The Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match (Daisy Nationals) brings teams of youth ages 8 to 15 from around the country to the Rogers Convention Center to compete for the National Championship of BB Gun Shooting. This 5-meter, 4-position NRA-sanctioned match is in its 56th year of competition and crowns Individual and Team National Champions.
Teams consist of five shooters and two alternates. These teams have practiced and competed all year for the chance to qualify for the Daisy Nationals and must place in the top three positions in a state match to get an invitation. In the match, competitors shoot at an official target placed at 5 meters. They shoot 10 shots in the Standing, 10 in the Sitting, 10 in the Kneeling and 10 in the Prone shooting positions. All competitors shoot a Daisy Model 499B, touted as the most-accurate 5-meter BB gun in the world.
Each shot is worth 10 points, for a total of 400 possible, but each competitor must also take a test that covers gun safety and general gun/match knowledge. The test is worth 100 points, so each competitor is shooting for 500 points. Proof that these kids are good comes from last year’s Individual National Champion Zoe Dissing. She set a new record with a score of 494 – just six points from perfect.
But it’s not just the competition that makes the Daisy Nationals a hit with youth. Events and fun make these three days all about the kids. There are costume and car decorating contests sponsored by Academy Sports & Outdoors, Barter Bar (an evening of trading items brought from their area) and a night at the Rogers Aquatic Center.
As usual, teams are coming from as far away as Oregon to compete, and South Dakota, Virginia and Georgia are also among the states represented. This year 15 states will be represented. Any organization can start a BB Team, but most come from the 4-H Shooting Sports program. New teams must complete a 10-hour Daisy Shooting Sports Curriculum before ever picking up a BB gun.
“Some coaches bring their teams every year,” said Daisy Public Relations Director Lawrence Taylor. “I’m not sure the exact count, but I know that Coach Howard Baker has brought his Oregon Timber Beasts to the Nationals for 18 or 19 years in a row.”
Early Registration begins July 5 and continues on the 6th. On the 7th, competitors get their practice time at the line and take the Safety Test, then attend Opening Ceremonies where they compete for prizes in the Costume, T-Shirt and Most-Patriotic contests. Competition commences for the next two days, with Closing Ceremonies wrapping up that evening just in time to head to the water park.