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RolexJohn

Did I make the right call?

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I'm a new RO (at least in USPSA) and recently made a somewhat controversial call in a level I local match which I'd appreciating here from others as to how they would have called it.

 

Our squad came up on a stage (the match was outdoor, but this stage was set up on the indoor range of the club) which had a port wall and a hinged door on the port.  I believe the intention of the stage design was, more than likely, to have shooters start with the port door in the closed position, necessitating shooters would have to first open the port door before engaging the targets beyond it.  The problem was that the WSB did not specify the condition of the port door.  Our squad had a brief discussion on this point, but I and the other 4 certified RO's all came to the same conclusion - without specifying the condition of the port door in the WSB, it was up to the shooter as to whether the port door was open or closed.  We ran with it open.

 

Now, in a perfect world I would have called the MD/RM and he would have changed the WSB on that stage.  The problem was that I had no radio with which to call the MD/RM, and didn't know where on the club property the MD/RM was at this time.  Hunting him down and getting him back to the stage would have likely taken at least 20 minutes, and that stage was already a choke point in the match.  

 

Two stages later the MD/RM rode up on his cart and vigorously expressed his displeasure with my decision...in front of my entire squad.  His position was that the condition of the port door didn't need to be spelled out in the WSB...it should have been obvious.  

 

Did I make a bad call?

 

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Nope. If I recall from RO class, if its not in the WSB, it ain't so. Rules don't cover "intent."

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Reminds me of the saying .. You can be right, or dead right.

Technically, you were in the right. However, at a Level I local match, I would have either taken the time to find the MD & clarify, or declare it a closed port start.

But again, purely by the rules you were left with the choice to run it open, or find the MD and clarify.


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Nope. If I recall from RO class, if its not in the WSB, it ain't so. Rules don't cover "intent."
^^^^^^^ This.

Your MD/RM is wrong. Good ones will accept that they blew not having the condition of the port door in the WSB.

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4 minutes ago, JohnStewart said:

Reminds me of the saying .. You can be right, or dead right.

Technically, you were in the right. However, at a Level I local match, I would have either taken the time to find the MD & clarify, or declare it a closed port start.

But again, purely by the rules you were left with the choice to run it open, or find the MD and clarify.


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1

 

I don't disagree with your interpretation here.  The match was held on Easter Sunday.  I made the decision that given it was a level I, expediency on a stage that we had already waited 20 minutes to shoot outweighed other considerations.      

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7 minutes ago, phoenixsomd said:

^^^^^^^ This.

Your MD/RM is wrong. Good ones will accept that they blew not having the condition of the port door in the WSB.

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Bad ones will roll up to your stage and pitch a hissy fit...ask me how I know...

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, RolexJohn said:

Two stages later the MD/RM rode up on his cart and vigorously expressed his displeasure with my decision...in front of my entire squad.  His position was that the condition of the port door didn't need to be spelled out in the WSB...it should have been obvious.  

 

 

Quote

 

Did I make a bad call?

 

 

Yes and no.

 

You know the reason for his displeasure was that previous squads shot with the port door closed... and the only solutions left are:

 

1) Your squad gets to run it door open, and scores are submitted right alongside others ran it with the door closed. It isn’t equitable... but in the allotted time for a local match, it is what it is.

 

2) Toss the stage. Usually at locals we all agree option 1 sucks ( if you shot it the long way) but we’d rather deal with that than have 20% of the match thrown out.

 

3) Make your squad reshoot with door closed, or any previous squads reshoot it with the door open. Delays everyone annoyingly.

 

There isn’t a good way out of this.

 

Next time take the 10-20 mins and go find the RM. If there are multiple options, send a couple of shooters in each possible direction so that one of you will find him as quickly as possible. Don’t send one guy to run 500yds in one direction, then past your bay in the other direction.

 

Do your best to make up for it by having guys crush the stage reset time in this bay, and try to get back on track.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic

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This is a lesson of not "Winging It" when you don't know the answer to a rule or the WSB isn't written in a manner that makes it 100% clear. When you run into this, stop what you are doing and go find the MD/RM and get the question answered. The minimal delay it takes to go find the MD or RM and get the answer is much less than "Winging It" and your decision ends up being wrong and the whole squad needs to reshoot the stage or the stage gets thrown out because there isn't enough time to reshoot everyone on it.

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Bad ones will roll up to your stage and pitch a hissy fit...ask me how I know...
Don't be afraid to slap him silly next time. We're not children and you're helping run the match while being conscious of the time constraints.

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10 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

This is a lesson of not "Winging It" when you don't know the answer to a rule or the WSB isn't written in a manner that makes it 100% clear. When you run into this, stop what you are doing and go find the MD/RM and get the question answered. The minimal delay it takes to go find the MD or RM and get the answer is much less than "Winging It" and your decision ends up being wrong and the whole squad needs to reshoot the stage or the stage gets thrown out because there isn't enough time to reshoot everyone on it.

 

Well, I wouldn't describe this as "winging it."  Again, it was Easter Sunday, and this stage was already causing backups.  You can say that valuing expediency over competitive equity at a Level I was the wrong call - I'll accept that.  

 

The larger lesson to be learned here, I think, is how important it is that RO's have radios.

 

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Yep, radios or some other efficient method of getting hold of the MD... pretty useful to preserving competitive equity. 

 

If for some reason there's just no way to do that, I think that talking to the squad ahead of you about how they understood the WSB/start position/prop condition is pretty standard.  And then making sure to tell the squad behind you.  

 

Because, as we all know, designer's intent isn't the issue... it's competitive equity.  If all the squads do it the same way, then it's equitable.  It may not be what the designer had in mind when they built the stage or wrote the WSB, but it's equitable.  Get the MD, but if there's some reason that's not feasible, at least make sure you're not the squad that does it different and causes the stage to get tossed.

