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What would you do?


molson

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Hello all,

I am looking for input into how you all would handle this situation.

Here is the setup. Target setup is not important, but out in front is a drop turner that is activated via 1 of 2 pepper poppers, 2 additional metric targets, a couple of barrels , and a swinger with a no shoot (no scoring target) that is activated with the pull of a cable. This cable is loose and is only attached to the table with a loop at the end that hooks into a screw on the table.

Start position is standing behind a table, in a shooting box, handgun is loaded and placed on the table and of course pointing down range, weak hand hanging naturally at side, strong hand holding cable that is used to activate the swinging no shoot target. This swinging no shoot needs to be activated before engaging first target.

OK, here is the reason I am writing this. Competitor makes ready by loading his gun, and then placing on the table as in the written stage briefing. He assumes that starting position, also as written. At the start signal, he pulls the cable to activate the swinging no shoot and releases the cable. Problem is that he does not pull the cable hard enough to activate the swinger.

What is the correct call?

Here are some of the things that came to mind in that split second.

1. Stop the shooter. Have them unload and show clear, and holster, or just holster the gun. Then retrieve that cable and hook into the provided hook. Then start over from make ready.

2. Let the shooter run around and retrieve the cable, leaving the gun on the table, then get behind the table into the shooting box, activate the swinger, and start the shooting.

3. Let the shooter holster his gun, retrieve the cable, run back to the shooting box behind the table, activate the swinger, and start shooting.

OK, I know this is really poor stage setup. That is not in question. Several things could have been done to improve the stage. Affix the cable through something that would not allow the cable to fall off the front of the table out of reach of the shooter is the first thing. And the swinging no shoot could easily be a problem with a shoot through to the paper targets that were directly in it’s arch as well as 1 of the steel. This was a club match, and a VERY fun stage to shoot, so I am not even worried about that. Also, it was the first match ever setup by this crew. So a lot of credit needs to go out for a very fun and complicated match that took a lot of work to setup.

I stopped the shooter, had them holster the loaded gun, retrieved the cable while the score keeper controlled the shooter (probably should have had the score keeper recover the cable), and started the shooter over from make ready. Thought process was that it was REF, and the loaded gun was a safety issue. By the way, the shooter was one foot out of the box on his way to the cable.

It came up that it was possible that he should not have had the opportunity to have a restart. I disagree completely based on the loaded handgun facing down range siting on the table. Other than poor design, what do you say?

Cheers!

Molson

P.S. Sorry for the long post. And, moderators, move to USPSA rules section if appropriate.

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1. You stopped him, he gets a reshoot. There's no two ways about it. Safety calls happen, and that's why the rule exists.

2. I know you don't want to throw stones at the setup crew - but this issue goes straight to design. Address it with them, but you can't penalize a shooter for the learning of a well intentioned setup team. If there was no way for them to go forward and get the thing safely - or you see them about to do something unsafe - then #1 was your only option. And because you stopped them without violating a rule - it's a reshoot.

3. Walk around before the match next time and run through the stages looking for things like this. We do this on a regular basis and occasionally point out issues to avoid them from rearing the ugly heads during the match.

I once stopped a guy that went flying up range at an indoor match, feet came out from under him and he landed safely on his backside, full well keeping his gun right where it was supposed to be. But he was newer, and gave me a good jolt. He proceeded to engage the targets in front of him from his butt, but I just said "STOP". The jolt from him going down, plus the aspect of him getting up safely and not knowing his background at the time --- *I* just wanted a reset. So he got the reshoot. What is it? Rule #1? Never do something that scares the ROs?

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Any reason the shooter could not have safely picked the gun up, retrieved the rope, and completed the process? We all screw up at times. Part of the process is to be able to think through it and complete the stage, safely of course.

Gary

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I would have let the shooter figure it out on their own, on how to get the cable safely and within the rules. Only after the shooter retrieves the cable and gives it another hard yank and swinger still fails to activate would I stop the shooter for a very likely REF.

