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jmac2112

question about coaching (rule 8.6.1 and following)

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Essentially this rule says that you can't provide any assistance to a shooter "during a course of fire."  Here's a situation that I experienced at a recent match:  

 

Another competitor at a local match was having trouble with his gun.  He removed all the mags from his belt, went to the safe table to sort things out, then came back.  At the command "Load and make ready," he pulls a mag out of his pocket (probably had it on him the whole time) and loads the gun.  At that point I noticed that he had forgotten to put his mags back in their pouches.  I didn't know whether I was allowed to say anything, so I just bit my tongue and watched the train wreck unfold.  He was shooting Production, so he didn't get very far....

 

So my question is, what constitutes the beginning of a "course of fire"?   Could I have said something at that point?  I'm a relative newbie, so please be patient with me if the answer is somehow obvious.

 

Thanks,

 

John

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Make ready is the beginning of the course of fire.


8.3.1 “Make Ready” – This command signifies the start of “the Course of Fire”. Under the direct supervision of the Range Officer the competitor must face downrange, or in a safe direction as specified by the Range Officer, fit eye and hearing protection, and prepare the firearm in accordance with the written stage briefing.

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I am curious: do you know why he offloaded the mags?

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You said it was a local match.  As such I would have told him he forgot to grab his mags and not thought a thing about coaching.....because it's a local.  I've RO'ed shooters that have done similar and as they came to shoot I reminded them to get their mags first.  No big deal.  Some rule Nazis might play it different but I don't get with that. 

Only thing I would have worried about is him all of a sudden trying to leave the start position to run and grab his mags with a hot gun on his hip.  Another shooter could have handed him his mags.  He would have to unload & show clear before he could have retrieved the mags himself.

 

At a Level II or above you have to keep mum and not interfere.

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My opinion only - if it was indeed a local club match you "probably" could have said something and it would have been okay. It kind of would have depended who else is in the squad and how tight the RM wanted to run things. Level II and up, you did the right thing by staying quiet.

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Simple. State not ready and go get your mags.

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I have seen folks get procedurals and even DQ'ed for doing stuff at majors that they do at home because "it's only a local match". If the "local" match is not that important, then a learning opportunity such as the OP described is golden. YMMV 😉

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49 minutes ago, ChuckS said:

I am curious: do you know why he offloaded the mags?

 

I’m guessing it’s because some shooters (myself sometimes included) like to take mags off our belts before going into the safe area to avoid any risk of accidentally grabbing a loaded magazine and getting DQ’d. If you have no loaded mags on you, then you can’t have a brain fart and accidentally handle one of them. 

 

That said, there’s also people who take them off because they incorrectly think that even having them on their person in the safe area is a DQable offense. 

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17 minutes ago, DKorn said:

 

I’m guessing it’s because some shooters (myself sometimes included) like to take mags off our belts before going into the safe area to avoid any risk of accidentally grabbing a loaded magazine and getting DQ’d. If you have no loaded mags on you, then you can’t have a brain fart and accidentally handle one of them. 

 

Only thing I take to a safe area is gun in a case or empty case to put gun in. Just one less brain fart to worry about 

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I would say it depends entirely on the competitor in question. I am reasonably confident the intent of the rule is to help newer less experienced shooters learn the sport not to give a pass to seasoned competitors. So for me if it was a newer shooter that is still in the learning the game phase, then sure help them out, if its anyone else then its on them.

 

 

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3 hours ago, jmac2112 said:

Could I have said something at that point?

 

At a L1 match, if approved by the RO, you may request and receive whatever coaching you need.   8.6.2.1 covers this

 

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

Only thing I take to a safe area is gun in a case or empty case to put gun in. Just one less brain fart to worry about 

 

Exactly.

 

I’ll very rarely take a completely empty magazine (triple checked first) if I need it to check something (maybe the gun isn’t locking back or something) or if the first stage is something weird like a table pickup or unloaded start and I want to dry fire it a few times. I think I’ve done this exactly once and probably won’t do it again because it just feels weird to have a magazine in the safe area, even empty. 

 

Otherwise, it’s just the gun, it’s case, me,

my belt, and any needed cleaning supplies or tools. 

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One of our local clubs does not even allow mags on belt in the safe area. They know it's a range rule, not a USPSA one.

All other clubs operate normally that you can have mags but cannot handle them (if loaded) in the safe area.

RE: Coaching - if I knew the guy I might have given them the look like "hey, are you sure you're ready?" But I probably would not have said anything. 

If I were the RO I would not have given the make ready command until they had their mags. I want to compete against people at their best, not essentially zero a guy's stage because he made a brain fart. 

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4 minutes ago, TrackCage said:

One of our local clubs does not even allow mags on belt in the safe area.

 

and what's the consequence of having a mag in your belt pouch in the safe area? DQ?  Under what rule? 10.5.12, the one that SPECIFICALLY says that having mags in your pouches is ok? 

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8.6.2.1 covers this...but would telling him and the RO that he's not ready constitute coaching???

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40 minutes ago, nasty618 said:

 

and what's the consequence of having a mag in your belt pouch in the safe area? DQ?  Under what rule? 10.5.12, the one that SPECIFICALLY says that having mags in your pouches is ok? 

Probably no consequence as far as USPSA goes unless they have written permission from HQ to use a club rule. But I always remind people any club can ban anybody. 

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1 hour ago, nasty618 said:

 

and what's the consequence of having a mag in your belt pouch in the safe area? DQ?  Under what rule? 10.5.12, the one that SPECIFICALLY says that having mags in your pouches is ok? 

No USPSA consequence. I don't know exactly (easier to just take the mags off then decide to draw a line in the sand), but probably just a stern talking to by your friendly range BOC.

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5 minutes ago, TrackCage said:

a stern talking to by your friendly range BOC.

I have zero patience for those, but often being a guest it's not an option to tell them to go scram... so i smile and nod until they walk away.  It's alarming though how many of them seem to have a sixth sense and can tell that inside you are laughing at them... They somehow get re-inspired and keep driving their points across :)

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OP here.  Thanks to everyone for chiming in!  Special thanks to RadarTech for pointing out 8.3.1, which would have answered my question if I had been patient enough to dig for it.  As for why the guy took the mags off his belt, I think it was just an excess of caution.  And I think the RO would probably have pointed out the problem if he had noticed.  He was standing to the right of the shooter, and the mag pouches were on the shooters left, so it's entirely possible that he just didn't see.  

 

Going to the VA state match on Sunday.  Now I know to definitely keep my mouth shut if such a thing happens there!

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Would a semi loud comment to the guy standing next to you "Boy, I sure hope I don't forget my mags" be considered coaching??👹

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10 minutes ago, egd5 said:

Would a semi loud comment to the guy standing next to you "Boy, I sure hope I don't forget my mags" be considered coaching??👹

Yeah, pretty much. 

 

Kind of like, "Iiiiiiiiiffffff you are finished, unload and show clear"...

 

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12 hours ago, teros135 said:

"Iiiiiiiiiffffff you are finished, unload and show clear"

 

I did exactly that to my RMI at a match recently :)  

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If the magazine comment is before the "Make Ready" command it is alright.  I received this very advice from an RO at a level II match when I came to the line without magazines.  He knew issuing the make ready command would only delay things so he "suggested" that he move me down a couple while I went and retrieved my magazines.  LOL 

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At an L1, assuming it’s a new shooter needing coachng, I’d approach the RO and ask in a loud voice: “Do I have your permission to tell the shooter he forgot his magazines?”  

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