Outer Limits is the only SCSA stage with movement on the clock and plate engagement requirements from each box. But what happens if the competitor doesn’t follow the stage procedure? In this Question of the Month we asked: In a SCSA match on the Outer Limits stage, a competitor shoots all plates from the left side shooting box during one string. How many penalties did the competitor earn?
The votes for the correct answer were all over for this one. But before we discuss the correct answer, let’s look at the relevant stage procedure and rules from the SCSA Rulebook. The stage procedure for Outer Limits is described in 2.2: “The competitor will start on their weak side shooting box and will engage the 20- and 35-yard plates on the weak side of the center line, move to the middle shooting box, while on the clock, and engage the remaining two plates and stop plate.”
Here is a color coded diagram to show how a right-handed competitor should shoot the stage. The blue plates are shot from the left side box. The gold plates are shot from the center box. Right-handed competitors do not use the right side box:
Outer Limits is the only stage where there are designated plates which must be engaged from specific shooting boxes and the penalties for failing to hit the designated plates from the correct boxes are covered in 10.1.3: “Designated Targets – Outer Limits requires that designated targets be shot from specific shooting boxes. Failure to hit each target from the correct shooting box will result in a 3 second penalty for each occurrence.”
Okay, so based on 10.1.3, the competitor from the question has earned three 3 second penalties (the equivalent of a miss) from shooting all the plates from the left box. Seems like this is a straight forward answer to a simple question…but is it? Is there an additional penalty for not moving to the middle box?
Take a look at 10.1.4 and 10.1.4.1 which deal with procedural error penalties. And I think the text of 10.1.4 causes some confusion in this situation: “Procedural Errors – A competitor whose actions are in violation of specified stage procedures is considered to have committed a procedural error. Procedural errors will result in a 3 second penalty for each occurrence. There is no double jeopardy, i.e., hitting plates from the wrong box in Outer Limits is a 3 second miss penalty, and not an additional procedural penalty.“
I have italicized the last sentence. This sentence is simply saying that if you have penalized the plates engaged from the wrong box per 10.1.3, then you also cannot add a procedural for failing to follow the stage procedure to each of those plates. So basically the penalties for those plates are covered under 10.1.3 and that is it. Not engaging the plates from the proper box has been handled.
But what about failing to move between boxes? Has that been penalized? That is a separate action from engaging plates. This is where 10.1.4.1, which addresses movement, comes in: “Improper movement or failure to move on stages where movement is required during the string will be considered a procedural and a 4 second penalty applied, per string. On Outer Limits, should the Range Master accept the competitor’s request for penalty in lieu of moving, he shall assess a 4 second penalty per string. Failure to move will also result in a 4 second penalty per string. Only one 4 second procedural penalty per string will be applied. Penalties for shooting the wrong targets from the center box do not apply in this instance, providing the RM has approved the special penalty request.”
Again I have added italics to emphasize a section. The first sentence, in italics, applies to all competitors. It clearly states that failing to move will result in a 4 second penalty. So the competitor in the question has earned three 3 second penalties and a 4 second penalty. That is the correct answer.
But what about rest of 10.1.4.1? Well, the rest of 10.1.4.1 deals with competitors who are not physically able to move and request a special penalty from the Range Master. Basically, competitors who request a special penalty instead of moving will receive the 4 second penalty per string, but will not earn the additional penalties for engaging the plates from the wrong box if the RM approves the request. If a competitor does not request the special penalty from the RM before shooting the stage, he/she will earn the three 3 second penalties for engaging the plates from the wrong box and the 4 second penalty for failing to move.
Make sure to vote in the current Question of the Month!
If you have questions about this post, please ask via the blog Contact Form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.