I don’t dislike Virginia Count. I think it tests a different set of skills. But I do hate when competitors decide to not shoot a Virginia Count stage in a way that violates the stage procedure…because it usually leads to lengthy discussions about how many penalties are needed. Sometimes ROs can’t agree on the number of penalties. Other times they agree on the number, but not the reason. We all need practice, which is why we keep posing Virginia Count questions for the Question of the Month.
For October, the background info for the question was:
Stage Info: Virginia Count, 12 rounds (string 1 only)
Start Position: Standing in box with wrists below belt.
Stage Procedure: For string 1, on the audible start signal from the shooting area, engage T1 and T3 with only four rounds each, then perform a mandatory reload and engage T2 with only 4 rounds, strong hand only.
What happened: When the competitor shot string 1, he shot four shots on T1 (freestyle), shot T2 twice (strong hand only), and then shot T3 four times (freestyle). He then performed the reload and shot T2 twice, strong hand only.
We then asked, “How many penalties, if any, would you assess for string 1?” And the results were:
In this case, the correct answer is one procedural for failing to follow the stage procedure. What? How can that be the right answer? T2 was shot before the reload was made!
In this case it comes down to the wording of the WSB and where the reload occurs. The WSB says that the mandatory reload occurs after engaging T1 and T3, not after eight total shots (see our previous post for more on this). The competitor engaged T1, T2, and T3 and then did the reload and engaged T2 again. So, technically the required reload was made at the proper time, after engaging T1 and T3, and can’t be penalized per 10.2.4.
But, the competitor didn’t follow the stage procedure and engaged T2 before and after the reload instead of just after the reload. Which means we assess a procedural under 10.2.2 for not following the stage procedure. The competitor still did the reload, didn’t fire any extra shots, and engaged T2 strong-hand only, just in an order counter to the WSB.