Publicity is the first thing to consider when running a match. It makes for a very dull match is no one shows up. There are several ways to publicize a match: Start with your club membership and put the match date into your club calendar. You can also send out invitations or announcements to local shooters who have shot with you in the past. There are other places to post your match announcements including the AAFTA Calendar (both the web pages and the printed newsletter (especially for those not web-enabled), the "Green" FT Forum, the Yellow Airgun Events Forum, and the Delphi FT and Hunter Forums. One aid in getting people to come is to make it easy to check the weather at the club site. There are many web sites for localized weather if your club does not have on-site reporting. The web sites can also provide a forecast for what might happen through the day, too.
Registration is the first activity on the day of the match. The purpose of registration is to make it possible to identify shooters and their equipment when squadding and reporting on the results of the match. For "National" level matches, it is typical to create a very complete registration form such as this major match example. For a local match, a simpler form is usually sufficient but name, address, phone, email, gun, pellet, scope, and class are the typical items needed. Some clubs need a waiver of liability from participants -- the registration form can include this, too.
Once shooters have been registered, it is necessary to squad them. There are match directors that try to squad shooters by class but the primary requirements are to squad novice shooters with someone who can get them started shooting quickly. Juniors are usually squadded with their guardian or parent. The other important thing is to not forget to squad anyone registered. One approach is to create a table listing each shooter with a column for each class being shot. Put a tic mark in the column for the shooter's class. When you squad the shooter, put a tic mark beside the name. For larger matches, an Excel spreadsheet has been prepared which can automate some of the scoring work and make it easy to produce handouts or posters with match scores.
Score sheets are basically just the shooter's name and class with rows for each lane and columns for each shot on each target. An additional column for the lane total is necessary as is a match total row at the bottom. For major matches, there should be lines for the shooter and the scorer to sign the score sheet.
When the above are complete and the practice period has elapsed, it is time for the shooters meeting. One hint for stopping the practice period gracefully is to tell the shooters something like "5 minutes until a cold range" rather than simply abruptly stopping the session. Here are some sample Shooters Meeting Notes.
During the match, the primary officiating tasks are to correct problems with malfunctioning targets and monitor safety. For many clubs, every shooter is a Safety Officer and anyone who sees something unsafe is empowered to challenge the situation. For safety and to eliminate disputes about target functioning, it is usually best if only the Match Director calls for a cold line and goes downrange to repair targets.
When the match shooting is complete, the Match Director collects the score sheets and enters the scores in the class column for the squadding worksheet created above. When all scores have been entered, it is then easy to scan a class column to determine placing and enter this next to the score.
While the scoring is being completed, this is a good time for getting help from the shooters to remove the targets from the range.
The final step in running a match is the awarding of places. A paper award is sufficient although some clubs award small prizes such as a tin of pellets. It is important to give some form of recognition for the effort. This is the best time to announce future matches and to thank everyone for coming.