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The use of the wrong equipment in a division

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Shooters who use inappropriate gear have typically been moved to the class in which the equipment use pushed them, usually Open.  An interesting and perhaps better idea that I saw in a discussion on Facebook is to give the shooter a 60 or 100 second penalty on each stage that he used the prohibited gear. The shooter would remain in their declared division, and be required to make the changes necessary to be within the rules of that division. If it is not possible to reconfigure the equipment, the shooter would be moved to the appropriate division, and in either case, the accrued penalties would still be applied. What are your thoughts? 

Andy

 

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I would imagine that a GM could shoot the same course of fire

in 15 seconds with an OPEN gun and 25 seconds with a Production gun.

So, as tanks said, any more than a 10 second penalty is excessive, IMHO.   :) 

 

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At Ft. Benning one year, Taran got caught with one too many shells in his shotgun. He got bumped to Open from Tac. I guess it pissed him off as he won Open division.

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I think it will be difficult to determine a penalty (time or points) that would be considered appropriate by a majority of those competitors or match directors who may care about such things.  In my opinion, being bumped to Open from just about any other declared division is sufficient penalty, and let the scores on stages that were completed prior to the ruling stand as shot.

It helps if there is a written match rule in place that defines equipment divisions and the penalty associated with infractions.

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A buddy of mine shooting Heavy at FN (1 shot per paper to neutralize) had an equipment question raised by one CRO.  Although it ended up being a non-issue (no rule was in fact violated), we were discussing the implications of getting moved from Heavy to Open.  In short, if you are shooting Open, you need two hits on paper, but there is no way retroactively to determine exactly which targets he had engaged prior to the possible move to Open that had only one hole in them—I mean, not necessarily all, since he could have taken make-up shots and ended up with 2+ on paper, division rules notwithstanding.

So, you then have the possibility of someone shooting Open who got to shoot most of the match putting only 1 shot on paper, or getting screwed (from a competitive standpoint) not only by the move to Open but also with retroactive FTN penalties.  Since neither of those seems like a good answer, the once-per-stage Dumbass penalty seems like a much better choice.

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33 minutes ago, CJW said:

A buddy of mine shooting Heavy at FN (1 shot per paper to neutralize) had an equipment question raised by one CRO.  Although it ended up being a non-issue (no rule was in fact violated), we were discussing the implications of getting moved from Heavy to Open.  In short, if you are shooting Open, you need two hits on paper, but there is no way retroactively to determine exactly which targets he had engaged prior to the possible move to Open that had only one hole in them—I mean, not necessarily all, since he could have taken make-up shots and ended up with 2+ on paper, division rules notwithstanding.

So, you then have the possibility of someone shooting Open who got to shoot most of the match putting only 1 shot on paper, or getting screwed (from a competitive standpoint) not only by the move to Open but also with retroactive FTN penalties.  Since neither of those seems like a good answer, the once-per-stage Dumbass penalty seems like a much better choice.

I'm not seeing the negative for the competitor in question or the other competitors in just moving them to open with the previous 1 hit on paper being a complete run.

if tac ops or open allowed .308 with 1 hit on paper as an alternative to 5.56 and 2 hits on paper I don't think many would be making the change.

the way I read your comment u think 1 hit with a heavy rifle is faster than the normal 2 giving them an unfair advantage?

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At least a 30 second penalty per stage. If the shooter can't / won't read the rules for the declared division, they deserve a hard lesson.

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1 hour ago, Dan Sierpina said:

At least a 30 second penalty per stage. If the shooter can't / won't read the rules for the declared division, they deserve a hard lesson.

I agree with the the hard lesson.  But, I don't like putting the burden of equipment penalties on the RO.    Bump to open makes it simple, and if the shooter shoots better than the top open shooter even with gear that may not be optimal for open division, their skill still proved to b greater that day.   

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16 hours ago, Alaskapopo said:

I like the bump to open works in USPSA.

Pat

+1. Enough pain to dissuade willful non-compliance, but not overly harsh for the inadvertent infraction.

I do NOT agree with simply moving them to the division they should have been in... that is no punishment at all, and encourages people to play fast and loose with the rues.

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23 hours ago, Garmil said:

I'm not seeing the negative for the competitor in question or the other competitors in just moving them to open with the previous 1 hit on paper being a complete run.

if tac ops or open allowed .308 with 1 hit on paper as an alternative to 5.56 and 2 hits on paper I don't think many would be making the change.

the way I read your comment u think 1 hit with a heavy rifle is faster than the normal 2 giving them an unfair advantage?

It has nothing to do with what I think about it, and no match I have attended gives the 1 per paper rule for large caliber in any division other than Heavy—you only get that leeway if you are in a Heavy division.

The point is, if anybody in Open gets beat by a shooter who got bumped from Heavy, and that Heavy shooter got to shoot some (potentially large) portion of the match under different scoring rules, there is legitimate grounds for complaint.  Applying a penalty in division rather than moving to Open at least eliminates that potential problem.

 

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Another scenario to consider:

I saw a shooter recently get bumped from tac-ops to open at a major match for an equipment violation. He wound up grabbing a much nicer prize off the table finishing where he did in open than he would have in tac-ops with the same score. That may have been a rare occurrence based on the competitors in each division, but he wound up rewarded instead of penalized. I prefer penalties per violation.

