The October Question of the Month was “A long course has a shooting position where more than 8 shots are available. Is this a legal stage?” Thankfully, most of you got this one right. Although enough of you got it wrong that we should take a deeper look into this situation to ensure we are all on the same page.
Here are the results:
The rules defining General Courses of Fire under 1.2.1 all contain the phrase “Course design and construction must not require more than 8 scoring hits from any location or view…” Definitions for Location and View can be found in the Glossary (A3). The key word here is “require“. We can offer more than 8 scoring hits from a single location or view but some of those are going to need to be offered again later on down the line or have been offered previously.
Note that there is no Level I Exception to this rule.
One thing most course designers understand is what I call the “default stage plan” which many shooters just use for everything or revert to after the timer goes off and their stage plan flies out of their head. That default plan is “see targets, shoot targets, move”. Most of us started using this plan when we first got into the sport and eventually we realized that this wasn’t really the most efficient or effective plan so we developed the ability to formulate better plans so we aren’t spending time and ammo re-engaging targets we have already engaged. But, savvy stage designers will offer folks the possibility of reengagement to cost that competitor time and ammo thus rewarding those that can formulate an effective plan and stick to it. In other words…It is one way stage designers sort the wheat from the chaff.
Of course this leads to the scoring of a target with more than the required number of hits and the oft heard “This wasn’t restored, I get a reshoot!” to which the RO usually gets to explain to the shooter “Well Bob, you shot it twice from this position and then twice again from over here. Those four hits are all yours.” The ROs know this because they paid attention while Bob was shooting and more than likely Bob wasn’t the first person in the match to do it. That default stage plan I mentioned earlier gets them almost every time.
Now, there are limits to how many scoring hits can be offered from one place. We are also limited by the rest of that sentence from 1.2.1 subsections “…nor allow a competitor to shoot all targets in the course of fire from any single location or view.”
In practice, it is usually best to not offer more than 10 – 12 scoring hits from any position. This is enough to give folks another decision to make when developing their stage plan and not so many that you are negating a lot of the course construction you are building because people can eliminate multiple shooting positions from a single position. It’s a matter of finding balance and each stage designer generally has their own thoughts regarding this.
And for those wondering about 126.96.36.199 and a 8 fewer round “Short Course” needing to require multiple locations/views because of the above prohibition…That is called a Speed Shoot and is covered in 188.8.131.52.