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Prop Tossing And Monkey Motions


shred

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Spurred on by George's great post :

Yeah, that grenade start was a big explanation point at the Multigun Nationals too. At least it did something this time (trigger a swinger) as opposed to various types of "prop tossing" for no real result I have seen in the past.

The problem I have with a prop like this grenade activating a moving target is that this specific system required explaining that it required a specfic type of toss to work right. That type of explanation is a bandaid fix for a prop that does't work very well and is in need of re-engineering.

For the record and IMHO, if a prop grenade toss or, prop bomb dropoff routine actually activates movers and is designed to work 99.99% of the time with variable quality actuator input, then that routine is fine with me. If the routine does nothing but add "monkey motion" to the stage and then penalizes the shooter if he makes a mistake handling this non-shooting prop, then it doesn't belong in the stage in the first place.

That's my opinion on non-shooting prop handling and I'm sticking with it ;-)

More monkey motions I think don't belong in major matches: You will note that many of them can have large 'luck' components.

* Anytime "Prop X" has to end the COF "Entirely in Zone Y" This includes buddies, bodies, backpacks, briefcases, bombs, baby carriages, baskets, bags and other things that may or may not start with the letter B. Make the thing trigger an activator (reliably) and don't care exactly where it ends up or ditch it entirely. Proceedurals because the dummy's elbow is faulting a line are stupid and generally difficult to RO within the rules and remain gamer-free. How long have we been playing this game, yet we just had to toss a stage at an area match for just this kind of problem?

* Throwing things. A subset of "prop X in Y". Throwing is not an IPSC skill. Doubly so if throwing things is the gamey way to accomplish putting prop X into thing Y. Grenades are the canonical example.

* Cutting things. Knife, sword, cleaver, hatchet and tomahawk targets. Doubly so for scored targets. Mayybe if you cut a string to trigger an activator, but otherwise, no thanks.

* needing to fill or empty something completely before you can start.

What else?

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There was an infamous stage at Area 4 a couple years ago ( and Space City also I think) where the procedure was to retrieve a large key from a toolbox on the start signal and then "unlock" a number of ports before you could shoot through them.

It was fun, but I think it also falls in the "monkey motion" category. And as Roy said, these are a nightmare to R.O.

Al

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Instead of props, why not just make a small rule change that would allow a match director to compel the use of SHO or WHO on *ONE* (what would otherwise be freestyle) stage during a match.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if we're going to activate props the activation needs to be independent of how the competitor actuates the activator. So, if the goal is to toss a grenade into a 55 gal. drum, at the bottom of the drum, there needs to be a spring-loaded activator that trips the corresponding prop the same way every time.

If we're not willing to go through all that rigamarole to ensure the match is fair, then let's just pass. I'd rather see the effort put into pulling out some excess cardboard and relocating the targets farther from the shooter. ;)

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Here's one of my pet peeves (as N2IPSC knows all too well, because I have bent his ear over a variety of beer-filled containers)...

I *hate* it when a course designer uses the course description to compel the shooter to do "prop tossing and monkey motions" which [arguably] violate freestyle, and uses punitive quantities of procedural penalties to make their "intent" stick.

For example: picture a bunch of target arrays, and a lone box at the uprange end of the bay. Course description says "start position, standing in Box A. At signal, step out of Box A and engage targets T1 to T-whatever. One procedural per shot fired while within Box A."

1) There is absolutely no advantage gained in shooting the targets from Box A (in fact, arguably, they are harder shots), so it *should* be only one Procedural, but because the course description says "one per shot fired", it Must Be So. That's bogus.