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Gary,

He would have easily been able to pick up his gun and retrieve the cable. According to the stage briefing, he would have needed to return to the shooting box behind the table to activate the swinger, with his strong hand. But he made a move out of the box with the loaded gun on the table, cable laying on the ground in front of the table directly in front of the loaded gun. So at that very minute, it did not look like that was in his plan.

I have thought about this problem for awhile and on second thought, I probably should have let him continue with whatever he was going to do. He may have realized that he left his loaded gun on the table and he would have retrieved it safely and continued to finish the required actions without issue. Then again, he may have exposed himself to the muzzle end of his loaded gun.

Stopping the shooter and retrieving the cable was my choice at the time fully knowing he was going to get a restart. Would I do it different in the future. Perhaps. Hopefully I will never have the chance to make that decision again. Hopefully this forum discussion will help others in the future as well as myself in making the correct call.

Without question, the whole scenario could have been prevented with a little better stage setup. Like I said earlier, this was the first match setup for this crew. I was just a guest at this club and always enjoy the stages. I am sure that they were made aware of the minor tweak that could prevent this kind of situation from happening in the future. And with time and critique, they will get the hang of a great stage setup. But also as stated earlier, this was a fun stage as well as the rest of the stages were a lot of fun.

Molson

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Assuming prop was the same for everyone and he just goofed,

What Gary said, the correct thing would have been for the shooter to pick up his gun then grab the cable, not running in front of a loaded gun,

If he was running that way with the gun on the table, the correct thing for the RO to do would be to yell "Muzzle" not stop, as a warning under 8.6.1. That should jar the shooter into stopping and thinking before sweeping himself. Picking up his gun and then getting the cable. If he continued could be a Match DQ for sweeping.

Thats all fine and dandy to say now, but I have Ro'd a time or two and when you only have a split second to react sometimes fine and dandy doesnt come out, we do the best we can. If you said stop he gets a reshoot.

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If the RO stopped him, its a reshoot.

If the RO didnt stop him, he should have, because it's REF.

It sounds like a fun stage that could be made better with some minor tweaks.

Activators should be reliable and safe to operate. There should not be a disaster factor for failing to operate it perfectly.

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If the shooter left the gun on the table, and even if he did not sweep himself, but he got more than 3 feet away from his gun, it would have been a DQ under 10.5.3.2. Making a DQ call anytime sucks, but it would have been even worse to make that call at time because the shooter was being careful not to get swept.

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If the RO stopped him, its a reshoot.

If the RO didnt stop him, he should have, because it's REF.

It sounds like a fun stage that could be made better with some minor tweaks.

Activators should be reliable and safe to operate. There should not be a disaster factor for failing to operate it perfectly.

Negative. It worked, he just failed to apply the necessary force - then he dropped it. It would have function correctly had he pulled it - it's not REF.

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If the shooter left the gun on the table, and even if he did not sweep himself, but he got more than 3 feet away from his gun, it would have been a DQ under 10.5.3.2. Making a DQ call anytime sucks, but it would have been even worse to make that call at time because the shooter was being careful not to get swept.

Interesting point, but if I never got closer to the gun after the start signal, I would still say I was never retrieved it so it never left the ready position - I'm still good. Don't know if it flies, but eh... Sounds like a good enough stop for me then - if he had started to run away without the gun to get the cable - you stopped him from breaking 10.5.3.2 and your a good RO! :)

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No REF and he was complying with a start position so only a DQ if he sweeps himself. The RO did the right thing stopping the unsafe act, If he stopped it with a "Stop" its a reshoot, if he stopped it with a "Muzzel" no reshoot.

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If the RO stopped him, its a reshoot.

If the RO didnt stop him, he should have, because it's REF.

It sounds like a fun stage that could be made better with some minor tweaks.

Activators should be reliable and safe to operate. There should not be a disaster factor for failing to operate it perfectly.

Negative. It worked, he just failed to apply the necessary force - then he dropped it. It would have function correctly had he pulled it - it's not REF.

