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Graham Smith

Avoiding 180 Problems

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The purpose of rule 2.1.4 is to eliminate the chance of a stage designer placing a target in a location that FORCES the shooter to engage it beyond the 180 because it can only be engaged beyond the 180.

If that was the actual objective there would be many ways to communicate that which would be much more clear. I don't know why they would even need to say that if that was the correct interpretation. Kind of stupid really. Has or would that foreseeably ever be a problem?

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That exact issue has happened before, in fact it happened at the Nationals a few years back and the stage had to be tossed out. It seems like it would be obvious that you shouldn't place targets that can only be engaged beyond the 180, but it happens and thus the need for the rule.

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wow! I learned something today and will never underestimate the potential for stupidity. Thanks.

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If we area all using targets that are white on one side and brown on the other, remember that the back side of a No-Shoot is the front face of a target! Just setting up a NS to block the view can inadvertently set up a 'target' that is seen where it shouldn't be seen from!

We try to make it so that you can see a target maybe at 150-160 then block the view from 180 to maybe 195-200. After that you have to take some responsibility for your actions. If the targets are open, then we may not put up any blocking as you can see them for a long way before the 180, as you pass by, you really should be aware of where you are.

Big Boy Rules, it is one of the reasons so many people are migrating to 3-gun. The rule book isn't as thick as a small town phone book.

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The first time I shot at Southern Chester, all of the No-Shoots seemed a bit strange but I've gotten used to them. Having gotten more involved in the stage design process, it makes sense. If you're making newer shooters run downrange, engaging targets left and right, it is nice to have a safety net in place to force the shot before reaching an unsafe position.

In terms of setup, it isn't a big deal. Once the target is in position, you just drop the no-shoot in place and be done with it. I can't recall a time where adjusting the no-shoot position became an issue. The only issue I can see developing is a stage eating into your supply of targets stands.

Here is one example of a stage setup last year. There were 6 targets that required an additional 6 no-shoots (12 stands in all)

post-13097-0-30077500-1399902581_thumb.j

post-13097-0-37512400-1399902797_thumb.j

If you stopped setting up stages in this manner, I think you would see an increase in DQs from 180 violations but I don't think you would be wrong for making the decision.

I guess what it boils down to is that I'm indifferent. As someone designing and setting up stages, I don't have an issue either way. As a shooter, I don't have an issue with it either way.

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To quote my CRO instructor. "using no shoots for any reason other than increasing the challenge is a sign of bad stage design."

No way I would take the time to put up a bunch of no shoots when I could stack a few barrels or put up two walls.

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I personally don't care for stage design that "saves" the shooter from making a mistake. Design stages to be safe first and challenging second. Offer options and multiple ways to solve the problem.

Frankly, I see nothing wrong with a stage that has all the targets at 179*... But only IF it's set in the bay in a way that it captures 100% of the rounds fired in the berms and offers a challenge.

I don't consider forcing shooters to push the 180 to be a valid way to "test" a shooters skills in USPSA. That isn't what USPSA is about.

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100% agree, I shoot with some very fast shooters, but if the goal is to disqualify as many as possible, then 179 is great. With very fast shooters the RO cannot see it that close. The goal should be to enjoy this sport. Breaking the 180 by 1 degree is to the discretion of the RO , and not all of them know the rules nor can keep up to see the 180.

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No way I would take the time to put up a bunch of no shoots when I could stack a few barrels or put up two walls.

What you suggest serves the same purpose as no-shoots but it also assumes a large supply of barrels and walls - something that not everyone has.

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100% agree, I shoot with some very fast shooters, but if the goal is to disqualify as many as possible, then 179 is great. With very fast shooters the RO cannot see it that close. The goal should be to enjoy this sport. Breaking the 180 by 1 degree is to the discretion of the RO , and not all of them know the rules nor can keep up to see the 180.

too that point I would quote a pretty well known RM who said he has not seen many DQ's for 181 but he has seen many at 190. The point being that while you can get a DQ for 180.005 it is rare because most RO's won't DQ a shooter unless there is absolutely no doubt in their mind.

Taking the stand that these types of challenges are an effort to DQ as many shooters as possible is a poor excuse. The matches I shoot and run frequently have targets at 175 plus or walls that you have to back out of and shoot around. IT's not really a USPSA only rule that you should keep a gun pointing down range at all times

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When I search "180" in the rule book I come up with no results...

With so much discussion on this board regarding range commands and rules, might we start using 90 degree rule vs 180?