2) The premise totally violates the concept of freestyle. If I can see the targets from the box, the rules say I should be allowed to shoot the targets from the box (except in Level-I matches, for which an exception is made where they don't have the space/props/whatever to conform to freestyle, but that wasn't the case here)

3) There is no "reason" to require the shooter to exit Box A. It doesn't accomplish anything. It doesn't test anything. It doesn't add to or in any way improve the quality of the stage. It is just there because the designer wanted to make people do it (and/or try to "trick" shooters, which is every bit as bad, in my opinion)

4) The more fundamental premise that bugs me, though, is that... merely by writing it in the course description, the designer can *compel* behavior which is at odds with the rules. Taken to an extreme, a course designer could write a course description that says "on signal, sweep the crowd with your muzzle, then face downrange and.... One procedural per shot fired if the muzzle does not cover at least one spectator". Under the current rules, that is a *totally* valid course description, and the penalties could be assessed, because there is no rule that says the course description CAN'T compel you to violate the rules (and/or can't "legitimize" an otherwise-illegal stage)

(/rant)

Bruce

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More monkey motions I think don't belong in major matches: You will note that many of them can have large 'luck' components.

* Anytime "Prop X" has to end the COF "Entirely in Zone Y" This includes buddies, bodies, backpacks, briefcases, bombs, baby carriages, baskets, bags and other things that may or may not start with the letter B. Make the thing trigger an activator (reliably) and don't care exactly where it ends up or ditch it entirely. Proceedurals because the dummy's elbow is faulting a line are stupid and generally difficult to RO within the rules and remain gamer-free. How long have we been playing this game, yet we just had to toss a stage at an area match for just this kind of problem?

* Throwing things. A subset of "prop X in Y". Throwing is not an IPSC skill. Doubly so if throwing things is the gamey way to accomplish putting prop X into thing Y. Grenades are the canonical example.

* Cutting things. Knife, sword, cleaver, hatchet and tomahawk targets. Doubly so for scored targets. Mayybe if you cut a string to trigger an activator, but otherwise, no thanks.

* needing to fill or empty something completely before you can start.

Shred,

This needs to be sent to very Match Director or wannabe Match Director in the country and should be printed in large, red letters in the rule book!

I absolutely DESPISE having to go through these cutesy, BS shenanigans just to get though a course of fire. What it tells me is that the course designer is lazy and would rather fall back on cheap theatrical tricks that to design a proper shooting challenge.

If you want me to shoot SHO or WHO (in a level one match) simply TELL me to do so and I will happily comply. Save the circus for the clowns, they appreciate it, I don't!

Ed

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I can sure see part of this argument, as some contraptions can be a bit silly and not really about the shooting. However I think we need to make sure we don't carry this idea too far.

Let look at an example. At a recent local match one of the stages involved a large plastic blue barrel, you all know the kind. The barrel started at the feet of the shooter, and it had to end in a box at the end of the of the course of fire. The actuall course of fire was made of of 3 free fire zone, and the description said that the barrel had to be in the same free fire zone as the shooter when the shooter, when the targets where engaged and that certain targets had to be engaged from certain freefire zones.

On the surface this is the least freestyle stage on earth. My first reaction was this stage sucks. In reallity the stage was quite fun, and almost everyone shot a different way. Most chose to carry the stupid barrel part of the stage while engaging targets SHO. Let me assure you that shooting accurately at things SHO, while hauling an ungainly object is most definitly a shooting skill, and a shooting skill with practical applications.

I'm no expert but I think should need to recoginize some monkey props are there just for stupid reasons, like the toss the grenade to activate a port one. That is not a shooting a challange. However props which do force a shooting challange, such as shooting one handed, being off balance, making reloads difficult, etc, should not be thrown out with the bath water.

I like hard. If I wanted a PURE shooting challange I'd be shooting bulleye.

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I can see some benefit in props like the barrel, ...the Journalist in Beruit where you had a briefcase handcuffed to your off hand was that kind of stage...BTW, Robbie won that stage..even with a bad knee..

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I can sure see part of this argument, as some contraptions can be a bit silly and not really about the shooting. However I think we need to make sure we don't carry this idea too far.

...

I'm no expert but I think should need to recoginize some monkey props are there just for stupid reasons, like the toss the grenade to activate a port one. That is not a shooting a challange. However props which do force a shooting challange, such as shooting one handed, being off balance, making reloads difficult, etc, should not be thrown out with the bath water.

