For the month of June, we asked a simple true or false question about competitor belts: A competitor’s belt must be secured at the waist with three belt loops. The results were surprising, the majority was actually incorrect this time. The correct answer is “False”.
|True||59.55% (262 votes)|
|False||40.45% (178 votes)|
First, let’s look at the applicable rule (5.2.3): Unless specified in the written stage briefing, the belt carrying the holster and allied equipment must be worn during the course of fire; the belt must be worn at the waist level, which is deemed to be at the same level as the original belt loops on the lower garment. The belt or the inner belt or both must be either securely fixed at the waist or secured with a minimum of three belt loops. The belt may be removed between courses of fire.
I added the italics in the quoted rule to emphasize the relevant sentence. You will notice that “or” is used a lot in that sentence. But the key one, in relation to the question at hand is “either securely fixed at the waist or secured with a minimum of three belt loops.” Notice that belts need to be securely fixed or through three belt loops, but not both. And securely fixed does not always equal three belt loops. A belt may not pass through any belt loops and still be securely fixed.
But how do we know what securely fixed means? How can a belt be securely fixed at the waist without using belt loops? Remember that the glossary is part of the rulebook, and “securely fixed” is defined in App. A3 as: The belt doesn’t move when either the gun or a magazine is drawn from it without using both hands.
This means, that if a competitor lacks belt loops on his/her pants, they can still compete if they demonstrate that the belt is securely fixed. An easy way to test this, while at a safety area, is to draw the handgun or magazine using only one hand and see if the belt moves or not. If it takes two hands, one to draw and the other to hold the holster down, the belt is not securely fixed. Using two hands to draw is a quick way to get a DQ for sweeping the weak hand while drawing.