Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 19

set precedent. Most were during wartime, but
the first was in 1912 due to a situation that still
often plagues summer shooting today-scheduling conflicts. When the National Board for the
Promotion of Rifle Practice concluded that Army
maneuvers conflicted with the proposed 1912
National Matches schedule, effectively pouring
cold water on the entire event, the NRA held
firm and conducted its own championships
independent of the War Department. By doing
this, the NRA ensured the perpetuality of the
trophies and maintained the National Matches
legacy. Held at Sea Girt, the storied range came
back into prominence as the site for the 1912
NRA National Championships.
Although the build-up for World War I forced
the cancellation of the 1917 National Matches,
the NRA remained involved in the war effort.
The NRA enlisted Gen. George Wingate to test
the Model 1917 Enfield rifle for its suitability for
combat as a "foreign rifle." Wingate's conclusion
was that the Enfield was safe and as good under
battle conditions as the beloved Springfield; thus
dispelling any negative rumors about the rifle.
Similar to the situation in 1912, a lack of
federal funds hampered efforts to conduct the
1926 National Matches and once again the NRA
was forced to step in to fill the void.

THE PAST
As mentioned, there are only a few examples of canceled national championships to

SSUSA.ORG | JUNE 2020

19

PHOTO BY NRA

W

hile not unprecedented, the
cancellation of the National Matches
is a rare occurrence. Currently, we
have a situation that mimics one segment of
National Matches history-the years spanning
1942 to 1953-that stand out as the most
erratic. During that 12-year period, much like
today, the American way of life was laced with
uncertainty. Fortunately, as Americans we
had the resolve to overcome reservation and
reluctance in those years, and we will do so
once again in the face of Covid-19.
Cancelling a national tournament is never taken lightly. Only six times in the history of competitive shooting has such drastic action taken
place, most recently 70 years ago during the
Korean War. But as the NRA noted in its statement released this past April, the coronavirus
pandemic certainly qualifies for drastic action.
"Due to the current state of affairs surrounding
Covid-19, the uncertainties associated with this
pandemic at present, and shutdowns across
our country that have impeded vital preparatory
work, the National Rifle Association has made
the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NRA
National Championships."
Thus, 2020 will mark the seventh time the
"World Series of the Shooting Sports" won't
be on the summer calendar. And it's not just
the NRA Pistol, Smallbore and High Power
Rifle Nationals at Camp Atterbury that fell
victim to coronavirus. The CMP matches at
Camp Perry were canceled around the same
time in April as the NRA's matches. As if all
this wasn't enough, sanctioned matches
throughout the country were also canceled.


http://www.SSUSA.ORG

Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - June 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 8
Shooting Sports USA - June 2020 - 9
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