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Its an interesting thought to add penalties vs moving someone to open. I once saw a Tac shooter purposely get bumped into open after they discovered the talent pool wasn't as high as it was in Tac.  It was an easier win and a 1st place walk on the open prize table. To me, that's bordering a sportsmans conduct issue..

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Yep, I agree Andy, good thought provoking thread!

 

And so far I am leaning toward a stage DQ for the stage(s) the violation occured, with a pending possible match DQ for poor sportsmanship. IE; Changing divisions after the match has started (see actionshooter's post above) unless there are extenuating circumstances such as equipment breakdown and having to use a new gun that does not meet the original declared division.

Run what you brung!

jj

Edited by RiggerJJ

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I support the stage DQ for the violation.  Simple, no questions.  Any other twist would just confuse the wording in the rule book.  For the basic shooter he would understand and for the rest of the match would still be shooting the same equipment for what he was equipped for in his declared Division with a slight modification.  

I relate a lot of my thoughts to racing.  If in racing (is what we do with guns) you are caught with equipment not allowed in your class then it is an DQ because it is cheating!  Well, because so many 3 gun matches out there have different rules I believe a stage DQ is a fair punishment.

let the flaming begin:)

Busyhawk...AKA Scott

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i actually think you should get a stage DQ on any stage u shot wrong equipment, and the option to shoot open the rest of your stages, or to reconfigure gear to meet original division specs and finish match. Either way, stage DQ stands as your score since wrong equipment was used and a DQ for any stages shot prior to discovery of equipment violation.

What might be considered an exception is  the circumstance that is probably the most common reason for folks being"bumped to open" the >9 rds at start. Kinda may not fit the "wrong equipment" category. For this particular infraction an added time penalty might be sufficient. (Unless the match calls for a"gun may not excee X capacity" in the rules, which would be an equipment violation and handled as noted above) 

 

 

 

Edited by Lead-Head

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If people using the wrong equipment in a declared division has gotten to be such a problem, why not have equipment inspection before the match starts, like IPSC does (or NASCAR, NHRA, IHRA, etc)? The few matches that I have competed in overseas had pre-match inspection. If someone is going to go around checking pistol mag length with a gage, I would prefer that the gage be made available at sign in so I could check my mags against it to be absolutely sure I am legal according the gage used at that match.

To me, a gross infraction should warrant a DQ, (having a bi pod, monopodding off of equal length mags when match director says no, using a 40rd rifle mag when division rules say a max of 30rds, etc) a minor infraction should get a penalty or bumped to open. When I say minor, I mean someone shooting Heavy Metal with a doublestack pistol and his magazine is 143 mm long, but he can only have 10 rounds in it anyway, technically, it is illegal, but there is no advantage gained from it.

Of all of the matches that I have participated in, the match directors have done an excellent job of applying common sense to the few situations that have came up.

Hurley

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On 9/8/2016 at 9:53 AM, ChuckS said:

At Ft. Benning one year, Taran got caught with one too many shells in his shotgun. He got bumped to Open from Tac. I guess it pissed him off as he won Open division.

A friend mine had it happen on his first stage of a 3 GN regional match, got DQed for it. Adding 10-15 seconds to that stage makes up for the extra shell in the gun.

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Thanks to all for your input.  And for keeping it on track and pertinent. 

Lead-Head and The Donald, and possibly others, have hit on the problem I have with a stage or match DQ.  

Over the years, I have personally run across a couple of people who intentionally used the wrong gear in order to gain an advantage -- read 'cheat'.  I have run across many people who just made a mistake which did little to improve their score, and a couple who used the current rule to their advantage in one way or another.  The first group should be DQ'd from the match, the second should receive a fairly painful penalty, and the third just played by the rules. 

The big questions are:

1) How does anyone tell the difference between the first and second groups above?  2) Is a severe penalty, stage or match DQ, the best response for a problem which most agree is a mistake the majority of the time? 3) Are we, the folks who work and run matches, willing to make the more harsh call if we differentiate between the two groups?

My thoughts so far:

For the second group, those who make a mistake, I'm leaning toward a penalty that would reduce the shooter's score by 30% to 50% on the stage.  They would then either correct the problem or move to the appropriate division. At Blue Ridge, that may be a 25  second penalty, and at a match with shorter stages, it may be a 10 to 15 second penalty.

Match directors have to be more willing to use Unsportsmanlike Conduct disqualifications. This includes the first group above, as well as those competitors who are a PIA on stage after stage according the range officers, those who verbally assault or abuse staff members, and other unacceptable actions. This isn't a way to become popular with some folks. However, I believe there is a very small minority who need to be reminded that respectability is a virtue that is expected.  Everyone gets frustrated, angry, distracted, or disagrees with a call at times.  Me definitely included. But, when a match director gets complaints about a particular shooter from 4 sets of ROs out of the 5 stages the shooter has shot, there is a problem that should be dealt with. Before someone thinks would be a common occurrence, I can think of 5 times over 13 years of running matches that I could/should have DQ'd someone for this type of action.  

I'm not sure there is a good overarching answer to some the questions above, but ..........

Hopefully, Hurley's final statement can be lived up to when situations arise.

Andy

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I think that is some thing to consider in the 3GN events if you are moved to Unlimited you walk a smaller prize table but the prizes are all good.  You have a lot fewer shooters in Unlimited and you might walk an hour ahead of where you would have in Practical.   And if people are getting bumped for a single piece of gear not being to division specs they are shooting at a disadvantage. 

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