Foot faults. When is it one foot fault penalty? When is it per shot penalties? There is still some confusion about this rule, so let’s chat about what the rules say about foot faults.
Among the other changes made to 10.2.1 in the January 2019 rules, sub-rules were added to help make the foot fault portion of the rules a little clearer. Actually the language of 10.2.1.1 and 10.2.1.2 was already there in the old 10.2.1, but is now separated into sub-rules. 10.2.1.3 was added as a new part of the rule.
Let’s look at some different scenarios, and see how the rules apply.
Scenario 1: Competitor gets to a shooting position and is standing on the fault line but his toe is touching the ground outside the fault line when he fires shots. What is the penalty? What do the rules say? Rule 10.2.1 says that it is a per occurrence penalty, but if there was significant advantage then 10.2.1.1 says it’s a per shot penalty. Most of the time, a toe over the fault line is not a significant advantage (see definition in glossary) and in this example it is a per occurrence penalty.
Scenario 2: The competitor fires shots at the last target as he is leaping out of bounds. The shots are fired while he is in the air, going from inside the shooting area to outside the shooting area. Is there a penalty? Take a look at 10.2.1.2. It says that the competitor’s feet have to be touching the ground outside the shooting area to earn a penalty. If he is leaving a shooting area and is still in the air while firing shots before touching the ground outside, he is still in. He isn’t out until his feet have made contact with the ground outside the shooting area. So, in this case, there is no penalty.
Scenario 3: A competitor leaves the shooting area and has both feet touching the ground outside the shooting area when the last two shots are fired. She didn’t get the shots off before landing on the ground, the shots actually came after she landed. How many penalties? Again, look at 10.2.1.2. This time, it’s two procedurals, one for each shot, since both feet were outside the shooting area.
Scenario 4: There are multiple shooting areas on the stage, and as a competitor moves between two shooting areas, she starts shooting when one foot is inside the second shooting area and one foot is still touching the ground outside the new shooting area. Is still having one foot outside the shooting area a penalty? Look at 10.2.1.2 again and what it says about re-establishing a presence in a shooting area. Notice the last sentence says that one foot in the shooting area and one foot not touching outside the shooting area is the requirement for establishing a presence. Since the competitor still had one foot touching the ground outside the new shooting area, she will earn per shot penalties until the foot that is outside the shooting area is lifted off the ground.
Scenario 5: The start position for the stage is standing with both feet completely outside the shooting area, toes on the rear fault line. The competitor forgets to enter the shooting area before shooting the first array of targets. What is the penalty here? Most folks say it’s per shot because both feet were out, but that is incorrect. In the January 2019 rules, 10.2.1.3 was specifically added to address this situation. 10.2.1.3 says that if a competitor starts and fires shots while outside the shooting area, then the penalties are per 10.2.1 (per occurrence) or 10.2.1.1 (per shot with significant advantage). Most of the time, the one step difference over the fault line is not a significant advantage, so it is usually a per occurrence penalty.
In all these examples, knowing what the rules say is critical to making the correct call. Sometimes discussing what is/isn’t significant advantage ahead of time with the CRO/RM is also helpful for certain stages. Just remember to take your time and apply the correct number of penalties per the rules.
Note of clarification (10/21/19): When edits were made to 10.2.1.2 for the January 2019 rulebook, the words “after leaving” were accidentally omitted, but NROI is still interpreting this rule as saying, “A shooter who fires shots while completely outside (both feet out and touching the ground) after leaving a shooting area…” There is a ruling in process that will add the words back in. As a result, 10.2.1.2 and 10.2.1.3 are used in different situations. 10.2.1.2 is used when competitors have been in a shooting area and have left that shooting area or are moving between shooting areas in the COF. 10.2.1.3 is used when a stage has a start position that is outside the shooting area and the competitor forgets to enter the shooting area before starting to shoot.