The American Legion Post 295 in Green Springs, OH successfully uses "Bench Matches" to fundraise for their shooting team. In a recent bench match they raised nearly $5000 and added to their Athena range. Bench matches benefit the team more than just financially, they also serve to engage the local community. Here at Scopos we thought this was such a great idea, and with their permission and words, we are sharing it with our customers.
What is a Bench Match?
Matthew Muzik, the coach at The American Legion Post 295, explains a Bench Match has the following elements:
Members of the community are invited to participate.
Each competitor shoots off of a bench.
The course of fire is simple, 10 to 20 shots, all shot off of the bench.
Competitors pay an entry fee, for example $10, each time they shoot. Competitors may shoot multiple times and take their best score.
Cash prizes for the top three competitors. Half of the money goes in the award pool, the other half goes to the club.
Loan out your team's rifles to the competitors so they may shoot.
Resting the rifles off of a bench plus kneeling roll works well.
Set the targets to the kneeling height works best when shooting off of a bench.
Bench matches may be done on Orion paper targets or Athena electronic scoring targets.
Reentry in Orion is easy, when a competitor pays to reenter just re-add their name in the Match Competitors tab.
Keep the MM100 scoreboard (or online Orion scoreboard) going in the range, so competitors can see where they are at. If they drop out of the money spots, they know they will have to re-enter to try again.
Make sure when you are planning a bench match you have prizes for 1st 2nd and 3rd place so this will motivate the community that is supporting you to keep shooting to achieve one of those places.
Matthew Muzik, Coach
Inviting Members of the Community
There are a lot of gun enthusiast who are older or can no longer shoot in positions. Bench matches give an opportunity for everyone young, old, and individuals that can’t shoot traditional positions. Make sure you have a good process just like in shooting when you schedule a bench match. You will be surprised on how many people will come and support your team. Reach out to your local American Legions, Veterans of Foreign Wars, schools, and local businesses.
The Growth of American Legion Post 295 Marksmanship Team
My team started off in a barn that a local farmer allowed us to shoot in on paper targets with little gear. A year later I associated my team with the local American Legion Post 295 and today I have 10 Athena Electronic Targets and all the gear that my team needs to be successful. This has all been thru the support of my community. We have a great process on fundraising and bench matches have been a huge factor in that.
Erik is the owner and Chief Architect of Shooter's Technology LLC. He founded the company in 2009. Then, as it is now, the main goal of the company is to turn shooting into a spectator sport. He earned his bachelor's degree in computer science at the University of Kentucky, where he was also a member of the Kentucky Rifle team. His doctorate is from Kansas University in Electrical Engineering. He did his post-doctoral work at the University of Southern California.