For the past 53 years, some of the nation’s best 5-meter BB gun shooters—from the ages of 8 to 15—have gathered for a chance to earn national titles during the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match. This year’s prestigious event was held June 30 to July 3 in Rogers, Ark., home of the famed airgun manufacturer.
The Wyandotte County 4-H (Kansas) team took top honors, although the victory was close. A single point separated it from the Pierre Junior Shooters (Pierre, S.D.), which was trying for a threepeat after claiming gold on 2017 and 2016.Erica Berger won the individual shooter National Championship, followed by Allee Smith, only a tenth of a point behind.
Fifty-five teams and roughly 2,000 shooters, coaches, families and fans attended the event. “This is the most prestigious 5-meter BB gun championship in the nation,” Daisy Public Relations Coordinator Tom Taylor told 5 News, one of the local TV stations covering the event.
Teams traveled from as far away as Georgia, Oregon, Wisconsin and Virginia, and each were required to qualify by coming in first, second or third in a state NRA-sanctioned match. Any community or educational organization can form a team, but for a chance to attend the national championship, it must follow the curriculum outlined by Daisy, which features hours of classroom gun-safety and education prior to ever touching a gun. At the championship, those lessons are reinforced when competitors take a test covering gun safety and match rules, with the result making up 20 percent of their final score.
As always, the 53rd annual event featured a variety of fun activities, including a swimming party, barter bar and more, but Daisy also inducts a longtime leader in the BB gun shooting sports into its Hall of Fame. This year, Jim Eberwein, who has been a coach in Kansas for more than 30 years, joined the exclusive club. Denise Johnson, a Daisy employee who has planned, organized and administered the event for the past 15 years, was also inducted.
Youth shooters, coaches and parents interested in qualifying in 2019 can visit Championship’s website for full details.