Absolutely. It's the stupid ones and unnecessarily punitive ones that really torque me off.

But, it does take a lot of effort to get these right at a major match-- get the carry prop too big or heavy and small or young people get screwed, make it too small or light and somebody throws it, tucks it behind a mag pouch, in the crook of their neck or otherwise games it. Write the COF slightly wrong and everybody blows off the prop. Write it too restrictive and a half inch of baby carriage sticking out zeroes the stage. Get two RO's with different opinions and the stage is tossed.. Making the carry-object activate something avoids a number of these pitfalls and allows for a lot more freedom for the shooter.

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Ummmmmm... concrete squirrels? :lol:

Or concrete Easter Bunnies ;)

In its defense, at least the Easter Bunny acted as an activator. :)

There was an infamous stage at Area 4 a couple years ago ( and Space City also I think) where the procedure was to retrieve a large key from a toolbox on the start signal and then "unlock" a number of ports before you could shoot through them.

There have been a number of them that were squirrely (pun intended):

2004 A4: As described by Al above. Three DQs associated with that stage. All three overturned, by the way...

2003 Texas Open: Same big-ass key needed to open ports

2004 Space City: Wooden "polo pony" (no pun intended) needed to open final port. Actually, the port could be opened with your hand, but if you did so there was a penalty assessed for each shot fired if the pony did not make it through the port. <_<

Stage: 4 Pony Express

Place...Name..........No....Class...Division...Pts...Pen...Time....Hit Fact...Stg Pts....Stg %

56.......Polo, Chet...18.....C.........Open......136..60.....22.93...3.3144....45.9181..30.61%

-Chet

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Out of curiosity, I heard a story about a major match some time ago, in which you had to unlock a door (prior to shooting the array behind it) with a touch-pad combination lock.

Someone said Frank Garcia got to the door, entered the combo, and it didn't open. He called for a reshoot, but the RO was able to enter the combination, and the door opened, so it was overturned....

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In its defense, at least the Easter Bunny acted as an activator. :)

So did the squirrel - picking him up at the beginning activated a couple of movers, and sitting him on the podium at the end activated movers.... :)

He was still a little bastard... :D

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Out of curiosity, I heard a story about a major match some time ago, in which you had to unlock a door (prior to shooting the array behind it) with a touch-pad combination lock.

Someone said Frank Garcia got to the door, entered the combo, and it didn't open. He called for a reshoot, but the RO was able to enter the combination, and the door opened, so it was overturned....

I was on the "Super Squad" with Frank at that match (Mid 1990's in Boone, NC).

The RO stated that "the lock is the shooter's responsibility". The shooter had to reset the lock (prior to the buzzer) and then enter the combination and turn the handle after the buzzer to open the door and begin engaging targets. The lock was finicky in that if you, even ever so slightly, touched an incorrect number key the lock would not open. You would then have to reset the lock and begin again which would take a minimum of 2 or 3 seconds.

After successfully opening the lock 2 or 3 times, prior to the buzzer, Frank reset the lock and signaled that he was ready. At the buzzer he entered the combo and the lock would not open. Frank stepped back with his hands in the air and said the lock was jammed. The RO told him that "the clock is running ... reset it" and Frank refused to reset the lock and try again to continue the stage. I believe there was a protest but I honestly cannot recall if Frank was given a re-shoot (although I rather doubt it). Most of the people just reset the lock and continued with their several second penalty.

We were all clearly told that we would have to reset the lock (on the clock) if the lock did not open. Frank chose not to try to reset the lock. The majority of the shooters were able to negotiate the lock without incident but they had to be extremely careful not to touch any of the other keys in the process.

I think this clearly qualifies as Monkey Motion.

