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I should have been DQed, but...


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In talking with some shooters recently, I came to the realization that many of us "got away" with stuff that should have resulted in a DQ.  Whether rightly or wrongly, a rule infraction happened that either went unnoticed, or an RO decided to let it slip by.  I thought it would be good to have a thread to share our "Shoulda-been" DQs.

 

I'll start: I've only been shooting for three years and have never taken a trip to Dairy Queen, but there are three distinct instances that I can remember where I should have.

 

The first one was at my very first match.  The match was at an indoor range, with safe tables on each of the two shooting bays.  Me, not really knowing anything about the rules, didn't realize that you couldn't just unbag and holster your gun anywhere.  But guess what I did?  Set my gym bag (which was my range bag at the time) down with everyone else's stuff, unzip the pistol sleeve, and holster right there!  Nobody saw me do it, but I didn't even recognize that I had done anything wrong until the next match.  Oops!

 

Second time was at my third match, which was also indoors.  Nothing special about this one, really.  I did the one thing that probably accounts for like 90% of match DQs - breaking 180 during a left-to-right reload.  Certainly I didn't set any scorching times on that stage, but after getting unload/show clear, the RO put his hand on my shoulder and let me know exactly what happened.  However, he let me continue because I was new and stupid.  So that was another lesson learned.

 

When the third instance happened I really should have known better.  It happened after I had been shooting for maybe a year and a half.  It was the last stage of the day, and the setup wasn't anything unusual.  Unloaded start, gun on barrel, trigging sitting over the mark.  Perhaps I was tired or anxious to get going, but for whatever reason I got to the barrel a few steps ahead of the RO and yanked my gun out of the holster to set it on the mark.  If you guessed that the RO had not given "Make ready", you'd be right!  Immediately behind me I heard a quiet-but-firm "Stop.  Make ready." Realizing what a moron I was, I looked back at him and said, "Crap.  You really should DQ me for that." to which he replied, "Yeah I should, but you know what you did wrong.  Make ready."  That was definitely stupid!  But hey, another lesson learned, and another lucky break for me.

 

Since those incidents, I've taken the RO course and gotten the cert, and tried my best to stay true to the rulebook.  While I haven't given anyone a free pass yet, I definitely let new shooters know when they're close to screwing up in order to prevent any unfortunate mishaps.  Anyway, now that you've heard about my "Shoulda-been"s, let me hear yours!

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Very first match. The safe area was the entire bowling pin range. It was also where most of the seating was. I sat down and loaded mags right in front of the MD. He looked at me funny but didn’t say anything.  Later after I got certified I became the MD there and changed the safety tables to only the shooting tables so we could sit down and load mags. Since then safety area rules have been much more refined.

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I was a new Carry Optics shooter playing in the provisional division when it was first created. Up until this point, I had only shot with my red dot at our local indoor range.

I was sent down to ABQ for a work trip that ended on a Friday and just happened to search Practiscore and found a local USPSA match on Saturday so I stayed for an extra day, brought my race rig, and went to the match. I was really excited to be outdoors on a gorgeous day in the desert the middle of winter. It was one of the first opportunities I had to shoot the red dot outside and I was learning about how my red dot looked in the bright desert sun. We were all just standing with the squad watching the first shooter start on the first stage of the day and I was trying to look down into my holster and see if my dot brightness was adequate. I couldn't quite get the right angle to see the dot in the glass, so I simply just drew my pistol and was looking down the sight pointing it at the ground in front of my feet. Oof. I maintained excellent muzzle and awareness and finger discipline, but I was nowhere near the safe area and it was clearly an idiotic thing to do.

I instantly reholstered just as one of the old timer regulars happened to glance over at me and saw me just putting it back in the holster. He shook his head but gave me a wink, and didn't say a word. I was somewhat new to the sport at that point, but I definitely knew enough to know that should have been a DQ, even though I didn't really know how to proceed with it. I assumed I just got lucky since no one saw and went about the rest of my day and shot a very nice match. These days if I did something that monumentally stupid, I would walk up to the MD and DQ myself voluntarily.

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First time at USPSA practice.  Look at everyone wearing unloaded guns.  They are shooting into a bay off the 50 yard range.  Walk to the middle of the 50 yard range, plunk down my bag and put on my gear.  Pulled out the gun and holstered it.

 

One of the guys walks up, smiling and introduces himself.  "Hi, I'm Mark.  I'd like to talk to you about the Safe Area".

 

Yeah.... at least it wasn't at a match.... but still....

