2019 Daisy Nationals
Pierre Junior Shooters Take National Championship At Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match
Each year the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match features youth teams from across the nation competing in this 5-meter, 4-position National Championship match, and this year the Pierre Junior Shooters from Pierre, S.D., edged the team out of Walton County, Ga., to take home the Gold Medal and traveling trophy. The event wrapped Saturday night, July 6, with a festive medal ceremony that named not only the Team National Championship, but also Championships in Individual, Alternate and Champion Divisions.
Sixty-four teams converged on Rogers, Ark., for the 54th year of the “Daisy Nationals,” from as far away as Oregon, Montana, Georgia and Houston, Texas. Teams consist of five shooters and two alternates ages 8-15, who have completed the Daisy Curriculum and other training provided by organizations such as the 4H Shooting Sports, Royal Rangers, the American Legion and other community and youth based clubs. Teams must also place first, second or third in their state’s NRA-sanctioned contest to get an invite.
“The Daisy Nationals is a celebration of youth competitive shooting,” said Daisy Public Relations Director Lawrence Taylor. “Competitive BB gun shooting is your gateway to the shooting sports. We’ve had youth compete in the Daisy Nationals who went on to compete – and win – in Olympic shooting events.”
Youth competitors shoot 10 shots from each of four positions – Standing, Kneeling, Sitting and Prone – at the target placed at 5 meters, and these kids are good. They shoot Daisy Model 499B Champion BB guns, billed as the most-accurate BB gun in the world. Each year multiple shooters place all 10 shots in the bullseye.
There’s also a safety aspect to this match. On the first day, every competitor takes a 50-question written test that covers gun safety, match rules and shooting knowledge. The results of the test make up 20 percent of each competitor’s final score, and that can be the difference between the Gold and Silver medals.
An award is given to the team that scores highest on the test, and this year for the first time, three teams from South Dakota tied to win this award: the Humboldt Sharpshooters, Marshall County and the Pierre Junior Shooters.
Eric Bird from Wyandotte County, Kan., shot a 488 with 21 bullseyes to win the Individual National Championship, and he had a perfect score on the written test. Bird said he’s been shooting for seven years and competing for four. Right at Bird’s heels was Anthony Stacy from Walton County, Ga., who shot a 485 with 21 bullseyes. The tightest race in the Individual Division was between Stacy and bronze medal winner Irene VanDyke of Carvelius, Ore. (Go Timber Beasts!), who also scored 485 but had two less bullseyes.
In the Team Division, winning the Silver Medal was Walton County 4H out of Georgia. Walton County scored 2382 with 87 bullseyes – two more than the Pierre Junior Shooters, who won the event with 2385. The Marshall County 4H Sharp Shooters took the Bronze Medal with a score of 2363 with 70 bullseyes. Rounding out the top five was the Humboldt Sharpshooters from Hartford, S.D., followed by the Permian Basin Young Guns from Midland, Texas.
“Competitive shooting teaches mental focus, patience, coordination and the bigger lessons of practicing to improve a skill,” Taylor said. “That’s very easy to see in shooting because your shot groupings are big when you first start, but as you practice those groups shrink and get tighter – it’s the perfect illustration of how you improve through practice.
“We’ve also seen how this program improves the lives of those with attention disorders or issues. Competitive shooting requires disciplined breathing and muscle memory, and tack-sharp focus. Coaches have repeatedly told us how kids who were struggling with school or other issues have improved in those areas after getting into competitive shooting.”
The Daisy Nationals match rules state that a youth who shoots on a team this year must sit out and let another youth have the opportunity to shoot on the team. But, these former team members are not left out – they can attend and compete in the Champions Match.
This BB Gun National Championship is not child’s play – it’s a serious match and the competitors approach it with reverence – but there’s plenty of fun for everyone over the four days. Teams compete in side-contests at the Opening Ceremonies, dressing for the chance to win the T-Shirt, Costume/Theme or Most-Patriotic contests sponsored by Academy Sports + Outdoors. The traditional barter bar brings all of the teams together to trade items they bring from home. And after Closing Ceremonies and the Medal Presentation, all of the teams get a few hours at the local water park.
