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

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18 minutes ago, teros135 said:

^This.  We have the rule set, we have training, we have to be fair/equitable to everyone, but we're also not omniscient and can't see everything coming.  Shooters are responsible for their conduct, we're responsible for oversight and for applying the rule set, again with safety and fairness in mind.  Not all that hard to conceptualize, but there are times you have to make a call.  That's why they pay us the big bucks ?

They double my salary.  Put me in a higher tax bracket.?

Edited by pjb45

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i know this is a few weeks old but feel I should put my 2 cents worth.

 

I started shooting around 1993. Back then we shot in boxes. no charge lines back then. As someone was moving between boxes it was often heard "finger" or "muzzle". IT was common and welcome as there were A LOT of new shooters because the sport was young. I belonged to GPSL (Gwinett Practical Shooting League) Look up the club number, we were the FIRST USPSA club in the state of Georgia. The club is still alive and well.

 

Fast forward to 9 months ago. I come back to practical shooting after being out from 95 to Nov of 2017. I see that there are now charge lines, boxes are rarely used except for classifiers. People are moving, shooting while moving, swinging the gun from right to left. All sorts of activities that make this guy who just came back very nervous. I have joined the same club I was a member of back in 93 - 95. I was an RO back then. I took the RO class again this year because SO MUCH had changed. In RO class it was told to us by the NROI instructor that at Level 1 matches, since this is where most new shooters cut their teeth, a basic level of coaching as far as competitive was allowed as these shooters are just now trying to figure out this sport. What was stressed was that SAFETY was and always will be paramount FIRST consideration. WE were told to make sure that each and every shooter we ran was doing so in a safe manner and to WARN people (Rookies and Experienced alike) about safety issues. Yes we could DQ a shooter, but at level 1 matches it is about learning. 

 

ATLDave is the President of GPSL. I have gotten to know him in the last several months. When it comes to being safe on a COF and at the RANGE, I will always defer to his judgement. (the fact he is an attorney and knows very well how to read between the lines and interpret the intent of the language written in the rules).

 

All that being said, As a mid B class shooter moving towards A class and as a newly certified RO, I am overly cautious when I am on the line with shooters. I have been told that I play close to the shooter and could cause a reshoot if a shooter bumps me. I say I would rather be close and see what they are doing and make sure they are doing it SAFELY first than be out of position and miss a 180 break or another safety issue. Being more cautious is ALWAYS better than less. All it takes is one time letting your guard down and then someone is hurt or worse killed. Our sport is in its very nature, VERY DANGEROUS. We take every precaution to keep it safe. IF in the intent is keeping shooters safe, I will ALWAYS give safety warnings. 

 

I read this entire thread. I was shocked to read that an RO would let a shooter do something UNSAFE, with full knowledge the act was unsafe and could cause harm to the shooter or himself or a spectator. That person should NOT be an RO. They are not helping the sport, they are hurting it. IF it is you I am talking about then please take a few moments to reflect on what you do as an RO and ask yourself if you would want another RO to do the same to you with all the possible repercussions. IF you can truly say you would feel safe with that RO, well, I don't know what to say to you.

 

SAFETY FIRST and LAST!

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11 minutes ago, mstamper said:

All that being said, As a mid B class shooter moving towards A class and as a newly certified RO, I am overly cautious when I am on the line with shooters. I have been told that I play close to the shooter and could cause a reshoot if a shooter bumps me. I say I would rather be close and see what they are doing and make sure they are doing it SAFELY first than be out of position and miss a 180 break or another safety issue. Being more cautious is ALWAYS better than less. All it takes is one time letting your guard down and then someone is hurt or worse killed. Our sport is in its very nature, VERY DANGEROUS. We take every precaution to keep it safe. IF in the intent is keeping shooters safe, I will ALWAYS give safety warnings. 

 

I read this entire thread. I was shocked to read that an RO would let a shooter do something UNSAFE, with full knowledge the act was unsafe and could cause harm to the shooter or himself or a spectator. That person should NOT be an RO. They are not helping the sport, they are hurting it. IF it is you I am talking about then please take a few moments to reflect on what you do as an RO and ask yourself if you would want another RO to do the same to you with all the possible repercussions. IF you can truly say you would feel safe with that RO, well, I don't know what to say to you.

