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World Standards of Slinging (Read 29026 times)
jax
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World Standards of Slinging
Oct 9th, 2011 at 11:24am
 
 Slingers!

Let us all finally come to a consensus and create the definitive guidelines for Worldwide Competition.We have already burned through dozens of topics debating the pros and cons of traditional vs. whatever,so maybe let's not debate the materials used here.Let's try not to focus on style and sling of choice,just the important stuff, ie distance,projectile weight and target size.Not everybody,me included,has access to raw materials and the ability to weave one of the fancy,old world slings.At the same time,not everybody has access to paracord,mower cord,conveyor belts,leather and any other type of new world material.If everyone really wants to go with a set sling length,so be it,but a ten year old is not going to want the same sling length as me,unless he or she was extra tall. Wink

 This Standard would be Open Class.We could also create the World Class,which could restrict the type and length of sling used.

Balaeric Class
World Class
Open Class

 This seems simple to me.All classes should use the same projectile weight and target size.
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« Last Edit: Oct 9th, 2011 at 12:49pm by jax »  

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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #1 - Oct 9th, 2011 at 11:33am
 
I like Paleoart's ISAC based system as an standard for anyone to compete using easy to get targets.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #2 - Oct 9th, 2011 at 12:07pm
 
realistically the only things you can - currently - effectively standardise. Are the ranges and target type, I like the balearic targets. Far more suited to slinging that an atlatl target.

To get any kind of official accreditation though you would also have to have standardised slings and ammo.
I'm thinking sand filled squash balls might do the job. Ideal size, don't bounce back and a nice weight. Plus sand and squash balls are available worldwide - even in the states Wink

Bear in mind that longer slings release nearer the target than short slings. On the other hand they are less accurate.

The natural fibre and throw restrictions the balearics use - I just find daft. It's cultural, but not anything that needs to be adopted by anyone else.

So for a loose score based amateur system. You just standardise the target and shooting distances.

But if you're serious about target slinging becoming a proper sport. Then you HAVE to standardise slings and ammo as well.

For me an aussie pouch with 26 inch cords and a squash ball filled with sand would be both practical and easy to replicate.

Anything else just gets too complicated.
Although jax does make some very good points. So I'll go with the three class system as well.
Although I don't think the balearic sling and style restrictions have any place in a modern slinging competition.
But yeah a fixed sling length class and an open sling class would work easily enough.

If you are actually serious about it. Then standardised targets, ammo and slings are the only things that really matter.
Throw styles, participant classes etc (maybe kids and adults) are ephemeral nonsense and not relevant to anyone who wants to create a sport and not just argue about creating a sport.

 

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Dilyan Ganev
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #3 - Oct 9th, 2011 at 12:29pm
 
Maybe a groups of sling lenghts like 60-80 and 90-120 cm
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #4 - Oct 9th, 2011 at 4:00pm
 
I'll also go with the 3 class system (I can see al least one pro to keep the "Balearic" class : to keep Jaegoor from creating a dissident World standard after spanish people move to Official World Standard Wink)

In the Open class, you can use whatever sling you want, but you keep the target, distance and ammo standardized, is that right ?

So target regulation : Balearic style and size ? But I'm still thinking of an "upgrade" to keep the balls from ricocheting : the use of "catching bags" (I don't know how to explain it clearer... ).
120cm square, with a 50cm circle in the middle, with the center at 160 cm from the ground, are whe OK ?

Distance : 10, 20, 30, 40, 60 meters ?

Ammo weight : sorry Jaegoor, but 250gr is too heavy for most people... I personnaly ask for 100gr +/- 20%.
C_A, how much do your sand filled squash ball weight ?

Standardized Sling : if Aussie doesn't want to change his job into "sling pouch maker", it may be complicated to equip the whole world with Aussie Pouch. And it will be even more complicated once he will retire Tongue.  
Plus, Aussie would need to sell his pouches if he become the official provider and I don't think it is what he want. (Aussie, if I'm wrong, please correct me ^^ )
So what kind of indestructible fabric/material is avaible worldwide ?

