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Don’t make it easy to DQ


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I just resumed competing in Uspsa matches after a 14 year layoff.

A great deal has changed in that time. I welcome the new divisions and it appears that participation is up…..at least where I shoot.  I am undecided about practice score.  I miss having my paper copy.

 

I have noticed two trends that are a little disturbing.  I shoot at three different clubs and the trend seems to be prevalent at all three.

 

1.  At every match I have shot there is at least one stage where the shooter, at some point, had to retreat up range to engage targets.  Yes, it can be done safely, but in course design, it was, in the past,I’ll advised (….it simply increased the odds of a shooter Breaking the 180).  This type of course design is common place now (along with placing targets at 175 degrees to the 180).  I have seen a good number of new and experienced shooters lose focus and DQ.  The experienced shooter will learn from their error and come back another day better for it.  The newbie, I fear not.  This type of course design, IMHO, should be highly discouraged at level one matches.  I hope it is at the majority of clubs in the U S.

 

2: The other trend I noticed is that targets are scored and taped before the shooter or the RO have a chance to see them.  This seems to be done with the desire to move the squads through a stage faster.  I’m sorry but this goes against my better judgement.  Some clubs don’t even require the shooter to approve their score.

 

I hope some members of this forum respond with their experiences and opinions.

 

That being said, it’s good to be back!

 

 

 

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1. As a new shooter I agree the course designs with the retreating are intimidating. What works for me is talking to people during the walkthrough to get their advice on the safest way to do things vs. the fastest way. When walking a stage and everyone talking about a "180 trap" it feels counter productive to me. I have more of an issue with the intentional "180 traps" in course design. Should there really be gotcha's in a sport where safety is paramount? That being said I get people want a competitive environment and interesting course design. I have been shooting for a few months so I don't have a comparison, but to me its about who are you designing the stages for? Is it for competitive shooters or the more casual participant? 

 

2. We fly through taping and call it out to the scorer. We do have shooters who want to approve and those who don't care as much. It is definitely to make sure we get out of there by 2PM when its 100 outside. 

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Stage designers tend to just design stages,, Sometime its free style that leads to soem of the issues. People invent ways to shoot a stage the MD never thought of. 
Shooter is responsible for his gun regardless of stage design.

In the past, and I assume still , scoring etiquette. Tapers usually waited on any close or penalty shots for the shooter to see. 

 

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2 hours ago, Joe4d said:

Stage designers tend to just design stages,, Sometime its free style that leads to soem of the issues. People invent ways to shoot a stage the MD never thought of. 
Shooter is responsible for his gun regardless of stage design.

In the past, and I assume still , scoring etiquette. Tapers usually waited on any close or penalty shots for the shooter to see. 

 

I agree with this. So many of us locally are RO/CRO that we just make note and paste then tell the scorekeeper.

 As for stage design I do my best to make it impossible to shoot a target illegally. But even that can’t be avoided at times. A few months back a shooter slipped and fell and while laying down engaged a target. Rounds were WAY over the berm.

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As an experienced competitor I wouldn't attend a match now a days that had paper only scoring. Also there are options to text to email you your score as soon as it's entered in the pad. 

 

And yeah I too have seen a greater acceptance of matches having targets at 175 to 178°. And it does catch more people out than if it required less attention. I can see both sides to this so I just roll with it.

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20 hours ago, Fotofavoloso said:

 This type of course design, IMHO, should be highly discouraged at level one matches.  I hope it is at the majority of clubs in the U S.

 

i would argue the opposite.... this type of design should be encouraged and common at level one matches, and newbs should be coached and assisted in how to safely deal with it so they don't go to a major match and get sent home.

 

Our new shooter briefing really stresses safety (particularly muzzle awareness). Be safe, and hit the targets, and don't worry about speed the first few matches.

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On 7/30/2022 at 2:06 PM, Fotofavoloso said:

I just resumed competing in Uspsa matches after a 14 year layoff.

A great deal has changed in that time. I welcome the new divisions and it appears that participation is up…..at least where I shoot.  I am undecided about practice score.  I miss having my paper copy.

 

I have noticed two trends that are a little disturbing.  I shoot at three different clubs and the trend seems to be prevalent at all three.

