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?
RO Best Practices
Ah Winter…for some it’s a non-event; for others it’s an experiment in battling the elements to keep on enjoying our sport. It’s the season where movement can include dealing with consistently slippery conditions and the inevitable slips and falls by competitors and staff. While we are discussing this all within the context of “Winter” and all the joyous ice and snow that comes with it; the same realities apply everywhere and at any time of year.[Read more…] about Stopping for Safety
At some point, you will be running a competitor and they will have some sort of malfunction. And for this post, I am not talking about a squib or a pistol suddenly firing rounds in bursts, which are unsafe ammunition/gun scenarios in which the RO must stop the competitor. I am talking about a malfunction such as a jam, ammo feeding issue, stuck case, or another instance that would not be considered unsafe. As the RO, what do you do?[Read more…] about The malfunction conundrum
Ammunition reloading, whether accomplished on a single-stage press, or a progressive press, or on an auto-drive unit is an enjoyable activity for some and a necessary annoyance for others. Regardless, the end result of that activity can have a significant impact on your match performance (ask me how I know!). A slight user misstep or press malfunction, if not noticed and properly corrected, means the round (or rounds) involved will likely end up being used in a match rather than discovered during a training session.[Read more…] about Squib Confusion?
We all started there…we were the “New Shooter” at some point in the past. For me, I still remember my first match in vivid detail. I went in with expectations of having fun and not DQing and, thankfully, I achieved both of these goals. I also made a bunch of friends that day and learned a TON. But let’s look at the other side of the picture for a bit. The veteran Range Officers faced with handling a new shooter. What should you do differently for these folks?[Read more…] about New Shooter Coming Out
There are some people who have very strong feelings about poppers and calibration challenges. Yes, sometimes competitors feel that the calibration process puts them over a barrel, but the reality is that if ROs are doing their job, then there are very few calibrations and when there are calibrations, the process works fine.[Read more…] about Proper popper attitude
I’ve recently received several questions concerning range officers placing themselves right along the 180° or 90° line in a stage, obviously looking for violations. This is a very bad idea, and here’s why: by placing yourself on the 180, you are begging to have a loaded gun pointed at you if (when) the competitor’s muzzle breaks the 90-degree median intercept of the backstop. This is especially hazardous when a rear fault line runs slightly downrange, putting you, the RO, in an even more precarious position.[Read more…] about RO Position and the 180
We have all done it, some more than others. We have read a rule and then tried to parse it down to every single word in the process of understanding it. And sometimes that makes folks second guess what the rule actually means, or makes a rule mean what they want or think it should mean. Stop it![Read more…] about Otherthinking the rules