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"Gotcha" stages


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What are they really? if they are ,are they bad? I design a lot of stages that has hidden targets or targets that can be shot in multiple positions. Sometimes shooters will engage the same target twice because of the stage design. Do you hate them?

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Stages that have multiple solutions are what my club is know for. As a stage designer, you have to offer a challenge to the shooters regardless of magazine capacity. You have to create something that while being entertaining, it also has to test their skills.

Targets visible from two locations... good. Targets visible from 3 or 4 locations... GREAT!!! Poppers that activate swingers on the other side of a vision barrier, doors that have to be opened to activate drop-turners.... it's all good.

BC

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I think any stage that makes you think is great, but I don't think there is any such thing as a gotcha stage, if during your walk through you are not coming up with the right number of shots to fill you score sheet you probably need to figure it out before you are up to shoot. and yes I have missed targets in a stage and shot the same target twice but it was not the designers fault it was mine.

Mike

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We try and setup at least one stage each match that permits the shooter to engage targets from multiple positions. This can result in someone shooting one target twice and not shooting another target at all. Some people call these "gotcha" stages, some call them "memory" stages and others call them challenging. It's pretty much a matter of perspective.

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A "gotcha" stage is one where the designer is intending to trick or trip up shooters or break the flow so as to disrupt top shooters...or too stupid to realize that is what the stage does. Ones where the target HAS to be engaged at 179.5 (basically half a tick off or on the 180) and if you miss your step by 2mm, DQ. Those are ridiculous gotcha stages, but we still see them.

Memory stages, ones with the multiple postitions on targets, choices, options for high risk/high reward (not safety based) are good and should be encouraged.

When a normal D class shooter can NOT complete the stage because it is too difficult, that might too is likely a "gotcha" stage.

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I hate memory stages..... not sure if this is a subset of gotcha stages. I want to be challenged on my shooting skills... not memory. I've only shot a handful of what I would call memory stages... all stages require you to remember some things. :)

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A "gotcha" stage is one where the designer is intending to trick or trip up shooters or break the flow so as to disrupt top shooters...or too stupid to realize that is what the stage does. Ones where the target HAS to be engaged at 179.5 (basically half a tick off or on the 180) and if you miss your step by 2mm, DQ. Those are ridiculous gotcha stages, but we still see them.

That is EVIL

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I would think that a memory type stage is essential for any practical shooting match. I try to mix it up to balance things out.

-Memory

-Hoser

-Accuracy

-Moving targets

-run & gun

-weak/strong hand

-retreat

-etc

-etc

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I like stages that give you options on where to engage the targets. I also like to design stages that require a target to be taken from a specific position that is easy to run past, or hidden behind a wall such that it is hidden until you get more than half way past the opening. These walls are usually set up parallel to the back stop.

I do not have a problem with stages that allow you to break the 180 because you ran faster than you could engage the targets, ie you outrun the gun. I do have a problem with stages that require engagement in the 170 to 179 range. I like stages that use barriers to hide the targets once they come close to the 180 mark.

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I'll call bullshit on this one. If you need more than 5 minutes, then you were doomed from the start and didn't walk the stages the day before.

There is always an easy way to shoot a stage.

This raises an interesting question--should you be forced to arrive early and walk the stages the day before in order to be competitive at the match? That can happen if the stages become overly complex or "memory-reliant."

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I'll call bullshit on this one. If you need more than 5 minutes, then you were doomed from the start and didn't walk the stages the day before.

There is always an easy way to shoot a stage.

This raises an interesting question--should you be forced to arrive early and walk the stages the day before in order to be competitive at the match? That can happen if the stages become overly complex or "memory-reliant."

I know this is USPSA, but doesn't IPSC specifically disallow this?

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I'll call bullshit on this one. If you need more than 5 minutes, then you were doomed from the start and didn't walk the stages the day before.

There is always an easy way to shoot a stage.

This raises an interesting question--should you be forced to arrive early and walk the stages the day before in order to be competitive at the match? That can happen if the stages become overly complex or "memory-reliant."

I walk the stages the day before just to see if I need to practice any goofy starts.

And to take a day away from the wife:p

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Can someone show an example of a "memory" stage that they could not figure out?

My biggest problem in stage design is this:

8 shot array, move, 8 shot array, move, 8 shot array, move, 8 shot array

If all your stages follow that method. Give up stage design.

I like stages that make you think. That make you move rearward instead of forward. That make you take a 45 yard shot or waste seconds moving to a closer position.

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