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Smitty79

Warnings (Can I give the shooter the "finger"?)

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My recollection was that the RMI who taught my RO course told us that you need to stick to the commands in the rule book from the time the shooter comes from the line to the time you call the range clear.   I've been shooting USPSA for 5 years and been an RO for a little over a year.   I'm still learning a lot about how to RO.

 

A few months ago, I was ROing a person who was not on his first match, but had low single digit match experience.   Every time he moved, his finger was very near the being in the trigger guard.   Finally, it didn't come out as he left and shooting position and I was obligated to DQ him.   He wasn't happy and rage quit and went home.   Another shooter who was with him left too.

 

I was shooting an IDPA match the other day with a guy who is a very experienced RO (Many years at multi-gun nationals and many area/sectional matched) and said that I like the fact that IDPA allows a finger warning.   I would have liked to have warned the guy I DQ'd.    The experienced RO told me that even thought it's not in the USPSA rule book, he would give finger warnings if he saw someone close at a USPSA.

 

What are the thoughts of the brain trust?

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I am NOT an RO, but my personal feelings as a Long Time Shooter,

is that I prefer Warnings over DQ's, period.  

 

A warning is just as effective a learning tool as a DQ,  IMHO.

 

At an Area Match about a decade ago, the MD caught me

handling a magazine at a Safe Table, and kept coming back

about five times to Warn me, and remind me, NOT to do that

again.

 

In the past decade, I've NEVER done that again.   Very effective   :)

 

Yes, he could have DQ'd me - I also would have learned my

lesson - but no real need to DQ me, so he didn't.    :cheers: 

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Ignoring rules at an Area match?  Shame. 

 

As for warnings we just had a guy at a Level 2 match that was moving with what looked very close to but not clearly on the trigger. Since the RO wasn't sure, he waited until the stage was completed and took the guy aside and gave him a warning. On the guys very the next stage the RO called a 10.5.10. When the called me over to the stage the only comment from the shooter was "that was bulls#!t". Safety related issues? If you see it, call it. It may not make the shooter happy but it is best for everyone involved in the sport.

 

 

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At local matches I see warnings given all the time. It’s the nice way of saying you should be DQ’d but just don’t do it anymore. At lvl 2 or 3 matches you won’t hear many if any warnings. It’s a hard job to make those decisions on the fly like that. But there is a pretty good chance when someone rage quits they aren’t coming back. So that’s no good for the club or organization. Nobody likes to be DQ’d, but it’s part of the game.

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Posted (edited)

USPSA Handgun Competition Rules, February 2014 Edition

8.6.1

“No assistance of any kind can be give

n to a competitor during a course

of fire, except that any Range Officer assigned to a stage may issue

safety warnings to a competitor at any time. Such warnings will not be

grounds for the competitor to be awarded a reshoot.”

 Personally I wish that rule was either dropped or changed to say level one only or new shooters only etc.

  Sorry Jack but warnings don’t carry the same weight as a DQ. Not even close. I’m also one of those guys who doesn’t care if a DQed shooter never comes back. I would rather a shooter left forever than to have somebody get shot because I let safety slide.

  

Edited by Sarge

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IPSC has the same rule about "Range Officer assigned to a stage may issue safety warnings to a competitor at any time".

 

I've understood that to mean that the RO can warn competitors who are close to a violation, during the Course of Fire. Finger creeping, getting close to 180. If the competitor crosses the line, then you have a DQ. No ifs or buts.

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Issuing finger calls is a little different in uspsa because everytime you say finger your saying you should dq them for whatever they are doing but decided not to? 

 

Or they arnt doing anything against the rules and then what are you really warning them about. 

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1 hour ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

I am NOT an RO, but my personal feelings as a Long Time Shooter,

is that I prefer Warnings over DQ's, period.  

 

A warning is just as effective a learning tool as a DQ,  IMHO.

 

At an Area Match about a decade ago, the MD caught me

handling a magazine at a Safe Table, and kept coming back

about five times to Warn me, and remind me, NOT to do that

again.

 

In the past decade, I've NEVER done that again.   Very effective   :)

 

Yes, he could have DQ'd me - I also would have learned my

lesson - but no real need to DQ me, so he didn't.    :cheers: 

 

You can handle an empty magazine at the safe table. 

