The 2023 Annual Daisy National BB Gun Championship wrapped up Sunday, July 9, naming the new National Champion BB Team, along with the Individual National Champion after three days of fun and competition for all involved.
The Daisy Nationals brings teams of youth ages eight-15 to Rogers, Ark., each year to compete in this five-meter, four-position match. There are five team members and up to two alternates. Each team member shoots 10 shots each in Standing, Sitting, Kneeling and Prone positions at a 10-ring target. Each position is worth 100 points. The bullseye on that target, worth 10 points, is about the size of a BB—and these kids hit that bullseye a lot.
But, each competitor’s Daisy Nationals score doesn’t just consist of his or her shooting totals—they have to take a 100-question written test prior to the match, and that test score makes up the last possible 100 points added to their final score. There have been years when those test scores were the difference between a gold or a silver medal.
Teams are formed through the National 4-H Shooting Sports program, VFWs and American Legion Posts, youth religious organizations and others—but anyone can form a team. Daisy provides a 10-hour classroom curriculum that must be completed before any youth ever touches a BB gun. This curriculum provides plenty of gun safety and knowledge information to prepare a youth shooter for stepping up to the firing line.
“To really understand the impact and emotions of this event, you really need to attend it,” Daisy Public Relations Director Lawrence Taylor said. “Daisy works to make sure the event is much bigger than just a shooting match.”
In addition to the traditional Barter Bar, where competitors bring items to trade with others, there also were free Splatrball inflatable shooting games. Daisy also gives the competitors and their families an evening at the Rogers Aquatic Center water park after the Closing Ceremony.
“We try our best to make the Daisy Nationals special for the youth attending,” Andy Carroll, vice president of marketing said. “The shooting match can be pretty stressful—it’s the National Championship after all, and the competitors want to shoot the best they can—so we try to provide as much fun as possible.”
“Every year I hear from parents or coaches that little Johnny wasn’t focused or was having problems at school before he started the BB Program,” Daisy CEO Keith Higginbotham said. “Then after a few months he’s improving his focus and doing better in school. This program teaches so many things—how to control your breathing, your focus, mental toughness—and it illustrates that with practice you can improve and master anything.”
Another important aspect of the Daisy Nationals and youth shooting sports in general is that everyone can be involved—boys and girls, athletic and nonathletic—even those with disabilities can compete. And, as far as boys versus girls, it’s the girls that have been coming out on top—the last two individual National Champions were girls. In fact, two of the top three medal winners this year were girls. Plus, at the Daisy Nationals almost everyone can compete in a division. There’s the 10-Meter Air Rifle match for youth who have aged out of BB, an Alternate division, and a Champion division. (Youth must sit out a year after shooting as a team member, and they shoot in the Champion division to give others the opportunity to be on a team.)
This year 15 states were represented at the Daisy Nationals, coming from as far away as Oregon and Virginia. And, for many it’s just the start of their competitive shooting careers. Many who start with competitive BB gun shooting continue to shoot competitively throughout their lives—several Daisy Nationals competitors have shot in the Olympics.
2023 Daisy Nationals Results
(Awards are also given for each of the positions involved in each match.)
10-METER AIR RIFLE
- Third Place: Emily Turner
- Second Place: Bethany Shirley
- First Place: Ashley Carr
- Third Place: Annaliese Bietz, Pierre Jr. Shooters, South Dakota
- Second Place: Ema Dissing, Humboldt Sharpshooters, South Dakota
- First Place: Makena Quick, Box Buttle County 4-H, Nebraska
- Third Place: Harley Stitzer, Penns Valley, Pennsylvania
- Second Place: Austin Davis, Walton County, Georgia
- First Place: Riley Martinez, Pierce Red, Georgia
- Bronze Medal: Clara Iverson, Roberts County, South Dakota
- Silver Medal: Greyson Christmas, Pierce Red, Georgia
- Gold Medal: Laney Herrin, Pierce Red, Georgia (National Champion)
- Bronze Medal: Walton County BB Team, Georgia, Coach: Jamie Goitia, Team Members: Caleb Phelts, Maddie Glaze, Morgan Abercrombie, Skyler Everett, Megan Abercrombie
- Silver Medal: Roberts County Shooting Sports, South Dakota, Coach: Lori Braaten, Team Members: Clara Iverson, Taylor Lick, Jaden Lick, Cheyenne Braaten, Tyler Heinje
- Gold Medal: Pierce Red, Georgia, Coach: David Turner, Team Members: Laney Herrin, Greyson Christmas, Lilah Hall, Gabby Herrin, Devan Turner
Learn more about the 2023 Daisy BB Gun Nationals at daisy.com.