

So here is what I know for now: 

  1. The 2020 TN AIM State Championships will take place on the scheduled dates of June 16th and 17th at the Nashville Gun Club. 
  • According to the gun club, the club house will be closed to all participants and we are required to implement all social distancing protocols in effect at the time of the shoot.  This includes maintaining 6 feet individual separation, eliminating group gathering points such as scoreboards, awards ceremonies, cashiering and classification lines, team tents, etc.  
  • Also all persons over the age of 65 and those people who have health issues that make them more vulnerable will be asked to stay home.  
  • Efforts are underway to create online payment portals and live score reporting through the shootataTN.com web site to eliminate the need to post scores manually for review.  Scoring errors will be addressed if necessary though voice and electronic messaging methods.  
  • There will be NO AWARDS given out at the shoot.  All awards will be mailed after the shoot is complete.  All of the award orders were cancelled in March because of the long lead time and the possibility of cancellation.  Awards will not be ordered until after the event and the winners have been confirmed following a short period where scores can be contested since that will not be possible during the shoot.
  • Shooters and spectators will be asked to leave after they have finished their rounds with the exception of individuals who shoot perfect event scores (200 straight for singles, 100 straight for handicap and doubles).  Perfect scores will require a shoot-off. For all other ties, the following tie-breakers will be used in the following order:
  • #1: Reverse Sub-event (box scores starting with the last box)
  • #2: Reverse Run (the number of consecutive dead targets from the last target counted backward to the first miss)
  • #3: Forward Run (the number of consecutive dead targets from target #1 counted forward to the first miss.)
  • #4: Coin-flip
  • As of now the plans are to eliminate all SQUAD awards and only give individual trophies.  Since the awards will be mailed out at a later date there is some flexibility to this decision but it is based on the following feedback from school coaches, administrators, and other advisors:
  • Some teams have been forced to disband for the year and refund participation fees, etc.
  • There may be a member of a squad who can’t attend because of financial considerations that didn’t exist before the lockdown and there may be some unintentional pressure for them to prioritize their attendance above their families financial best interest.
  • The same argument can be restated for shooters who might have health issues or have parents with health issues and must choose between the health risks and the team.
  • AIM is the youth shooting program of the ATA.  All ATA registered shoots give awards based on individual category, class, etc. so an event with only individual awards is the rule and not the exception so the scoring software is based on individual results and squad based results require coaches to assign squads and handle registration, etc.
  • Finally, shoot offs involving squads require all the squad members to stick around just in case they are needed to settle a tie which is incompatible with the intentions of limiting the number of people at the gun club at any one time.

 Expect communication soon about the pre-squadding and registration process.  Also be aware that the program as it is posted on the shootataTN.com website is the original draft that was voted on in early February and does not include any of these changes.

 Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  I will be meeting with board members this weekend as we discuss specific plans to meet the requirements for social distancing, etc.

Thanks for your patience and stay safe,

Rob Mathis

Tennessee AIM Director