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28 minutes ago, Kraj said:

Issuing finger calls is a little different in uspsa because everytime you say finger your saying you should dq them for whatever they are doing but decided not to? 

 

Or they arnt doing anything against the rules and then what are you really warning them about. 

 

I give warnings when the issue is close, but not enough for me to be sure of the infraction.

 

Once I am sure enough then I make the call.

 

i don't subscribe to allowing a shooter to DQ if I can prevent it.

 

 

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Warnings off the clock are fine.

 

Warnings on the clock are bulls#!t.  If you start hollering randomly at me when I'm shooting a course of fire I'm going to stop, because the only thing you ought to be saying between "standby" and "if finished...." is STOP (if necessary).

 

Running around behind the shooter yelling "finger" because you can't tell if the finger is out or not is a s#!t job of RO-ing.  Either call the DQ or shut up.

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29 minutes ago, wtturn said:

Warnings off the clock are fine.

 

Warnings on the clock are bulls#!t.  If you start hollering randomly at me when I'm shooting a course of fire I'm going to stop, because the only thing you ought to be saying between "standby" and "if finished...." is STOP (if necessary).

 

Running around behind the shooter yelling "finger" because you can't tell if the finger is out or not is a s#!t job of RO-ing.  Either call the DQ or shut up.

Might want to check 8.6.1

 

It is permissible to issue a safety warning which I will do if not 100% sure.  If 100% sure, then DQ.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, bishop414 said:

Might want to check 8.6.1

 

It is permissible to issue a safety warning which I will do if not 100% sure.  If 100% sure, then DQ.

 

 

 

I'm familiar with the letter of the law.

 

Doesn't make it any less f*#king stupid.

 

"You say you said 'finger' but I heard you say 'stop'!" 

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Now you see? This is why I have a problem with warnings. It seems everybody even has their own idea of when and how to use them! LOL    In the fist place the book goes through all these scenarios that are DQ offenses. No ifs ands or buts. You do X and you are DQed. BUT you can warn as shooter for doing something instead of DQ. That just makes no sense to me as a blanket statement. Now we see that some warn when a shooter is close to DQ. Close means nothing when it comes to a DQ. You see a violation you call it. You don't see a violation you just keep quiet. I have on many occasions, after the run, told a shooter how close they were to a 180 or learn to keep your finger away from the trigger guard completely because another RO might think their finger is in there. More like tips than warnings.

  Here is a good example of how a warning could be very confusing during a COF. A shooter draws and launches one into the ground 15 feet in front of him. What do you say? "Wow, if that were 5 feet closer I would have to DQ you"? You say NOTHING unless you believe it was too close. 

  I love my mentor Gary Stevens but I disagree with not "letting" a shooter DQ. I DQed two guys last month in Michigan for holstering a hot gun off safe. I saw them do everything to make ready except flip the safety on before they holstered. I was not about to remind them to flip the safety on so I just watched them do it. 

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2 hours ago, wtturn said:

 

I'm familiar with the letter of the law.

 

Doesn't make it any less f*#king stupid.

 

"You say you said 'finger' but I heard you say 'stop'!" 

 

Like gary said, if it's close but you're not sure, a warning is fine. If it hurts your feeling to get a warning, then don't let yourself get close enough that the RO is concerned.

 

I honestly don't worry too much about it with experienced competitors, but at local matches and for newer shooters, I'm quite happy to issue a warning when I feel someone is getting close to the edge and not aware of it. OTOH, if the person is obviously aware of what they are doing and where the gun is pointed, they probably don't need my help.

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I'm a book guy. If one disagrees with the book, work to have it changed.

 

Until then, I'll go by the book.

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Generally most new-er shooters are in Condition Black when shooting, so a warning that happened 6 seconds and 6 targets ago doesn't register. They are unaware of what they did.

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I don't know what condition black is, but I have observed many many new shooters, and after a warning or two most of them pay more attention to that particular topic.

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3 hours ago, Gary Stevens said:

I'm a book guy. If one disagrees with the book, work to have it changed.

 

Until then, I'll go by the book.

 

Exactly.

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5 hours ago, Sarge said:

I was not about to remind them to flip the safety on so I just watched them do it. 

not our (RO's) job to babysit, but if i see someone about to do something unsafe or get dq'd, i try to be a little proactive rather than just throw the flag after it happens.