Individual High Aggregate Top Five
1. Eric Bird, Wyandotte County, KS
2. Anthony Stacy, Walton County, GA
3. Irene VanDyke, Carvelius, OR
4. Daisy Teague, Monroe, GA
5. Hannah Menges, Washington, MO
Top 5 Teams
1. Pierre Junior Shooters, Pierre, SD
2. Walton County 4H, Walton County, GA
3. Marshall County 4H Sharp Shooters, Marshall County, SD
4. Humboldt Sharpshooters, Humboldt, SD
5. Permian Basin Young Guns, Midland, TX
Daisy Literally Wrote the Book on Shooting Education
In 1955, Daisy wrote the first organized curriculum on shooting education. The lesson plan, which starts with gun safety instruction, has evolved over the years into Daisy’s Shooting Education Ten Lesson Curriculum. The lesson plans include topics such as gun safety rules, types of firearms, safe carries, determining dominant eye, building a proper sight picture, shooting positions, range commands and more. Over the years, Daisy has teamed with the U.S. Junior Chambers of Commerce, 4-H Shooting Sports, the American Legion, the National Rifle Association, Royal Rangers, the National Guard Youth Marksmanship Program as well as scout troops, camps and church youth groups to provide instructional material, equipment and complete training kits. Daisy’s ten-lesson shooting education curriculum has been adopted by most civic organizations to teach shooting safety and marksmanship skills.
As with any sport, part of the fun is in competition, which is why Daisy’s shooting safety and marksmanship education program also includes a competition facet. All across the country, in small classroom settings, young people are instructed on the proper handling of guns, shooting safety rules, shooting positions and marksmanship skills. Marksmanship teams, formed by these organizations, shoot weekly then compete on a local and state level. Only teams which compete and place in the top three spots in a state championship match are eligible to compete in Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match – which has been taking place since 1966. Typically, about 450 young people ages 8 to 15, qualify to compete in the 5-meter team BB gun competition annually. They shoot a muzzle-loaded single-shot BB gun, the Daisy AVANTI Champion Model 499. The Daisy AVANTI Champion Model 499 is billed as the most accurate BB gun in the world. They will shoot in four positions: prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling and be scored on a Safety Exam in order to qualify for individual and team medals.
At the the Daisy Nationals, a written safety test, covering information contained in the classroom curriculum, comprises a substantial percentage of each competitor’s final score. Often a top score is decided not only based on shooting ability but on the competitor’s knowledge of gun safety and resulting test score.
On the road
On the Road to the the Daisy Nationals
Qualifying for the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match takes practice, hard work, dedication and resourcefulness. Coaches begin with weekly classes of boys and girls, ages 8 to 15. Only when the classes have completed lessons on gun safety and proper handling will they progress to the airgun range. They form their five-member teams, along with two alternate athletes, then compete at the state level for the right to attend the Daisy Nationals. Teams are responsible for their own travel costs and often secure sponsors who share in the pride of having a local team go to this prestigious match.
Longevity is a Result of Dedicated Coaches
Each year, coaches bring 7-member, 4-position, 5-meter BB gun teams (5 shooters and 2 alternates) to the Daisy Nationals. Because the ages of these team members range from eight to fourteen years old, many parents also attend; making the Daisy Nationals a family affair. Many of these coaches have been attending the Daisy Nationals for years. For example, Rod Strenge and Bob Fix have been coaching the Buffalo, Minnesota team for over thirty years. “Both the youth and the community benefit from the safety lessons learned, but most importantly, a much wider community benefits from the quality young men and women who are former shooters – men and women who are now serving in the armed forces, teaching school, running business, volunteering their talents and raising families”, Fix commented. Fix and Strenge are not the only long-term coaches. Howard Baker of Oregon and Charlie Pardue of Tennessee have each coached for over thirty-five years. Each year, at the nationals, Daisy appreciates these coaches by recognizing them among their peers on stage during our opening celebration.
Dedication & Commitment
The Dedication is High and So Is Daisy’s Commitment
Daisy will present a minimum of $700 on a prepaid credit card to every BB gun team that qualifies for, attends and competes at the Daisy Nationals in 2019. This money can be used for travel costs and equipment and will enable some teams to attend and compete who otherwise could not.
New Teams Wanted
Nothing keeps a competition exciting like new competitors. If you are interested in starting a 5-meter BB gun team, contact Daisy today for a catalog of match competition products, non-profit organization pricing and information about how to form your team.
BB Gun Match Registration Forms
Media Release [updated 01/11/2019]
Liability Form [updated 01/11/2019]
Medical Form [updated 01/11/2019]
Team Form [updated 01/11/2019]
Code of Conduct Form [updated 01/11/2019]
Coaches’ Information Form [updated 01/11/2019]
Extra Match T-Shirt Order Form [updated 03/20/2019]
Extra Long Sleeve T-Shirt & Hooded Sweatshirt Order Form [updated 03/20/2019]
Match Hats Order Form [updated 03/20/2019]
Champion’s Match Registration Form [updated 01/11/2019]
BB Gun Order Form [updated 03/20/2019]
5 meter BB Gun How To
Videos to help you get started with your 5-Meter BB Gun Team! Here are four videos that show the proper positioning for the four positions – Standing, Kneeling, Sitting and Prone.