Way back then, we started with 6 Clubs and the rules stated that you needed 4 scores in different venues to make up your League Score.
Quickly, more Clubs added themselves and this season we closed with 11 ACTIVE Clubs, that is considering the 2 completely new Clubs that were born, as well as the Club that went dormant.
More and more people started appearing at the shoots, attendance is up everywhere and so is the number of new shooters.
In a sense, it is very satisfying to see the sport grow, and for purely selfish reasons, to see it grow in the spring and limited power classes.
However, that has had a cost. After the first, VERY active year, one of our pillars declared that he had lost the fun along the way of the whole exercise. The other declared himself a little "burnt".
And to top it all, registration in the League started to drop.
Registration, mind you, NOT attendance to the shoots.
Add to that that the kickoff of this FT year (Dec-Nov for us) was very "rocky" indeed and it was a tough year for me as well. The main reflection of that was how poorly I performed in Lithuania, and my poor judgement of clothing at the Nationals.
Upon reflection of the past, I see that perhaps the three founders got carried away with the concept of a League of Champions. And I own upon myself that responsibility.
Having only Champion prizes was probably not the best idea I've ever had.
Persistence paid for some shooters. The winners, though some have repeated, were not always the same; showing that Patience and Perseverance are good virtues.
BUT, as in Massad Ayoob's book on self defense, there was "No second place winner".
With reduced registration and increased classes/trophies, it has become clear that the League is not sustainable in the long run as it is.
And so, the League will disappear for the time being from the scores/trophies scene.
It will still be available to MD's for the coordination of dates of matches and the promotion and internal discussion we have always had. But the scores and the statuettes, will be gone for the moment.
They may reappear in the future, perhaps we should go to less expensive trophies and award 1st through 3rd, maybe we just need to issue certificates of the yearly scores, maybe we should do other stuff.
I REALLY do not know. If anyone does, please let me know in the comments area at the end of this blog's entry.
But as bittersweet as life is, there is no bitter without the sweet and I have to say that I have enjoyed immensely these three years as Secretary to the League, I have met people from all over the place that I can now call "friend". And to see new shooters bloom into powerful competitors that can clearly answer: "there is nothing wrong with the gun, it's me that needs practice" makes me regain the faith in the human race.
And so, without further ado, I have the pleasure and the privilege to present to you the League's Champions for this season we are now closing, starting with the Match Directors that make FT possible:
Again, thanks to all that participated along these years and thanks to the Clubs that made this possible by hosting the matches.
Final and endless thanks go to the Match Directors.
See you all sometime soon!
Thanks to my wife, Veronika, for the pictures!