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Hate that I had to DQ this shooter


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Recently I worked as an RO for a level II match.  It was my first time working a major match so I was a little nervous, but at this point I had been an RO for about a year and a half and had run shooters at dozens of local matches.  The other two folks I worked with were certified CROs, so I knew that if I had a rules question I could go to them and get a solid answer.

 

On the day after staff day, I report to the stage that I'm going to work for the weekend.  It's an unloaded start with the gun on one table, and the first loading device to be used on the second table.  This meant that, essentially, you only had to put your first magazine or moon clip on the opposite table, but any others could be loaded from your belt.  The stage also had three shooting areas: left, center, and right, with the two tables straddling the center shooting area.  What most shooters did was grab the gun off the right table, the magazine off the left table, then run to the left box while loading.

 

I think you can see where this is going already.

 

We cycled through a few shooters from the first squad of the day without incident.  A CO shooter stepped up to the line, place his X5 Legion on the table, and his magazine on the other table.  I was standing on the far left side - behind the rear fault line, but close enough that I could see 180 breaks without endangering myself.  One thing I noticed was that his hands were shaking just a little bit, which is normal.  After all, it was the first stage of the day at a major match, and some jitters are normal.

 

Timer goes off, he grabs the gun, grabs the mag and starts moving left.  As you might imagine, he forgot the rule of thumb you use when you're a right-handed shooter trying to reload going Right -> Left: point the gun downrange and tilt it on its side.  I saw the muzzle go straight to the left, almost in slow motion, and then I saw it start to point right at me.  The thing I remember most was seeing the picatinny rail on the underside of the frame, and then suddenly seeing the inside of the barrel (which is something you don't want to see at a USPSA match).  It pretty close to a 190 degree break and clearly apparent from where I was standing.

 

I called STOP, had him unload and show clear, and explained that I observed him break the 180 and was disqualifying for unsafe gun handling under rule etc etc.  He understood the DQ and apologized, then I apologized because the guy was DQed on his first stage before he even got to fire a shot at a major match.  Range Master was called over, stage CRO explained what happened, I showed him where I was standing and what I saw.  RM explained the DQ to the guy, and he packed up and went home.

 

After the match was over, I looked this guy up in the Practiscore Competitor app because I was curious.  It turns out that he was only a C class CO shooter, and this was his first major match ever.  Not only that, but his home club (or, at least the club he shot at most frequently) was several hours away from this match, meaning that he paid several hundred dollars and several hours of his time to shoot the match, and then got sent home before he even fired a single shot.  At his first major no less!

 

So yeah, I feel very, very bad for him.

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Nothing you can do.  Hopefully he uses it as a learning experience and works on his reloads/loading pistols from right to left.  This has been an issue for me in the past including a DQ on the first stage of a Level II type match (a novelty match where there is 50-60 rounds per stage expelled from the gun) last year this time of year.  I went home and immediately started working on this. It has gotten much better, but I do find if I become distracted by something else happening unexpected before the reload, I tend to loose shoulder angle discipline in regards to the back berm coming close to breaking 180 when reloading from right to left.  I think we all have things to work on, and for some of those things it require remedial training to stay up to snuff.  

 

Expensive lessons indeed.

Edited by Boomstick303
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Hell, I feel bad for you you had to look down the barrel of a gun. I used to feel bad about DQing shooters, but I don't really care anymore. You go to a level two you need to know the rules, it's not my fault if you don't. And if you're going to point your gun up range I really don't feel bad about dqing you 

 

And before anybody thinks I'm just looking to DQ shooters, I'm not. if you get these called on my stage for breaking 180 you probably broke the hell out of 180. There's no maybe if I call a 180 violation

 

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I hate that it happened to you. It sucks, but the responsibility is on the competitor.

 

I'd like to once again propose a shift in our collective mindset on DQ's.

I quit saying "I had to DQ this person". I didn't DQ them. In fact, I've only ever DQ'd one shooter:  Me. Everybody else, I was just there to yell Stop and process the paperwork. 

 

As an RO I've had to explain the unfortunate circumstances to a lot of people, and I got into the habit of saying, "I'm sorry to tell you, but you just DQ'd yourself, and here's how you did it." It's a subtle change, but clearly and squarely places the responsibility on the person holding the blaster. . .where it belongs. And hopefully it helped a few see it was THEIR fault.

 

I truly hate to hear someone say "I got DQ'd...", or "... so-and-so DQ'd me".

Own it.

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I know the feeling but rules are rules and as noted above you didn't DQ them, they DQ'd themselves, you just caught them. 

I DQ'd a guy a major match last year. He was first shooter on first stage for that squad and drove 6 hours to get there with friends so he couldn't just leave. Make Ready, out pops a snap cap (that might have been the trigger for the NROI article that month). What can you do but work through the DQ and call the RM over? Not your fault someone else made a mistake.  

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It's unfortunate when that happens, but people need to not freak out their first stage of a big match, especially their first big match, and just concentrate on fundamentals. don't dq, and hit the targets. I've worked dozens of big matches, and more than once I've had to call a DQ on a shooter on the first stage of an area or national match. In every case, they were treating the stage differently than a stage at their home club, and trying harder to go faster. Big mistake.

