Since 2017 the ASSA has conducted 3 Championship matches. The first was at the Blue Trail Range in Wallingford CT. Dave and Debbie Lyman offered us the best chance at success for our first match and their guidance and expertise was priceless.
In late 2017 there was a group of twenty two smallbore shooters in Ohio who were approached by a representative from the Cardinal Shooting Center. Cardinal was seeking information on what was needed to build a smallbore rifle range. The Cardinal Center had the stated goal of being the premier shooting destination for the eastern half of the USA. We took a leap of faith in 2018 and conducted our second championship on a brand new range. On the day arrived concrete was still being poured for a concrete firing line, concrete target lines for 25, 50 Yard, 50 Meters and 100 Yards. Brand new target frames were created and in spite of the temporary roof over the firing line, everyone could see the potential. We considered the 2018 Championship at the Cardinal Center to be a success.
In 2018 the CMP conducted their first 3-P and conventional Prone Championship at Camp Perry. The NRA also conducted their 5th consecutive Iron Man Championship at Bristol IN giving the smallbore shooting community 3 opportunities to shoot major championships.
In 2019 the CMP increased their prone championship to a 6400 and the NRA scheduled their 6th and final Championships at Bristol IN to overlap with the CMP. The ASSA conducted their 3rd Championship at the Cardinal Center. Since the 2018 match, the range was equipped with a permanent roof, a PA system, a pistol target turning system on the 25 yard line, and some improved parking and access. The structure for the Store/Club House/ and rest rooms was under construction. No landscaping or grass seed was planted, largely due to the extremely wet weather central Ohio suffered during planting season. Needless to say, the competitors could still see the potential but were disappointed with the progress.
For the year 2020 we were all getting ready to head back outdoors when a Global Pandemic cancelled all organized events regardless of the type. Human gatherings were highly discouraged and even made illegal all across the world. All major shooting related sporting events were cancelled including the NCAA's at Kentucky, Junior Olympics in Colorado, USA Shooting Rifle Championships at Ft Benning, the CMP Championships at Camp Perry, the NRA Championships Camp Atterbury and multitude of state and local matches. This was to be the first year that pistol and smallbore were to be held at Camp Atterbury and all 3 championships would be held at the same venue.
The ASSA chose to take a wait and see attitude to see if the country would return to a more normal environment and the pandemic would be under control. We paid particular attention to the Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Action Shooting Program plans for running their Championship at the Cardinal Center the week after ASSA concluded. June 1st was set as the deadline to decide to hold the Championships or cancel them. We decided to move our match dates to end of July in order to allow for more time to get the pandemic under control through out the country.
Prior to moving our dates we also reached out to the Cardinal Center to make sure we were still on the schedule for the dates we discussed. At that time we were given some disappointing news. In regards to the condition of the range, no further improvements were made since the 2019 matches with the exception of the opening of the Lapua Test Center, located immediately to the left side of the firing line. The Store/Club House facilities were dried in but would not be inhabitable for the ASSA matches. The modular building we used in 2018 and 2019 was no longer available and we were faced with operating out of a tent in the parking lot. With this information we decided to begin looking for alternative ranges that could host our championship.
Ultimately, the Chief Wa-Ke-De range in Bristol Indiana was chosen as our location. We still have 100 firing points. It is a known commodity, and the folks at St. Joseph Valley Rifle and Pistol Association were very open to the idea of us coming there. For all the reasons that shooters enjoy shooting at this range, they will enjoy them in 2020. Camping will be permitted on site during the championships. The X-Count Club in Ft. Wayne is working with the ASSA to conduct 3-P Junior Camps for the duration of our matches. They have also taken the initiative to manage the Camp Site reservations and to also reserve blocks of rooms in Middlebury at the Das Dutchman Essenhaus and also The Hampton Inn. Anyone interested in camping at the site or wishing to stay at the lodging in Middlebury can use this web site link to make reservations.