Some Range etiquette rambling as the 2021 season is starting to ramp up. Also for those attending their first
U.S. Practical Shooting Assn. (USPSA), Steel Challenge Shooting Assn.
or IDPA match. Or any practical shooting match more or less.
- Know and be aware of the rules of the game and stay updated. Rules change all the time. That being said have some forceful backup in case (e-mail confirmation, rulebook in PDF, or even screenshots of rules that might throw people off). Had a competitor at one match approach me as I was about to make ready try and tell me I was breaking rules with my setup. I was able and about to provide confirmation from the rulebook and e-mail confirmation from the Match Director. It didn't come to that as the Range Officer on my squad and some other shooters corrected him. Feeling is not knowing.
- Before you buy anything, do some research on the game and what is allowed and not. I've seen people show up to matches with thousands of dollars in equipment just to find out that their gear was either not legal in the game or not competitive.
- If you are not running the scoring tablet or timer help paste and reset. Also extend the courtesy of the shooter on deck to not have to paste/reset and let the shooter that just finished reload mags etc.
- Be cognizant of the shooter order, don't be the shooter that makes everyone wait because you forgot to get your gear in order.
- If the match director, range master, range officer, or even another shooter corrects you on a ruling see at as someone helping you stay accountable and not as a personal attack. It's not personal it's just business.
-Help tear down or set up when you can. Most matches are a volunteer sport. Match Directors, staff, and volunteers take time out to give a good experience. Certified Range Officers even pay their own money to attend courses.
- Stay classy and practice sportsmanship. This should be a no brainer but you'd be surprised. Don't cheat, don't use your affiliated club as a personal tool, and be a good ambassador to the organization and club.
- Safety, safety, safety. Be safe on the range and have an emergency medical plan if something happens. Even having a basic first aid kit and tourniquet can make a big difference.
- Don't be scared to help someone if they seek it. The Bible has a verse "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.". If I can give some good tips to someone that asks me and it pays off that's a win for me.
Sorry for the long post, and if you made it this far on reading it thanks for taking time out to. Personally with my job and moving constantly I've been able to shoot at more that 20 clubs from a club to national level. It's a great community and I'm very fortunate that in practical shooting like my job I can count all the people I don't care for with one hand. Keep it safe and classy!