10.5.2 If at any time during the course of fire, a competitor allows the muzzle of
his handgun to point rearwards, that is further than 90 degrees from the
median intercept of the backstop, or in the case of no backstop, allows
the muzzle to point up range, whether the handgun is loaded or not
(limited exceptions: 10.5.6).

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With so much discussion on this board regarding range commands and rules, might we start using 90 degree rule vs 180?

The term 180 describes the imaginary line across the shooting area whereas the term 90 only refers to one arm of it. But it's true, that the term can create some confusion with new shooters. In fact the entire concept can be confusing when you have a bay that's not clearly rectangular. But that's a different discussion.

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With so much discussion on this board regarding range commands and rules, might we start using 90 degree rule vs 180?

The term 180 describes the imaginary line across the shooting area whereas the term 90 only refers to one arm of it. But it's true, that the term can create some confusion with new shooters. In fact the entire concept can be confusing when you have a bay that's not clearly rectangular. But that's a different discussion.

Then we can get into median backstop discussions. Oh what fun.

In the end, the impetus is on the shooter to be aware of and not violate the 180. The course designer owes the shooter a safe course that is challenging. That challenge can exist anywhere between 90 degrees from the median backstop in either direction. Blocking the violation is, in my opinion, a disservice to the shooter and the sport. A shooter that goes too fast and breaks the rules isn't as skilled as a shooter that goes really fast and doesn't break the rules.

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The course designer owes the shooter a safe course that is challenging.

I thing that pretty much puts it in a nutshell. Challenging doesn't have to involve creating "traps".

If you are going to put a target immediately behind a wall that is perpendicular to the 180 then the shooter is going to have to be really careful. But if the same thing can be accomplished with a wall that's canted towards the shooter some then why not do that instead and reduce or remove the issue.

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The course designer owes the shooter a safe course that is challenging.

I thing that pretty much puts it in a nutshell. Challenging doesn't have to involve creating "traps".

If you are going to put a target immediately behind a wall that is perpendicular to the 180 then the shooter is going to have to be really careful. But if the same thing can be accomplished with a wall that's canted towards the shooter some then why not do that instead and reduce or remove the issue.

Same reason they don't issue training wheels for racing bikes?

Seriously, what you describe here is not a trap in my opinion. It's a good stiff challenge. Local matches need to have some teeth or you are setting your guys up for failure at their first area match

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I'm with sarge. Easy doesn't separate the men from the mice. There need to be some spots where the shooter HAS TO mind their muzzle, slow down, be careful, et cetera. It teaches control and proficiency.

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Here is the most critical rule:

2.1.4 "Target Locations When a course is constructed to include target locations other than immediately downrange, organizers and officials must protect or restrict surrounding areas to which competitors, officials or spectators have access. Each competitor must be allowed to solve the competitive problem in his own way and must not be hindered by being forced to act in any manner which might cause unsafe action. Targets must be arranged so that shooting at them on an as and when visible basis will not cause competitors to breach safe angles of fire."

I am in my phone otherwise I would highlight that last sentence, "Targets must be arranged so that shooting at them on an as and when visible basis will not cause competitors to breach safe angles of fire."

The OP is correct. Stage designers have a responsibility to eliminate the possibility of engaging a visible target which could breach a safe angle of fire (i.e. 180).

In a very recent CRO class this is how that rule was described. Notice the word "must", it doesn't say "should". So when I read it I read it has to happen, when I talk to an NROI instructor he says it has to happen.

*Edit

You can still break the 180 you will just be pointing at something that is not a shoot target. Still a big boys game.

Edited by ktm300

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Match time is not teaching time. Itis a fine line to walk between creating a shooting challenge and setting your shooters up for failure. If you have to resort to placing targets right on the 180 to challenge your competitors you need to rethink your stage designs.

I'm with sarge. Easy doesn't separate the men from the mice. There need to be some spots where the shooter HAS TO mind their muzzle, slow down, be careful, et cetera. It teaches control and proficiency.

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Something that no one's mentioned - there are greater forces at work here than offering "challenging" courses or preparing local shooters for larger matches.

Unnecessarily setting targets in borderline-safe positions is increasingly dangerous and an enormous legal and fiscal liability for local club ranges. One successful lawsuit will end matches and could close a local shooting facility. Unless you shoot within a bank vault, there is the unavoidable possibility of a round going where it shouldn't. Target placement can play a huge role in mitigating that danger or exacerbating it.

