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 18.104.22.168 exemption from Freestyle (1.1.5) even to the extent of applying it to Long courses…which 22.214.171.124 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
In USPSA we have two types of “lines” that we use to define boundaries on stages. Note that we differentiate between lines and other barriers like walls, barrels, and other physical barriers to movement. Lines are defined under 2.2.1 and subs as “Fault Lines” and “Off-Limits Lines”.[Read more…] about What’s Your Line?
Metal Plates (see Appendix B3) and things that use plates like various stars, racks and so on can be popular with stage designers and shooters alike so why don’t we see more of them in major matches? It’s simple: Range Equipment Failure (REF) and then the shooter gets to reshoot the stage costing the match schedule time maybe worse. A fellow RMI once told me that “The only use for a plate at a major match is to put food on.” He’s likely right.[Read more…] about Plates: Just for Dinner?
We see all sorts of walls in USPSA matches. In our sport, walls are used to obscure targets, control the competitor’s view of targets from other positions, to control competitor movement, and to define a shooting area. We see solid walls, see-through walls, walls that start on the ground, and walls that have gaps underneath. But what is considered a wall per the rules?[Read more…] about What makes a wall, a wall?
In my day job, when I sit down with a customer and talk about business processes one of the first questions I ask after they explain the process to me is “Why do you do it that way?” The answer all too often is “Because we have always done it that way.” And that is my cue to take them on the journey of reimagining that business process. What we often find is that as rules/laws/requirements/whatever have changed over time they have bolted on some other sub-process to maintain compliance instead of reworking the entire process to make sure it was efficient. In one notable case from several years ago, a physical piece of paper was hitting the same two desks in adjacent departments three separate times over the course of a few days instead of just taking care of everything necessary the first time it hit each desk. Needless to say, that got fixed.[Read more…] about But we’ve always done it that way!