National Pulling and the numbers of pullers involved

Published July 30, 2012 05:31AM, by Dick MorganViewed: 2682 times

Pulling isn't a cheap hobby!

I noticed that after I wrote my latest opinion article on some rule changes, the overwhelming response placed money at the top of the list of problems that hinder the growth of the sport. However I believe pulling is really two separate entities. For the vast majority of pullers and fans involved in the sport, pulling is really based more on the state and club level, the vast majority of all pulling is local. However my original article was about ‘national level” of pulling, and after I started to really think about who makes up the vast numbers of pullers I did a little research and looked at the points races in both the NTPA and PPL and somewhat to my surprise the numbers of pullers that are committed to national pullers is really very small.

Here are the numbers that I used from the 2011 points races in each respective association.

The NTPA on the national circuit had about 86 pullers that completed 100% of the points race in 2011 and 53 that made 50% or less of the events for a total of 139 possible pullers that hook on a some what regular basis in the 12 classes within the NTPA pulling organization

Now if we take a look at the PPL number we see that about 85 pullers made 100% of the events and 26 pullers made 50% or less of the events for a total of 111 pullers that hook on a regular base’s within the 8 PPL points classes.

When you combine the NTPA and PPL there are 171 pullers that made 100% of the events and 79 that make 50% or less of the events.

And before anyone says; ha, there where 74 Super Farm pullers at Bowling Green alone, I would respectively say that I believe that many, if not most of the non-committed pullers in the SF class they hook in no more that 2 GN event for the entire year. And I can say with some degree of confidence that in most of the other classes at BG most of the non-committed pullers this is also their one or two GN event for the year. Why, Everyone wants to hook at the number one event in the pulling world so the numbers are not a true reflection of most GN events.

So what does all these numbers really mean: I think they show that the pool of national level pullers is very small compared to the huge number of pullers in all the other non-national events. And I believe they show that there are a very limited number of pullers and families that are willing and able to make not only the financial but also the time commitment to the sport. And contrary to popular opinion I had three national pullers [two where national champions in their respect organizations] tell me within a few weeks from each other that they had already budgeted for the money, their biggest issue with national pulling is TIME! They all told me that it’s really a matter of the sport taking up too much of their time, be it travel, repairs or to many hooks in a season. Now don’t get me wrong pulling is a high dollar sport with low payback no matter what level or class a puller chooses to compete in. However I think that most national level pullers have already factored in the dollar cost related to the sport. And my hat is really off to the puller that is out of the point’s race yet makes the decision to complete the entire circuit.

So what will help increase the number of pullers that are willing to follow a national circuit?

One; limit the number of events per vehicle.

Two; tighten up the footprint of the sport for the national circuit.

Three; rotate the vehicles that are invited to national events. Give the pullers a change of scenery, give the fans a chance to see some of the other exciting classes that pulling has to offer.

Four; super national events need a new payback schedule. The big shows need to help the smaller events by paying a larger purse.

Five; national pulling needs to embrace some of the classes that are being offered at the state/club level. National pulling has taken strides in that direction with the new Light Unlimited Mod, the Light Pro Stock along with the Limited Pro Stock class. Now they just need to promote those new classes in a way that insure their long-term stability. In other words do not take a new class [Lt PS, Lim. PS, LLSS] and make these pullers hook from Vermont to Iowa! Let use a little common sense when promoting any of the new classes will help to insure their overall success.

Dick Morgan
Independent Pulling News

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/2012 03:41AM by Jake Morgan.


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