 

SAFETY FIRST and LAST!

I take issue with this out sport is not "very dangerous"  Dose it have a possibility of significant or fatal injury yes.  Having said that I will put our safety record up against any other sport out there.  I guess as I see it you can drowned fishing or break a leg or your neck in football or take a ball the head in base ball and lets not even talk about non-pro auto racing or moto-cross.

 

 

How do you know what a shooter is going to do until they have done it.  A RO can think they know what a shooter intends to do but that is about it.  I have been stopped by a RO more than once because I did something they did not see coming and got them off guard and they had no idea what I was doing.  I got a re-shoot on all of them because the RO was not prepared.   Now if Im going to do something way different than other shooters I try to tell the RO what is coming but I dont have to and it is on the RO to watch me and stay out of my way unless I do something unsafe and not stop me because they think I may do something unsafe.

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, I am overly cautious when I am on the line with shooters. I have been told that I play close to the shooter and could cause a reshoot if a shooter bumps me. I say I would rather be close and see what they are doing and make sure they are doing it SAFELY first than be out of position and miss a 180 break or another safety issue. Being more cautious is ALWAYS better than less.


As an RO you generally have a better vantage point if you're not up in the shooters' underwear.

If you have been told about it, then you're probably crowding too much and paradoxically more likely to create a safety concern in your zeal to prevent one. Tripping or bumping with a loaded gun in the mix is not a good situation.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, mstamper said:

as a newly certified RO,

 

14 minutes ago, wtturn said:

As an RO you generally have a better vantage point if you're not up in the shooters' underwear.

 

I don't see experienced r.o.'s crowd a shooter, particularly on stages where running backwards (planned, or unexpectedly to pick up a dropped mag or forgotten target) is a feature and on stages where there is potential for an r.o. trap. You can control the shooter with your voice without being close to him.

 

I do not want the shooter to see or hear me if possible, although with some of the mouse fart quiet pcc's sometimes you do have to be closer than is ideal for safety or for non interference.  

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Recently, I observed a shooter violate several safety rules and shoot their selves in the leg with a richocette. We can not take the bullet back once it has been fired. It is permanent. Yes it is a competition, but it is one of the most dangerous because of the possible consequences. In other sports, one of the involved and maybe occasionally if a spectator is too close, they are the only ones hurt. A bullet leaves the range because of a ND during a reload, it has to land somewhere. The consequences to an uninvolved could be deadly.

 

Is a warning appropriate to an experienced shooter for having his finger in the trigger guard? Absolutely not. The shooter knows the rules and is trying to shave some micro second of time off their stage by not removing it. You are not doing anyone any favors by warning them. A shooter was DQed at an Area match and his reply was, I would’ve gotten a warning at home. It does no one any favors. 

 

The warning can be this, “do it again, and you will DQ yourself again.” Remember as an RO, you are just pointing out the action the shooter did that DQed them. 

 

Just my humble opinion.

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On 8/24/2018 at 11:41 AM, Boudreaux78 said:

Recently, I observed a shooter violate several safety rules and shoot their selves in the leg with a richocette.

 

No offense partner, but I'm not sure what you mentioned is possible. Yes, one can get hit by a ricochet, (it happens, happened to me as a bystander once)  however not sure how a shooter could 'shoot themselves via a ricochet, as ricochets typically are not predictable.

 

Now back to the bigger picture question, an RO should be able to maintain control of the stage at all time, regardless of the proximity to the shooter. 

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I’m of the thought that warnings during a course  of fire should only be given to new inexperienced shooters. At some point the only way a shooter will learn is to be dq’d. It always sucks to get sent home early but this is a sport that can cause someone to lose a life because either they or someone else was careless. I’ve only been dq’d one time, it was during a multigun match and I broke the 180 while loading my shotgun, the RO who dq’d me is a friend, he felt just as bad as I did and actually asked if I was mad at him for dq’ing me. I had to tell him no, not at all. We as competitors have to remember that this is only a sport and being dq’d for a safety violation is better than never being able to compete again because you’re not around.

