Virtually everyone that participates in our sport of USPSA competition will shoot a lot more local “level I” matches than they will majors (level II or higher). Thus, we should view the local match as a training ground for higher levels of competition. Let’s take a look at some things we need to consider with this in mind.[Read more…] about The Local Match as a Training Ground
One of the more frustrating aspects of the Freestyle rule, particularly for new stage designers, is trying to control shooter movement without breaking the rules. I’d bet every stage designer has designed some form of zig-zag type stage using a lot of fault lines thinking they will compel the shooters to follow the lovely path they created and the setup crew spent a long time spiking it down; only to see the shooters just run from shooting position to shooting position basically ignoring said lovely path. Might just as well positioned shooting boxes at each station and saved all that fault line and effort for other stages. Watch match videos from the most recent matches and you can see examples of this frequently. So, let’s talk about shooter movement and stage design.[Read more…] about Stage Design: Movement
Despite the size of our rule book, there isn’t a rule that specifically addresses every possible situation. I really don’t think anyone actually would want a rule book that did that because becoming an RO would become a multi-year intensive law school type course. No thanks. In large part we depend on common sense to get through life and our sport is much the same; we are expected to utilize some common sense with stage designs, setup and even during competition. Alas, in the words of François-Marie Arouet, better known to most by his nom de plume, Voltaire, “Common sense is not so common.”[Read more…] about It’s ‘Legal’, But Should You?
Shoot House type stages can be a lot of fun to run as staff, or they can be a nightmare. Traditionally, they are designed with generally anterograde movement combined with a fair bit of lateral movement. Sometimes they are totally enclosed leading to subdued light situations, sometimes they are just a whole lot of walls without a roof. Either way, they are a staple of our sport. Now and then you run into one that has at least a portion requiring retrograde movement due to movement down a passage to engage targets, and then having to reverse course to move to the next targets. There are, of course, several interesting variations on this.[Read more…] about Let’s Get Retro – Part IIIc: – Shoot House
At a recent class a couple students approached me during a break because they were confused by the concept of freestyle as I had explained it during the lecture. Apparently a lot of the stages they shoot at their local matches are designed with and rely on heavy use of the 188.8.131.52 exemption from Freestyle (1.1.5) even to the extent of applying it to Long courses…which 184.108.40.206 explicitly forbids. Most of the stages they see involve boxes and the only time there is true freestyle occurs in larger contiguous shooting areas. Thus, they had come to associate freestyle with larger shooting areas and thought that shooting boxes precluded freestyle entirely.[Read more…] about Revisiting Freestyle
The October Question of the Month was “A long course has a shooting position where more than 8 shots are available. Is this a legal stage?” Thankfully, most of you got this one right. Although enough of you got it wrong that we should take a deeper look into this situation to ensure we are all on the same page.[Read more…] about Shot Per View
When I first got into this sport longer ago than I care to admit (okay, 2002), retrograde stages, aka “retreat stages”, that is moving from down range to up range, really didn’t show up very often. I suspect they were around but I didn’t see one until around 2005/2006. Nowadays, we often find them in most majors and a lot of club matches have taken to using them as well. They do present a unique challenge to the shooter and are a unique problem to solve. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at some things to consider when designing retrograde stages.[Read more…] about Let’s Get Retro – Part I: Stage Design
It seems like there is a dislike for Standard Exercises and Speed Shoots, both from competitors and stage designers. The competitors dislike them because they require following stage procedures, and failure to do so is heavily penalized. Stage designers shy away from them because there are so many rules about designing a legal course of fire. But in reality, these course types can be used to test very specific shooting skills and are great additions to matches if done properly.[Read more…] about Standard Exercises and Speed Shoots