It’s kids, BB Guns, fireworks and our nation’s celebration of independence – it’s the Daisy Nationals. The 2018 National Daisy Championship BB Gun Match (Daisy Nationals) is set for June 30-July 3, 2018, again held at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, Ark. This, the premier BB Gun Championship in the world, brings teams of 8-15 year olds from across the nation to compete for the national championship.
In 2017, this ever growing event brought 72 teams from as far away as Georgia and Oregon to compete for the traveling trophy, gold medals and the title of National Champion. Both Team and Individual honors are awarded.
“I’ve been involved with a lot of outdoors-related contests and tournaments, but never one that made my heart soar like this one,” said Daisy Director of Public Relations Lawrence Taylor. “The timing of it – right at Independence Day – BB guns, serious competition and all of these great, respectful kids make it simply the most-special event I’ve ever been involved in.”
The Daisy Nationals is a four-position contest (standing, sitting, kneeling and prone) with targets set at 5 meters. Each contestant shoots a Daisy 499B, the most-accurate 5-meter air rifle in the world. It’s an NRA sanctioned event, and teams must qualify for the Daisy Nationals by placing first, second or third in their state’s NRA event. Teams can be created by any organization that follows Daisy’s safety curriculum and the NRA’s requirements. Most teams funnel through the national 4-H Shooting Sports program, but teams of Royal Rangers and other organizations are invited to pursue the big trophy.
It’s not just the competition that draws more-and-more teams each year to this event. The fellowship, events like the Barter Bar where the kids trade for prizes and all of the side contests like the painted gun, costume and T-Shirt contests, and the fun atmosphere makes this an event teams have attended for many years.
“One look around the Embassy Suites hotel and you’ll see the enthusiasm these kids have for the event – cars are decorated with “Daisy Nationals or Bust” and similar graffiti, the hotel doors are decorated with posters, banners are hung off the railings. They look forward all year to this event,” Taylor said.