The Basics of PALMA Team Match Competition
History of the PALMA Trophy Match
The first PALMA Trophy Match was held on September 13-14, 1876 at Creedmoor Range, Long Island, New York, USA. Participants were Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States. The United States won this competition. Since then, 27 official competitions have been held, plus three unofficial competitions. The United States has won 13 of the 27 competitions.
Countries that have participated through the years but not necessarily in every match are: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Channel Islands, Continental Europe, East and Central Africa, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Kenya, Natal, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, West Germany, West Indies and the United States. Additionally, Cuba participated in one of the unofficial PALMA Matches.
Ranges that the matches have been conducted at are: Anzac (Australia), Bisley Camp (England), Bloemfontein (South Africa), Camp Perry (USA) Connaught (Canada), Rockcliffe (Canada ) Sea Girt (USA), Seddon Range (New Zealand) Whittington Center (USA).
The PALMA Council
The ruling body for the PALMA Trophy Matches is the PALMA Council. The PALMA Council consists of one representative from each qualifying country. Presently, the qualifying countries are Australia, Canada, Channel Islands, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The PALMA Council is charged with initiating; then enforcing and adjudicating situations involving the rules for the PALMA Trophy matches.
Purpose of PALMA Competition
International PALMA Trophy team shooting is dedicated, "to sustain in its finest tradition the superb competition in long range rifle marksmanship, which since 1876 has engendered mutual understanding and friendship, warm goodwill, and above all good sportsmanship among marksmen."
The Next PALMA Trophy Match
The next PALMA Trophy Match will be conducted in Brisbane, Australia in October 2011.
Along with the PALMA Trophy Team Match will be the World Long Range Rifle Individual Championships.
The PALMA Trophy Team Match
The PALMA Trophy Match Team is shot in three stages of slow fire in the prone position. The first stage is two sighting shots and 15 shots for record per shooter at 800 yards. The second stage is two sighters and 15 shots for record at 900 yards per shooter. The third stage is two sighters and 15 shots for record at 1000 yards per shooter. Each national team consists of 16 shooters who form ranks and shoot on four targets at each stage.
The PALMA bolt action rifles are 7.62mm NATO caliber (Winchester .308) and fire Match Grade ammunition using a 155 grain bullet.
Micrometer aperature (iron) sights are used for sighting.
The target is six feet square and has a 20 inch bullseye (10 ring). An aiming black circle of 44 inches includes a 9 and 8 ring. A possible score of 150 points can be achieved by each team member in each stage of fire. This adds up to 7,200 possible points for each national team per day of competition.
The Team Captain has been selected and the Team Captain picks his Adjutant. Tryout dates/places are undetermined at this time.
Spirit of the Competition
Once again, as the pageantry of the PALMA unfolds, nations will brave the trials and anxieties of another international competition. Newer competing nations will take an easier course to attend and participate for the experience. This is a safe goal because experience will be gained in large quantities.
However, the Australian, British, Canadians and New Zealanders trek to the competitions for one main purpose, to fairly claim victory and possession of the PALMA trophy. There is no solace here. You either win and experience the euphoria of glory and world victory or you lose and feel the agony of defeat. For these teams second place is not good enough. It is still only second to the victors. Not much glory in that.
The USA PALMA Team is proud to identify with competing for victory, understanding that if you somehow did not win, you must call up additional personal resource to stand proudly in good sportsmanship and congratulate those who just outperformed you. Then to analyze the reason for defeat and deepen your commitment and resolve to meet your competition in the future and go for it all. A champion never quits, a quitter never lasts to grow into a champion.