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weak hand unsupported


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had a stage this weekend that caused a lot of whining. The description read "shoot weak hand unsupported around barricade to engage all targets". well, it was quite a stretch to get the last targets on the far right side, but everyone except one did a good job of leaning around.the one shooter in question was leaning against the barricade when he finished the stage. i could not verify how many shots where fired while supporting himself while shooting, but i could not find a rule in the book that said he couldn't lean on the wall. i ended up not giving an procedurals but should i have nailed him? i always thought unsupported meant UNSUPPORTED. help me out here guys, whats should have been the call.

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Unsupported means that you can't use the *other* hand to provide support. Unless your stage instructions had other requirements for "unsupported", I'll assume that we're looking to the rulebook for clarification.

So, if the stage says "weak hand", it means that you can't use the strong hand to

-- touch the gun ( except to reload, clear malfs, etc

-- support the shooting hand, wrist or arm (

-- hold onto a barricade or prop to increase stability (

Basically, in a weak-hand string, the strong arm is deemed to be completely incapacitated for the rest of the string, so... if they use the strong arm in any substantive way to aid their stance or shooting, that's a procedural.

However, there's nothing to say that they can't lean against a barricade, or take a kneeling stance and support the weak arm on their knee, or any of a number of other variations... as long as they don't use the strong arm to do it.


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I am probably going to give the identity of the shooter away here, but the stage description said "...weak hand unsupported from the opposite(left in this case) side of the barricade...". The shooter ;) put his strong arm accross his chest as many do during one handed shooting. He ;) was not aware that he came in contact with the barricade, but obviously did, since the RO said he did. The fist was closed, and the arm was between the chest and barricade. The shooter ;) does not doubt the RO about touching, leaning, or contacting the barricade. The shooter did not brace himself there for the purpose of steadying, and it is undetermineable how many shots were fired while in contact, but let's say it was at least two, the shooter is trying to be fair you know. Did the shooter gain a competitive advantage by having a closed fisted forearm against the wall?

As for the second run, it was just easier to avoid crowding the barricade to prove he could do it, to keep the competitive banter down, and to avoid confrontation again. The RO relished in the initial accusation against his buddy, and the ensuing discussion was riddled with arguments and rule book reading. Do the opinions of the onlookers matter here? If it had come to arbitration, they could have been interviewed by the RM, MD, or appointed committee as I understand it, but should have no bearing on the RO"s initial decision.

The does not clear this up, it is still open to interpretation, and the stage description was not specific enough to make it clear otherwise. When the rule states use of the hand only, then the forearm may be OK. The acting match director avoided the discussion altogether.

Tewlman and I really want to know the answer, it really matters very little in yesterdays match, and we are still friends, regardless of the answer, if it is possible to get one. Neither of us make it a habit to question an RO's call, and both strive to be fair when we are running shooters.

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Hi folks,

I'm still in Bali, so this is a hit 'n' run response, but the additional text in bold below, which is part of the IPSC Handgun Rule Interpretations published 6 August 2004 on the IPSC website, might be of assistance:

10.2.8 If a course of fire stipulates shooting strong or weak hand only, a competitor will not be penalized for using the other hand (i.e. the other arm from the shoulder to the hand) to disengage an external safety, to reload or to safely correct a malfunction. However, the competitor will be issued 1 procedural penalty per shot fired while:

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