I've been a member of a couple local clubs whose ranges were shut down over incidents and liabilities. It DOES happen. The "big boy" game is designing courses that are challenging and fun without endangering shooters, the neighbors or the future of the facility.

Mark

Edited by redial

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If placing targets along the 180 suddenly creates a dangerous situation, then you shouldn't have targets at 120 either. The stage needs to fit the bay and be safe. There needs to be a huge margin for mistakes.

I'm not guessing here either or waxing poetic. I ran the Fredericksburg match in Virginia for 2 years plus was on the executive staff of multiple area 8s and va/md sections. I've put 30 or so matches on the ground.

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The point is that 2.1.4 is a rule and I tend to follow the rule book. If you are not clear that the rule does what I think it says it does, check with NROI directly.

Is it a PITA sometimes, yes, so are a lot of other rules I tend to follow.

Must and will not are strong words.

"Targets must be arranged so that shooting at them on an as and when visible basis will not cause competitors to breach safe angles of fire."

It does not say you can't have targets on the 180 line, it just says you need to put up something so if the shooter is going to break that 180 they can't hit the target. It's pretty simple, doesn't take away difficulty and may cause someone or several someones to have a better time at your match. It also makes it very simple for the RO's to see when someone does take their gun past 180.

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If placing targets along the 180 suddenly creates a dangerous situation, then you shouldn't have targets at 120 either. The stage needs to fit the bay and be safe. There needs to be a huge margin for mistakes.

I'm not guessing here either or waxing poetic. I ran the Fredericksburg match in Virginia for 2 years plus was on the executive staff of multiple area 8s and va/md sections. I've put 30 or so matches on the ground.

Fredericksburg puts on some great matches but ever notice how each one starts with a stern warning about how many shooters were DQed at the last match for breaking the 180?

It drives me crazy because it's completely unnecessary and has inspired me to take some examples of stages to write an article for Front Site called, the 180 trap. I haven't started writing it yet but I am inspired non the less.

Also, ensure don't get me started on the corner bay declared to have a "floating 180."

Edited by alma

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Here is the most critical rule:

2.1.4 "Target Locations When a course is constructed to include target locations other than immediately downrange, organizers and officials must protect or restrict surrounding areas to which competitors, officials or spectators have access. <snip>

In a very recent CRO class this is how that rule was described. <snip>

This came up in a CRO course I attended and it was not so cut and dried. The instructors example was where there was not adequate berm/backstop to one side. That made it important to either prevent any shots from going in that direction or keep people out of the area. At no time was the topic of preventing 180 shots brought up. And, as others have pointed out, if there was a obligation to do this, numerous stages at Level II and III matches would have been illegal. So, no, I don't believe that the rules say you must prevent this from happening. And if they did then anyone who broke the 180 shooting at a target could claim the stage was illegal.

I've seen stages (and even did a few myself) where a target was only available from a narrow angle and where shooter or an RO was standing starring at a target trying to figure out how far downrange someone could be to shoot that target without breaking the 180. That's a trap for the unwary. Doesn't make it illegal and probably doesn't mean it's inherently bad but it's also something that can be avoided.

Edited by Graham Smith

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If placing targets along the 180 suddenly creates a dangerous situation, then you shouldn't have targets at 120 either. The stage needs to fit the bay and be safe. There needs to be a huge margin for mistakes.

I'm not guessing here either or waxing poetic. I ran the Fredericksburg match in Virginia for 2 years plus was on the executive staff of multiple area 8s and va/md sections. I've put 30 or so matches on the ground.

Fredericksburg puts on some great matches but ever notice how each one starts with a stern warning about how many shooters were DQed at the last match for breaking the 180?

It drives me crazy because it's completely unnecessary and has inspired me to take some examples of stages to write an article for Front Site called, the 180 trap. I haven't started writing it yet but I am inspired non the less.

Also, ensure don't get me started on the corner bay declared to have a "floating 180."

No. I never noticed a stern lecture as I no longer run the match nor do I shoot it.

The rule you keep quoting still doesn't say what you want it to. It says targets need to be available from legal angles. It doesn't say that shouldn't be available from angles beyond legal.

Floating 180 aside, the stage designer has 180* of placement to work with. Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it illegal. As I've said repeatedly, the margin for safety better be substantially greater than 90* from the backstop.

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Stages should be challenging but maintaining safety should not be a designed focal point of that challenge.

Edited by alma

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