 

BC

Edited by BillChunn
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I've never had this episode resolved to my satisfaction.  What do you think?  It was a level one match out of town my first time shooting this club.  I was shooting Limited major and doing quite well (for me) after 4 stages.  The 5th stage presented as "gun unloaded on table" start.  There were 2 paper targets side by side above the table and two paper targets below the table.  At the start buzzer I quickly moved forward from the start position to retrieve my gun from table.  Loaded and hosed at the two above table paper targets "double alpha, double alpha."  As I was dropping to my knees/squat to engage the targets below the table my finger was on the trigger and "bam" I discharged a round I was clearly not in control of.  My pause waiting for the Stop command seemed like forever but it never came.  I finished the stage and then had a conversation with the RO.  I believed I should have been DQ'd.  His reasoning for not DQ'ing me was because the errant shot was actually on paper above the table as a Delta.  I was glad to not be DQ'd and sent home but I can't help but thinking he gave me a break.

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1 hour ago, LordManHammer said:

I've never had this episode resolved to my satisfaction.  What do you think?  It was a level one match out of town my first time shooting this club.  I was shooting Limited major and doing quite well (for me) after 4 stages.  The 5th stage presented as "gun unloaded on table" start.  There were 2 paper targets side by side above the table and two paper targets below the table.  At the start buzzer I quickly moved forward from the start position to retrieve my gun from table.  Loaded and hosed at the two above table paper targets "double alpha, double alpha."  As I was dropping to my knees/squat to engage the targets below the table my finger was on the trigger and "bam" I discharged a round I was clearly not in control of.  My pause waiting for the Stop command seemed like forever but it never came.  I finished the stage and then had a conversation with the RO.  I believed I should have been DQ'd.  His reasoning for not DQ'ing me was because the errant shot was actually on paper above the table as a Delta.  I was glad to not be DQ'd and sent home but I can't help but thinking he gave me a break.

Actually would have to be there to see it but it doesn’t sound like a DQ to me. In the rule book AD’s have to fit very specific criteria. Whether a shooter means to fire or not often doesn’t even play into it. 
 Think of this. You can draw your gun and fire a round into the ground within 10 feet and it’s a DQ. But if it strikes 10’ 1” away no harm, no foul. You didn’t mean to fire that soon but it’s not an AD per the rules.

  My guess is the RO decided you were actively engaging targets at the time the gun fired.

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12 minutes ago, Sarge said:

Actually would have to be there to see it but it doesn’t sound like a DQ to me. In the rule book AD’s have to fit very specific criteria. Whether a shooter means to fire or not often doesn’t even play into it. 
 Think of this. You can draw your gun and fire a round into the ground within 10 feet and it’s a DQ. But if it strikes 10’ 1” away no harm, no foul. You didn’t mean to fire that soon but it’s not an AD per the rules.

  My guess is the RO decided you were actively engaging targets at the time the gun fired.

Thanks.  That explanation makes sense to me.

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29 minutes ago, Sarge said:

Actually would have to be there to see it but it doesn’t sound like a DQ to me. In the rule book AD’s have to fit very specific criteria. Whether a shooter means to fire or not often doesn’t even play into it. 
 Think of this. You can draw your gun and fire a round into the ground within 10 feet and it’s a DQ. But if it strikes 10’ 1” away no harm, no foul. You didn’t mean to fire that soon but it’s not an AD per the rules.

  My guess is the RO decided you were actively engaging targets at the time the gun fired.


I believe the exception is if they are performing a reload and/ or the round goes over the berm.

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7 minutes ago, Mcfoto said:


I believe the exception is if they are performing a reload and/ or the round goes over the berm.

Right. Like I said the rulebook lays out very specific criteria 

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This thread brings up a fair amount of guilt. I’m also in the category of “should have been DQed my first match but wasn’t.” Hell, it was my first stage. It was a U shaped COF and I took it L to R. At the end, the RO gently grabbed my shoulders and turned me to the back berm. I was about to do the IYAFUASC right on the 180. He then told me I pretty much broke the 180 on the retreat end of the stage. But no DQ.

 

Now that I’m an RO, I have twice DQed new shooters for 180 violations. My experience has taught me that of all the safety rules, the 180 is the most important. But I’m great full to that first RO who gave me a pass...

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28 minutes ago, Mcfoto said:

Now that I’m an RO, I have twice DQed new shooters for 180 violations.

I don't believe in giving new shooters a pass on safety related DQs.  The important lesson is reinforced by being told their match is over.

