(This information was originally published in Down Range, the USPSA News Brief, in August of 2018.)
Many NROI certified Range Officials are deservedly proud of their accomplishments, and we recognize that. We recently, with our partner, TechWear USA, made official NROI jerseys available. Judging by the number of orders received, those jerseys are a big hit, and rightly so—they are attractive and comfortable, and a great way to show off your NROI certification. However, there is a right time to wear your NROI apparel, and times when it should not be worn.
Rule 7.3.2 in the current, 2014 edition of the Handgun rules states: “…Persons who are certified Range Officials, but who are actually participating in the match as regular competitors, have no standing or authority as Range Officials for that match. Such persons should therefore not participate in the match wearing garments bearing Range Official insignia.”
Note: This rule has not changed in the current edition of the USPSA Competition Rules.
This means that, even if you are staff for a match, while you are competing in the match (on staff day or in a pre-match, for example) you should not wear your NROI apparel. It’s fine to wear it when you are designated staff and working a stage, but please don’t wear it while you shoot solely as a competitor. Another example of when USPSA/NROI Range Official clothing should not be worn is if you are participating, either as a competitor but especially as staff, in a non-USPSA event. USPSA realizes that many of our members shoot disciplines other than USPSA or Steel Challenge, and that’s fine. Burning gunpowder in the pursuit of happiness is always a good thing. However, if it’s not a USPSA or Steel Challenge sanctioned event, you must not wear NROI apparel while participating. This helps protect both the brand and the organization.
We’ve received several questions about this article, so there’s obviously some confusion as to when the NROI jersey can and should be worn. We don’t intend to prevent people from wearing their jersey if they are both acting as a Range Official and shooting the match. The jersey serves to identify people who are match officials, and that’s the purpose of the restriction: to prevent people who are NOT working as staff in any capacity from wearing the NROI jersey and confusing the other competitors as to whether they are actually staff at that match, or not.
Another area of concern is USPSA members who are NROI certified wanting to add the NROI logo to their regular shooting jersey–you know, the one covered in sponsor logos and cool artwork. There is no prohibition on this, but keep in mind that TechWear will probably contact NROI for permission for you to do this, or ask you to provide proof of your certification. It’s not a problem and doesn’t misrepresent anything; it simply denotes an accomplishment you should be proud of and show it.
Bottom line: in most cases, and especially at level 1 matches, people who are working as RM, CRO, RO, or MD can and should wear their jersey–not a problem to shoot in it if they choose to, and we don’t require them to change shirts when going from competitor to range official.