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Cutting shooters slack


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I'm an experienced RO.  I know the rules.  I'm going to ask about gray areas.  I've noticed new ROs DQ people at the drop of a hat.  I've taken a different approach, based on Management saying don't be a dick.

 

Here is an example scenario:  newish shooter has a problem during the COF and has to clear a jam.  His finger  may or may not be completely outside the trigger guard, but is clearly not near the trigger.  Your call?  New ROs say DQ.  I issue a private warning. If it happens again I will tell the shooter that you finger must be completely outside the trigger guard, and that it is a DQ offense.  Last match this happened twice to the same shooter.  I counselled him and he swore it would never happen again.  It didn't.  His finger was so far outside of the trigger guard you could have seen it from space.  What say you all?

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Unless I am mistaken, the rules allow you to issue a safety call at any time... "finger getting close" IMO would be an appropriate warning. 8.6.1, for a new shooter.
Guess there is always a line though. On the other side of the line is that "private warning " type stuff,, IDPA used to be, and maybe still is famous for it.  "Well in a Big match that would be a DQ,,, or a penalty or blah blah blah.... Umm kinda makes me wanna reply either score it or shut up

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You stated may or may not be in the trigger guard.

If you are not 100%, shooter gets benefit of doubt.

But would issue private warning as a heads up.

We are told absolutely no slack given. But if it is a brand new shooter, I try to help some.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

I'm an experienced RO.  I know the rules.  I'm going to ask about gray areas.  I've noticed new ROs DQ people at the drop of a hat.  I've taken a different approach, based on Management saying don't be a dick.

 

Here is an example scenario:  newish shooter has a problem during the COF and has to clear a jam.  His finger  may or may not be completely outside the trigger guard, but is clearly not near the trigger.  Your call?  New ROs say DQ.  I issue a private warning. If it happens again I will tell the shooter that you finger must be completely outside the trigger guard, and that it is a DQ offense.  Last match this happened twice to the same shooter.  I counselled him and he swore it would never happen again.  It didn't.  His finger was so far outside of the trigger guard you could have seen it from space.  What say you all?

 

I agree. It's hard to see everything 100% of the time. Specially finger on or near the trigger while they are running away and changing mags. I RO'ed a friend, when he changed mags I could see a bent finger, couldn't tell from my angle if it was inside the trigger guard or not. He didn't take it well when I advised him. I told him one day someone else might see a bent finger as an infraction.

 

New shooters, be on full alert. Coach them when needed. Take them aside and warn them, their day could be over if they don't ...etc. Warn them during the COF is good. "Finger, finger." But a blatant breaking of the Rules is an automatic DQ. As RO's we need to make sure everyone goes home safe. We can't be perfect. Before anyone starts the first stage, "Anyone here new and here for the first time?" 

 

People who have been at it while, seem to do well. But, I had to DQ a Limited A shooter one day for clearly breaking the 180. Don't be a dick is good, but also let's keep them mindful of rules and watch with full intent so we all go home safe. 

Edited by Lastcat
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It's similar to getting close to 180 - can you tell with certainty that it's 181 degrees? Usually not. It takes about 10-20 degrees over before you can make a definite call. It's not that you can't tell if you were watching a video, but you're watching live and from an off-angle where your own position affects how well you can tell angles. A rookie RO will argue "any amount over 180 is a DQ," where a more experienced RO will say "of course it's a DQ if it's over 180, but the question is whether you can visually determine the angle when it's very close, not whether you should DQ someone if you know they crossed the 180."

 

It's a different emphasis - rookie RO is seeing a rule and wants to apply it without much thought of how certain he is about the call, while the more experienced RO knows the rules and is deciding whether he can put his word against the shooters that the violation has occurred. 

 

The same is with trigger - "visibly outside the trigger guard" doesn't mean that any RO from any angle will see the finger, only that the finger is outside and that it is visible from somewhere. That's why more experienced RO will make a warning to tell the shooter that the finger should be better positioned in order to avoid a call based on the inability to see the finger outside the guard instead of issuing a DQ based on his own inability to see it. If the finger was completely inside the trigger guard and the RO can see it well, then it's a DQ...