 

We're better off without those who take insult at the penalty and don't come back.

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42 minutes ago, SGT_Schultz said:

I don't believe in giving new shooters a pass on safety related DQs.  The important lesson is reinforced by being told their match is over.

 

We're better off without those who take insult at the penalty and don't come back.


yes, on both occasions they stormed off never to be seen again so perhaps it is self selection.

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When I first started in fact my first match. I was shooting revolver with speed loaders, well I was going to cowboy the first shot. When the buzzer went off, I grabbed my 686 cocked the hammer out of my nylon holster touched the trigger and bang about half way to target which was close. RO (ranger master ) unload show clear, go set down take a breath reload your speed loader I’ll call you in a few minutes. Then he went over a couple things, and I finished the match. I went probably 10 years before it happened again. That did me more good than just telling me To go home 🏠 . We both still shoot.

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57 minutes ago, EEH said:

When I first started in fact my first match. I was shooting revolver with speed loaders, well I was going to cowboy the first shot. When the buzzer went off, I grabbed my 686 cocked the hammer out of my nylon holster touched the trigger and bang about half way to target which was close. RO (ranger master ) unload show clear, go set down take a breath reload your speed loader I’ll call you in a few minutes. Then he went over a couple things, and I finished the match. I went probably 10 years before it happened again. That did me more good than just telling me To go home 🏠 . We both still shoot.

 

What would you have done if the rules had been enforced properly?

 

BTW, I've never seen anyone be told to go home after a DQ.  I've only seen people choose to do so.  Some amicably, others like douchebags.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

What would you have done if the rules had been enforced properly?

 

BTW, I've never seen anyone be told to go home after a DQ.  I've only seen people choose to do so.  Some amicably, others like douchebags.

 

 


and I’ve seen the opposite: young man at his first match, first stage gets to line and realizes there’s no gun in his holster. Runs to his bag in the back of the bay to grab his blaster. Unbags and holsters while excitedly running back to the start line. The RO (not me) explains to him why that’s a no no and that his day is done without firing a shot. That young man stayed the whole day resetting and eventually learned scorekeeper and ran the pad.

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Didn’t even know the rules, but if that was his decision, I would have stayed and watched. After all I had a new nylon holster.

went to RO school and I would recommend it to anyone who plays this game. 

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If an experienced shooter DQs on the first or second stage I wouldn't hold it against him if he packs up and goes home. Maybe with work and chores at home he can only get away for a match or two each month. If he heads right home maybe he can get things accomplished to enable him to go to a match next weekend that he wasn't going to be able to make.

 

It would be good for a new shooter who DQs to stick around and learn as much as he can. 

 

Also if you know a shooter is always there helping build stages, works during the match and helps with teardown, if one day he needs to leave as soon as possible for something it shouldn't be a big deal.

 

I haven't DQd before but have been warned a few times I was getting close to the 180. Wouldn't have been a shock to get called on it. 

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I've had a few times where I thought it was an AD but wasnt called. IMO I'm not slowing down or waiting on an RO to say stop. I know how to stop. I also know that if that word isnt said I'm tanking my score for no reason. My one and only time I stopped was because I slipped and fell mid stage. RO says to keep going. 

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At the inaugural year for the Battle for the North Coast which was my first level II match I started shooting the stage then I came to a paper target that was not reset. For some reason I stopped myself like an idiot as if I could stop myself due to the target not being reset. The RO asked why I stopped and while holding the gun I pointed at the target, my hand did not go in front of the muzzle but it did go forward of the muzzle. I think the RO was irritated with me at this point, he gave me a stern warning about sticking my hand in front of the gun. I caught two breaks, not being DQ and the stage was reset and I got to re-shoot the stage. I learned two lessons that day, you can't stop yourself over targets not being reset and to not stick my hand forward of the muzzle. This also helped me pay attention when opening doors. I continued the day and enjoyed the match. 

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Mine was pretty embarrassing. I've still never been DQ'ed, waiting for that day to happen.

It was a bigger weekend match in our state championship points series this past year so I'd been shooting competitions for 3 or 4 years by this point.

 

The shooting area was a sort of U or V shaped bit with walls making up the inner boundary. You started outside of the shooting area in front of the walls touching some barrels. There were a mix of targets that you'd shoot from the outer edge of the shooting area, targets you'd shoot from close to the rear of the shooting area, and targets you'd take through some ports in the various walls. The target presentation was not symmetrical which really made which direction to go a difficult decision, honestly a great freestyle challenging stage. 