I politely disagree.

An activating cable cant really be calibrated, so if he pulled it with any force at all it should work. If it doesnt work, it should remain in a state or position to be accessed and attempted safely again.

If the cable was dropped and is now in front of the muzzle of tabled gun...thats just asking for trouble. If you hope the shooter is mindful enough to safely pick up his gun and then go forward to retrieve the cable...well, I think you're just giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

I'd err on the side of safety...It sounds like the stage was wonky enough already.

JMO, but I do see your point.

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If the RO stopped him, its a reshoot.

If the RO didnt stop him, he should have, because it's REF.

It sounds like a fun stage that could be made better with some minor tweaks.

Activators should be reliable and safe to operate. There should not be a disaster factor for failing to operate it perfectly.

Negative. It worked, he just failed to apply the necessary force - then he dropped it. It would have function correctly had he pulled it - it's not REF.

I politely disagree.

An activating cable cant really be calibrated, so if he pulled it with any force at all it should work. If it doesnt work, it should remain in a state or position to be accessed and attempted safely again.

If the cable was dropped and is now in front of the muzzle of tabled gun...thats just asking for trouble. If you hope the shooter is mindful enough to safely pick up his gun and then go forward to retrieve the cable...well, I think you're just giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

I'd err on the side of safety...It sounds like the stage was wonky enough already.

JMO, but I do see your point.

I accept the polite disagreement - as I will do the same. I've already stated the the stage build is of issue- the cable should stay on the table. I'm disagreeing with the part of this being REF. Pulled cables need only present the same challenge to everyone. There's nothing in the rules that state it should activate after an inch or a foot of pull. If it's set to activate after a foot - then it just need activate after that foot for everyone. If he pulled it 6" and in his haste dropped the cable, failing to activate the scenario - the stage still worked as built. In this case, dropping the cable removed it from the table and again, it worked as it was built - quite poorly, but as built.

I quite agree with the sentiment of "giving enough rope to hang themselves", I'm just not of the opinion that a REF call is the right one to make here. Let's expand upon the example for a second - and take the tabled gun out of the picture - it's now a loaded and holstered start. Same thing happens and the shooter hasn't yet drawn - would it still be REF?

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It is a situational safety issue. If the shooter seems to be moving towards the front of the table to retrieve the cable I would stop them before they DQ themselves and let them reshoot. It is one of those situations that would only show up in a level one match. Level two or higher it would have been corrected during the safety walk through.

This is the type of design error that they will likely never make again, so I would mark it down as a learning experience for everyone.

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Slightly off to a tangent about compelling the shooter to activate the swinger first.

Was the WSB worded such that the swinger could only be activated by using the only strong hand, and could only be activated while in the starting shooting area? (I can understand that most shooters would have done exactly because they did not fumbled the cable.) I'm just not seeing why the shooter had to holster their gun and run back into the shooting area and then activate the swinger with their strong hand. (eg. Thoughts 2 and 3 in the original post.)

If I were in that shooter's shoes, I would have picked up my gun with my strong hand, then scrambled for the cable with my weak hand, activated the swinger, and then made my way back in the shooting area to try to make up for the lost time of having to retrieve the cable. Once back in the area, I'd start shooting and try to get back into sync with the original plan.

Now that Poppa Bear mentioned Level II. For a Level II match, I don't think the WSB could have required the shooter to activate the swinger before engaging targets because the Level I exception for "specify where or when" goes away. The stage become freestyle and it'll be up to the stage setup crew to device something so that the swinger is activated early... perhaps have the gun in a drawer and pulling the drawer open activates the swinger.

And now back to your regularly scheduled discussion about REF vs safety issue vs letting a shooter have enough rope.

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Gary,

He would have easily been able to pick up his gun and retrieve the cable. According to the stage briefing, he would have needed to return to the shooting box behind the table to activate the swinger, with his strong hand. But he made a move out of the box with the loaded gun on the table, cable laying on the ground in front of the table directly in front of the loaded gun. So at that very minute, it did not look like that was in his plan.

