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I see and hear lots of competitors saying stages with choices are better then stages without.

My question for you is why?

What is it about someone else shooting a plan that is different than yours makes the stage better to you?

 

I have some opinions but will hold off to see where this goes first

 

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Usually comes down to one best way to shoot and whoever can execute it the best. Choices in stage plan typically just involve where to reload. 

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I like options because part of the fun for me is analyzing the stage, and weighing the different options. A stage that only has 1 way to shoot it requires less preparation and input from the shooter. As a stage designer, it makes me happy to see 3 different M or better shooters choose different stage plans, and those stages are usually the ones I get the most positive comments about.

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Options—
A shorter competitor can’t keep up with a taller competitor, making options may give a shorter competitor a chance to beat a different more athletic competitor. It is not and should not be a triathlon. It should be shooting skill..

So if a shorter guy can shoot that 40 yard swinger and avoid a position, and do it fast— that may equal the athletic guy shooting it at 15 with the extra movement..

Or mag change locations..

In the end it should always be a puzzle that the skills and abilities of the competitor determine what way works for them. We can all set a stage up with only 1 way to shoot it.. but what fun is that?

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The only stages I really don’t care for is those that have gun on table mag on another table and 15 yards between the two. As one of the super seniors still in the game I just can’t keep up with a 15 yard sprint of a say 30 year old. 

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I do like to watch - other shooters, sometimes you get a better view.

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Even though I’m very conservative in my stage planning (left to right, array 1, array 2...), part of the fun is seeing how someone bolder or more skilled went at it. Part of the beauty of life in the 21st century is the “Sunday after” vids posted on the InstaTwiddles to see how those not on my squad did it.

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38 minutes ago, RadarTech said:

Options—
A shorter competitor can’t keep up with a taller competitor, making options may give a shorter competitor a chance to beat a different more athletic competitor. It is not and should not be a triathlon. It should be shooting skill..
 

 

wait, wut? are you saying shorter people are less athletic? Why would you think that?

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wait, wut? are you saying shorter people are less athletic? Why would you think that?


Read as shorter and rounder....

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1 hour ago, HoMiE said:

Usually comes down to one best way to shoot and whoever can execute it the best. Choices in stage plan typically just involve where to reload. 

 

I am becoming more and more of this opinion, reloads especially (in high cap divisions) can come down to feel but in the end there is no advantage just one feels better.

 

 

 

 

42 minutes ago, RadarTech said:

Options—
A shorter competitor can’t keep up with a taller competitor, making options may give a shorter competitor a chance to beat a different more athletic competitor. It is not and should not be a triathlon. It should be shooting skill..

So if a shorter guy can shoot that 40 yard swinger and avoid a position, and do it fast— that may equal the athletic guy shooting it at 15 with the extra movement..

Or mag change locations..

In the end it should always be a puzzle that the skills and abilities of the competitor determine what way works for them. We can all set a stage up with only 1 way to shoot it.. but what fun is that?

 

I hear this opinion regularly but I am becoming more of the opinion that what it really means is (please do not take the following as a personal attack or in any way demeaning to anyone) on a given stage one shooter with a incomplete skill set may gain an advantage over another shooter with a different deficit, the fallacy is they both loose because they both have incomplete skill sets.  

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, RadarTech said:

 


Read as shorter and rounder....

 

 

Oh, then short has nothing to do with it...

 

being fat and out of shape may make someone's top speed in a running event slightly lower, but unless they are truly lazy or crippled it won't hinder them in the short moves that are required for USPSA. It is vastly more important to do things sooner in this sport than it is to be particularly fast.

Edited by motosapiens

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For our local matches I will volunteer to design and setup a stage. I don't have the imagination that others do for design. Even being a single stack shooter primarily, I like to see some choices although the higher capacity shooters can make more use of having options.

 

What I see sometimes are stages where you go to the trouble of setting up a bunch of walls, barrels, fault lines, etc. but as far as shooting the stage you might as well have used a few shooting boxes with one wall obscuring the other targets and just shot 1 target array from each box. It looks better with the walls but the shooting challenge is the same either way.

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Choices come in several flavors, ones that don't matter, ones that may matter a tiny bit and ones that are mistakes.

 

Things that don't mater are things like shooting right to left or left to right close to far or vice versa on a speed shoot, they truly do not matter and the stage can be won either way.

 

Things that matter a little, are like pushing a reload more than you would like, shooting targets in a order that is not the best but you like better adding a small transition, this is where execution overcomes planning, the old adage a bad plan executed well is better then a perfect plan executed poorly comes in, and what I believe we think most of the options we see are 

 

Mistakes, can be the huge obvious ones or as simple as not shooting on the move or not doubling a fast swinger or shooting long shots to avoid a reload that you can do faster then the long shots you took to avoid it. In reality I think more of the choices we see on stages fall into this category,  because despite the adage about bad plans well executed, a good plan executed well is still best.

 

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15 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

Choices come in several flavors, ones that don't matter, ones that may matter a tiny bit and ones that are mistakes.

