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Thomas H

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About Thomas H

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    Calls Shots

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    Thomas Howard

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  1. We have a signup page on our club website, so various people sign up to design stages, and then show up on match day to be the building director for that stage. Before the match, if we still have a bay left open (with nobody volunteering to design a stage) we put out a call for anyone else, and if no one volunteers, we grab someone who shows up early and say "Hey, congratulations, you get to shoot the match free today because you are building a stage!" On match day, the stage designers start building the stages, and as other people show up, the registration person directs them to the stages to help out. It works pretty well, and gives us a nice assortment of stages. Related note: One of the main reasons that many places end up with all long courses is that 1) people want to shoot, and 2) if one stage is a 12-round course and the next is a 32-round course, you get a serious backup on that stage, and the match goes badly. So....one easy fix is all large stages, and that is pretty common to have a good match flow. We have started putting two short stages (one short course and a classifier) on one of our large bays to get more of a range of stage types without making a mess of the stage flow. Two short stages (especially if they are set so you shoot one and can walk directly over to the other and shoot it) take about the same amount of time as a long course. So most of our bays end up being 24-32 rounds, but we still get two short courses in there.
  2. ....no, the stages are drawn like that when they are sent to DNROI for approval for majors. And still get approved. So when DNROI approves it, that can't be about what the RMI corps thinks, in my opinion, nor is it about what happens on the ground. Personally, the way we do it is fairly simple: We attempt to block sight lines of the targets once at the 180 line, for awhile such that someone has to look back considerably and obviously past the 180 to see it again. As people have said---if you are going to completely block the view of every target everywhere past the 180 line, that will involve a huge amount of extra props, and I haven't seen anyone ever do that (from local to Level II to Area and National matches) in an entire match. I'll note that I think "cause them to breach " and "allow them to breach" mean two different things. We don't have targets visible at 180, 185, or 195 degrees. (Well, at least we try not to!) People won't take a half-step beyond the target and still see them, and thus shoot them without knowing they are beyond the 180 (because sometimes, on some stages, it IS hard to tell exactly where the 180 is). The targets might be visible later in the stage, but if so it will be completely and obviously far beyond the 180. If the shooter is stupid enough to turn all the way back and shoot at that point in time, it is blindingly obvious they broke the 180. It won't be a judgement call on the part of the RO, everyone will flat-out know it. So---our layout "will not cause them to breach" because anything visible past the 180 is FAR past the 180, and they won't think "oh, this is okay to shoot at." That's our thinking, at least, and that seems to be what I see in pretty much every major I've attended.
  3. I am not understanding why people keep saying "if it isn't in the WSB, then the competitor can do what they like." That isn't true. This is a stage prop. The position of stage props are almost NEVER written into WSBs. I can't recall the last time I have EVER seen a WSB contain information like "the door starts closed" or "the port starts covered" or anything like that. I mean, seriously, say you have a port where you have to pull a rope to open it, but during the walkthrough you yank it hard enough to make it stick open. Do you think you get to start that way if the WSB doesn't say otherwise? When is the last time at a major, where there was a door or a covered port or something, it specified the initial condition of that stage prop? Never? Yes---there should have been a walkthrough, or at least a mention somewhere to the shooters (or at least the ROs) regarding the port. On the other hand, I don't understand why anyone would think "we can just do what we want" with regard to stages props. And I certainly agree that if there is a question on the stage, ask the RM instead of just doing "whatever" and causing either a stage to be thrown out, or a competitive unfairness situation. There were screwups in a number of places here, but it wasn't because someone didn't write it into the WSB.
  4. In the grey menu bar that shows up in your browser at the top of the page, the second icon from the left is a downward-pointing arrow. Click on that--it is the download button.
  5. They aren't. People are just unhappy that poor hits aren't rewarded as well as good hits. (Among other things.)
  6. Seems to me that it is pretty clear that on a stage with snow-fence-type walls, putting up banners will make a difference (and depending on where they were placed, a significant difference) in the view(s) available to the competitor. If you are shooting a target that cannot be engaged until you reach the end of a wall or a port, and you can see that target prior to reaching the end of the wall/port, then it is easier to set up and be ready to shoot the target once it is available. How much easier depends on the shooter's capabilities, and where the target is relative to the shooter. But no matter what, it will be easier. Good shooters will say that the gun should be up and ready to shoot (and thus on target) as the target becomes available (not after). It is easier to do so if the target itself can be seen prior to that time. Sure, you can use index points on stage props and so on also (and most people do, if they can't see the target) but again, it is easier if you can actually see the target. For stage setup, my personal preference is that banners and such are only placed on solid walls, or are separate from the stage props and out of the way of the shooting section of the stage. Regarding the change in banners from day to day----that's a tough one. I think it would make a difference, and if nothing else, should be communicated to the competitors. Whether or not a particular stage should have been thrown out due to that.....that I don't know, because I don't know the stages in question nor the placement of the banners on that stage. But I think it is a good conversation to have, and something good match staff might think about when putting up sponsor banners. If you keep them on solid walls only, or have them outside the stage area, it won't be a problem.
