Q: Are FTSA penalties supposed to be assessed per string or for the stage as a whole? For example, if a competitor suffers a stage-ending malfunction during the second string of a classifier, do they get FTSA penalties (because some targets were not shot at during the second string) or not (because the targets were all shot at at some point during the course of fire as a whole)?
A: My original answer to this was “Yes, FTSA penalties are applied per string”, but upon discussion with the instructor corps and research into the rules concerning strings, stages, and engagement, the answer is actually “No. FTSA penalties are assessed for the stage, not for specific strings.” So, in the example above, the competitor would have his stage scored with appropriate hits and misses recorded, but if all targets were shot at at least once, no additional FTSA/FTE penalties would be applied. This is important because many of our classifiers are multiple strings, and even though the miss penalties incurred may bring the competitor’s score down to zero, an accurate score must still be recorded. Apologies for any confusion.