One of the things that is often overlooked when matches run a chronograph stage is the Written Stage Briefing. Chrono is just like any other stage. There is a procedure that needs to be followed and competitors need to be informed as to what that procedure is.
What items need to be in a chrono WSB? Chrono is the one stage that does not necessarily have all the items in rule 3.2.1, such as scoring method and target type, but the stage procedure for chrono is very critical for the competitors to know. Since chrono generally is only run at larger matches, many competitors have never been to a chrono stage before and don’t know what to expect, when to handle their firearms, and what will happen while they are there. Chrono is a course of fire, and if a competitor handles a firearm without the direct command of a RO, then it’s a DQ just like on other stages.
It is highly recommended that the chrono ROs use the proper range commands so there is no miscommunication between the RO and the competitors (see App. C2 #52). When it’s time for the competitor to place the firearm on the table, the RO should say “Make Ready.” When the chrono officer is done testing the firearm, the “Unload and Show Clear” command followed by the appropriate “If clear…” command should be issued. And once the firearm is holstered or flagged, the RO needs to state “Range is Clear.”
Back to the chrono WSB. What does it need to say? Here is an example: You will be called individually to the chrono table. Please have an empty magazine with you and hand it to the RO. Leave your firearm holstered or bagged until given “Make Ready.” Once the command is given, place the firearm on the table in the designated location, with the slide/bolt locked open. The RO will then test your ammo and place your firearm back on the table. When instructed by the RO with the appropriate range commands, you can handle, clear, and holster/bag/flag your firearm.
No need to get into all of the fine details of chrono. All of those actions are performed by the stage staff. The WSB just needs to focus on what the competitor needs to do at the stage. The WSB should be read to the squad and also can be posted at the entrance of chrono so competitors can reread if needed. Always make the chrono stage procedure clear to the competitors, and in turn chrono will run smoothly, and hopefully not have any DQs for handling firearms without direction from the RO.
Another WSB example, and details about setting up and running chrono, and tasks for the stage staff can be found under the Templates and Other Resources section of this website.
If you have questions about this post, please ask via the blog Contact Form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.