What is FT?
The objective of FT is pretty simple, there are metal targets between 15mm and 40mm diameter which you have to shoot in numerical sequence. Specific rules vary depending on the type of event, but typically:
- 40 or 50 targets per course
- 20 – 25 firing points known as gates each with 2 targets
- Between the gate and the target is known as a lane
- Each gate has 2 targets, with a 2 minute time limit to shoot both from the moment you look through the scope (or in some competitions 3 minutes from when you approach the gate)
- Only 1 shot per target
There is no restriction to where targets can be placed, some are at eye level and others may be up a tree, but they must be between 10 and 55 yards from the gate and not be obscured in any way. Most of the targets are 40mm in diameter but ones closer than 35yards can be as small as 25mm, and closer than 25 yards they can be 15mm these are called ‘reducers’ and ‘mini kills’. The targets are numbered and must be shot in order, hitting a target out of sequence counts as a miss. Most of the targets are shot from a sitting position on a bean bag, but up to 10% can be compulsory standing with another 10% kneelers and all shots must be taken without any additional support.
Being an outdoor sport, weather plays a big part as we shoot regardless of wind, rain, or snow. These conditions really make life much harder, so to add some kind of consistency the highest score of the day is awarded 100% and all other scores are graded as a percentage of the best score. So on a really windy day, the best score may only be 20 out of a potential 40. This now becomes the benchmark scoring 100%, so another competitor’s score of 10 is awarded 50%, and 5 would be 25%.
At the end of the season, all BFTA members are graded based on their average. Trophies are often awarded on a best-in-grade basis but we don’t run national handicaps as is done in golf and some other sports.