 

1.  At every match I have shot there is at least one stage where the shooter, at some point, had to retreat up range to engage targets.  Yes, it can be done safely, but in course design, it was, in the past,I’ll advised (….it simply increased the odds of a shooter Breaking the 180).  This type of course design is common place now (along with placing targets at 175 degrees to the 180).  I have seen a good number of new and experienced shooters lose focus and DQ.  The experienced shooter will learn from their error and come back another day better for it.  The newbie, I fear not.  This type of course design, IMHO, should be highly discouraged at level one matches.  I hope it is at the majority of clubs in the U S.

 

2: The other trend I noticed is that targets are scored and taped before the shooter or the RO have a chance to see them.  This seems to be done with the desire to move the squads through a stage faster.  I’m sorry but this goes against my better judgement.  Some clubs don’t even require the shooter to approve their score.

 

I hope some members of this forum respond with their experiences and opinions.

 

That being said, it’s good to be back!

 

 

 

 

Your first concern is not shared by the majority of shooters.  People need to learn to deal with it.  New shooters are coached and they are expected to be safe above all else.  If a lapse of attention causes a 180 violation while going uprange, take your DQ like a man and learn from it.  Same goes for breaking the 180 on targets that are close to it.  Being able to move rapidly safely with a pistol in hand in any direction, while under stress, is to me an integral part of the sport.

 

if that causes some new shooters to get butthurt and not return.......

https://i.imgflip.com/4/42dddp.jpg

 

Your second concern is valid.  Sometimes in the name of efficiency the scorekeeper RO scores targets as you the shooter go past.  I don't really like that either.  Your entitled to ask to not score your run ahead, that you want to walk with the RO as he or she scores every target.  i would not deny that request.  The time saved is minimal on a 4 to 6 stage match.

Edited by Johnny_Chimpo
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I have seen a stage with an uprange retreat that had a very narrow area between the walls and faultline. If you stayed inside the faultline it did crowd you close to the walls, but of course you could step out of the shooting area to give yourself more room while retreating and then step back in to engage targets. With the varying levels of experience at a match I just thought it was unnecessary to set it up that way. 

 

Other then that one stage I don't see a problem with the retreating stages. Most matches these days block the targets from being available to allow you to break the 180. 

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Shoot enough with the same folks and you'll learn to trust them to score/tape and then call out the scores to the RO. If you are shooting with good people then they will not call out close ones and get the RO to do it or they'll call you over to verify a miss or no shoot. If you can't trust the people you are shooting with, then find a new squad if possible.  Sometimes it's about match efficiency at the locals and often a "beat the heat" deal at some ranges.

Paper is dead for the most part. 

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14 years is a long time to be away from this sport. 

 

Paper is dead. The impact on workload for the people that run/setup matches/data entry is huge. Depending on where you live, the matches fill up days/weeks before the match. Without Practiscore you'd be standing there with 199 other people who want to shoot.

 

180 stuff: The sport has absolutely evolved. I don't put a positive or negative connotation on that........it's evolved. 

 

Pre-pasting: It does speed things along; maybe not by a lot per shooter but that does add up. It also increases the overall tempo from "Derp I've got nowhere else to be so I'm going to shuffle my feet" to "Let's keep this moving." Right or wrong there's a bit of a culture clash between people who just want to hang out with guns and those with a different perspective. 

 

My observation is that some people want to do crime scene analysis on every target are also the ones that don't help run the squad, or tape, or or or or. . 

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On 7/31/2022 at 4:44 AM, motosapiens said:

i would argue the opposite.... this type of design should be encouraged and common at level one matches, and newbs should be coached and assisted in how to safely deal with it so they don't go to a major match and get sent home.

 

Our new shooter briefing really stresses safety (particularly muzzle awareness). Be safe, and hit the targets, and don't worry about speed the first few matches.

^^^^ Agreed.  when I was an MD I tried to make it a point to add these stages on a regular basis.  part of a good stage design is coming up with a selection of stages that is fun yet challenging for the majority of competitors on a given day.  some long shots, some fast stages, some stages with technical challenges, some carnival stuff (swingers, etc.).  I normally tried to pair a new shooter with someone more experienced, made sure they never shot first, and always harped on safety for any stage with a target close to the 90, or where shooters had to retreat upstage.  it wasn't coaching, it was safety first. 