Leo

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What would be the penalty for taking a couple of steps back and putting a round through the keypad? :ph34r::wacko::lol:

I was told of a local match once (I wished I had been there to set them straight) on an indorr range where you were required to carry a bucket of water from Box A to Box B and set it down without spilling it...the penalty for spillin was a MATCH DQ...for creating an unsafe range condition!!! I couldn't believe the number of people who told me about it afterwards and none of them realized that it was a bogus stage and the should have fought it...no-one did and the results stood!!

The same genius designed a stage that you had to push a mop and bucket into a box (tape on the ground) that was exactly the size of the base of the bucket (with wheels) shooters were taking forever to get it in because with four wheels the turn 360 degrees for steering, its damn near impossible to get it exactly where you want it (try it some time quickly) Fortunately I was there for this one, on the buzzer I dropped the mop handle and ran to the first position and started shooting. When I was done the RO (grinning) said "Nice run, but you forgot the mop, that's one procedural."

He stopped grinning when I told him I didn't "forget" the mop, but taking the procedural was more than worth the 30 or so secs everyone else was spending dicking around with the mop Oddly enough, even after I shot, all the shooters behind me still fought with the mop...I won by a rather large margin that night....

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No, I sure don't.

That may be the case in many circumstances...but, no way would I ever want to making a general statement like that.

In the case(s) that Pat mentioned, it's just as much the fault of the shooters for allowing that to go on.

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I am about to the point where I won't even bother filling out the registration card for matches that have a reputation for "memory" stages, monkey motions, and gimmicks designed to "slow them down". I have shot way too many stages where the ability to perform the non-shooting tasks is by far the deciding factor and the ability to actually shoot doesn't mean squat. It ticks me off.

I also can not help but to wonder if some of the monkey motions and more physical stages won't ultimately hurt the sport by driving shooters away who find it difficult to perform the required tasks. For example, this summer I shot a stage where the shooter was required to start laying flat on a cot. On the signal, the shooter got off the cot and retrieved one or two grenades, their choice. The shooter had to toss the grenade through a high port above an extremely low port in a sand bag bunker then engage an array through the low port. The shooter then stood up and retrieved a .30 cal ammo can full of sand and proceeded to another low port in a sandbag bunker, shooting targets along the way. The can was then placed on an activator pad that started a swinger that was shot through another very low port along with several static targets.

I struggled horribly with that stage (back issues) and frankly I hurled the ammo can full of sand at the activator pad so hard that the can flew open puking the sand all over the activator pad. Any young, agile, shooter with a C card or better could easily hand me my ass on that stage. There were similar antics required on other stages of the match.

In this particular match, 42% of the shooters were seniors or super seniors. After the match, I had three of our local shooters, all seniors, tell me they will not shoot the match next year. That's a damn shame.

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We have a large 24" x 24' x 18" high box with the top cut out somewhat larger than a .50 Cal ammo can. You drop the rather heavy ammo can into the box and it activates a target.

We use doors that must be opened to activate targets, but we do it with a drop weight and a pin. move the door slow or fast, at about 3" of travel the pin will pull out, the weight will drop and the target will activate.

We have a port that you push open, it falls on a line that activates the target, you can get a bit of advantage if you don't really slam it, but not enough to really make a difference.

We often use a popper to activate a target, lately we'v put up a rope behind the pooper, hit the popeer, it falls on the rope and activates the target at the same point in its travel every time.

If you have to carry a prop, make it big enough that you have to carry it, small enough so that everyone can. Make the penalties step enough so that the shooter has to carry it.

Jim

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No, I sure don't.

That may be the case in many circumstances...but, no way would I ever want to making a general statement like that.

In the case(s) that Pat mentioned, it's just as much the fault of the shooters for allowing that to go on.

Exactly, If you know it's wrong, even at local level match...make sure it stops.

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I too have grown weery of the proliforation of gimmick stages......

I'm not 18 any more,,,,I'm not thin anymore,,,,I don't run the 40 in 4.4,,,,,,but I hate being totally out of the running before the buzzer goes off. I don't want everything to be super simple, but dang,,,,,some of the stages I've seen the last year or two are down right sadistic,,,,,,

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