The verdict on the advantages and disadvantages is open to conjecture but what is undeniable is that grading teams can often bring out the best in individuals in sport.
Kirsten Birrell and her fellow New Zealand B smallbore rifle shooting representatives, Rachel McLaren and Shania Harrison-Lee, discovered that when they returned from Australia with a team medal this month.
Birrell, of Hastings, is basking in the golden glow of the 50m women's prone discipline after the trio upstaged their New Zealand A and Australia A counterparts during the Oceania Championship staged at the Sydney International Shooting Complex (the 2000 Olympics venue) from November 1-8.
"We were there to have fun and shoot well so we just happened to shoot better on the day," says the 36-year-old med lab scientist at the Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings.
Remarkably McLaren, of Nelson, and Harrison-Lee, from the North Canterbury town of Ashley, were making their debuts at Oceania level.
Harrison, a 16-year-old, finished as the third best individual while Birrell and McLaren were tied at equal sixth.
"[Shania] has been working really hard and she's been shooting fantastically this year," says Birrell of the teenager.
New Zealand A, who had Commonwealth gold medallist Sally Johnston, of Wellington, in their ranks had to settle for silver medals while Australia A collected bronze.
Invercargill-born Johnston collected bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur before following it up with gold at the 2014 Glasgow Games, in a record effort of 620.7.
The NZ B side also smashed the Oceania record for the women's grade in their discipline in accruing 1834.7 points.
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"We went in [to the Oceania championship] thinking we had a pretty good chance of winning the bronze medal, if we could outscore the Australia B team, but to top score as a team was well beyond our expectations," the Hawke's Bay rifle woman said.
Birrell, who has put her clarinet away as a member of the Bay Cities Symphonic Band to focus on her shooting, has herself had a memorable year with her rifle.
At the nationals in February, the former Karamu High School pupil posted the fifth highest score in the country and, in doing so, made the cull for four New Zealand teams.
That included the top five Kiwi sides facing their elite Aussie counterparts, the top five NZ women's teams as well as the elite Wakefield (top 10 Kiwis) and Slazenger (top 22 Kiwis) outfits that shoot off against equivalents from other international sides.
"Making four New Zealand teams was just well beyond expectations for me."
A fortnight after, Birrell competed in the air rifle nationals in Auckland to claim the bronze medal. In the indoor discipline, she secured berths in numerous teams.
Her feats in the North Island v South Island shoot off included the top score to gain selection in the New Zealand Open team for the first time.
Akin to teammates, Birrell is now playing a wait-and-see game to see if their sport will return to the Commonwealth Games although the world championship is high on the priority list.
The Target Shooting Hastings member made her Oceania debut in Brisbane in 2018 where her New Zealand C team had finished fourth while she was seventh as an individual.
When Birrell shoots she totally immerses herself in the process to the extent she becomes oblivious to everyone and everything in a code where controlling one's heart rate is imperative and which demands a different type of fitness.
So much so that her mind and soul are honed towards that one speck of black target.
"It's the precision of it where you're trying to take out a millimetre dot, which is essentially a tiny black dot which is metres and metres away but you're trying to do it over and over again for a perfect score."
Outdoor shooting is staged through summer over 50m and with 60-shot matches in the face of factors such as wind. It also has lost its place in the Summer Olympics.
"It's a lot more harder and takes a lot more stamina and you have to deal with the elements," she says.
The indoor format is over 22m in 10 to 20-shot matches staged during winter, which negates the impact of wind.
The air rifle is held in a fist before it's fired and is performed standing rather than lying prone.