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Starting outside of shooting area - but one foot in?


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My understanding has always been that "outside of the shooting area" means both feet out. I recently received an email from a section coordinator that changed that understanding. 

From the email:

"Over the last few months there has been some USPSA Rule discussion at the local matches as to what the definition of "Outside the shooting area" really means. When a Written Stage Briefing (WSB) states a feet start position as "Standing outside shooting area" some competitors believe that this means that both feet have to be fully outside of the shooting area. Then other competitors believe that only one foot needs to be touching outside of the shooting area and the other foot can start within the shooting area. I searched through the rule book trying to find the answer but I couldn't find one. I reached out to USPSA's DNROI Troy McManus with the question to see if he could provide some clarification. Troy provided a prompt reply with the below response. There you have it, directly from the proverbial horses mouth. If the WSB verbiage is left vague, such as only stating "Standing outside shooting area" then it is perfectly legal for a competitor to start with one foot in and one foot out. Gamer's gotta game after all right? For the stage designers and match directors within the section, please take note of this clarification so you can provide the proper WSB verbiage to keep the competitor fully outside of the shooting area or not as needed. Have fun and be safe!!!


Response from Troy McManus......

If you can be penalized for shooting while touching outside the shooting area, then you are outside the shooting area.  The issue here is the wording of the WSB, and the assumption that "outside" means both feet outside.  Per the rules, it doesn't necessarily mean that.  The WSB should state something like "completely outside the fault lines", "both feet outside the fault lines", "both feet touching the ground outside the fault lines" or something like that, in order to avoid misunderstanding about what "in" or "out" means to the competitor with regard to the start position. The bottom line is, it needs to be clearly and specifically spelled out."
This will change how I write up my standard start position start. Frankly it doesn't really make sense to me as one foot out doesn't mean "out" to me but rather "Faulting". Guess I will change that thinking.
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Most every stage briefing I see either says "both feet out" or designates a starting point outside the shooting area (e.g. outside, toes touching x's, etc.).  Since the rules also have a definition for "completely" which is different from "one foot out" you could also simply state that the starting position is "completely outside the shooting area."

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