Fix sling length : I'm ok... But my gf is using a 50cm, can she sling in the 60-80cm group ? :p
Another point : in a bow competition, if I want to use a weaker bow when shooting at 90 meters, am I allowed ?
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #5 - Oct 9th, 2011 at 9:50pm
 
I think fixed sling length would severely limit the people and types of slinging that can be used.  Plus, if it caught on, people would start slinging with the aim of doing well in competition and the wide variety of styles and slings we see now would dwindle.  The same thing has happened in many martial arts that have geared themselves towards competition;  many of the moves they teach would be virtually worthless in a self-defense scenario.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #6 - Oct 9th, 2011 at 10:36pm
 
I totally agree with Thunder Chief.  The most popular martial arts competition is MMA, not Tae Kwon Do or Boxing.  The reason is that MMA is more inclusive and fits better with the martial spirit, which is to win fights.   

I believe slinging competition should avoid becoming too much of a standardized sport which detracts from the interest in the sling as a primative weapon by making it into a mere golf club.

Slings and ammo can't be standardize any more than you can standardize sling technique.  People are all different.  In sports that involve the use of weapons, the varying and diverse technology of the weapons themselves is always part of the sport.  Let's face it, slings will never be anything more than stone age technology, even if we start using teflon coated cradles!  

Compare slinging to archery.  Not every shooter shoots the same exact bow or length or weight of arrow for that matter.  They choose their weapons for the fit they have with their body.  The point is hitting the standardized target to acquire maximum points.  

If slings and ammo become standardized, many expert slingers worldwide would be excluded from participation.  Standardizing is only helpful when creating a sport out of nothing, such as baseball or basketball.  When taking a weapon that is embedded in culture and history and making it into a sport, standardization of the weapon itself must be avoided at all costs.  What if the standardized sling or ammo is not ideal for many would be participants?  I for instance, simply couldn't compete with balearic weight ammo.  I don't mind competing against those who use it.  My ammo is around 1.5-2.5oz but travels at higher velocity then the average Balearic slingers seem to use.  I say as long as you can put that stone on that target with good force, you've got the point.  

Also, using a 100" sling offers no more advantage to a slinger in a competition then a 5" sling does.  It's not as if it reaches further out to the target before release.  The release is always behind the throwing line with any length sling since release is perpendicular to the target.  Let there be freedom with sling length, ammo weight, etc....  

There should be no restrictions upon technique either.  That is not helpful.  All styles should be allowed without any restrictions.  This creates a culture in which the understanding of the sling increases world wide.  If the slingers who use Figure 8's win all the competitions, it won't be long until most slingers try to emulate that technique and continue to perfect it.  This is good as a way to rediscover history and to rediscover this weapon.

So in the interest of preserving the sling as a primative weapon and minimal standardizaton, I believe the Balearic point system and target is good to keep since it's already been in use for a long time.

If the targets, point system, etc, were to be changed I'd suggest two potential changes.

One:  I believe the sling is capable of better than Diana level accuracy and so I believe a small concentration point should be put in the center of the target to reward those capable of hitting it.  The point value for such a hit should be very high.  I suggest a head sized circle or smaller.

Two: In the spirit of the sling as a weapon, I believe the Balearic target should possibly be changed to be made of at least one two two sheets of good cardboard or other uniform penetrable material.  A shot which does not penetrate through the cardboard and fly or fall out the back side of the target, does not count as a point because it did not contain enough power.  The target would of course have to be rotated for every round if this was done. There may be other creative ways to accomplish the same goals, such as energy meters or something like that.  

In Australia in target competitions for whip cracking, they use styrofoam cups.  If the cups aren't cut sliced by the whip, the points are reduced, even if the cup is hit or broken.  

I believe throwing distances should include a round at 40 meters or more as well as shorter distances.  Keeping ranges overly short for all rounds ignores the potential for the longer ranges slings are capable of and it rewards those who put inadequate power into their technique.  

I am interested in the sling as the primative weapon it is.  Accuracy and power at range were the goals of our ancestors and they should be our goals as well.  

I do believe ammo can be standardized in quality if a selection of weights are used.  But I believe the best would be to just keep using well selected stones.

I am opposed to uses of non-weaponized ammo of any weight, just as I wouldn't want to participate in an archery competition that used suction cups on the tips of the arrows.  Slings are primative weapons in which the potentials are as of yet unknown.  Let's not choke out the possibility that free and open competitions might provide to someone who's very skilled the opportunity to influence the future of slinging through the success of their chosen combination of technique, sling and ammo.  

Anyway, my two cents.