I have thought about this problem for awhile and on second thought, I probably should have let him continue with whatever he was going to do. He may have realized that he left his loaded gun on the table and he would have retrieved it safely and continued to finish the required actions without issue. Then again, he may have exposed himself to the muzzle end of his loaded gun.

Stopping the shooter and retrieving the cable was my choice at the time fully knowing he was going to get a restart. Would I do it different in the future. Perhaps. Hopefully I will never have the chance to make that decision again. Hopefully this forum discussion will help others in the future as well as myself in making the correct call.

Without question, the whole scenario could have been prevented with a little better stage setup. Like I said earlier, this was the first match setup for this crew. I was just a guest at this club and always enjoy the stages. I am sure that they were made aware of the minor tweak that could prevent this kind of situation from happening in the future. And with time and critique, they will get the hang of a great stage setup. But also as stated earlier, this was a fun stage as well as the rest of the stages were a lot of fun.

Molson

Bottom line is you made the call based on the best information available to you at that time. In hindsight you "might" have done something different, or you "might" not. Learn what you can from it and move on. We have all had to make decisions in a split second that later on might have been handled differently.

Nobody got hurt, which is after all the most important thing. A hundered years from now, nobody will remember what you did anyway :devil:

Good Job.

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If the RO stopped him, its a reshoot.

If the RO didnt stop him, he should have, because it's REF.

It sounds like a fun stage that could be made better with some minor tweaks.

Activators should be reliable and safe to operate. There should not be a disaster factor for failing to operate it perfectly.

Negative. It worked, he just failed to apply the necessary force - then he dropped it. It would have function correctly had he pulled it - it's not REF.

I politely disagree.

An activating cable cant really be calibrated, so if he pulled it with any force at all it should work. If it doesnt work, it should remain in a state or position to be accessed and attempted safely again.

If the cable was dropped and is now in front of the muzzle of tabled gun...thats just asking for trouble. If you hope the shooter is mindful enough to safely pick up his gun and then go forward to retrieve the cable...well, I think you're just giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

I'd err on the side of safety...It sounds like the stage was wonky enough already.

JMO, but I do see your point.

I accept the polite disagreement - as I will do the same. I've already stated the the stage build is of issue- the cable should stay on the table. I'm disagreeing with the part of this being REF. Pulled cables need only present the same challenge to everyone. There's nothing in the rules that state it should activate after an inch or a foot of pull. If it's set to activate after a foot - then it just need activate after that foot for everyone. If he pulled it 6" and in his haste dropped the cable, failing to activate the scenario - the stage still worked as built. In this case, dropping the cable removed it from the table and again, it worked as it was built - quite poorly, but as built.

I quite agree with the sentiment of "giving enough rope to hang themselves", I'm just not of the opinion that a REF call is the right one to make here.

Let's expand upon the example for a second - and take the tabled gun out of the picture - it's now a loaded and holstered start. Same thing happens and the shooter hasn't yet drawn - would it still be REF?

That is a good point in the expanded example; No, it isnt REF. Why? Because the disaster factor is removed. If the cable lands in a spot where it can be reasonably and safely picked up, no big problem. But if it lands (by design, albeit unintentionable)in a dangerous spot in front of a muzzle...then the range equipment has failed to operate in a safe and reliable manner.

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I accept the polite disagreement - as I will do the same. I've already stated the the stage build is of issue- the cable should stay on the table. I'm disagreeing with the part of this being REF. Pulled cables need only present the same challenge to everyone. There's nothing in the rules that state it should activate after an inch or a foot of pull. If it's set to activate after a foot - then it just need activate after that foot for everyone. If he pulled it 6" and in his haste dropped the cable, failing to activate the scenario - the stage still worked as built. In this case, dropping the cable removed it from the table and again, it worked as it was built - quite poorly, but as built.

