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What's an unrealistic non-shooting requirement...


Steven Cline

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1.1.8 Scenarios and Stage Props The use of scenarios and reasonable stage

props is encouraged. Care must be exercised, however, to avoid unrealistic

non-shooting requirements which detract from the shooting

challenge and/or may expose competitors to potentially unsafe conditions.

At a match I recently attended the start position was seated in a chair, hands on knees, handgun was placed unloaded on a barrel some (call it) 10 yards away with all magazines to be used during the COF also on the barrel. It was a 32 rnd cnt stage.

The shooter was required to run to the barrel, gather his mags, load the gun then run to chosen first shooting position everyone chose the same point another 10 yards away and shoot the CoF. The SS/P/L-10 guys needed to holster 4 mags, and load his gun if he wanted to avoide stationary reloads in the middle of the array.

I shot the stage in 27.63 seconds but spent 9 seconds just getting ready to shoot. 1/3 of the entire time was spent addressing a non-shooting requirement. The fastest of any of the SS/P/L-10 shooters was but .33 seconds faster at 27.30 seconds. That 9 seconds (1/3 of total time) was not a shooter induced delay such as over-running a target and having to return.

So... would this be a unrealistic non-shooting requirement?

Opine, discuss.

Edited by Steven Cline
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I think an "unrealistic non-shooting requirement" is doing 10 push-ups on signal then engage targets as visible...

Picking up mags and loading a gun is a realistic shooting requirement, IMO.

Edited by spanky
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A friend of mine refers to things like this as "non shooting monkey business" but it would be ammo/equipment management and I think relevant in our game. Now I don't like it but it is a equitable challenge within respective divisions. Parking a car, or like spanky said doing pushups would be too much but where is that line anyway?

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I don't feel that picking up mags and stashing them was an unrealistic non-shooting challenge.

I do feel that the 10 yds to get to the gun and mags was. I would have considered 2-3 yds reasonable. Not 10 yds, unless there were things for the shooter to do along the way like perhaps open some ports in preparation for shooting, or collect some props that would need to be used later in the stage, etc.

As for after having loaded up, it was the shooter's choice to go to the first shooting location that was another 10 yds away. I'm assuming that there were other closer options, but less attractive in terms of how well the stage would "flow".

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Oh yeah, BTW, shooters would have been free to load up a gun, and grab mags, run, and stash them as they ran the next 10 yds. SS/Prod would have to stash into pouches or pockets behind the hipbone, but L10 shooters could place their mags anywhere.

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As for after having loaded up, it was the shooter's choice to go to the first shooting location that was another 10 yds away. I'm assuming that there were other closer options, but less attractive in terms of how well the stage would "flow".

You are correct; the shooter could have gotten to targets sooner, say 3 yards, but still went about 10 yards to one side or the other and then would have have to sprint to cover that same distance plus some to get to the remaining targets.

The observation was made (during my CRO class), that "it's not supposed to be a foot race."

No matter how you shot the stage, there was still that 10 yard or so sprint which was about how fast you can accelerate, maintiain, and slow instead of the recommend max distance of 10' between shooting positions.

Excellent observation- it will generate additional discussion.

Edited by Steven Cline
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Oh yeah, BTW, shooters would have been free to load up a gun, and grab mags, run, and stash them as they ran the next 10 yds. SS/Prod would have to stash into pouches or pockets behind the hipbone, but L10 shooters could place their mags anywhere.

I did not include in the OP that the WSB prohibited using pockets of apparel; essentially mag pouches had to be used or the mags carried in hand.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

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I use the number 4 for a standard guideline when setting up non-shooting challenges for stages. When designing a stage I basically ask myself the below questions.... If the answer is YES to any of these questions then I will change the non-shooting challenge to make it simpler or take less time because its pretty much a waste of time and not a test of shooting skill. If stage designers adhere to this "No more than 4 rule" then there will be a good balance of non-shooting activities and shooting activities.

Does the funky start position cause the shooter to take more than 4 seconds from the buzzer to start shooting?

Does the start position take more than 4 strides to get from the starting position to the gun or shooting area?

Does it take more than 4 separate gun/mag handling motions to get the gun/gear ready to shoot the stage after the buzzer?

While shooting the stage does the target layout force the shooter to run full out between shooting positions without being able to engage any targets for more than 4 seconds?

Edited by CHA-LEE
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A friend of mine refers to things like this as "non shooting monkey business" but it would be ammo/equipment management and I think relevant in our game. Now I don't like it but it is a equitable challenge within respective divisions. Parking a car, or like spanky said doing pushups would be too much but where is that line anyway?

I agree with your friend. But the rule doesn't allow for "ammo/equipment management" exception that I saw or am aware of. If you are aware of something that does please educate me; that's one reason why I started the threat. As written, it's a scenario that appears to be an unreasonable non-shooting requirement.

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I think an "unrealistic non-shooting requirement" is doing 10 push-ups on signal then engage targets as visible...

Picking up mags and loading a gun is a realistic shooting requirement, IMO.

Please answer this- is picking up mags and loading the gun "shooting." I know that come off as all semantical, and I'm not really opposed to unloaded starts or mags on barrels you can pick up while moving between shooting positions, the point is more a discussion of when does the scenario become unrealistic non-shooting requirement. If the described scenario was ok, would it have been ok to require all mags remain on the barrel when not loaded into the gun? The SS/P/L-10 guys would have been running back to the barrel 4 times to shoot the stage.

I'm not saying your wrong in your opinion, I'm pushing just a bit to find out where the line is for you. Thanks in advance for continuing to contribute.