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31 minutes ago, ima45dv8 said:

As an RO I've had to explain the unfortunate circumstances to a lot of people, and I got into the habit of saying, "I'm sorry to tell you, but you just DQ'd yourself, and here's how you did it." It's a subtle change, but clearly and squarely places the responsibility on the person holding the blaster. . .where it belongs.

 

I like this bolded text, as you say it places the ownership where it belongs.

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59 minutes ago, ima45dv8 said:

As an RO I've had to explain the unfortunate circumstances to a lot of people, and I got into the habit of saying, "I'm sorry to tell you, but you just DQ'd yourself, and here's how you did it." It's a subtle change, but clearly and squarely places the responsibility on the person holding the blaster. . .where it belongs.

 

I like that.  I'm going to adopt it.

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I just shot that match and the description of the shooter could have been me except I just made it into B class right before the match. That would have really bummed me out if it had happened to me but rules are rules and that's why I spent the week before during dryfire practicing reloading moving right to left because I knew I would have to do it at that match. Hopefully he takes the DQ as a learning experience and it makes him a better shooter in the end. 

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7 hours ago, ima45dv8 said:

I hate that it happened to you. It sucks, but the responsibility is on the competitor.

 

I'd like to once again propose a shift in our collective mindset on DQ's.

I quit saying "I had to DQ this person". I didn't DQ them. In fact, I've only ever DQ'd one shooter:  Me. Everybody else, I was just there to yell Stop and process the paperwork. 

 

As an RO I've had to explain the unfortunate circumstances to a lot of people, and I got into the habit of saying, "I'm sorry to tell you, but you just DQ'd yourself, and here's how you did it." It's a subtle change, but clearly and squarely places the responsibility on the person holding the blaster. . .where it belongs. And hopefully it helped a few see it was THEIR fault.

 

I truly hate to hear someone say "I got DQ'd...", or "... so-and-so DQ'd me".

Own it.


I totally agree with what your saying, but my biggest problem is how it affects me when I have to DQ someone. It totally wrecks my mindset and I can never seem to regain my own composure for the rest of the match. I wish I could just DQ them and move on, but I can’t. 
it’s definitely something I need to work on. 

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6 minutes ago, Cuz said:


I totally agree with what your saying, but my biggest problem is how it affects me when I have to DQ someone. It totally wrecks my mindset and I can never seem to regain my own composure for the rest of the match. I wish I could just DQ them and move on, but I can’t. 
it’s definitely something I need to work on. 

 

At locals where we are ROing and shooting, if someone dqs, we all tend to talk s#!t and make fun of them. But other than that no one cares. At level 2s I tend to be a little more professional, but I still don't care.

 

The more you RO the less you will care. Try to get on some squads with unsafe shooters so you practicing DQing people. Practice makes perfect

Edited by RJH
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6 hours ago, Cuz said:


I totally agree with what your saying, but my biggest problem is how it affects me when I have to DQ someone. It totally wrecks my mindset and I can never seem to regain my own composure for the rest of the match. I wish I could just DQ them and move on, but I can’t. 
it’s definitely something I need to work on. 

 

Like @ima45dv8 said you didn't DQ them.  They DQ'd themselves.  You're just the one telling them about it.

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Who's to say he didn't stop something like area 5 from happening by DQing that shooter this was a state match he had no idea whether or not that guy had safe gun handling practices  he could have went to the next stage and had an ND I'm not an RO but call it like you see it the rules are there for a reason 

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1 hour ago, AverageJoeShooting said:

180 dqs are such bulls#!t. unless im actively dodging bullets area 5 style I will give someone a warning and if it happens again ill call them on it. 

 

do this too much and people just start knowing you as the dickhead RO, and will stop squadding with you

 

I’ll agree and disagree. 
 

180 breaks aren’t specifically bullsh**… especially on bays with targets way up range. 
 

If a dude is 30yds deep in a bay versus 5 yards deep in a bay with spectators within just a few degrees of the muzzle… that’s a huge difference in safety IMO. 

 

The real problem is overzealous RO’s that call them on 178-179° when they aren’t 100% sure (as they should be) any time you’re going to make a call to end someone’s match. 

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2 hours ago, AverageJoeShooting said:

180 dqs are such bulls#!t. unless im actively dodging bullets area 5 style I will give someone a warning and if it happens again ill call them on it. 

 

do this too much and people just start knowing you as the dickhead RO, and will stop squadding with you

 

I certainly wouldn't squad with you knowing that's your attitude about muzzle control.

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2 hours ago, Lightj75 said:

Who's to say he didn't stop something like area 5 from happening by DQing that shooter this was a state match he had no idea whether or not that guy had safe gun handling practices  he could have went to the next stage and had an ND I'm not an RO but call it like you see it the rules are there for a reason 

Not sure what you mean by any of that.

 

Knowledge (or lack thereof) of someone's gun handling ability is irrelevant.  We rule on what we see at a particular instance in time and nothing else.

 

All but one of the 180 DQs I've seen were of people who are competent gun handlers.  

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