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46 minutes ago, davsco said:

not our (RO's) job to babysit, but if i see someone about to do something unsafe or get dq'd, i try to be a little proactive rather than just throw the flag after it happens.

Then you have to start cutting slack to everybody for every infraction. You have to draw the line somewhere. At some point you have to consider competitive equity. Let’s just say you see me ABOUT to holster with my safety off and you remind me. Next shooter does same thing but you didn’t catch it in time and he holsters. You are obligated to DQ him. So what happens when he tells the RM you helped me but not him?

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17 minutes ago, Sarge said:

Then you have to start cutting slack to everybody for every infraction. You have to draw the line somewhere. At some point you have to consider competitive equity. Let’s just say you see me ABOUT to holster with my safety off and you remind me. Next shooter does same thing but you didn’t catch it in time and he holsters. You are obligated to DQ him. So what happens when he tells the RM you helped me but not him?

 

Despite opinions to the contrary, your only human?

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11 hours ago, mwray said:

At local matches I see warnings given all the time. It’s the nice way of saying you should be DQ’d but just don’t do it anymore. At lvl 2 or 3 matches you won’t hear many if any warnings. It’s a hard job to make those decisions on the fly like that. But there is a pretty good chance when someone rage quits they aren’t coming back. So that’s no good for the club or organization. Nobody likes to be DQ’d, but it’s part of the game.

If they "rage" at any point whether they quit or not, I'd rather not see them again.

Rage, Anger or childish behavior has no place around weapons.

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

Then you have to start cutting slack to everybody for every infraction. You have to draw the line somewhere. At some point you have to consider competitive equity. Let’s just say you see me ABOUT to holster with my safety off and you remind me. Next shooter does same thing but you didn’t catch it in time and he holsters. You are obligated to DQ him. So what happens when he tells the RM you helped me but not him?

i'm allowed to issue safety warnings, but not obligated to.  if i can help someone keep shooting, i think that's a plus for our sport, vs watching a potential train wreck and letting the guy send himself home early, frankly for something that isn't by itself unsafe though i realize it certainly can lead to very bad things.

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Then you have to start cutting slack to everybody for every infraction. You have to draw the line somewhere. At some point you have to consider competitive equity. Let’s just say you see me ABOUT to holster with my safety off and you remind me. Next shooter does same thing but you didn’t catch it in time and he holsters. You are obligated to DQ him. So what happens when he tells the RM you helped me but not him?


There's no slack.
If someone breaks a rule they earn the DQ.
If I can stop a unsafe act from happening I will do so, if i can't i will issue the appropriate penalty. If a shooter has a problem with getting DQed because I was able to stop someone else from doing something dumb but was unable to stop them that's their problem. And I will happily explain myself to the RM.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, MikeBurgess said:

There's no slack.
If someone breaks a rule they earn the DQ.
If I can stop a unsafe act from happening I will do so, if i can't i will issue the appropriate penalty. If a shooter has a problem with getting DQed because I was able to stop someone else from doing something dumb but was unable to stop them that's their problem. And I will happily explain myself to the RM.
 

 

 

This, this, this, and more of exactly this.

 

8 hours ago, Sarge said:

Then you have to start cutting slack to everybody for every infraction. You have to draw the line somewhere. At some point you have to consider competitive equity. Let’s just say you see me ABOUT to holster with my safety off and you remind me. Next shooter does same thing but you didn’t catch it in time and he holsters. You are obligated to DQ him. So what happens when he tells the RM you helped me but not him?

 

I have quoted you a couple times here Sarge, and first let me say I don't disagree with you, but would like to point out a perspective, if you will.  This one ^^^ has an answer, although it is a completely legitimate point.  Just as anything else, as an RO, you may be asked to articulate what happened or your actions.  You are under no obligation to not DQ one competitor, because you caught and warned another competitor before a safety violation.  Even if the argument is your possible supposed favoritism, it doesn't matter, one committed a safety violation and the other didn't.  The rules support discretionary warnings.  A DQ is for when a safety violation has actually occurred.

 

The reason warnings exist is because safety violations are more than something to send someone home over.  The safety rules exist because the acts they cover are actually unsafe.  We don't want them to happen, and in my personal opinion, should not stand by and allow one to happen if we know it is eminent.  That is a failure to keep everyone safe.  But you cant see everything, and everything is happening in real time, meaning sometimes you can intervene before something becomes unsafe, and sometimes there isn't time to see it coming or you just don't see it until its done. 

