Usually, all cardboard targets on a stage require the same number of scoring hits. There might be a rare Classifier stage that has a different number of required hits on a target or two, but can a stage designer do something different? The February Question of the Month asked: Can the WSB for a single COF specify a different number of hits to be scored for certain targets in the COF? e.g., The best one hit on T1, best two hits on T2, best 3 hits on T3, etc.
Those of you who answered “yes” to the question are correct. Rule 9.5.1 allows this: Unless otherwise specified in the written stage briefing, scoring cardboard targets must be shot with a minimum of one round each, with the best two hits to score.
You notice that the number of scoring hits for the targets needs to be specified in the written stage briefing. This is also the rule that allows stage designers to say the best one or three hits, for all cardboard targets, will be counted for score. And yes, changing it up from the standard two hits really does mess with competitor’s minds.
But what about specifying a different number of hits for targets within the same course of fire? Yes, using rule 9.5.1, you can say that T1 requires 2 hits, T2 requires 5 hits, and T3 requires 1 hit. However, to adapt a quote from that movie about a dinosaur theme park, “Your stage designers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Just because you can make each target have a different number of scoring hits, and as a result frustrate shooters, and make the jobs of the ROs a living hell, doesn’t mean that you should. And pro tip – If you try to be cute on a Comstock scored stage, everyone will just shoot the all the targets with the highest number of required shots.
Which means you should save specifying the different number of scoring hits on different targets for a Virginia Count scored stage, likely a Standard Exercise or Speed Shoot. But don’t make it overly complex and difficult for the ROs to keep track of it all, that will just slow the stage down, lead to lots of scoring mistakes, and potentially result in the stage getting tossed. And remember that each target will have to be setup properly in Practiscore, and the ROs will need to know that setup to enter the scores properly. Be creative, but think about how the stage will run, be scored, and whether it really adds to the shooting challenge. Our sport is about testing shooting skills, not a super complex mental game.
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