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Course Design


zhunter

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Having come into the sport shotting Limited and not having a care in the world about course design and the number of shots in an array, shooting Single Stack makes a difference!!!

Maybe this should be in the "What I Hate" section, but....

Today's match had a 9 shot array to end a stage. I can hear it now, 8 in the mag and one in the chamber makes 9, but I had a miss on a plate and now I was faced with reloading for a make-up/miss or taking the miss. Obviously it is a quick decision, but I choose to take the miss.

I was LESS than impressed with the course design, and, in a diplomatic manner, voiced my concerns to the course designer.

The VERY next stage started out with a 7 shot array and then had a target that had to be engaged with 2 shots before entering a box that required 8 shots. So, the first array, which started with an empty gun on table, i.e. starting with only 8 in the mag, then drop the mag during movement and shooting the target to enter the box, reloading and then engaging the 8 in the next array. This stage REQUIRED 5 mag changes for a Single Stack.

Where is the love? Imagine if there was a Revo shooter?

PLEASE, to all course designers, show us the love!!!!!

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On paper, the first stage sounds like it could be ok. I shoot Production and the 11 shot stages always make me nervous, more diligentia and less celeritas. It's possible to have something that looks good on paper that's just no fun to shoot though.

The second stage sounds like a nightmare. I know everyone is shooting the same CoF but making a stage that everyone hates shouldn't be the goal of the course. I love the "must make" long shot stages and mover targets. The hoser stages can be fun too, even in reduced magazine divisions. To crash and burn on a stage is one thing, but a stage that requires 6 magazines is nuts.

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I hate to say it but I always feel like unless I want to take charge and be the MD Im happy just shooting what is in front of me and having a good time. Lots less work like that, seems like the MD and help work hard for me to compalin if I just show up and shoot.

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Today's match had a 9 shot array to end a stage. I can hear it now, 8 in the mag and one in the chamber makes 9, but I had a miss on a plate and now I was faced with reloading for a make-up/miss or taking the miss. Obviously it is a quick decision, but I choose to take the miss.

I was LESS than impressed with the course design, and, in a diplomatic manner, voiced my concerns to the course designer.

you had a miss on a plate, and youre angry at the course designer? :(

if you think a 9 round array is too many shots...what is the correct number? should it be 5, so that the revo guys can miss at least 1 shot too?

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From any one position, not REQUIRING more than 8 shots is not a bad thing. hios does not mean that you cannot design a stage where there are more than 8 shots available, only that you can't make it so that a shooter HAS to take more than 8 shots from a single position.

This give shooters choices. SS can make the array with out a reload, Production and L10 have additional options available. Revolver has to reload, sorry guys, 6 round neutral is just not an option.

Jim

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Why does this make a difference at all? Everyone has to deal with the same challenges within divisions. [edit]... did you think stage design would change to satisfy single stack? :blink:

+1 I shoot single stack and do not care about course design rnd counts because I know that everyone else is dealing with the same challenges. This is where practice on mag changes and accuracy will set you apart from the crowd. :)

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Folks, you can't have it both ways. If I setup a stage where I show my love to revolver shooters, then the single stack guys are going to hang me. You think you need to do a lot of reloads now, just imagine how dumping 2 rounds on the ground between each 6 rounds shooting position is going to feel. Hell, that would play havok with the production and L10 shooters too.

I design my stages to be Production/L10 friendly. Sorry guys but at our matches we get about 60-65 shooters and maybe 2 or 3 are shooting revolver or single stack. I'm going to worry about making stages for the majority of shooters.

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I shoot Limited 6 and I too am just delighted to be able to shoot and have fun even with multiple standing reloads. When I'm itching for a 6 round neutral course I set it up. I also participate heavily in local ICORE efforts.

However, there seems to be something of an imbalance when we devote less than one page of the rule book to Course Design specifics (i.e. number of rounds and engagement options) and 8+ pages to equipment rules (including SS). This is also driving some of the proliferation of divisions (6) of which 5 are for some kind of semi-automatic.

It seems to me that several of the other debates raging in the sport (L10/SS/etc) were not helped when the rule changed from a maximum of 8 rounds per shooting position to 9. Leaving Revo division out of the mix for a moment, how many of our multiple division problems would be solved if course designs were altered to only require a maximum of 6 from any given shooting position instead of 9?

I think it would reduce the advantage (somewhat) that the Open Division shooters have with their 29 round big sticks while making the SS guys better able to push the speed limit with out such a big catastrophy factor. That's not saying the SS guys will consistently beat the Open guys, but they would be closer; and on occasion a hot SS driver could actually be very competetive with the other three semi-auto divisions.

Like I said, I'm just happy to play, but I think our course design rules could stand some attention. B)

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I think it would reduce the advantage (somewhat) that the Open Division shooters have with their 29 round big sticks while making the SS guys better able to push the speed limit with out such a big catastrophy factor. That's not saying the SS guys will consistently beat the Open guys, but they would be closer; and on occasion a hot SS driver could actually be very competetive with the other three semi-auto divisions.