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i try to never send people home, unless its a chronic issue affecting the safety of others that ive already warned them about twice. They paid for the match and they are there to have fun.  Most of what i shoot is level 1s

 

My go to is a private safety warning.  Most times the other shooters wont even know im talking to the person.  I had a new pcc shooter in my squad last week. he was on deck to shoot and while the other shooters were shooting pulled his pcc out of the bag and it was pointing downrange but behind the line so facing people

 

He didnt know. i just said woah woah put that back, then when he did i just said hey thats how accidents happen when you get called up to shoot thats when you unbag, he also didnt have a chamber flag, which i gave him.  

 

The point is, its more effective to tell someone the reason something is unsafe and to allow them to learn from it than it is to just send them home.  that doesnt contribute to the growth of the sport at all, it just demoralizes people. 

 

the new shooter never had another safety issue the rest of the match, he was mindful where his muzzle was pointed and he had a great time.  

 

i know ive been very close to the 180 at times and it was much appreciated to just get a stern talking to from the RO instead of an outright DQ

You learn from your mistakes and you dont do it again

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11 minutes ago, jcc7x7 said:

As long as it's not a "with out a doubt safety issue"

 

That about sums it up.  If I am certain there are no warnings or second chances.  You are going home.  Otherwise, no DQ.  I do warn on the COF (finger, etc.).  Most shooters appreciate it.

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1 hour ago, AverageJoeShooting said:

i try to never send people home, unless its a chronic issue affecting the safety of others that ive already warned them about twice. They paid for the match and they are there to have fun.  Most of what i shoot is level 1s

 

My go to is a private safety warning.  Most times the other shooters wont even know im talking to the person.  I had a new pcc shooter in my squad last week. he was on deck to shoot and while the other shooters were shooting pulled his pcc out of the bag and it was pointing downrange but behind the line so facing people

 

He didnt know. i just said woah woah put that back, then when he did i just said hey thats how accidents happen when you get called up to shoot thats when you unbag, he also didnt have a chamber flag, which i gave him.  

 

The point is, its more effective to tell someone the reason something is unsafe and to allow them to learn from it than it is to just send them home.  that doesnt contribute to the growth of the sport at all, it just demoralizes people. 

 

the new shooter never had another safety issue the rest of the match, he was mindful where his muzzle was pointed and he had a great time.  

 

i know ive been very close to the 180 at times and it was much appreciated to just get a stern talking to from the RO instead of an outright DQ

You learn from your mistakes and you dont do it again

 

 

Nope. Nope nope nope nope

 

 

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1 hour ago, AverageJoeShooting said:

i try to never send people home, unless its a chronic issue affecting the safety of others that ive already warned them about twice. They paid for the match and they are there to have fun.  Most of what i shoot is level 1s

 

This will sound mean spirited , and I do not mean it to, but I hate going to a club match where there are any r.o.'s that think like that. If you see a safety rule violation, and you are certain of the right call I want you to make that call.

When enforcing the safety rules is soft or inconsistent I think it makes things less safe for everyone, it creates hard feelings for the folks that do get dq'd, and it makes life hard on the r.o.'s who are trying to follow the rules.

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10 hours ago, zzt said:

His finger  may or may not be completely outside the trigger guard, but is clearly not near the trigger.

 

Trigger finger calls are often tough to be 100% certain about, my approach is to bust the shooter when it is obvious and let the shooter know after the course of fire when I am only 90% sure. 

 

 

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Warnings ("Finger", "Muzzle", etc.) are intended for when a shooter is approaching a safety violation, or when the RO isn't certain.

 

They're not meant to let someone know they've already committed an act that needs to be corrected. In that event, the only appropriate command is "Stop!".

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In general, it is much more difficult to be 100% sure of the call as the only RO at a local match where I am also trying to concentrate on shooting, than it is to be 100% sure of the call at a major match where I have 1-2 other RO's and we run the same stage all day so we know exactly where to be to have a good view and good control of the stage. For that reason, I think things sometimes slide a little bit at local matches. I'm ok with that.

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34 minutes ago, motosapiens said:

In general, it is much more difficult to be 100% sure of the call as the only RO at a local match where I am also trying to concentrate on shooting, than it is to be 100% sure of the call at a major match where I have 1-2 other RO's and we run the same stage all day so we know exactly where to be to have a good view and good control of the stage. For that reason, I think things sometimes slide a little bit at local matches. I'm ok with that.

"things slide" as in violations are seen but not called or because of the reasons you stated violations are less likely to be seen? 

 

I totally agree that at a L1 with usually only 1 RO things are going to get missed, I cant count the times I have had the shooters body blocking my view when I had a bad feeling I really need to see what they were doing and glanced over to the Tablet RO only to see they are not looking at all, that's just par for the course with squads ROing them selves but anything that I do get to see gets called.

