Carrizo Springs, Texas is the home of the World Championship Slingshot Tournament. The first tournament was held in1972 and founded by Andy Armstrong and the Texas Chamber of Commerce. In 1980 Andy turned the tournament over to the Dimmitt County 4-H to sponsor as part of their program.
It was my privilege and pleasure to
participant in the Carrizo Springs tournament in May of 1976 and again in August of 1981.
I was invited to attend the 1976 tournament by William Burns of San Antonio. Bill was a customer of mine from Slingshots Unlimited. Bill met me at the San Antonio airport and we drove down to Carrizo Springs. We had a great time discussing slingshots and radio (Bill was involved in a radio station at that time).
I had taken my slingshot collection to display at the tournament. It drew a lot of attention and I enjoyed talking to the people in Carrizo Springs. They had been holding the tournament for several years and were very interested in my collection.
Bill and I had a great time shooting in the tournament. I don't remember my score but I placed fourth out of 15 to 20 contestants.
This was my first time to see anyone shoot using the infamous "Texas Long Draw" form. The accuracy of the shooters convinced me that this was a great way to shoot even though it is not the way for me. Both Ivan Glenn and Blue Skeen are fantastic with this form too.
The people Bill and I met at the tournament like Wendell Condry, Andy Armstrong, and J. B. Rackley were to play an important part in the future years for slingshots. Bill, Wendell, Andy, and J. B. were all to become members of the newly formed National Catapultry Association.
Rodney and Mary Wolf were able to
attend the Carrizo Springs tournament in 1980 as a part of their honeymoon. Not only were
they able to have a great time, but also promoted the National Catapultry Association.
Mary won first place in the women's division beating two very qualified shooter. Rodney
was able to capture third place in the men's division. This was quite an accomplishment as
the two shooters to beat him were Wendell Condry and J. R. Hernandez. Rodney was also
asked to award the trophies to the winners of the tournament.
Rodney was also interested in that "Texas Long Draw" and measured Wendell's draw which is 51 inches. We were both fascinated with the targets used at the World Championship tournament. It is the bottom of the Lone Star Beer Company's case. More about this later on in this article.
In 1981, Don, Marie, and Jill Sherbeyn also with Kay, Kim, Kris, and I journeyed to Carrizo Springs for the 7th Annual World Championship Slingshot Tournament. We had a great time going and coming back. The tournament was fantastic! We really enjoyed shooting in the tournament with Jill and Kris involved in a shoot-off for first place in their divisions. Blue and Hope Skeen were there too. Blue and I put on a fast shooting demonstration for the Texans and Blue beat me as usual. Again we were able to visit with the slingshot people from Texas.
Below is an account of the tournament that I wrote for Modern Catapultry in 1981.
SLINGFIGHT! AT CARRIZO SPRINGS.
As the sun rose glaringly over the hot Texas town of Carrizo Spring, the air was filled with a quit murmur of excitement and fear. Today was the day that the challenge would be met! The word was out that the top "slingers" would meet at noon for a shoot-out to determine who was the best. In two's, three's, and small groups the "slingers" silently drifted into the Dimmitt County Show Barn. Cautiously they checked out each other's shooting style and equipment at the practice session before the shoot-out. All the local top hands were there along with several new, anxious, confident, but nervous greenhorns. However, the big excitement was the talk about the strangers that had slipped into town during the night. Were they here to shoot or just passing through? Could one of them be the World's Fastest Shot that it was rumored that would show up for the shoot-out?
Throughout the morning, there were several skirmishes as the younger hands tried each other out. From the "alley" came the crash of tin cans as the top slingers sharpened their shooting skills. As High Noon came closer, the excitement rose and tension increased for the big shoot-out; because the stakes were high and only one could walk away the winner.
Finally the time came, shots rang out through the air; one by one the slingers were eliminated, until only 2 were left. Shot after shot rang out, time and time again, as the two battled for the top position. As the sounds died away and the dust cleared out of the air, one stood alone as the best. It had been a long hard close fight, but only one could come out on top.
I think that attending the Carrizo Springs Slingshot Tournament in Texas was one of the factors that lead to the idea of this years Summer Nationals Slingshot Tournament having a cowboy theme.
I would like to hear from anyone who knows what has happened to this tournament and the people involved in it. I would really like to be able to attend it again and have those people at the SNST.