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jax
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #7 - Oct 10th, 2011 at 10:15pm
 
Excellent perspective from a Slinging.org legend!You've been here before I was lurking,Whipartist.The topic has come up so many times that I felt we could do something to unify things,but if others believe as you that it will alter the historical relevance by standardizing the format,and the essence of the sling as a piece of military antiquity may be lost in translation,then let's leave it alone.

I,for one,primarily sling spherical items in an environment free from spectators,fellow slingers and the public in general,so it would not be a big loss for me to not have some standards to go by should I choose to hurl at a brass or cardboard target with rocks of a certain weight at a tournament.Know what I'm saying?On the other hand,if I had a group of friends all together,it would be easy to say,"Here are the guidelines.". Horseshoes have  rules,cards,Jarts,whatever game you are playing has rules if it's a game with a winner and a loser.

  Brett
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #8 - Oct 11th, 2011 at 1:49am
 
Jax,

Thanks for the really swell compliment.  I'm back at slinging now that I have a much better place to practice in than I ever have before.  But I haven't been on slinging.org for a number of years now.  I hope I wasn't too strong in my stance, as I do understand what you are saying and think it's a noble aim some day. 

I think there is just a lot of potential for discovery with slings to come if we are creative and open minded.  It's not just endless practice but a development of technique and technical principles which work.  We haven't written the final word yet.  The accuracy potential is not being tapped yet in my opinion.  I believe this from historical accounts, and also from days when I myself am hitting my mark and can't understand what it is I'm doing right. 

I'd like to see these discoveries occur world wide, and not be hindered by institutionalization in the form of a sport that sets rules before we know what those rules should be.  I tend to be skeptical towards all organized human institutions; but I'll leave off with that instead of getting into political philosophy.

Back to slinging.  Maybe this isn't the thread for this discussion but I find it interesting that much ancient sling ammo found by archaeologists at many sights, weighs only about 25 grams average, ranging from about 19 grams to 40 grams.  About 1 up to almost 2 oz.  I have tended to have a preference for ammo weighing at least 50 to 80 grams myself. 

I have always wondered for some years why this ammo is so light in weight?  I presently think that this is a reflection on ancient slinging techniques being different than modern slinging techniques in which heavier ammo is a preference.  My own experiments seem to also be reflecting this and my technique is slowly evolving to prefer lighter ammo.  I'd like to start trying ammo in this weight range more extensively and see what it does for my accuracy.

Anyway maybe I'll start another thread on this.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #9 - Oct 11th, 2011 at 2:56am
 
Why not wait until after the encounter in Mallorca at the end of this month?

It will probably be the first real international meeting of slingers in the world and I'm sure that the participants will return filled with inspiration and new ideas about standards, sizes, rules etc. And all of it based on practice.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #10 - Oct 11th, 2011 at 4:43pm
 
As others said leave the slings and styles up to the slinger. As far as ammo I personally could use rocks or just about anything but there is so much variety from rock to rock that it could determin a bulls eye or a complete miss. Distance I would suggest between 10 and 20yards/paces and the distance most be stated with the scores.

The only thing I would limit is lead ammo as it has quite a significant advantge over most any kind of other ammo.

I like the Baleric target demnisons but who is to say it has to be made of plywood and steel. Why not an old (double thickness) bed sheet, XXL T shirt, a few punky logs, or a few pieces of cardboard cut to size and with a big circle spray painted in the middle. For begginers you could even have the target 2-3 times the size to catch ammo and just have a cirlcle and square on the target.

Any way that is my main suggestions, looking forward to the end reasults of this thread.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #11 - Oct 12th, 2011 at 1:13pm
 
FOR MYSELF, I think Slinging as a sport would be fantastic. But. I don't get most of the standards and arguments.

I am not the be-all-and-end-all of Slingers. I understand the argument for standardised equipment, including ammo type, size and weigth, AND pre-determined distances (20m, 30m etc.) but each Slinger has his or her own style of throwing and this includes sling length.

By all means, have 1 or 2 types of cord and 2 or 3 pouch materials, but you cannot limit either throwing style or sling length. This should be up to the ahlete and whatever governing body would control this should understand and respect this aspect that is UNIQUE to the art of Slinging.

