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Metal Detecting Olympics

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This morning I was reviewing another thread and there was a link to Steve's review philosophy.  I encourage everyone to read it.

It reminded me of an idea I have had for a long time about having an event (several events) with all metal detectorists and manufacturers products used to find professionally hidden and buried targets.  You don't get to dig or recover the targets.  You put a score on each hole like you do on a golf score card.  Rules can be made to make it fair.  Spectators would be encouraged as the locations for these events could be elevated.  The finals could be in a stadium depending on EMI!  haha

The idea is that there could be events and at each of the events there could be courses and each of these courses could have holes.

Some of the courses could be coin only, gold only or relic only.  Some of the 'holes' would have gold nuggets, hot rocks, coins, rings, etc.  

Some of the events/courses would let you use your own detector and some of the events would be using the same detector ... like some of the auto races.  Some of the events could use discriminating detectors and some would be size and depth competitions using PIs.

Some of the events would be set up like panning contests.  I think everyone gets their own ideas.  You get people and kids out early to find things.

What would we get out of this as the metal detecting community?  Competition, advertising and exposure of detectorists skills and manufacturers products that could result in better equipment.

What would be a possible negative?  Some of us would rather keep ourselves invisible to the public at large.  Some of that would be lost.

What say you?




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Well, it sounds like most any organized competition hunt with the exception of "You don't get to dig or recover the targets." I am not sure many folks would be excited by that. I have never been one for planted hunts myself though so I am not the best judge.

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All other hunts are a first find competition.  You find it first only.  You keep what you find.  If you are quick you find more and if you are lucky you find a good token or object.  Where is the skill test?

My idea is for many people to be told where there may or may not be a target(s) and everyone tries to find it and in some cases tell what it is without seeing it.

Let's say you have 20 people go to the same 15 'holes' on a course.  They do it one by one.  It would be like me being invited to your test garden.  Can I see all of your targets?  Could you see all of mine?  You don't dig them as a one-off/first find competition.

Someone has put a test garden near the GPAA claims in Gold Basin.  I don't know the depths or the objects and I have only seen it once but I'm told there are objects buried to 18" with a 'marker' above each target.

Does anyone know?


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When I was in Oz with Doug Stone, they set up a small nugget field. The nuggets were various sizes and depths...this was 2100's and 2200's back then. The only thing that was proven for sure was don't ever leave nuggets in the ground...someone came along and "found" most of them...

And then on my last trip with Mark Hyde, he buried various objects and had people guess what each object was...no one could correctly identify all the targets with accuracy from the audio...

nothing new there


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The 'new' would be 'Who could see it and who could not?'  Who saw the most or what detector saw the most with multiple operators?  Can't we design a skills competition that would push the detector industry for better detectors and at the same time give us winner of the U.S. Open of detecting or the Australian Open champion?  Have you seen all the money in darts?  fishing?  tennis? golf?  any of the racing?  And let's not forget poker.  Let's get some. 

As many of you here have stated ... you can give a good detectorist almost any detector and he will out-find a bad detectorist with a good machine.  How much of that is really true?  How much is the detector and how much is the detectorist?

If I went out and told 10 detectorists who I think are good to go to 10 spots to detect with THEIR OWN detector would they all find THE target there, or NO target there in some cases or could anyone GUESS or use a discriminating detector and tell me if it is a penny, dime, nickle, Euro, quarter, etc and the depth?  What if I gave these same detectorists the SAME detector ... could we learn or could they learn anything from this?

To a large degree we are scientists here using scientific instruments to sense the ground.  What if we found that one of us has a technique for using it better than the rest of us?  Is that supposed to remain a secret?  Maybe it would and the 'tell' that the detectorist learned who be his/her advantage over the rest of us.

I must admit.  I am guilty of not practicing very much before I go out looking for nuggets.  I don't set up a few samples, a few local hot rocks, etc and try a few different settings with the EMI present.  I should and I'll try next time harder.  I do have two test chips and the ferrite ring but then I'm on my way.

I'll compare this with my other pursuit of 3 cushion billiards.  Many times I just go in and play a game.  You can be on or you can be off.  There is very little time for warm-up because someone is always waiting to play a game.  Later in the day there is time to practice shots.  Practice helps and good practice helps even more.  After an hour or so of practice (just like a lesson from Lunk) it sticks with me and I'm better for a few weeks.

I can tell I'm swimming up river with this idea of a competition.  I'll kick it around for a bit more before I let it go.

Would Minelab like to go against Garrett?  or Deus? or Nokta? Whites?  Does Toyota like to go against Ford, Chevy, Chrysler/Fiat/Dodge?

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Have followed this thread with some interest but not with any surety such an event would get many participants. In NQ OZ we have an annual gold panning competition that does get the interest in. Wasn`t until you commented the below the grey matter cut in.

1 hour ago, mn90403 said:

I can tell I'm swimming up river with this idea of a competition

Why do we compete in panning competitions and yet have not much interest in detecting competitions? Perhaps the answer is we are competing with ourselves when we chase that elusive nugget, gold hunting seems a fairly lone pursuit and maybe that is the answer. Just getting out there and chasing the yellow might be all the competition we need.

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Thank you Norvic.

I know what you mean of course being out in the field is such a great joy.  How do you take or would you want to take that solitary experience 'away?'  I don't think it would take that away but give us better detectors and entertainment.  Race car drivers race and then return to their normal driving when not in competition.

What I'm 'proposing' is an artificial event.  A made up competition that would allow detectorists and manufacturers a format to display the considerable skills they have and the equipment that they use.  I doubt that anyone reading on this forum would much be interested without knowing there would be a big prize (Darts paid the winner 350,000 lbs!!!) and you would have to be younger than most of us to get the proper coverages and sponsorships and survive the challenges.  Maybe there are some physical barriers that would require physical agility as well.

To use another cliche ... this is a very preliminary trial balloon for such an event.

The largest event I attend has 400 or so detectorists in a scramble, finding coins and tokens.  It is fun for some but not all like it.  You pay $25 to get in and in about an hour if you are quick you can just about get your money back.  Local businesses contribute prizes and services which are awarded by raffle and finding the right tokens.  Metal detecting companies and dealers kick in detectors and products as well.  

Minelab had a National Metal Detecting Day event for a couple of years.  It was a scramble style event.  I won an eTrac at the second event in Santa Barbara.

Skill in these events is necessary but not primary.  I would like to promote skills and equipment to a much higher degree.  It is done with other hobbies, pursuits and professions so why can't we have a few professional metal detectorists who are praised for being our elite?

I can imagine planting targets to try and trick the detectorists and they would have figured out the puzzle.  Something that we could all 'relate to' so to say so that we would be interested at some level at watching the competition.  Without viewers, fans or public interest then it could never be a viable proposal or event.

From the lack of reaction so far I'd say the idea is dead in the water or as they say dead on arrival but at least I got it out there!  haha

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Exactly you got it out there, you`ve planted the seed and as there are similar type competitions for coins who knows what may eventuate. I found a token on a NQ goldfield that was marked with a Townsville NQ OZ Detector Clubs marking, a few years back, as it wasn`t dated, obviously had been there awhile and was amongst detectable gold to the PIs, I assumed it was from the VLF days. Now is it amongst my scattered "unusual find" collection, must look, find and follow up.

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Mitchel; perhaps you could contact various dealers and manufacturers to gauge interest. A formal written proposal with most of the ground rules done might help. 

I believe there once was a Treasure Hunters Gathering back when Fred Brust and others were around...that would be the place for this event.

You have many good ideas there...good luck getting manufacturers to actually go head to head...

Too many moving parts for me to play...


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