  7. Without getting into the "this is not training for self-defense" argument, I'll note that many trainers and LEOs would disagree with you regarding the importance (and use) of a low-ready position. With regard to SC, as has been said, if the is indexed on the proper spot (the flag placed at the appropriate distance and height in front of the shooting box) you can use a compressed position versus an extended position if you like. If the compressed position isn't pointing at the proper spot, then the RO won't start you because you aren't in the proper start position.
  8. How it is a change? The good thing about a popper is that REF or not is clearly defined in the rulebook. That doesn't stop a lot of people from whining without understanding, of course. In the OP's case, saying something like "if you don't stomp on it right, it is your fault" isn't really supported by the rules.
  9. To me, there is a significant difference between "You must open this door all the way" and "just keep stomping on this box until the magic happens." In the door care----anyone can open it all the way, or not. Opening it all the way would automatically work. First time, every person. No reshoot if the person doesn't open it all the way, because they didn't do what was required. The stomp pad in the OP isn't like that at all---it is a straightforward stomp pad. And it got stomped on, hard, multiple times, without working. The problem wasn't that is wasn't stomped on hard enough, nor far enough. It just wasn't working. That's a REF, IMO, based on what I've seen so far.
  10. Agreed. It isn't hard, nor does it take much time, to just do it right.
  11. I've had horrible luck with Federal Auto Match in two pistols and two rifles----feeding issues everywhere. (And yes, I clean both my firearms and my magazines. ) Rem Golden Bullet was great for a several years, then when .22 was scarce the quality went WAY down, far as I could tell. I use CCI AR-Tactical for everything SC related---consistent and reliable in every .22 I have. Not bullseye match precise, but that's not what I need, and DO I need something that feeds correctly every time in an auto. AR-Tactical is probably the most-common .22 SC ammo in this area. PSA had some sales awhile back (and continues to do so periodically), and you can pick up cases on GunBroker on occasion for ridiculously low prices.
  12. We have gravel-over-dirt and in the rainy season, they get pretty mucky. But since we also don't just set them up at the beginning of the match and then never look at them again, we tend to notice when they start to get "off." We check them periodically, including when new squads get to that bay. It isn't like it takes much extra time, and some people generally don't need the full 5 minutes, so it isn't a problem. When we host a level II match, we put sheets of plywood underneath them, and spike them to the ground through the plywood, which works great in terms of keeping them level and stable.
  13. Yes, that would be part of my point---the people claiming this are doing so while ALSO saying that their local matches don't paint after every shooter. At our club, we paint after every shooter, so we don't have this problem. We also have a dedicated calibration gun and ammo that is periodically chrono-checked and is consistently between 116-118 PF out of that gun. We also calibrate the steel before the match. In the last year, we've had exactly one calibration check fail, if I recall correctly. (After which we traded out that steel, because the notch for the hook was so deep, it would only work correctly if set a certain precise way---it was just easier to trade it out.) And we hardly ever have any calibration checks that aren't obvious low or edge hits. (Maybe I'm misremembering, but I don't think so.) Maybe we are just lucky?
  14. While I agree with this statement, it is ALSO true that if someone shoots a popper, it doesn't fall, and the shooter calls for a calibration check at the end of the course of fire---when the RM shows up, he should first take a look at the popper mechanism and such (without touching it). Because it he can SEE an issue with the mechanism, it is a reshoot. Calling for a calibration doesn't automatically mean that the RM _must_ shoot at it and that's it. That's not how it works. People's earlier comments about automatically stopping a shooter if a popper doesn't fall because there might be a problem with the mechanism are doing it wrong, and their subsequent statements regarding "but what if there was a mechanism problem" are ignoring how the rules are. Sure, if someone can SEE a mechanism problem while the shooter is in the middle of the course of fire, the RO should call stop, fix the problem, and reshoot. But if you don't see a problem, you don't call stop, you let the shooter finish, see if they are going to call for a calibration, and no matter what, take a look at the mechanism to see if there is a technical issue. If there is, it is a reshoot even if there wasn't a call for calibration. If there was, a calibration call, the RM should be looking at it prior to taking any shot. Appendix C1, part 6: "In the absence of any interference, or problem with a target mechanism, a calibration officer must conduct a calibration test of the subject popper (when required under 6c above), from as near as possible to the point from where the competitor shot the popper. " If there is a problem with the steel, it is a reshoot. If there isn't, then calibration shot. People who are doing it differently are doing a dis-service to the shooters. As for comments regarding ROs who look at where the shot was to determine if it was "good enough" to count---if you have a squad of 15, after the first several shooters you can't really do that anymore. So doing it that was means you are helping the first couple on the squad, and not helping the rest. Oddly enough, doing it right isn't that difficult.
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