January 24, 2018
A big theme at SHOT Show 2018 is .22 competitions. Over the past year, the NSSF® took over and incubated the Rimfire Challenge, bringing the sport of .22 competitions to a whole new level. Now, the NSSF® is handing the Rimfire Challenge over to the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. Michael Bane and Ken Jorgenson created this nonprofit organization to help continue to elevate the sport of .22 competitions.
Tim Norris and Heather Martin are on the Board of Directors with Bane, and they have stepped up to help run the Rimfire Challenge. These .22 competitions, such as the Rimfire Challenge, have risen in popularity because they are a fun way to introduce new shooters to shooting sports. Martin said that she started with a .22, and after trying the competitions, she was hooked.
Norris and Bane have been working on the Rimfire Challenge for a decade, and they saw how quickly the sport began to gain popularity. Norris said one reason is because it is a family friendly sport, which is what they are aiming for. Women and children are the future of the sport, so they are working on making the sport less intimating and friendlier. The Rimfire Challenge is already seeing more women participate than many other shooting sports.
Norris said getting new clubs to join the Rimfire Challenge will be key to help the continued growth of the sport. Norris said it will also be important to get the word out that it's the same sport, but with a new organization at the helm. New clubs running the Rimfire Challenge matches will also be key in the growth of the sport.
The Rimfire Challenge is a feeder into the more intense shooting sports because it takes new shooters and teaches them how to safely manipulate the firearms, as well as how to shoot on a clock. This feeds these shooters into other competitions such as USPSA and 3-gun. The Rimfire Challenge is focusing on showing new shooters safety, which will help grow the sport. Norris said he was already seeing a large percentage of families at the World Championships, which is what this organization has always wanted for the sport.
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