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5 minutes ago, ATLDave said:

If for some reason there's just no way to do that, I think that talking to the squad ahead of you about how they understood the WSB/start position/prop condition is pretty standard.  And then making sure to tell the squad behind you.  

 

this.  or actually, both these.

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With a 20 minute backup did you observe the previous sqad shoot the stage? If not, you still probably could have found one of them pretty quickly to ask how they shot it.

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21 minutes ago, Rnlinebacker said:

Don't be afraid to slap him silly next time. We're not children and you're helping run the match while being conscious of the time constraints.

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That's the correct answer.  A little reflection time face down in a dump barrel solves most of these kind of issues.  

 

You either need to write a thorough WSB or you need to walk the stages with your ROs before the match.  If you choose neither, that's on the MD.  

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1 hour ago, RolexJohn said:

Two stages later the MD/RM rode up on his cart and vigorously expressed his displeasure with my decision...in front of my entire squad.  His position was that the condition of the port door didn't need to be spelled out in the WSB...it should have been obvious.  

 

Did I make a bad call?

 

 

Volunteering to work for an a_-hole is always a tough call. A reasonably smart MD/RM will be polite, particularly in a public setting. 

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Cha-lee  and ATLDave have this right.  If all the squads before you shot it with the door closed as the RM intended then just pencil it into the WSB so your squad and the following squads will shoot the intended way.  MD/RMs are volunteers like the rest of us working a match, and level 1s are not level 2s up, so help him out.  He might have been aggravated cause, while a better WSB should have been written, finding him for a clarification  would not have been the end of the world and would probably have been appreciated.  

 

I guess what i am saying is don't expect perfection at level 1s, and if you see a loophole that was probably not intended ask some questions.  Level 2 and up it is all fair game

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1 hour ago, RolexJohn said:

 

Well, I wouldn't describe this as "winging it."  Again, it was Easter Sunday, and this stage was already causing backups.  You can say that valuing expediency over competitive equity at a Level I was the wrong call - I'll accept that.  

 

The larger lesson to be learned here, I think, is how important it is that RO's have radios.

 

 

When someone doesn't know the proper stage procedure then makes a random decision on how to handle it that is the definition of "Winging it".

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I’m an MD.  I make mistakes and miss things.  If something like this happens I have no choice but to grin and bear it and make sure I don’t do it again. If one shooter shot the stage with the door open then it stays that way for all. 

Winging it and deviating from the wsb is when stages get tossed. 

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2 hours ago, RolexJohn said:

 

Bad ones will roll up to your stage and pitch a hissy fit...ask me how I know...

I'm sure this will help improve relations with the match director. 

 

What happened with the stage? Was it pulled from the match?

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30 minutes ago, driver8M3 said:

I'm sure this will help improve relations with the match director. 

 

What happened with the stage? Was it pulled from the match?

 

No, it wasn't.  Which I would agree that it probably should have been.  

 

When I turned in the timer and the pad at the club house, the match helpers were discussing giving each of the shooters on my squad a procedural for not shooting the stage with the port door closed.  I just shook my head.  "How do you asses a procedural for shooting the stage exactly as it was described in the WSB?"   Apparently they recognized that option was not the correct one. 

 

Nathan has it right - deviating from the WSB would have been the wrong thing to do.  There was no random decision or "winging it."  The rules don't support the RO altering the WSB either.

 

Those that have stated that getting the MD/RM would have been the more correct way to go here.  I don't necessarily disagree.  In this situation, there was no good decision - running the stage as written had negative consequences.  As would further delaying the match by chasing down the MD.  In the same situation, I'm not sure I'd do it differently.

 

If there was an absolute wrong here I think its how the MD/RM chose to handle it.  He could have simply said, "next time make sure you come find me" and that would have been that.  I would have taken it as a lesson learned for a new RO.  Instead, the only lesson I learned is that I'll never again RO at this club while this guy is the RM.           

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So you ask for opinions, get some you don't agree with and decide you were %100 correct in the first place.  Then decide to disregard some good input from experienced ROs and MDs....

 

Why even start this thread

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13 minutes ago, RJH said:

So you ask for opinions, get some you don't agree with and decide you were %100 correct in the first place.  Then decide to disregard some good input from experienced ROs and MDs....

 

Why even start this thread

 

Just looking for some outside perspectives, which I got.  In some situations like this, my mind is changed.  In other cases, its galvanized.  This happened to be one of the latter cases.  

 

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To, "next time come find me"
I woulda replied, "Next time write a decent WSB"
 

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Was this really a big deal at a local match? If it was impractical to ask the MD/RM just check with the squads ahead of you to see how they had shot it. If they had all done it the same way then do it that way and note it on the WSB. If some had shot it open and some closed then you're pretty much SOL so do what you want and tell the MD/RM afterwards. Just keep it as equitable (i.e as fun and fair) as possible.

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Someone please read 3.2.1 and tell me where it says the WSB must state the condition of doors, ports, etc.  (Note:  "Procedure" generally goes something like 'On the start signal engage all targets as visible from within the shooting area.'  It DOES NOT include stage preparation instructions.)

 

Granted … Especially at a L1 it would be nice to include some setup notes at the bottom of the WSB.  This helps the next set of "roving ROs" know what is expected.  However, from a technical standpoint, such notes are NOT formally part of the WSB.

 

When in doubt, TAKE the time to find the RM and get a proper answer.  Treat this one as "lesson learned."  At a L3 you'd have your head handed to you!  (But then, generally at a L3, you'll have a radio and a dedicated CRO assigned to the stage!)

 

No one got shot, right?  This was a little thing, but a good one to learn from.

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