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8 hours ago, muncie21 said:

 

No offense partner, but I'm not sure what you mentioned is possible. Yes, one can get hit by a ricochet, (it happens, happened to me as a bystander once)  however not sure how a shooter could 'shoot themselves via a ricochet, as ricochets typically are not predictable.

 

Now back to the bigger picture question, an RO should be able to maintain control of the stage at all time, regardless of the proximity to the shooter. 

Guess you would’ve had to been there. They ran to a port/slot between walls, shot some targets and started to continue forward, but realized they had a mike. Went to go back with their PCC and didn’t get their body behind the gun, breaking 180. Then they put their finger on the trigger as the gun was pointed at the metal bracket that holds up the wall. Then they pulled said trigger and shot the metal bracket. The bullet ricocheted back at the (basically did a 180 of its own) and went through the shooters leg. Hope that makes it clear as mud... ? 

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We need to remember it's on the shooter to know the rules.  New or seasoned shooter it doesn't matter.  We are playing with live ammunition, not paintball pellets.  Many years ago as an IDPA SO, I was almost shot by a competitor who couldn't load his gun correctly.  It was an eye opening experience.  My kids go with me to matches.  My daughter shoots matches with me. My son wants to, but he gets too close to the trigger guard with his finger. (He's 10). He's not shooting until I know for sure he's overcome the issue. The last thing I want is someone who is told several times at a match about their finger in the trigger.  Then the unthinkable happens. Someone gets shot.  We are playing with live ammunition, their are no second chances!

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Huh.   I'm really new. 

 

And not so smart I can read a rule book and know what the hell that means in the real world without some practice. 

 

And not so smart I don't make mistakes even if "I know what I'm doing." 

If the goal is to have fun, and learn and become better, and enjoy a beautiful day, warnings are a VERY effective tool for those who aren't the smartest in the world.  I went to my third local match the other day, and got LOTS of education.  One guy didn't like my holster (concealed) and loaned me one, and I kind of took exception until I realized other guys who watched me last time were nodding.    They could all have waited for me to shoot myself because I was totally "Legal", but they saw an opportunity to speak up and make me more safe.  Turns out I like the new holster a LOT better, and it made me a better shooter.

 

For those that know it all, a warning doesn't hurt, and if it wastes a few seconds of an RO's time, so what? 

 

If an RO doesn't want to waste his time educating and giving warnings maybe they should take a break from being an RO.

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Most of the DQable offenses are not something you can usually warn someone about. If a guy is doing a reload with his finger on the trigger and you see it, it's already a DQ, there is no warning to give.  Most of the warnings I've given involve silly stuff happening during make ready (almost exclusively with hammer fired guns) or after unload and show clear, or in between stages where I try to point something out to a guy if he is oblivious to what he's doing (like doing reloads right on the 179 degree line every time, or something like that)

 

If you're doing that 179 degree reload during the stage, yelling something at the shooter to distract him is only going to make it worse 

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2 hours ago, drmiller100 said:

Huh.   I'm really new. 

 

And not so smart I can read a rule book and know what the hell that means in the real world without some practice. 

...

 

Give it a try. You have some practice now. You might surprise yourself with the rule book. It is online, so you can read it anywhere.

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1 hour ago, perttime said:

 

Give it a try. You have some practice now. You might surprise yourself with the rule book. It is online, so you can read it anywhere.

yeah if you're going to play the game, you should read or at least browse thru the rules.  definitely read thru anything that says 'safety' or 'disqualification.'

 

another thing new shooters should do with an experienced shooter tagging along, and frankly experienced shooters and RO/SO's should ask them to do, is do a dry run of a stage just pretending your hands are on the gun (ie, airgunning).  will highlight trigger finger issues, and reloading/180 issues.

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As a semi-experienced RO/CRO I have warned and DQ'd shooters.  I have been warned and DQ'd.

I have been in someone's underwear as well as feet/yards away.  

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS is a phrase I have heard a lot.

If the situation requires being close but not intruding  then fine.  If a distance is required fine.  Situations may require adaptability.  Some RO/CROs are not comfortable in this regard.  That is their prerogative, as long as everyone is safe foremost. 

