As major match season winds down, we are all sharing stories about things that have happened at matches. We hear talk about the stage designs, about the prize tables, about the food on the range, the tight races for the top competitors, things that happened at chronograph, and about match staff. It’s always appreciated when Match Directors and Range Masters get positive reviews and comments about match staff. But it is very frustrating when negative comments are brought up post-match and nothing was said during the match.
When I get comments about staff after the match I always listen to the competitors offering them, but I also ask why they didn’t say anything during the match. Most of the time the responses are, “I didn’t want to be THAT guy” or “I didn’t want the ROs to retaliate.” The complaints usually are for things like using the wrong range commands, not reading the WSB verbatim, scoring targets wrong, applying penalties incorrectly, and even just the stage staff being rude. As a RM I spend some time on each stage watching the staff to make sure things are done correctly, but I can’t stay on the stage for the whole match. We trust the CRO to manage the stage and staff, but sometimes the CRO is the one who needs some education when things are being done wrong.
If you are a competitor and see ROs doing something wrong or misbehaving please find the RM and let him or her know! By not saying anything you are allowing bad habits to continue. The RM will listen to your concerns and then investigate by observing the staff or stage in question. If there is something amiss, then the staff will be counseled and educated on how to do better. And this is all done without having to identify where the concerns came from to the ROs.
We are all on the same team! Match staff and competitors are not adversaries and everyone should be working towards a successful match that has safe, fair, and fun practical shooting. If you have concerns about the application of the rules or staff conduct during a match, do not hesitate to chat with the Range Master. If the RM looks into it and finds an issue, then the RM can talk with the staff involved and do some education and counseling before everyone leaves the match. Once everyone goes home, there is no opportunity to correct and teach and bad habits will persist.