 

We never had a problem, and had very few DQs in the matches I ran. 

 

 

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I don't mind uprange movement as part of a stage because I think one of the very valuable skills that USPSA can teach shooters is how to move with a gun, and how to be aware of what your gun is doing (where it is pointed) while moving.  I am not a fan of more 'risky' movement being done for it's own sake in the same way that I'm not a fan of just adding more targets to a stage simply to get a higher round count.  Any movement that can be done safely and enhances the quality of the stage is a plus in my opinion.

 

As far as scoring, I make it a point to leave any close shots, misses, no shoots, etc. untaped until the shooter is given a chance to take a look.  They either don't care or don't want to inspect (in which case you score and tape), or they do and they get a chance to see the targets.  If there's a clear two alpha target, I don't worry about making sure the shooter sees it first, unless there is some other circumstance in play.

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My experience as a MD has been that if targets are placed correctly per 2.1.4 then only a very few things are actually problematic in stage designs. My basic rules for keeping shooters safe from themselves,

1) Follow 2.1.4, really this is the big one, yes it can be a pain but it works.

2) Anytime you add something with the potential to create a mistake, make it hard or obvious, enough that the shooters cant help but see the risk. 

3) Facing up range hands at sides is dumb, don't do it.

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On 7/30/2022 at 12:06 PM, Fotofavoloso said:

1.  At every match I have shot there is at least one stage where the shooter, at some point, had to retreat up range to engage targets.  Yes, it can be done safely, but in course design, it was, in the past,I’ll advised (….it simply increased the odds of a shooter Breaking the 180).  This type of course design is common place now (along with placing targets at 175 degrees to the 180)

 

Ill advised in what way?  Rule 2.1.4 indicated in a match that "Targets must be arranged so that shooting at them on an “as and when visible” basis will not cause competitors to breach safe angles of fire."  If clubs are not doing this it should be discussed and fixed.  


Are the targets arranged this way or are you talking about situation where the stage is designed where the shooters has to retreat and can break the 180 engaging targets that are compliant with 2.1.4?  Retreating stages "increase the odds of a shooter breaking the 180" even if the targets presentation is compliant with rule 2.1.4.  If the targets are compliant with 2.1.4 are you suggesting that stages which require the shooter to retreat are ill advised?  So local MDs are not to design retreating type stages?  I am asking because the original post does not indicate the exact situation.  

 

Retreating stages will be seen in higher Level matches.  

 

Local level MDs should be able to place targets at 175ish-178ish degrees, because you will see these at higher level matches.

 

The individual that taught my RO and CRO class hates the term "180 Trap", if the stages are designed per the rules.  I tend to agree with this assessment.  I have been DQ'd on retreating stages and it was completely my fault.  I acknowledged I needed to wait to bring the gun up before reaching a certain up-range corner of the designed stage during the walk through just as everyone else did and I still brought the gun up too early.  That is not the fault of the Stage designer or the MD.  It was my fault.

 

We cannot hold everyone's hand when its their turn to shoot. The rules are in place to keep everyone safe and the do a good job of doing that.  If people EARN their DQ by breaking the rule(s) they need to be DQ'd.  That's how you learn.  Well most of us.  Our section has a remedial action if someone EARNs three DQs in one calendar year.  

 
Edited by Boomstick303
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5 hours ago, shred said:

They all should, it's a rule-- 2.1.4

 

I do wish they would clarify the rules as 2.1.4 says "will not cause competitors to breach safe angles of fire" and 2.1.2 defines Safes Angles of Fire
 

Quote

2.1.2 Safe Angles of Fire – Courses of fire must always be constructed to ensure safe angles of fire. Consideration must be given to safe target and frame construction and the angle of any possible ricochets. Where appropriate the physical dimensions and suitability of backstops and side berms must be determined as part of the construction process

 

but that mentions specific items like ricochets and size and suitability of backstops and berms and I think "backstop" here is meant as the back of the bay, otherwise if you go by the 4 rules of firearm safety, there is no need to reference the side berms as the "backstop" is where any bullet ends up. 
 

