Now and then we get queries about “DQ Policies” that clubs or sections impose on competitors wherein if a competitor gets more than X DQs during Y period of time they are ineligible to participate in matches for Z period of time and/or they complete other requirements. Folks seem to have a couple questions about these so let’s dig in.
The first question we usually get is “what is the official USPSA/NROI policy on these?” Short answer is that there is no official policy on this. We have very well established rules regarding what constitutes a Disqualification (DQ) and that is as far as we take it. If you perhaps feel we should have an official policy (which then begats the need for a way to report and track these) then please address that request to your representatives on the USPSA Board of Directors because that action will need to come from them.
All of these sort of policies that we are aware of at present are enacted by club organizations, be they the host range or the USPSA affiliate club, or sectional organizations. Some host range organizations will include all DQs in all disciplines (e.g., IDPA, Archery, Muzzle loaders, SASS, etc.) hosted at the range in the aggregate. The “Why?” question will need to be addressed to those groups for specific answers but the general theme seems to be that if someone has been unsafe enough to get several DQs within a limited window of time (three in six months seems to be about average for the policies I have seen) then maybe they should be doing something to correct the issue. Might be that training, learning the rules (requiring an RO class is seen now and then in these policies), or scheduling some range time with one of the local folks to go over what might be going on is needed. Sometimes there is a tiered system for strike 1, strike 2 and so on with increasing levels of penalty.
The next question is regarding 3.3 and how this sort of policy could possibly be allowed because that smells of a “local rule”. Well, that’s an easy one. See 6.4.4 and subs. It is also worth noting that 6.4.5 does require the MD to submit a detailed report to HQ if this is imposed at a match. An email to HQ would suffice but we will need to know the who, what, where, when, and why of the situation. Please be sure to include contact information for all parties directly involved should follow-up be warranted.
I certainly have not seen all of these that are in place out there but where I have seen them, and talked to those behind them, they are seen as a common sense measure to handle a rare but nonetheless persistent problem. Almost always there has been an incident with an individual which caused the creation of the original policy.
Why this sort of stuff happens varies as well. Sometimes the competitor involved has a medical issue that prevents them from being safe such as any number of neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, or a medication which impairs their judgement or coordination. Often, this sort of thing is the result of someone pushing far too hard before their skill level is ready for it. Just because you saw a M or GM level shooter doing thus and such on a YouTube video doesn’t mean you are going to be able to do the same thing at a match without practicing it several dozen times…if your skill level even is up to it. But that doesn’t prevent folks from trying. And sometimes, this is just not your sport and maybe you need to go elsewhere. It’s rare, but it happens.
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