What makes a good Range Officer? There are many facets to running a stage efficiently and safely. Let’s take a look at some of the desirable qualities of a good range official.[Read more…] about The Good RO
Due to continuing concerns about the popper calibration process, a new procedure was developed to address the question some have about whether their shot changed something in the way the popper was set, putting it right, and making the calibration shot knock it down as intended. One of the Instructors, George Jones, came up with the initial procedure. I proposed it to the board a while back, and was asked to tweak it a little bit and clean it up–make sure it addressed what we wanted to do and didn’t create any unintended consequences. It was decided that the most effective way to introduce this was via a board-requested ruling. That ruling was released Wednesday, September 29th, and is also included in the USPSA Board meeting minutes from the night before, also released on the 29th. Here’s the link to the ruling itself: Amended Popper Calibration Procedure. We are also in the process of updating the digital rule sets.
In short, besides adding painting to the list of things that can’t be done to a popper waiting to be calibrated, it adds a reset step if the popper is hit correctly on the initial calibration shot and it falls. The new procedure requires the popper to be reset once the calibration shot knocks it down, and then the RM shoots it again. If it falls on the second shot, it is determined to be in calibration. The question of the competitor’s shot affecting something in the way the popper is set has arisen from time to time, and I have witnessed it on several occasions, especially with poppers that are a little more complex than others. We think this new procedure may result in a few more reshoots, but more importantly, it should induce more inspection of poppers by stage crews, and maybe a little more diligence on the part of the competitor setting it up, since the RM is going to request that the person that set it do it again for the second shot. All other aspects of the procedure are identical: hits above the calibration zone result in reshoots, and if the popper doesn’t fall, it’s a reshoot. If the calibration shot misses, there is generally laughter, and the RM must shoot again until he hits the popper. Once hit, all aspects of the popper calibration procedure will apply.
One thing to note: in order to request calibration, the competitor must hit the popper. Once calibration is requested, the popper cannot be interfered with and the area around it should be kept clear of competitors and range officers. The RM must inspect the popper for defects or anything that could be keeping the popper from falling when hit. If a defect or other issue is found, a reshoot is the proper way to respond to this situation. The popper can still be calibrated once the issue is resolved.
A couple of years ago, Jodi Humann wrote this post about whether to write a written stage briefing (WSB) or not. Once you’ve decided to write one, what do you put in it, and how should it be handled at the match? (Note: this information applies to all level matches, not just Area or National Championships. If you aren’t writing WSBs for your local match, you should be.)[Read more…] about The WSB: How To Handle It
As many course designers and match directors know, the Speed Shoot type of stage is useful for testing reloading and strong- or weak-hand skills in a fast, easily set up and defined course of fire. Rule number 220.127.116.11 sets the parameters for a speed shoot in detail, but it’s basically a course of fire of no more than 16 rounds, with a mandatory reload after 8 rounds, shot on two different arrays of targets. An array is defined as “a grouping of more than one target”. Arrays can be engaged in any order, as can targets within an array, and only one reload may be required. Competitors are free to reload if need be, however, as long as the mandatory reload is performed when required. Speed Shoots may be scored using either Comstock or Virginia count scoring.[Read more…] about Speed Shoot Tips
In a previous post, I explained that, while the position on the belt requirement (behind the point of the hips for Production, Single Stack, and Carry Optics) has been removed, the requirements in all divisions, yes, even Open and Limited, for the height to belt and distance from the belt have not changed. This is found in all the appendices, D1-D8, item #10. Here’s the text of the previous article:[Read more…] about Holster Position Redux
Recently, the USPSA Board of Directors made some changes to the rules involving the use of Weapon Mounted Lights, or WML’s, magnetic retention of magazines, and the location of holsters and magazine pouches. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about this, so here are some answers.[Read more…] about Flashlights, Magnets, and Hip Bones
Many people understand the role of the range officer with the timer: to issue the range commands, to supervise and observe the competitor while they shoot the course of fire, to correctly and accurately score targets, and to ensure safety and procedural rules are followed at all times. But, what about the second, or third, or even fourth RO on a stage? What are they supposed to do? Most people understand that the second RO is typically considered the scorekeeper, and while the competitor is shooting, they watch the stage in general, look for foot faults, safety issues, and other procedural errors that may be made. The scorekeeper is also responsible for accurately recording the competitor’s score, whether that’s done on paper or electronically. The third Range Officer on a stage has responsibility for an even wider view of what’s happening while the stage is being shot, looking for faults, procedural errors and safety problems. Let’s look at each job and its responsibilities a little closer, though.[Read more…] about What’s My Line?
Did you know you can set up a way to get notified when matches near you need Range Officials? As part of the new notification system, you can opt in to receive notifications when Match Directors put in a request for help using the Form C system.[Read more…] about Help Wanted/Looking for Work