I quite agree with the sentiment of "giving enough rope to hang themselves", I'm just not of the opinion that a REF call is the right one to make here.

Let's expand upon the example for a second - and take the tabled gun out of the picture - it's now a loaded and holstered start. Same thing happens and the shooter hasn't yet drawn - would it still be REF?

That is a good point in the expanded example; No, it isnt REF. Why? Because the disaster factor is removed. If the cable lands in a spot where it can be reasonably and safely picked up, no big problem. But if it lands (by design, albeit unintentionable)in a dangerous spot in front of a muzzle...then the range equipment has failed to operate in a safe and reliable manner.

I had written a book - trying to shorten this up a bit. The problem is you can't have a situational REF. The range equipment either failed to do what it was supposed to do or it didn't. It's situational because you wouldn't call a REF if the shooter grabbed is gun, holstered it, ran around pulled the cord then continued, right? It's only because he left it on the table.

The cable is just a prop, just like an ammo can and pressure pad scenario. If you drop the ammo can on the table and it falls forward, and you leave the gun on it to get it - what's the difference between the can and the cable? I think what you are arguing is intent. The intentions of a stage don't matter. We all know they don't matter in the WSB. That's been beat pretty good - but intentions don't matter in construction either. What is, there is... as long as something did not break, we have to go with what there is. The only thing that is dangerous is the fact the shooter didn't pick up the gun - and it was choice of the shooter.

In this situation, it was "possible" for a shooter to be encouraged to do something unsafe. If we were to over do it - we could say a lot of things have the opportunity to be unsafe. We have doors or ports that encourage us to reach in front, inviting an opportunity to sweep ourselves or magazines placed on barrels. We have to be careful about saying the range is at fault here. While it wasn't built to prevent the opportunity for an unsafe action to occur, it did not fail in the aspect of what the equipment actually doing what it was built to do.

Thanks for the discussion!

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Slightly off to a tangent about compelling the shooter to activate the swinger first.

Was the WSB worded such that the swinger could only be activated by using the only strong hand, and could only be activated while in the starting shooting area? (I can understand that most shooters would have done exactly because they did not fumbled the cable.) I'm just not seeing why the shooter had to holster their gun and run back into the shooting area and then activate the swinger with their strong hand. (eg. Thoughts 2 and 3 in the original post.)

If I were in that shooter's shoes, I would have picked up my gun with my strong hand, then scrambled for the cable with my weak hand, activated the swinger, and then made my way back in the shooting area to try to make up for the lost time of having to retrieve the cable. Once back in the area, I'd start shooting and try to get back into sync with the original plan.

Now that Poppa Bear mentioned Level II. For a Level II match, I don't think the WSB could have required the shooter to activate the swinger before engaging targets because the Level I exception for "specify where or when" goes away. The stage become freestyle and it'll be up to the stage setup crew to device something so that the swinger is activated early... perhaps have the gun in a drawer and pulling the drawer open activates the swinger.

And now back to your regularly scheduled discussion about REF vs safety issue vs letting a shooter have enough rope.

It is true that you would not see a hand activated swinger at a level II or higher because of the error factor. Depending on how it was pulled could affect the rate of the swinger so they would put a mechanical device in the path to make each activation as uniform as possible. This is an example of why we have different rules for level I and Level II or higher. If we had to submit ALL COF's including level I for approval it would be a full time job for a room full of people.

They tried something, had some problems, and learned what not to do. You can bet they use a different way to activate it next time.

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It is true that you would not see a hand activated swinger at a level II or higher because of the error factor. Depending on how it was pulled could affect the rate of the swinger so they would put a mechanical device in the path to make each activation as uniform as possible. This is an example of why we have different rules for level I and Level II or higher. If we had to submit ALL COF's including level I for approval it would be a full time job for a room full of people.

They tried something, had some problems, and learned what not to do. You can bet they use a different way to activate it next time.

Actually, not true. Last year nationals and this year at Mississippi Classic - both had instances of a "beer mug" pulled from the start position to activate swinging targets.

