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Spirit of the Game--An Introduction to
Cowboy Action Shooting

As Cowboy Action Shooting evolved as a sport, an important attitude was adopted in Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) competition referred to as the "Spirit of the Game." The SASS Shooters Handbook defines this spirit as fully participating in what the competition asks. Simply stated, it means that you do not look for ways to create an advantage out of what is or is not stated as a rule or shooting procedure. Skipping a step in match instructions because a five second penalty is less than the time it would take to perform the step is not in keeping with the Spirit of the Game.

The Spirit of the Game contributes to the sense of fair play and good sportmanship. It also helps everyone to remember that having fun is as important as shooting well. National and regional SASS matches will almost universally give a Spirit of the Games award to the participant who most exemplifies this spirit during the competition. Winners usually have cheerfully helped with match activities as well as helped other participants. In fact, helping one another in sharing shooting technique ideas, offering suggestions for gun purchases, answering questions, and just sharing experiences is characteristic of virtually all matches, whether at a local or national level, a frequent and pleasant observation made by visitors to a match.

A good way to learn more about Cowboy Action Shooting is to visit a match, observe, and ask questions. Don't be surprised if your questions result in an enthusiastic response giving you more information than you asked for. Visitors are always welcome at matches...and at no charge. As a visitor, you are encouraged to dress in cowboy clothes (bring your hat and boots if you have them) but that is more to help you feel part of the fun. More important is the opportunity you give competitors to let them introduce you to their sport.

With hundreds of local SASS clubs all over the United States (and Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe) there should be a club close to you. Go to the SASS website to find a club near you (see listing of Affiliated Clubs at that site). Many listed clubs have their own websites with directions to match sites, when the club schedules its matches, and other information on club activities.