 

Things that don't mater are things like shooting right to left or left to right close to far or vice versa on a speed shoot, they truly do not matter and the stage can be won either way.

 

Things that matter a little, are like pushing a reload more than you would like, shooting targets in a order that is not the best but you like better adding a small transition, this is where execution overcomes planning, the old adage a bad plan executed well is better then a perfect plan executed poorly comes in, and what I believe we think most of the options we see are 

 

Mistakes, can be the huge obvious ones or as simple as not shooting on the move or not doubling a fast swinger or shooting long shots to avoid a reload that you can do faster then the long shots you took to avoid it. In reality I think more of the choices we see on stages fall into this category,  because despite the adage about bad plans well executed, a good plan executed well is still best.

 

 

Well I perfectly-executed a poor stage plan Saturday and earned a FTSA for my trouble. 🤪

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14 minutes ago, Mcfoto said:

 

Well I perfectly-executed a poor stage plan Saturday and earned a FTSA for my trouble. 🤪

well in the heat of the moment, i forgot my stage plan and earned two of those...  it was actually a real good stage with lots of options as to when/where to engage the various targets.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MikeBurgess said:

I see and hear lots of competitors saying stages with choices are better then stages without.

My question for you is why?

What is it about someone else shooting a plan that is different than yours makes the stage better to you?

 

I have some opinions but will hold off to see where this goes first

 

 

The trick is to have three or four ways to shoot a stage that a competitor can best use their skill and division attributes set for their best run.  It matters 0 if someone else shoots it the same as you or not, only that you have a possibility to solve a problem in the best way for you.  Stages that are: run here shoot this, then here and shoot this, etc., with only one way that makes sense are what is boring.  Also if open shooters and production shooters all shoot a stage in basically the exact same way, it is probably a fairly lame stage.  A good stage might have options for tighter/longer shots that eliminate positions, enough openness to allow risk/reward on reloads and positions as well.

 

Basically if everyone shoots a stage basically the same way regardless of division, the stage designer may need some lessons.  That said, having some pretty much option less stages is not really a big deal, but a match full is not a real great.  I think many times stage designers want  to force shooters to do something a certain  way and that is what ends up sucking.  More open, more options, more better

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Posted (edited)

Choices are part of what make the game appealing.  Choices are part of what set USPSA apart from, say, IDPA.  Choices means problem-solving.  Some people like problem-solving - those who don't like problem solving aren't USPSA shooters for long.  We've basically selected for a population of people who dig problem solving... no surprise that they like stages with choices.

 

This is a common dynamic in games/sports.  Golf is a very similar game to USPSA, believe it or not.  Like a USPSA match, a round of golf is made up of a bunch of discrete segments (USPSA calls them stages, golf calls them holes).  Competitors are facing the course, not each other except in comparison to how they fared against the course.  The combination of their chosen strategy/approach and their execution determines what they experience on the stage/hole and the scored outcome.  Golfers have STRONG opinions on what golf holes are good - stronger even than USPSA shooters' opinions about stages.  

 

It is axiomatic in golf that the best golf architecture is not whatever is "hardest," but that which provides a combination of a thorough test with lots of choices for the player, with risk-reward choices being particularly good.  Although the most skilled golfer is generally going to beat the less skilled golfer, people pay great sums of money to play the courses that offer the most and most varied and most interesting choices.  Professional golfers and amateurs alike generally have the same preference, although some courses are just too difficult for many amateurs to be able make any meaningful choice.  When the golf course does't present any real choices, just do-or-die tests on hole after hole, that's called a "penal" course.  And very few people (pros included) think that is any fun or a worthy background for serious competition. 

 

Similarly, most USPSA shooters love meaningful risk-reward choices, such as those that allow a position to be eliminated in exchange for harder shot values or awkward movement.  If we wanted to shoot a pistol game without choices, we'd just shoot something like bullseye.  

Edited by ATLDave

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I once described IDPA to someone as a dance competition where everyone is going to dance the same steps to the same song. Whereas USPSA was still a dance competition and everyone still danced to the same song but they got to choose their own dance moves.

 

To me, a lack of choice feels like a lesser reward for my given skill level.

 

When you're in a match were stage after stage after stage must be shot "the way" I find I am not very happy. But if every third stage or so could possibly be shot 2 or even 3 ways without a major penalty then that really becomes enjoyable.

 

I recently shot Area 4 on a squad where every single one of us shot in Prod, from C to M in classification. One way I think more experienced or more skilled shooters can set themselves apart is by being able to "do it different" as well as "just execute/do it better". For me personally, I find I have an easier time putting a gap on other shooters if there are options.

 

Options on how you break up arrays, target order engagement, start position, reload location and so on. I must admit to kinda eye rolling when I see every single person shoot the exact same stage plan, because I personally find it less enjoyable if it only becomes about doing something well 'the one way'.

 

I don't care we're all listening to the same song, but I want to be able to pick my own dance steps without an excessive punishment.