 

14 hours ago, Sarge said:

I DQed two guys last month in Michigan for holstering a hot gun off safe. I saw them do everything to make ready except flip the safety on before they holstered. I was not about to remind them to flip the safety on so I just watched them do it


This is what I wanted to point out.  The way you have articulated this is to say you knew a safety violation was coming and "just watched them do it."  So you knew an unsafe situation was coming, and did nothing.  A competitor quickly holstering an unsafe gun, or while you weren't actually looking there is one thing.  To stand and watch it happen is another.   Obviously, again, every situation is fluid and in real time, but for the sake of discussion regarding this exact situation, you are outright saying you knew it was going to happen and just watched it happen, with the implication for the purpose of making a point to the shooter, or anyone else for that matter,  by DQing him.  The safety rules and the ROs enforcing them are for the sake of safety.  Actually keeping everyone safe, not for the purpose of sending people home, although rightfully so for a safety violation that has occurred.  But the point is to keep things safe, not to punish.  In my mind, that is why we have ROs, and that is why ROs are able to give warnings.  To allow the RO to intervene and avoid a safety hazard if one is seen coming.  If we know something bad is about to happen, we should be doing something about it if we can.  In the next quote, you seem to make the point how serious you take safety...     

 

18 hours ago, Sarge said:

I would rather a shooter left forever than to have somebody get shot because I let safety slide.

  

 

...However "just watching them do it" seems a bit of a contradiction because you are purposely letting a safety violation occur, "watching" it happen in fact, where someone could get hurt, for the purpose of getting to the punishment phase for the sake of point making punishment rather than keeping everyone safe.  Think about it, how are you going to feel if something bad happens and you are saying to yourself, "I saw it coming.  I saw it coming, knew it was going to happen, and did nothing."  I'm not disagreeing with you so much as I am pointing out that, while points of discipline and consequence certainly should be made, the true perspective of safety should come first - before our concentration on positive or possibly negative personal interactions.

 

As to the guy saying he would just stop upon hearing the RO say ANYTHING, well, again, we live in the real world.  And the RO actually did not say stop.  Maybe he sneezed, maybe he is giving a benefit of the doubt that he is on the fence about your finger somewhere it shouldn't be and is honestly pursuing a safe environment.  The RO either said stop, or he didnt.  If you stop yourself, you stop yourself.  And when you throw your fit and say you thought he said stop, or blindly interpret ANYTHING he says to be stop, the RM is going to ask the RO if he said stop, and he's going to say no.  What other decision does the RM have at that point?  Especially if your position is everything should be black and white.  

 

I guess I'm just trying to point out we are interacting in a real world, in real time, within human reaction times and decision making on everyone's part.  Our focus should actually be on safety.  Are we really going to say, if all indications are a competitor is about to turn around with a gun and point it toward the squad we are going to "just watch him do it" without so much as a, "watch it!" as he is heading that direction?  We should let it happen, even if we have time to keep everyone from having a gun pointed at them?  Yes, plenty of grey area here.  And I'm fully aware how the USPSA trains for RO certification - becoming a robot with only the listed commands at your disposal, and could not disagree more.   You do the best you can as a competitor and as an RO.  No one can expect more.  If you give a warning because you believe a safety violation is eminent, and DQ another because it happened before you could intervene, that's how it goes and there is no intelligent argument to be made to the contrary.  

 

Maybe it would help if there was a point everyone could agree on.  I honestly believe the issuing of warnings as described in the rules is not as some may be interpreting as giving a pass when a safety violation has occurred.  That's a DQ.  Warnings are before something unsafe happens, or a discussion as given in example above, where we tell the shooter his actions are making it hard to tell or seemingly on the border where he could easily falter and may want to consider a change, such as going completely to universal cover with the trigger finger while moving.  Warning, it looks like he is just getting the finger out, but its really close and could easily slip into the trigger guard, or be seen by an RO as actually being in the trigger guard when maybe it wasn't.  Warning = make the change for safety sake or risk a DQ due to RO observation point/angle when maybe it actually wasn't.  So....warnings are to avoid an unsafe situation.  DQ is for when it has happened.  Is that fair?

Edited by Hammer002

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