The 2023, 56th Annual Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match wrapped up Sunday night July 9, naming the new National Champion BB Team and the Individual National Champion. But the new titles are just a part of this family friendly event. The “Daisy Nationals” is three days of fun and competition for all involved.
“To really understand the impact and emotions of this event, you really need to attend it,” said Daisy Public Relations Director Lawrence Taylor. “Daisy works to make sure the event is much bigger than just a shooting match.”
In addition to the traditional Barter Bar, where competitors bring items to trade with others (and Daisy employees bring some really neat stuff like special BB guns), there also was a free SplatRBall Inflatable other shooting games. Daisy also gives the competitors and their families an evening at the Rogers Aquatic Center water park after the Closing Ceremony.
The Opening Ceremony features the teams competing in T-Shirt Design, Costume and Patriotic Theme contests and winning real gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors. There are also car decorating and painted gun contests.
“We try our best to make the Daisy Nationals special for the youth attending,” said Andy Carroll, Vice President of Marketing. “The shooting match can be pretty stressful – it’s the National Championship after all, and the competitors want to shoot the best they can – so we try to provide as much fun as possible.”
The Daisy Nationals brings teams of youth ages 8-15 to Rogers, Ark., each year to compete in this 5-meter, 4-position match. There are five team members and up to two alternates. Each team member shoots 10 shots each in Standing, Sitting, Kneeling and Prone positions, at a 10-ring target. Each position is worth 100 points. The bullseye on that target, worth 10 points, is about the size of a BB – and these kids hit that bullseye a lot.
But, each competitor’s Daisy Nationals score doesn’t just consist of his or her shooting totals – they much take a 100-question written test prior to the match, and that test score makes up the last possible 100 points added to their final score. There have been years when those test scores were the difference between a gold or a silver medal.
Teams are formed through the National 4-H Shooting Sports program, VFWs and American Legion Posts, youth religious organizations and others – but anyone can form a team. Daisy provides a 10-hour classroom curriculum that must be completed before any youth ever touches a BB gun. This curriculum provides plenty of gun safety and knowledge information to prepare a youth shooter for stepping up to the firing line.
“Every year I hear from parents or coaches that little Johnny wasn’t focused or was having problems at school before he started the BB Program,” said Daisy CEO Keith Higginbotham. “Then after a few months he’s improving his focus and doing better in school. This program teaches so many things – how to control your breathing, your focus, mental toughness – and it illustrates that with practice you can improve and master anything.”
Another important aspect of the Daisy Nationals and youth shooting sports in general is that everyone can be involved – boys and girls, athletic and nonathletic – even those with disabilities can compete. And, as far as boys versus girls, it’s the girls that have been coming out on top – the last two individual National Champions were girls. In fact, two of the top three medal winners this year were girls. Plus, at the Daisy Nationals almost everyone can compete in a division. There’s the 10-Meter Air Rifle match for youth who have aged out of BB, an Alternate division, and a Champion division. (Youth must sit out a year after shooting as a team member, and they shoot in the Champion division to give others the opportunity to be on a team.)
This year 15 states were represented at the Daisy Nationals, coming from as far away as Oregon and Virginia. And, for many it’s just the start of their competitive shooting careers. Many who start with competitive BB gun shooting continue to shoot competitively throughout their lives – several Daisy Nationals competitors have shot in the Olympics.
So pick up a Daisy Model 499B – the world’s most-accurate 5-meter BB Gun – and find a team. Contact your state or local 4-H chapter or create your own team. The rewards are greater than a National Championship.
2023 Daisy Nationals Results
(Awards are also given for each of the Positions involved in each match.)
10-METER AIR RIFLE
Third Place: Emily Turner
Second Place: Bethany Shirley
First Place: Ashley Carr
Third Place: Annaliese Bietz, Pierre Jr. Shooters, South Dakota
Second Place: Ema Dissing, Humboldt Sharpshooters, South Dakota
First Place: Makena Quick, Box Buttle County 4-H, Nebraska
Third Place: Harley Stitzer, Penns Valley, Pennsylvania
Second Place: Austin Davis, Walton County, Georgia
First Place: Riley Martinez, Pierce Red, Georgia
Bronze Medal: Clara Iverson, Roberts County, South Dakota
Silver Medal: Greyson Christmas, Pierce Red, Georgia
Gold Medal: Laney Herrin, Pierce Red, Georgia (National Champion)
Bronze Medal: Walton County BB Team, Georgia
Coach: Jamie Goitia
Team Members: Caleb Phelts, Maddie Glaze, Morgan Abercrombie, Skyler Everett, Megan Abercrombie
Silver Medal: Roberts County Shooting Sports, South Dakota
Coach: Lori Braaten
Team Members: Clara Iverson, Taylor Lick, Jaden Lick, Cheyenne Braaten, Tyler Heinje
Gold Medal: Pierce Red, Georgia
Coach: David Turner
Team Members: Laney Herrin, Greyson Christmas, Lilah Hall, Gabby Herrin, Devan Turner (National Champion)