If we take away the Major scoring of the "minor calibers", i.e. less than .40 this would be even more possible.

And, I am ONLY half joking!!!

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Why would anyone care how they do against someone in another division? Remember each division is a seperate match. Why try to change the rules on stage design simply to bring divisions closer to each other in the Combined Overalls which don't mean anything anyway?

If you want to compare yourself to someone in another division then shoot in that division. :P

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WHOA!!!!!

First off, the divsions are separate matches. No matter how well you place in SS, you are not "Beating" the guys in Open. THey are not shooting the same match that you are shooting. (Yeah, I know and we publish the combined scores here too. But this is from strictly a rules point of view)

Second. 8 Round neutral is OK with me. Like I said earlier, you don't need to limit the number of shots available from a position, only the number REQUIRED from the position. The Open shooter can elect to take a 35 yard, half A-zone shot and save running up to the end, but the production shooter (or any Iron sighet shooter) is likely to pass on that shot, not that it can't be made, but that it likely cannot be made quickly enough with irons to be an advantage.

As long as we don't have a rule that says that a shooter is not allowed to eliminate a position, this is good. If we get that silly rule, then we might as well forego walls, doors and halls and simply put boxes on the ground, shoot T1-T4 form Box A and T5-T8 from Box B and so on.

Third point, Elimintate Major? Z, You really have to be kidding. What next, Airsoft?

Jim

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Jay... I feel for you... ;) Two things - first, course design is important. However, w/o seeing the courses you describe, I don't necessarily read anything wrong with those. As course designers, we need to be sensitive to SS guys - for instance, while the rules state no more than 9 required shots from a position, you're really going to piss off the SS guys if every array is 9 rounds... ;) The best designs give options to every division - arrays of 4-6 rounds each, spread so that you can pick multiple spots to engage, etc, come to mind....

Second thing - you have to realize that you have chosen to shoot a "purist" division, and one that is rather intolerant of mistakes. Its also one who's strategy demands extra reloads to gain the best advantage when you're not moving. And, as others have said, the other guys you're shooting against (ie, SSD) have the same challenges. So, unless a stage is contrary to the rules.... either suck it up, or start shooting Limited again :D Ok, I'm half joking :)

You can always offer feedback to the course designer (hopefully constructively) and try to help them understand how to better cater to SSD - and try to be open to their challenges of designing for the hi-cap guys, too. But, other than that, I think you're just experiencing "the game" as its played in SSD, for better or for worse... ;)

edit to fix stupid grammar problems....

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Why would anyone care how they do against someone in another division?

Because you can beat me with your Limited gun, Scott, and it hurts my ego to get slaughtered by someone shooting a gun without a scope on it...??? :blink:<_<

:D

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I think it would reduce the advantage (somewhat) that the Open Division shooters have with their 29 round big sticks while making the SS guys better able to push the speed limit with out such a big catastrophy factor. That's not saying the SS guys will consistently beat the Open guys, but they would be closer; and on occasion a hot SS driver could actually be very competetive with the other three semi-auto divisions.

If we take away the Major scoring of the "minor calibers", i.e. less than .40 this would be even more possible.

And, I am ONLY half joking!!!

Don't joke at all...

You nailed it...like I have said all along...make major 40/10 everywhere and hold the magazines to what fits flushin the pistol...

I am sure Scott R is too young to remember when everyone shot heads up and it was run what you brung...this stuff about only competing within your division is a "feel good" thing...a politically correct statement

The Open shooters have had it their way for a long time...lets get real, and tighten up all the auto divisions...make 40/10 major and no extended mags or basepads...it will teach the Open shooters how to count again...

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BTW, just to clarify about the "last 9 shot array:

The stage started with a gun empty on table, mag on barrel, with a 9 shot array. All 3 arrays were 9 shots.

So.......

We had to start the the stage with ONLY 8 in the gun on a 9 shot array that required a reload at each different shooting position upon arrival at the new shooting location. SO, it was a BAD STAGE DESIGN!!!!

Edited to add:

I am half joking, so half yes, and half no!!!

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The stage started with a gun empty on table, mag on barrel, with a 9 shot array. All 3 arrays were 9 shots.

I agree - that's a bit silly. The revo guys go through that all that time, of course, but... that can probably be tossed into the "lazy course design" bucket...

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BTW, just to clarify about the "last 9 shot array:

The stage started with a gun empty on table, mag on barrel, with a 9 shot array. All 3 arrays were 9 shots.

So.......

We had to start the the stage with ONLY 8 in the gun on a 9 shot array that required a reload at each different shooting position upon arrival at the new shooting location. SO, it was a BAD STAGE DESIGN!!!!

Edited to add:

I am half joking, so half yes, and half no!!!