Edited by Steven Cline
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I also want to add that if you feel that the non-shooting requirement of a stage is unrealistically excessive you can always bring the issue to the attention of the Match Director or Range Master and request that it be changed. Of course this needs to be done before the match starts.

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I use the number 4 for a standard guideline when setting up non-shooting challenges for stages. When designing a stage I basically ask myself the below questions.... If the answer is YES to any of these questions then I will change the non-shooting challenge to make it simpler or take less time because its pretty much a waste of time and not a test of shooting skill. If stage designers adhere to this "No more than 4 rule" then there will be a good balance of non-shooting activities and shooting activities.

Does the funky start position cause the shooter to take more than 4 seconds from the buzzer to start shooting?

Does the start position take more than 4 strides to get from the starting position to the gun or shooting area?

Does it take more than 4 separate gun/mag handling motions to get the gun/gear ready to shoot the stage after the buzzer?

While shooting the stage does the target layout force the shooter to run full out between shooting positions without being able to engage any targets for more than 4 seconds?

I like that- it would keep things from getting too... "silly."

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I also want to add that if you feel that the non-shooting requirement of a stage is unrealistically excessive you can always bring the issue to the attention of the Match Director or Range Master and request that it be changed. Of course this needs to be done before the match starts.

Very true, but I was visiting from out of State and didn't feel the need to be, "that guy" at the match.

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I use the number 4 for a standard guideline when setting up non-shooting challenges for stages. When designing a stage I basically ask myself the below questions.... If the answer is YES to any of these questions then I will change the non-shooting challenge to make it simpler or take less time because its pretty much a waste of time and not a test of shooting skill. If stage designers adhere to this "No more than 4 rule" then there will be a good balance of non-shooting activities and shooting activities.

Does the funky start position cause the shooter to take more than 4 seconds from the buzzer to start shooting?

Does the start position take more than 4 strides to get from the starting position to the gun or shooting area?

Does it take more than 4 separate gun/mag handling motions to get the gun/gear ready to shoot the stage after the buzzer?

While shooting the stage does the target layout force the shooter to run full out between shooting positions without being able to engage any targets for more than 4 seconds?

A good set of rules. :cheers: :cheers:

Makes for a nice balance between shooting and moving.

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I don't think it is unreasonable. All I shoot is SS and I kind of like the variety on those types of stages. There are a few ways to "game" a stage when this happens and I do practice loading mags into the mag holders, once every week (because I shoot SS). Other times, if I can, I leave the mags on the table/prop./etc and reload off the table instead of putting all in the mag holders. Many times it is quicker for me (depending on layout, of course) to load from the prop, especially if you have to cross the prop once during the stage. I look for something like a left to right stage where I can go prop/load/shoot middle array, prop/reload/Left side array, prop/reload right side array. Time yourself, I bet that you shave that 9 seconds. Sometimes I load one mag to meet the 8 and then load from the prop. Other times you are loading mags on the belt but even then there are a few ways to do it quicker. Maybe you can find an advantage in your division? I hear you though, it is tough to keep up with the Open/Limited guys when you are faced with this kind of stage.

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I also want to add that if you feel that the non-shooting requirement of a stage is unrealistically excessive you can always bring the issue to the attention of the Match Director or Range Master and request that it be changed. Of course this needs to be done before the match starts.

Very true, but I was visiting from out of State and didn't feel the need to be, "that guy" at the match.

The problem is the MD and RM arnt gonna do anything than tell you the stages are aproved. I have seen some pretty messed up stages get aproved for majors, including alot of these excessive non shooting requirements.

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For reference the stage looked a little like this:

TT..TT...TTT.....TTT....TTT.......TTT

.._]..[__] [___]...[____]..[____]

/______shooting area______/

.............0 (barrel with gun/mags)

.............C (chair)

Edited by Steven Cline
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The best way to "Sell" stage designers and match directors on not having excessive non-shooting challenges is to point out the amount of wasted time that is added to the match. If you have a funky start that adds 10 seconds of non-shooting activities to the stage run it all adds up because every shooter has to do it. Not only in actual shooting time but delayed stage planning time as well. For example a funky non-shooting activity could force a shooter to take an extra 30 seconds to rehearse the activity right before running the stage. You get a 50+ shooter match that all waste an combined time of 60 seconds (While shooting the stage and while trying to rehearse it before shooting) on the funky non-shooting activity that is an extra hour added to the match day.

I help run a 60 - 80 shooter local USPSA match twice a month and these kind of things can add significant delays or squad log jams in the match flow. Our goal is to keep the average shooter turn over time the same on every stage, then keep the shooter quantity balanced on the squads, so that all squads churn through the stages in about the same time.

In the end its all about what the consumers want. The shooters that attend the match are the consumers. They come to shoot in a practical shooting environment. Excessive non-shooting activities don't support the primary requirement of what the customers want so why do it? All you do is piss people off and they usually show their displeasure by not attending to the next match.

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The best way to "Sell" stage designers and match directors on not having excessive non-shooting challenges is to point out the amount of wasted time that is added to the match. If you have a funky start that adds 10 seconds of non-shooting activities to the stage run it all adds up because every shooter has to do it. Not only in actual shooting time but delayed stage planning time as well. For example a funky non-shooting activity could force a shooter to take an extra 30 seconds to rehearse the activity right before running the stage. You get a 50+ shooter match that all waste an combined time of 60 seconds (While shooting the stage and while trying to rehearse it before shooting) on the funky non-shooting activity that is an extra hour added to the match day.

Excellent point. I didn't consider, that. The thread has been sucessful twice already; let's see how much good information we can get out of the discussion.

Edited by Steven Cline
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