The Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match is the most prestigious 5-meter, 4-position BB Gun match in the world, and at the end of the 2018 “Daisy Nationals” it was the Wyandotte County 4-H team out of Kansas City, KS, that took the medal podium to accept gold medals and the traveling first place trophy. In a nail-biting competition, Wyandotte County 4-H took the win by a single point over the Pierre Junior Shooters out of Pierre, SD. Pierre was shooting for a threepeat, having won the last to National Championships.
Erica Berger, shooting for the Gallatin Valley Sharpshooters from Bozeman, MT, won the individual shooter National Championship, scoring just one-tenth of a point over Allee Smith (Pierre Junior Shooters). Third to first in the individual division was separated by just .4 points.
More than 50 teams from across the nation competed in this year’s National Championship. Teams are comprised of five shooters, and often, two alternates. Alternates shoot for their own National Championship, as do “Champions,” shooters who competed last year. If youth shoot in this year’s event, they must return as Champions for a year before being allowed to shoot with their regular team the following year.
The Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match is held annually at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center is Rogers, Ark., and brings together the best BB Gun shooters in the country, age 8-15. Teams must qualify for the event by coming in first, second or third in a state NRA-sanctioned match.
This year’s Match, which was conducted June 30-July 3, brought approximately 2,000 shooters, former champions, coaches and parents to Northwest Arkansas. Teams came from as far as Georgia, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin and south Texas. Any community or educational organization can form a team as long as it follows the curriculum outlined by Daisy, which features hours of classroom gun-safety and education work prior to ever touching a gun. In fact, before the match each competitor must take a test covering gun safety and match rules, and their score on that test makes up 20 percent of their final score. This year 19 competitors made a perfect score on the test.
As always, the 53rd annual event featured plenty of fun, action and emotion beyond the shooting competition. The Barter Bar, in which competitors bring items representing their states (which can include everything from homemade crafts and wildlife-related items to cans of “Potted Possum” meat and professional sports jerseys) and swap them amongst the crowd.
Other events include a Parade of Champions at the opening ceremonies in which many team wears costumes or coordinated clothing or custom T-shirts of their own design. This year, Academy Sports and Outdoors sponsored these side contests and presented the winners with $500 gift cards.
The Match also includes a Painted Gun contest. Each competitor must shoot the Daisy 499B Champion BB Gun, the most-accurate 5-meter competition BB gun in the world, and may decorate it any way they choose. Many guns look as sharp as sports cars or follow a particular theme. First, second and third place winners were awarded Academy Sport and Outdoors gift cards in the amount of $300, $200 and $100 respectively.
Daisy also inducts a longtime leader in the BB gun shooting sports into its Hall of Fame. This year, Jim Eberwein, who has been a coach in Kansas for more than 30 years, and is responsible for expanding and growing the program throughout the Sunflower State, was inducted into this exclusive club.
A final highlight of the event was an appropriate send off for a Daisy employee who has planned, organized and administered the event for the past 15 years, Denise Johnson. Known by competition BB gun shooters and coaches as the “BB Gun Lady,” she’s become a well-known figure in the industry and is much-loved by the community. She retires after 39 years with Daisy.
Anyone who becomes involved in competition BB gun shooting and attends the event is instantly hooked, as evidenced by the number of 20-, 25- and 30-year coaches. While the program instills responsibility, control and focus on the shooter (especially for youth who have focus or attention issues), and to reach the National Championship takes many hours of hard work, this final event pays off with four days that are just for the shooters. In addition to the cheers and tears of competition, the fun and comradery creates lifelong memories.
For more information on the event and instructions on how to create a team to compete in this exciting match, go to www.daisy.com.
About Daisy Outdoor Products…
At more than 130 years old, Daisy Outdoor Products is America's oldest and leading maker of BB guns, air rifles and pistols, air rifle ammo and accessories. The company produces the most extensive product line of youth air guns, appropriate for ages 10 and older under adult supervision. Daisy's shooting education curriculum is widely used by organizations that promote and teach gun safety and marksmanship. The company's prestigious Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match, held each summer in the company's home town of Rogers, Ark., is the largest 5-meter BB gun match in the country, attracting thousands of youth shooters from nearly every state.