Well, let's get started right now. Post the stages you have designed and will construct at the next match, and we'll help you debug them. ;)

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BTW, just to clarify about the "last 9 shot array:

The stage started with a gun empty on table, mag on barrel, with a 9 shot array. All 3 arrays were 9 shots.

So.......

We had to start the the stage with ONLY 8 in the gun on a 9 shot array that required a reload at each different shooting position upon arrival at the new shooting location. SO, it was a BAD STAGE DESIGN!!!!

Edited to add:

I am half joking, so half yes, and half no!!!

Well, let's get started right now. Post the stages you have designed and will construct at the next match, and we'll help you debug them. ;)

I am NOT denying I am not a course designer, and your point is well made and well taken, but the stage in question, seems to show a blatant disregard for magazine or moonclip challenged shooters.

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PLEASE, to all course designers, show us the love!!!!!

Be one. Step up and submit some course designs, then be sure to help with the

setup so your stages are set up the way you intended. Then be prepared for some

gamer shooting it completely different than you intended. Took me a couple of years

to really see all the possibilities in the stages I designed/setup, and I still get surprised.

No slam on gamers--If you look in the dictionary for the definition, there is a

picture of me. :D

Got a real chuckle out of the last rules changes. Changed the max number of

rounds from any one position from 8 to 9, and introduced a new division with a

max of 8 rounds in the mag. Yes, I do sometimes shoot SS, even going to

give revolver a try soon. The challenge is the same for everyone within division.

Bill

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I am NOT denying I am not a course designer, and your point is well made and well taken, but the stage in question, seems to show a blatant disregard for magazine or moonclip challenged shooters.

One of our local matches is hosted by a team of guys who are Grand Masters at course design and construction (2 separate, but equally important and challenging skills in my opinion). When one of them started shooting a spinner, he got a bit more in tune with the idea of "revolver friendly" stages.

I arrived early at one match and was looking over a large field course they had set up. There I was planning mag changes for my friend shooting L10 and me shooting Limited, when Ricky walks over with a big grin and said, "Watch this." I swear I didn't see it until he showed me that the whole thing could be shot in 6-round clusters. It was a masterpiece. :wub:

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BTW, just to clarify about the "last 9 shot array:

The stage started with a gun empty on table, mag on barrel, with a 9 shot array. All 3 arrays were 9 shots.

So.......

We had to start the the stage with ONLY 8 in the gun on a 9 shot array that required a reload at each different shooting position upon arrival at the new shooting location. SO, it was a BAD STAGE DESIGN!!!!

Z, I will agree with you to a point. The basic design seems OK, BUT the COF should have maybe been 7-8-9 whoch would have given you an oppurtunity to shoot it clean, but not negated the reload at each position. One less round in the stage.

Rev dudes, Sorry, but how about 8 or 9 works sort of in that you have to reload in each position, but only once an you can get away with out reloading an extra time if you plan it right and don't miss.

Shootin L10/Prod has it's own set of challenges as, believe it or don't, do Limited and Open.

We are essentailly shooting 6 separate matches at each match. And if you consider that in some divisions, there are races to top C or B, we can actually be shooting more than a dozen matches at once!

Jim

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We had to start the the stage with ONLY 8 in the gun on a 9 shot array that required a reload at each different shooting position upon arrival at the new shooting location. SO, it was a BAD STAGE DESIGN!!!!

If it complied with the rule book, techically, it can't be "bad". :)

The discussion on "Divisions" creating different "Matches" is noted and respected, but it doesn't address the broader conversation that there are "too many divisions" and what I think is now an accepted fact that one (or more) divison(s) *will* be eliminated in the not too distant future.

Whether you're from a 10-round-mag state (a plurality of current USPSA membership) or shooting one of the capacity limited Divisions (probably another plurality) several of our most difficult equipment issues could be mitigated by improving our course design standards to shift favor away from the singular "high capacity" feature and more toward moving, shooting, and reloading to get through 32 round courses.

From a new competitor standpoint, I can think of two or three additional classes of firearms that would also be better received, namely, compact carry guns of 1911 and double/safe action design and 7 and 8 shot revolvers.

I would think that the Open Division shooters would be among the most supportive so that a self-assigned "Open-10" shooter from CA or somewhere could be more competetive without the need for an "O/10" division. While Open and Limited shooters may feel safe from the Division attrition that is pending, I think time will show that it is the high-cap divisions that are more at risk long-term.

I think many of these issues could be addressed permanently by thoughtful improvement of course design standards. The added benefit of addressing these issues with course design (as opposed to equipment rules) is that nobody's equipment gets stranded or tossed because it's either illegal in the Division or some particular Zip Code.

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If stages are published in advance for a match, I review them & decide which division to shoot. If the stages are not published then I will take 4 guns so I can shoot the division appropriate for the most stage designs.

I thought I read in the USPSA minutes that we were going back to 8 round stages (don't quote me) for next year or when the 2008 rules become effective.

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