Here is a question that was submitted to this site: “Rule 8.7.1 does not specify what the penalty is for moving away more than one step from the make ready position while taking a sight picture. So a competitor steps up, shuffles 3 -4 steps over and takes a sight picture, I then move him back, BUT is there a penalty?”
This is a common question and this situation is covered by a couple rules. As the question states, 8.7.1 is one of the rules. 8.7.1 reads: “A competitor is permitted to take a sight picture prior to the start signal. Such sight picture is only permitted no more than one step from the “Make Ready” location.” Notice that 8.7.1 talks about a “make ready” location, not a start position.
This allows for ROs to have a different location for “make ready” than the start position for the stage. A lot of competitors like taking sight pictures on a target. If there are no targets visible from the start position, then ROs can use a position where targets can be seen as the “make ready” location, and once the shooter has loaded their firearm, move to the start position.
There is also rule 188.8.131.52: ” Once the “Make Ready” command has been given, the competitor must not move away from the start location prior to issuance of the “Start Signal” without the prior approval, and under the direct supervision, of the Range Officer.” Notice how this rule says that a competitor may move away from the start location with RO approval and supervision. If the start position does not have a visible target, shooters can ask the RO for permission to move to a location where a target is visible.
Okay, so what is the purpose of these rules? Most likely these rules were added to prevent a competitor from walking the entire stage and taking a sight picture of all the targets (and yes, I have seen this tried). But what is the penalty if a shooter moves more than one step without RO approval? Well, there isn’t a penalty listed in the rulebook.
If this happens, as a RO, you should tell the shooter to come back to the make ready location and explain they can’t do that. Usually the competitor just doesn’t know the rules, it’s an educational moment, and it isn’t an issue ever again. If a competitor repeatedly does this, call the Range Master and have the competitor and RM chat.