 

 

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Every time I've heard somebody yell finger (Usually somebody RO'ing who came from IDPA, I guess this is accepted) the shooter has stopped and turned around to look at the RO. I haven't seen this happen at a level 2 but I have at a local match or a semi major match. I personally don't want the RO or anyone else yelling anything in the middle of my run unless they are yelling me to stop. 

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I tried being nice and taking guys aside and telling them to watch there finger . Most times they don't believe you and kind of give you attitude. So now if I'm  100 % sure the word is STOP.

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At a match a couple of months ago, there was a short retreat on a short stage. One competitor got a DQ for breaking 180 there. At least one got feedback, AFTERWARDS, for being very close to 180. I think that is the way it should be.

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On 9/28/2018 at 11:22 AM, drmiller100 said:

If an RO doesn't want to waste his time educating and giving warnings maybe they should take a break from being an RO.

 

If a shooter doesn't want to waste his time educating himself and learning the rules maybe they should take a break from being a competitive shooter.

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On 9/28/2018 at 12:22 PM, drmiller100 said:

Huh.   I'm really new.

...

If an RO doesn't want to waste his time educating and giving warnings maybe they should take a break from being an RO.

 

ROing is a big job, focused on safety, fairness, efficiency.  It's not the ROs primary job to "educate", especially where people who come in not knowing the basic rules.  Education is a courtesy, not required.  Come unprepared, you might go home, read up, and try again. 

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I tend to favor blanket warnings to the shooters.  "This stage has areas with side to side movement.  I do NOT want to see anyone DQ'ed because they  broke the 180 doing a reload.  Please be aware of your muzzle direction."  "This is mostly for our newer shooters.  This stage has a lot of movement, please keep your finger off your trigger unless you are activity engaging targets.  If you cannot see a target you can be DQ'ed for having your finger on the trigger."    

 

This is a way of letting them know we will be looking for it, and they will not be able to say they did not know it was a DQ.

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2 hours ago, teros135 said:

 

ROing is a big job, focused on safety, fairness, efficiency.  It's not the ROs primary job to "educate", especially where people who come in not knowing the basic rules.  Education is a courtesy, not required.  Come unprepared, you might go home, read up, and try again. 

 

So my first local shoot I showed up with a friend who had done this before.  I hadn't read the rules.  EVERYONE was really friendly and helpful about teaching me, and the RO took extra care to make sure I was safe.  He took the time to educate me, and make me feel welcome, and SAFE.  I had a great time, and I went back.

 

If I had shown up at a regional shoot with 200 entrants or something the first time, then yeah, it would be inappropriate for an RO to take the time to educate me. 

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1 hour ago, drmiller100 said:

 

So my first local shoot I showed up with a friend who had done this before.  I hadn't read the rules.  EVERYONE was really friendly and helpful about teaching me, and the RO took extra care to make sure I was safe.  He took the time to educate me, and make me feel welcome, and SAFE.  I had a great time, and I went back.

 

If I had shown up at a regional shoot with 200 entrants or something the first time, then yeah, it would be inappropriate for an RO to take the time to educate me. 

 

This is pretty much right on with what to expect at different level matches.  

 

It is very important however, that you aren't letting shooters get used to doing something at a local match that will get them DQed at a Sectional or Regional match...like running around with your finger on the trigger.

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On 10/13/2018 at 11:54 AM, drmiller100 said:

 

So my first local shoot I showed up with a friend who had done this before.  I hadn't read the rules.  EVERYONE was really friendly and helpful about teaching me, and the RO took extra care to make sure I was safe.  He took the time to educate me, and make me feel welcome, and SAFE.  I had a great time, and I went back.

 

If I had shown up at a regional shoot with 200 entrants or something the first time, then yeah, it would be inappropriate for an RO to take the time to educate me. 

 

The ROs job is not to educate you on the rules DURING the stage. That's what this thread is mostly about. I will answer all the questions in the world between shooters but when you are on the course with your loaded gun, the rules apply the same to everyone. 

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Unless someone unintentionally fires a round during a reload or while running, it shouldn’t be a DQ. Most of the time an RO can’t get a clear view on the trigger guard while someone is moving.


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