What to do if unpasted targets are noticed during the course of fire is one of the things that is often misunderstood by competitors and range officers, especially at local matches. Often at local matches, the competitor stops or the RO stops the competitor and a reshoot is issued after the target or targets are taped. But, that is the wrong thing to do and often leads to a painful learning experience for a competitor at a higher level match. Let’s look at what a competitor and RO should do, and not do, when they see an unpasted target during the course of fire.
As a competitor: Do not stop yourself! Keep shooting the stage. Per the rules, if you stop yourself, the stage is scored as shot because there is no rule that says it’s an automatic reshoot for an unrestored target.
As the RO: Do not stop the competitor! If the competitor stops him/herself, and doesn’t get the hint to continue when you take no action, give the appropriate range commands to finish the course of fire and score the stage as shot. If the competitor continues, and you have a good view of the target, watch the target and make note of which hits were there and which hits were shot by the competitor currently shooting the stage.
Okay, let’s now look at the rule that dictates what to do for unrestored targets, 9.1.4: “Unrestored Targets – If, following completion of a course of fire by a previous competitor, one or more targets have not been properly patched or taped or if previously applied pasters have fallen off the target for the competitor being scored, the Range Officer must judge whether or not an accurate score can be determined. If there are extra scoring hits or questionable penalty hits thereon, and it is not obvious which hits were made by the competitor being scored, the affected competitor must be ordered to reshoot the course of fire. Reviewing previous score sheets is prohibited; targets must be scored as is, using the actual target as the basis for the scoring call.”
You notice that the rule says nothing about stopping the shooter, it says the RO must determine if an accurate score can be determined when scoring. If the target cannot be scored accurately, the competitor must reshoot. Often, unrestored targets can be scored because there are two different caliber holes, there are two distinctive grease rings/holes, or the target was close enough that the RO saw which hits came from the current competitor. If all the hits are in one scoring zone (e.g. all Alphas), the target is also scorable. And sometimes, the target was restored, but the competitor shot it from two different views. ROs sometimes need to point that out to the competitor.
You will notice that the rule also says that the previous scoresheets cannot be used. Usually targets are scored in the same order, but not always, so there is no way to guarantee the recorded hits on the seventh target for the first competitor is the same seventh target for the second competitor. To avoid potential scoring issues and reshoots, we always stress to ROs that they should makes sure all the targets are taped before starting the next competitor. It only takes a few seconds to double check the targets and is time well spent.