There's sad news from Rogers, Arkansas today; we've just received word that the annual Daisy BB Gun National Championship Matches, originally scheduled for July, have been canceled for 2020. The match, which would have been the fifty-fourth held, has become quite the tradition for NRA families, introducing the next generation of shooters to the principles of gun safety, citizenship and fair play. What makes this particular type of match complicated in the era of COVID-19 is that this match is traditionally shot indoors at 5-meter targets, and that traditionally the match allows for close side-by-side supervision between shooter and coach.
“This was not a decision we made lightly,” said Daisy President and CEO Keith Higginbotham. “The Daisy Nationals always has been about the kids, and we held out as long as we could before cancelling. In the end, with the restrictions placed on public gatherings there was just no way we could hold it this year.”
Under normal circumstances, the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match brings seven-member teams of youth ages 8 to 15 together each year in Rogers, Ark., for the most prestigious BB gun match in the country. This 5-meter, four-position shooting match attracts teams from all over the nation. Shooting teams qualify for the Daisy Nationals by placing first, second or third in their state shooting match, which typically occur in the first four months of the year. While a few teams did qualify before Coronavirus social-distancing restrictions prevented public gatherings, many did not. Daisy officials still held out hope that the match could be held for the lucky teams that had the opportunity to qualify, but the reopening restrictions recently announced simply prevent it.
“Please know that the safety of everyone is our most important concern,” Higginbotham said. “You have my word that we will resume the competition and that Daisy is committed to teaching young people the shooting sports.” Continued Higginbotham, "We feel for all the kids who worked so hard to qualify. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Daisy National BB Gun & Air Rifle Championship Match in 2021.”