 

I was really struggling during the walkthrough to figure out which way I wanted to go first. About 2 min in I decide on one direction and start walking it, but wasn't comfortable with what I was gonna have to do with a low port so I decided at like 4 min into the walkthrough to flip back to the other way around. This put me moving right to left at the back of the stage, which isn't a problem as long as you think things through. I had like 1 minute and basically only got 1 walk of the stage in that direction and I must have been the first or second shooter. 

 

I come out of the start position, head right and forward to get around the front edge of the wall, draw on my way and keep the muzzle pointed downrange as I move into the shooting area. Shoot the array from the front edge. Back up to the position about 2/3 uprange where you take the next array, safely. Shoot those, then turned back and left to head to the middle port at the center of the bottom of the U. My whole body, arms, gun, and all, turned uprange. I didn't just break the 180, I broke the 240 and 100% swept part of the gallery for a split second. But because I'd tucked everything in close to my body, the timer RO was blocked by my back and the scoring RO had already moved to where he couldn't see me around the corner of the wall. 

 

I've got a great freeze frame from the video where you can see clear down the barrel of my gun. I got lucky that nobody got hurt, and I actually tried to get myself DQ'ed, but the RO said that since none of them actually saw it happen, they couldn't do it based on video evidence, which is the right call by the rules. Ended up shooting the rest of the match and had a pretty decent day, but I am now an absolutist when it comes to stage plans. Once I start walking it through I will NOT change it even if I see the greatest stage plan ever after the fact. I drill this in to new shooters too. 

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At my first match, an IDPA match, I had registered and was sitting under a pavilion with about 20 other shooters waiting for the stage briefing.  My buddy had trained me on the range commands and listening for the timer beforehand, so I was somewhat comfortable shooting the stages, but I didn't recall him saying anything about safe areas.

 

In the company of many, I unzipped my gun bag, made sure the gun was clear, removed it from the gun bag, and holstered it.  

 

No one said a word.  I'm still embarrassed, and I should have been DQ'd right then and there.

 

Another time I had trouble with rounds chambering during a USPSA match.  I took the gun to a safe table, and cleaned out the chamber with a brush.  To test it, I had brought a piece of brass with me.  The brass plunked fine after cleaning the chamber.  I must have gotten some debris in there.  I now know that handling a brass case at the safe table is a no-no.  Dodged another bullet.  

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3 hours ago, Nightforce said:

At the inaugural year for the Battle for the North Coast which was my first level II match I started shooting the stage then I came to a paper target that was not reset. For some reason I stopped myself like an idiot as if I could stop myself due to the target not being reset. The RO asked why I stopped and while holding the gun I pointed at the target, my hand did not go in front of the muzzle but it did go forward of the muzzle. I think the RO was irritated with me at this point, he gave me a stern warning about sticking my hand in front of the gun. I caught two breaks, not being DQ and the stage was reset and I got to re-shoot the stage. I learned two lessons that day, you can't stop yourself over targets not being reset and to not stick my hand forward of the muzzle. This also helped me pay attention when opening doors. I continued the day and enjoyed the match. 

While not advisable, I don’t believe that hand forward (not in front) of the muzzle is DQable.  Rule 10.5.5 only stipulates that unsafe gun handling occurs if the muzzle points at any part of a person’s body during COF, with the exception of sweeping the lowering extremities during drawing or re-holstering.

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4 hours ago, Nightforce said:

At the inaugural year for the Battle for the North Coast which was my first level II match I started shooting the stage then I came to a paper target that was not reset. For some reason I stopped myself like an idiot as if I could stop myself due to the target not being reset. The RO asked why I stopped and while holding the gun I pointed at the target, my hand did not go in front of the muzzle but it did go forward of the muzzle. I think the RO was irritated with me at this point, he gave me a stern warning about sticking my hand in front of the gun. I caught two breaks, not being DQ and the stage was reset and I got to re-shoot the stage. I learned two lessons that day, you can't stop yourself over targets not being reset and to not stick my hand forward of the muzzle. This also helped me pay attention when opening doors. I continued the day and enjoyed the match. 

Bad RO’ing . One, if you don’t muzzle or sweep your hand you are good to go. Two, he should not have interjected when you stopped. I usually just show them the timer as if to say,”clock is running”.

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Just now, EEH said:

All this dearn  talk about DQ,, last stage 81 shooters shoot 6 rounds reload ,,,,, BANG😢😢 3rd time well let’s just say in a loooooonnnng.  time.

 

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