An announcement on the FITASC website last week that threatens to ban shooters from participating in its championships if they have competed in certain disciplines. The statement said the following:
“Any shooter participating, in whatever capacity, in a competition organized under the aegis of a national or international organization not recognized by Fitasc, in disciplines of which Fitasc owns all the rights (Compak Sporting, Universal Trench, Helice, Sporting, Combined Game Shooting or any other discipline adopted by Fitasc) or any other disciplines adopted by FITASC, be they identical, similar or whose rules would have just been distorted, may be subject, upon decision of the Fitasc Management Committee, to a ban, temporary upon one season maximum (may be increased to 5 years in case of reoffending), on competing to any championship organized under the aegis of FITASC. We recommend to the shooters willing to enter these kind competitions to enquire beforehand to their National federation on the possible consequences of their participation in these events.”
The decision has concerned shooters on social media and websites, and people have called FITASC asking for clarification, to which a spokesman at FITASC told Clay Shooting that a “global statement” would be released soon.
While 68 countries have groups that are affiliated with FITASC, there is no list that says what national and international organisations are recognised outside of the member bodies. Therefore, shooters are confused over whether they could shoot in various Sporting and Trap disciplines run by the ICTSF, the PSCA, Nad Al Sheba, and even nationally organised events run by the likes of the CPSA, the NSCA or groups in other countries around the world.
FITASC president, Jean-François Palinkas told Clay Shooting that the worldwide FITASC ban would only be enforced in certain cases: “The ban will not be applied automatically. The decision was made in the spirit of not using it, but sometimes it is going to be necessary to enforce. FITASC recognises English Sporting as an international sport. We have no problem with English Sporting.”
When pushed for further clarification, Mr Palinkas said: “We decided to adopt this text because somebody wanted to start up another discipline similar to Hélice. This Fan32 is a joke, a bad joke. It is purely Hélice, it’s not different if you change the colour of the target.”
FEDECAT is the group that developed Fan32, and the two organisations have a long and detailed history of dispute, including the organising of clay-target competitions between 2004-2006. But FITASC says that in 2006 an agreement was set between the organisations that FEDECAT would only hold live-quarry competitions while FITASC would host the target disciplines, though this was never legally ratified at a FEDECAT AGM.
The president of FEDECAT, and a former elected member of FITASC, is Pedro da Cunha Mota. He said: “We created Fan32 as an alternative to the FITASC ZZ. FITASC has ruined its own discipline. The only thing we have done is provide an alternative to the shooters.
“According to the number of subscriptions we already have for the first Fan32 World Championship, to be held next month in Madrid, it seems to have been well received among the shooters, even after the threats.”
Mr Mota said of the threats that FITASC made regarding the banning of shooters: “I see threats as a signal of weakness. A big organisation doesn’t need to threaten its shooters to practice or not to practice this or that discipline. Organisations are meant to be at the service of their shooters. FEDECAT allows shooters to choose freely. All shooters are welcome no matter where they come from or if they practice other disciplines.”
Mr Palinkas was robust in his defence of FITASC’s move. He said: “We work for the sport. We work for shooters. For us there is one world champion a year for each discipline and not two or three. The goal of all our members is the development of the sport, which is why we work so hard to defend the value of the titles we give to the shooters. You may produce a new discipline, and that’s OK for us. Shooters are totally free to shoot what they want, but we defend our discipline when we see Fan32.”
Clay Shooting awaits the global statement from FITASC on the matter.