For the start of 2020, we tried a picture based Question of the Month which asked: Which competitor is NOT facing downrange?
Here are the results:
|75.27% (636 votes)|
|17.63% (149 votes)|
|7.10% (60 votes)|
These was a reason we asked this question. We have received numerous questions on this and wanted to see what our blog audience thought. In the winning picture, it is obvious that the competitor is facing uprange. And I am hoping the third picture either threw folks off because it was taken at an angle, or it was because folks misread the question, but that competitor is facing squarely downrange. The middle picture is the one we were curious about.
If we had asked this question before January 2019, the first two pictures would have been NOT facing downrange per the old 2014 rulebook. The old rules specified that facing downrange was the exact opposite of facing uprange. And in a 2015 ruling, the definition of facing uprange was changed to: Face and Feet pointing directly (180 degrees) away from the backstop with shoulders and hips parallel to the backstop. A natural, “toes out” stance is acceptable and meets the standard of feet pointing directly away from the backstop, as long as both feet do not point in the same direction, and the rest of the position requirements are satisfied.
This lead to facing downrange being enforced as having face and feet pointing at the backstop with shoulders and hips parallel to the backstop. Competitors couldn’t be angled, or looking towards, that first target on the left or right, they had to be squarely looking at the rear berm.
But, in the January 2019 rulebook, the definition of facing downrange was relaxed quite a bit. It now is defined as: Not facing uprange. Any position facing side berms or backstop within 90 degrees of the median intercept of the backstop.
This means that a competitor can now be angled towards, and looking at, that first target on the left or right, but we have heard numerous stories about ROs still enforcing the old definition, hence the Question of the Month. The only competitor NOT facing downrange, is the first picture. The last two pictures are both legally facing downrange.
So what happens when you come across a RO who is trying to enforce the old definition? Simple. Don’t start the stage and ask for the RM, and hopefully he/she can solve the problem. If not, pull up the definition of facing downrange in the current rulebook and share the information.
Don’t forget to visit the blog homepage and cast your vote for the current Question of the Month.