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22 minutes ago, rowdyb said:

I find I have an easier time putting a gap on other shooters if there are options.

 

I think this is because what many perceive as choices are in fact mistakes. 

 

In USPSA you can choose your dance steps but choosing the wrong steps is bad for your score. 

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Posted (edited)

If you’re strong at shooting on the move or sniping distant targets (Stoeger) one or two targets visible from multiple places can come into play in between positions or to avoid taking the time to move closer.

 

If you’re strong at hosing and you sprint ultrafast (like John Vlieger) you may race up to that same target and crush it as part of an array visible from that spot. There’s little to no time differential to be found between those two.

 

I’m going to have to poke a hole in your “one way is right, others are mistakes” theory; watch videos of two top guys run stages in the same match. They’ll do things differently, playing to their strengths and their personal style. If another method of shooting the stage were 100% faster, they’d have learned this years ago and chosen that plan of attack.

 

(Unless you believe you know better than people with names like Racaza, Michel, Grauffel, etc. ;) )

 

At lower levels, not even accounting for differences in style?

 

If you’re shooting production, a creative stage plan involving skipping the obvious sequence of targets (and stacking a few of the “visible from several spots” targets into a later magazine) might let you choose a risky plan where you delete a reload but push to 10 or 11 in every single mag if you’re really accurate. Or allow you to choose a safer plan with that extra mag change, and a couple of extra rounds in each mag if you are not.

 

Targets that are visible from multiple locations are just one example of things that are a godsend for SS/Production/Revo shooters... and most stages are designed by Limited/Open/PCC guys in many places. And they just don’t think through stage designs the same way a guy with 10rds in his mags does.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MikeBurgess said:

 

I think this is because what many perceive as choices are in fact mistakes. 

 

In USPSA you can choose your dance steps but choosing the wrong steps is bad for your score. 

 

or they are choices that only work for a more skilled, or confident shooter.

Edited by motosapiens

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11 hours ago, ATLDave said:

Choices are part of what make the game appealing.  Choices are part of what set USPSA apart from, say, IDPA.  Choices means problem-solving.  Some people like problem-solving - those who don't like problem solving aren't USPSA shooters for long.  We've basically selected for a population of people who dig problem solving... no surprise that they like stages with choices.

 

This is a common dynamic in games/sports.  Golf is a very similar game to USPSA, believe it or not.  Like a USPSA match, a round of golf is made up of a bunch of discrete segments (USPSA calls them stages, golf calls them holes).  Competitors are facing the course, not each other except in comparison to how they fared against the course.  The combination of their chosen strategy/approach and their execution determines what they experience on the stage/hole and the scored outcome.  Golfers have STRONG opinions on what golf holes are good - stronger even than USPSA shooters' opinions about stages.  

 

It is axiomatic in golf that the best golf architecture is not whatever is "hardest," but that which provides a combination of a thorough test with lots of choices for the player, with risk-reward choices being particularly good.  Although the most skilled golfer is generally going to beat the less skilled golfer, people pay great sums of money to play the courses that offer the most and most varied and most interesting choices.  Professional golfers and amateurs alike generally have the same preference, although some courses are just too difficult for many amateurs to be able make any meaningful choice.  When the golf course does't present any real choices, just do-or-die tests on hole after hole, that's called a "penal" course.  And very few people (pros included) think that is any fun or a worthy background for serious competition. 

 

Similarly, most USPSA shooters love meaningful risk-reward choices, such as those that allow a position to be eliminated in exchange for harder shot values or awkward movement.  If we wanted to shoot a pistol game without choices, we'd just shoot something like bullseye.  

Thanks for saving me the typing. Stages without risk reward options are boring. They are called IDPA.

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everybody cant win, most never will.
I imagine most want the best score THEY can get. People will play to their strengths and weaknesses in skills, abilities and equipment.
Kinda arrogant to assume that someone not doing it your way is making a mistake.
Used to shoot with a buddy we called Yoda , walked with a cane, could shoot fast as snot, and was accurate. 
Surprisingly he and a 14yo Daniel Horner rarely had the same stage plan. 

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I see and hear lots of competitors saying stages with choices are better then stages without.
My question for you is why?
What is it about someone else shooting a plan that is different than yours makes the stage better to you?
 
I have some opinions but will hold off to see where this goes first
 
Options should provide low cap divisions such as production, single stack, revolver to compete somewhat evenly without having numerous standing reloads.

Nowadays, I'm seeing way too many targets and round counts on stages. I loved 32 round stages when first starting 3 years ago. Recently, some of the best stages I've enjoyed are 18-24 rounds and required you to go get the points (barrels, wall, low targets).

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

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How about this theory for why stages with choices are better.

 

In this game we only get to shoot for a few seconds per stage, but we get to work on solving the puzzle of the stage for as long as we want, so a simple stage with no puzzle to solve is just that few seconds of shooting. 

 

basically the stage choices are about puzzle solving and talking stage plans with your friends and enjoying that process.

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