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People don't "learn" lessons by receiving verbal warnings. Once the buzzer goes off again they revert back to whatever unsafe stuff they are predisposed to doing. They learn them by receiving a tangible penalty that stops them from having fun and forces them to think about what they did while driving home. Such as being DQed. When I RO, I will give a shooter 1 warning if they are performing what I thought was an unsafe infraction but I couldn't tell for sure. Such as being right on the 180 but you can't tell if they are breaking it by a degree or two or their finger is somewhat out of the trigger guard while not engaging targets but you can't tell if its definitively in or out. Beyond that, the only thing that comes out of my mouth during their stage run are the range commands and "STOP" is one of them.

 

To the OP's question about letting certain things "Slide" for newer shooters, I have seen that happen while others were ROing them. But over time all that does is delay the inevitable. If the shooter can't keep their finger outside of the trigger guard while attempting to clear a jam that behavior is going to continue until they get a wake up call by being DQed. By letting it slide all you do is allow that same poor safety behavior to continue in future matches. In the long run its better for these shooters to learn these safety lessons early in the game vs allowing bad habits to continue to get ingrained. If that means getting DQed, then so be it. 

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How about something like drawing a pistol just before the RO says 'make ready', assuming the stage is clear and all? 

 

Absolutely a DQ by the rules, but often that one slides if the only reason is the RO wasn't on the ball and the shooter didn't know any better.

 

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5 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

By letting it slide all you do is allow that same poor safety behavior to continue in future matches. In the long run its better for these shooters to learn these safety lessons early in the game vs allowing bad habits to continue to get ingrained. If that means getting DQed, then so be it. 

 

This is getting a little off track.  In my original post I wrote "newish shooter has a problem during the COF and has to clear a jam.  His finger  may or may not be completely outside the trigger guard, but is clearly not near the trigger."  I didn't let it 'slide', I cautioned the shooter to be careful.  Bent fingers are a tricky call.

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5 minutes ago, shred said:

How about something like drawing a pistol just before the RO says 'make ready', assuming the stage is clear and all? 

 

There is zero tolerance for that, or frankly any safety issue, at any of the venues I shoot or RO at.  It the timing RO doesn't catch it because they are looking down range to be sure everything is taped and clear, four or five others will and make the call.  My op was about gray areas where you aren't certain, and how new ROs were quicker to make a DQ call.

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DQ,DQ,DQ,DQ. 

 

If you are new, read the rules before you show up, especially the safety portion, i did, it's not that hard.  You are playing with guns, act like it. If you get DQed and are butt hurt over it and don't come back, the rest of us are probably safer, so....bye.

 

 

This of course assumes that the RO is 100 percent sure of the DQ

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We have safety rules for a reason. We get lax on them and eventually people get hurt. 
 

“But it was a new shooter” won’t matter if a round goes over the berm, the shooter NDs into the spectators or themselves, or they drop the gun. 
 

That is why I enforce the rules as written. If it’s a new shooter I am liberal with my warnings if I see a bad behavior starting, but once it crosses the line to actually being the violation, I call it and have a conversation afterwards. 

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

 

There is zero tolerance for that, or frankly any safety issue, at any of the venues I shoot or RO at.  It the timing RO doesn't catch it because they are looking down range to be sure everything is taped and clear, four or five others will and make the call.  My op was about gray areas where you aren't certain, and how new ROs were quicker to make a DQ call.

 

So you are ok with a shooter with a loaded gun and finger inside the trigger guard such that any triggering of his startle reflex (tripping on a rock or whatever) will fire a shot, but pulling an empty gun from a holster on an empty range with the RO watching is a hard DQ because obvious?  Just trying to figure out what we're talking about here.

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53 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

"things slide" as in violations are seen but not called or because of the reasons you stated violations are less likely to be seen? 

.

Both. Close calls or possible violations may be seen, but the RO can't be 100% sure. Also violations may be entirely missed due the RO's view being blocked. I had it happen this last weekend.  a newer shooter got awfully close to the 180 when he had a malfunction while shooting a target to the side. it's possible he could have broken the 180, but I couldn't tell for sure from the side I was on, so I pulled him aside after scoring and advised him to be more mindful.  No way could I have called a dq with the necessary certainty.

Edited by motosapiens
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