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It is true that you would not see a hand activated swinger at a level II or higher because of the error factor. Depending on how it was pulled could affect the rate of the swinger so they would put a mechanical device in the path to make each activation as uniform as possible. This is an example of why we have different rules for level I and Level II or higher. If we had to submit ALL COF's including level I for approval it would be a full time job for a room full of people.

They tried something, had some problems, and learned what not to do. You can bet they use a different way to activate it next time.

Actually, not true. Last year nationals and this year at Mississippi Classic - both had instances of a "beer mug" pulled from the start position to activate swinging targets.

As well as 2010 North TX Sectional. In fact, I learned a hard mistake about not pulling the activator hard enough.

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It is true that you would not see a hand activated swinger at a level II or higher because of the error factor. Depending on how it was pulled could affect the rate of the swinger so they would put a mechanical device in the path to make each activation as uniform as possible. This is an example of why we have different rules for level I and Level II or higher. If we had to submit ALL COF's including level I for approval it would be a full time job for a room full of people.

They tried something, had some problems, and learned what not to do. You can bet they use a different way to activate it next time.

Actually, not true. Last year nationals and this year at Mississippi Classic - both had instances of a "beer mug" pulled from the start position to activate swinging targets.

Ah but they are swinging targets. Not activating them would have earned the shooter mikes and FTSA penalties. Can you compel a shooter to activate a no-shoot on a Level II match?

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Slightly off to a tangent about compelling the shooter to activate the swinger first.

Was the WSB worded such that the swinger could only be activated by using the only strong hand, and could only be activated while in the starting shooting area? (I can understand that most shooters would have done exactly because they did not fumbled the cable.) I'm just not seeing why the shooter had to holster their gun and run back into the shooting area and then activate the swinger with their strong hand. (eg. Thoughts 2 and 3 in the original post.)

If I were in that shooter's shoes, I would have picked up my gun with my strong hand, then scrambled for the cable with my weak hand, activated the swinger, and then made my way back in the shooting area to try to make up for the lost time of having to retrieve the cable. Once back in the area, I'd start shooting and try to get back into sync with the original plan.

Now that Poppa Bear mentioned Level II. For a Level II match, I don't think the WSB could have required the shooter to activate the swinger before engaging targets because the Level I exception for "specify where or when" goes away. The stage become freestyle and it'll be up to the stage setup crew to device something so that the swinger is activated early... perhaps have the gun in a drawer and pulling the drawer open activates the swinger.

And now back to your regularly scheduled discussion about REF vs safety issue vs letting a shooter have enough rope.

It is true that you would not see a hand activated swinger at a level II or higher because of the error factor. Depending on how it was pulled could affect the rate of the swinger so they would put a mechanical device in the path to make each activation as uniform as possible. This is an example of why we have different rules for level I and Level II or higher. If we had to submit ALL COF's including level I for approval it would be a full time job for a room full of people.

They tried something, had some problems, and learned what not to do. You can bet they use a different way to activate it next time.

How can how the rope is pulled affect the way the swinger swings? The speed/arch is controlled by weights, not activators. And I'm not aware of any rules that differentiate prop activation between L1 and L2/3.

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It is true that you would not see a hand activated swinger at a level II or higher because of the error factor. Depending on how it was pulled could affect the rate of the swinger so they would put a mechanical device in the path to make each activation as uniform as possible. This is an example of why we have different rules for level I and Level II or higher. If we had to submit ALL COF's including level I for approval it would be a full time job for a room full of people.

They tried something, had some problems, and learned what not to do. You can bet they use a different way to activate it next time.

Actually, not true. Last year nationals and this year at Mississippi Classic - both had instances of a "beer mug" pulled from the start position to activate swinging targets.

Ah but they are swinging targets. Not activating them would have earned the shooter mikes and FTSA penalties. Can you compel a shooter to activate a no-shoot on a Level II match?

Have the NS cover the target at rest.

:devil:

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