You see it at matches all the time, the lone no-shoot placed on a wall in hopes of preventing the needless perforation of the wall edge with holes. But, is there a proper way to use a no-shoot on a wall edge? That brings us to the May Question of the Month: When using a no-shoot on a wall, can you bend the no-shoot around the wall edge?
|Yes||23.1% (64 votes)|
|No||76.9% (213 votes)|
All the folks who voted “no” are correct. But why is the no-shoot wrapped around the wall not legal?
There are a couple different rules that come into play to answer this:
9.5.9 Hits upon scoring or no-shoot cardboard targets, must completely pass through the target to be considered a valid hit and count for score or penalty.
126.96.36.199 The face of cardboard no-shoots must include a sufficiently distinguishable non-scoring border. In the absence of perforations or other suitable markings, the Range Master must order that all affected targets have a replacement non-scoring border drawn or fitted thereon.2019 USPSA COMPETITION RULES
When a no-shoot is wrapped around a wall, the face of the target towards the shooter lacks non-scoring borders. So how are the hits on the wrapped edge scored? Are they always a penalty? What if a round skims the surface of the no-shoot target? A hit must completely pass through a target to score. Which means if a hit just skims the bent side of a no-shoot, it should not count as a penalty. Some of you might be saying, “But what if it makes a hole, then it’s okay, right?” But is that target presentation fair to the competitor?
If a no-shoot is hung on a wall edge, unbent, it means that the face of the target presented to the competitor has a non-scoring border. Which means that the “skim” hit might not count as a penalty provided it does not touch the non-scoring border. And with a flat target, it is much easier to determine if a hit has passed through a target.
“But our walls are going to get chewed up if we don’t wrap them with a no-shoot!” Notice in the picture above, with the un-wrapped no-shoot on the wall, how the edge of the no-shoot hangs off the edge of the wall. This means that those no-shoot hits close to the edge will not result in hits on the wall. They might lead to hits that pass through a no-shoot and continue to hit the scoring target, and the RO having to determine which hit that was, but you can get that situation from a wall hit as well.
Also remember that hits on no-shoots on walls often get missed by ROs when scoring. Which means a no-shoot hit might get missed and applied to another competitor. Make sure to check the no-shoots on the walls when scoring every shooter. Or, you can place the no-shoot (or some hard cover) on the actual target, on the side of the target towards the wall, and still guide shooters away from the wall edge. But, not have to worry about scoring no-shoots on a wall, since the no-shoots will be on the target and less likely to be missed.