I know there is common sense that comes into play here, but I have had arguments with a couple builders at various ranges about targets being visible beyond the 180 and they keep debating it not being called out in the rules specifically. 

Another thing to consider is that a no-shoot visible beyond the 180 is a brown target so those should be addressed during the stage review/check as well. 

 

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1 hour ago, broadside72 said:

 

I do wish they would clarify the rules as 2.1.4 says "will not cause competitors to breach safe angles of fire" and 2.1.2 defines Safes Angles of Fire
 

 

but that mentions specific items like ricochets and size and suitability of backstops and berms and I think "backstop" here is meant as the back of the bay, otherwise if you go by the 4 rules of firearm safety, there is no need to reference the side berms as the "backstop" is where any bullet ends up. 
 

I know there is common sense that comes into play here, but I have had arguments with a couple builders at various ranges about targets being visible beyond the 180 and they keep debating it not being called out in the rules specifically. 

Another thing to consider is that a no-shoot visible beyond the 180 is a brown target so those should be addressed during the stage review/check as well. 

 

meh.... i think if you are looking straight back uprange, and you can see the back of a no-shoot, that shouldn't need a rocket surgeon to figure out you shouldn't shoot it. that's not really where the issues lie with 180's. One thing I see from time to time at some clubs is targets on the side facing in towards the shooter that become available long before the 180, but continue to be available well past the 180. that can usually be fixed by angling the target a bit, even tho for 99% of shooters it will never be a problem. 

 

In general, target placement isn't the reason for 180 violations. The overwhelming majority of 180 issues I see are purely dumb shooters, people who apparently don't dryfire in any realistic fashion (or don't keep track of the 180 when they do). The most common issues in no particular order:

1. having no f***ing idea where your muzzle is pointing when you reload, and reloading as if you are facing straight downrange no matter what direction you are moving.

2. having a crappy gun that malfunctions all the time, including when you are shooting at a target way out to your left, and then pointing the gun well uprange to look stupidly at the jam.

3. Thinking that your hips are magically pointing the same way your head is, so if you are running uprange from the start, but looking downrange at the target, it is somehow safe to draw your gun.

 

there are probably others, but these are the ones I have seen most often in the last 2 months.

 

 

 

I don't like getting dq'd, so I practice reloading in every imaginable direction while keeping the gun pointed safely downrange. 

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2 hours ago, motosapiens said:

In general, target placement isn't the reason for 180 violations. The overwhelming majority of 180 issues I see are purely dumb shooters, people who apparently don't dryfire in any realistic fashion (or don't keep track of the 180 when they do). The most common issues in no particular order:

1. having no f***ing idea where your muzzle is pointing when you reload, and reloading as if you are facing straight downrange no matter what direction you are moving.

2. having a crappy gun that malfunctions all the time, including when you are shooting at a target way out to your left, and then pointing the gun well uprange to look stupidly at the jam.

3. Thinking that your hips are magically pointing the same way your head is, so if you are running uprange from the start, but looking downrange at the target, it is somehow safe to draw your gun.

 

there are probably others, but these are the ones I have seen most often in the last 2 months.

 

I don't like getting dq'd, so I practice reloading in every imaginable direction while keeping the gun pointed safely downrange. 

 

All of this

 

I've done some of those a time or two

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On 8/2/2022 at 8:57 PM, OnVacation said:

 

 

We never had a problem, and had very few DQs in the matches I ran. 

 

 

4 DQ’s out of 50 shooters at a local match….,.some newbies, some experienced shooters…….all on the same stage.   Breaking the 180 is always the shooters fault……but poor course design can exacerbate the situation.     

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1 hour ago, Fotofavoloso said:

4 DQ’s out of 50 shooters at a local match….,.some newbies, some experienced shooters…….all on the same stage.   Breaking the 180 is always the shooters fault……but poor course design can exacerbate the situation.     

sounds like a good opportunity for newbies and experienced shooters to learn how to negotiate a stage safely before they get to a major match and waste a bunch of money.

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19 hours ago, MikeBurgess said:

3) Facing up range hands at sides is dumb, don't do it.

 

17 hours ago, Johnny_Chimpo said:

Why?

 

Because someone always draws before they start the turn and the whole squad has a gun pointed at them. 

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