As for target size, I like a universal target that is the size of an enemy soldiers' chest. More or less 60cm high and 40cm wide. Then i aim for a center mass shot. Practical (maybe historical). For a Slinger.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #12 - Oct 12th, 2011 at 7:47pm
 
   Slinging is a very individualistic sport.  Also, there aren't very many slingers.  So why alienate any?  By standardizing ammo materials and weights, sling materials and lengths, and styles we would do just that.  Yes, do have a standard target.  The Balearic target seems as good and sensible as any to me.  Of course you'd have to have standard distances.  But once you start omitting certain sling materials and lengths, ammo types or weights, or slinging styles you start omitting people which there aren't enough of anyway. 
   So obviously my idea is to have a standard target and set ranges.  Use any sling, style, or ammo you choose to hit the target.
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #13 - Oct 13th, 2011 at 7:02am
 
For competition, make three classes:

Beginner or third class

Intermediate or second class

Master or first class

Standard targets

Standard distance

No other restrictions

as competition gets underway, the slings and ammo will evolve following what scores the highest, it will only improve slinging.
Targets I feel should be along the same concept as pistol silloutte shooting, a free standing target that must be knocked down for a hit to count
Distance to be same for each class
Everyone starts as a beginner, 10 throws (just a random number)
After hitting 1-3 targets in two competitions, move up to next class
4-6 hits for intermediate and 7-10 masters.
Oscar
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Re: World Standards of Slinging
Reply #14 - Oct 13th, 2011 at 1:25pm
 
Quote:
I am opposed to uses of non-weaponized ammo of any weight, just as I wouldn't want to participate in an archery competition that used suction cups on the tips of the arrows.  Slings are primative weapons in which the potentials are as of yet unknown.  Let's not choke out the possibility that free and open competitions might provide to someone who's very skilled the opportunity to influence the future of slinging through the success of their chosen combination of technique, sling and ammo.   


lol right where to start ?

Okay:-
         1) anything thrown from a sling can be classified as a weapon if it is aimed at a person or animal.
My ammo choice is pretty much just a high velocity slung shot. And slung shots are banned/illegal to carry weapons in just about every civilised country in the world (it's a leather sap filled with lead shot). Mine is a soft rubber ball filled with sand. just as nasty if it hit you.

2) slings are TOOLS. The vast majority of todays working slings are used by herders to direct sheep/alpacas/llamas etc. It's a tool for throwing things - not exclusively a weapon for attacking things.

3) standardised competitions are not the forum for testing out ammo/sling/style combinations. They are however the place to gather slingers who can mess around with experimental stuff on the fringes of the competition.   

4) the potentials of slings are not just completely known, they've been reduced to calculations on this forum alone - more times than even I can remember.

And finally most of you have failed completely to understand the purpose and point of this discussion.

1) we would like a form of slinging competition that is capable of being ratified by world sporting authorities.

2) to do this we HAVE TO HAVE standardised equipment so that competitions held around the world can be at the same standards, use the same rules and must use the same equipment - EXACTLY LIKE EVERY OTHER WORLDWIDE RECOGNISED SPORT.

3) once you have the standardised and easy to reproduce system you can add more esoteric categories. BUT you need to have the reproduceable sport first.

4) you cannot use hand braided or woven cords or pouches as each person will braid slightly differently - different tensions will create variations in sling performance. Likewise stones and rocks are not uniform.
So a standardised pouch design and cord type is essential. I think individual methods of retention and release cord ends would be acceptable. As would a slight variation in cord length. say - 24 - 34 inches.

I'll fill a couple of squash balls with sand tomorrow and see what they weigh.
But size wise they are ideal, with sand in they will not bounce (important for safety concerns)
and should be around the 2-3 oz mark - though they actually feel heavier. weird.

It doesn't seem to sink in very well so I'll say it again.

This discussion is about creating a viable form of target slinging that would be capable of recognition by official sporting bodies. So must follow the same rules and regulations as existing sports. ALL of which have standardised targets and equipment.

It's not for creating a 'use what you like' slinging club style competition.

If you think about it - people are pretty much introduced to sports and martial arts through the standardised competitions.

Enthusiasts can then take it further and find out the background of the sport and sometimes take up other - non-official forms of that particular sport.

One of the reasons slings and slinging have almost died out in the west is because no such standard form of the sport yet exists outside of the balearic islands.
And that has user unfirendly restrictions that don't need to be replicated.

Even the die hard 'if my sling don't  kill stuff, I don't want to use it'  brigade ought to understand that a visible and easy to access 'sanitised' version of slinging, can only attract more of the 'league of doom' slingers to the sport.

To become popular or known a sport has to have a branch that is in the public eye. That is what we want to create. The publicly accessible version of sling usage.
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