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Guest Message by DevFuse

Question about RO duties


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Muddy Gap Shootist

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 05:24 PM

I still feel that I am fairly new at this so I need to ask questions.  My interpretation of the SASS rules of the game include that once you have read and understand the description of a stage isn't it your responsibility to shoot that stage as described without any intervention from anyone?  I assume that means the RO cannot assist you as well.  Shooting the stage in proper order and following the guidelines of the stage description is just part of playing this wonderful game.

Why do I ask?  Yesterday at Bristol on one of the stages (# 5 I believe), our handguns were covered with a towel.  ATB you were to uncover the handguns, shoot the targets with both and (the stage designer stated in the description) HOLSTER the handguns BEFORE picking up the rifle.  This was made very clear in the written description as well as by the RO when he read the stage before we all shot.  So, my way of thinking is, if you failed to holster said pistols before moving to the rifle, then that should be a procedural.  However, our RO continued to yell at the shooters to make sure they holstered their handguns.  Isn't that kinda going against the rules of the game?  I have been at a variety of different shoots during which the RO yelled at the shooter to make sure they shot the targets in the right order or corrected them on other specifics that were spelled out in the stage description.  I believe the RO should correct the shooter if it is a possible safety issue, but not if if the person is just not following the stage description as read.

I have even observed some RO's tell every shooter the order of the targets while they were engaging the stage.  Isn't this going a bit too far and actually defeating part of the intent by SASS?

Whatcha all think?
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#2 Longtooth

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 06:20 PM

Muddy,

   I have always thought that this was a game of fun and to help when it's necessary. I have always called out to the shooters when they forgot a round or was going to shoot the senario in the wrong order. I will always do this unless the shooter says he wants no help. I would rather help a shooter than see him get a procedual or a safety violation.

   The rule states that the timer operator is to safety assist the shooter thru the stage. I carry it one step futher and help him shoot it correctly. Just my feelings and I'm sticking to them.

    By the way good shooting with you yesterday. Glad to see you back in the neighborhood. :usabig:

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#3 jeweler jim

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 06:22 PM

That would be me and I'm guilty as charged.  No excuses, but in every RO course I've taken or monitored the thing that was repeated over and over ad nauseam was to "Safely Assist The Shooter Through The Course Of Fire."  Especially with "new" or shooters who might be having difficulties, I have found it appropriate to give them as much assistance as they are comfortable getting.  Some shooters want none and others have especially asked for help through a stage.  Further, letting a shooter "screw up" only adds to the possibility that they become more nervous and may lead to bigger or unsafe errors on their part.  I'm just as "new" to this as you are and you're probably a much better shooter, but the saving of a shooter from a procedural or minor safety or worse isn't going to win them the match.  If they're capable of making mistakes like that it might help them to get more comfortable at the firing line so they won't require any "coaching" and improve to the point that they will be easier to time through the stage.  

So if I'm "all wet" (and most of you have seen me after shooting just one stage in my pre-drenched apparel) so be it.  I would hope that any shooter who wants "no assist or coaching" will say something before or after the first time it happens if it's a problem for them.  As far as being against the "rules," I don't think so.  If I have sinned and am over doing it I thank you for bringing it up.  If others have noticed I'm over doing it but were afraid to open their mouths, please do so now so I can correct the way I run the timer or run up behind me slap me upside the head and take the timer from my sweaty little hands.  Either one will work and I don't want to be making it more difficult or unenjoyable for anyone.

I think there were a number of people who took RO classes this week end and they might have something to add.  So as Muddy Gap said " Whatcha all think?"  

"No Good Deed Shall Go Unpunished"

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#4 Muddy Gap Shootist

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:03 PM

BTW, I meant Beloit, not Bristol.

Points well taken by both Longtooth and Jewler Jim.  I am curious to hear from those who just completed the ROI and ROII courses to see how they interpret this.  And, I really want to hear from our RO instructors (DD, Tex Herwitt, Pair-A-Dice and Huckleberry).  Thanks, guys.  As I said, I'm still new and learning.  I surely don't want to be a hard ass but I want to be fair and consistent for all shooters, based on how they want the RO to offer assistance.  And, I always expect the RO to have safety first and foremost in mind.  Tweren't that way out in Idyho, I can tell ya!!

Also, no one yesterday is "guilty as charged."  No guilt identified nor necessary, just needed some clarification.

Edited by Muddy Gap Shootist, 05 August 2007 - 07:04 PM.

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#5 dd

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:10 PM

Muddy,

I think Tooth and JJ have covered the subject quite well. I would add that if such "coaching" upsets your rhythm or distracts you, just ask not to be coached. We try to help each other out - the "Cowboy Way" - and not let the shooter make a mistake. Sometimes the timer may miss the error or not catch it in time. But the bottom line is that it is a courtesy not a requirement - the shooter is always ultimately responsible for any errors.

Sometimes a timely word from the timer can prevent a penalty. I heard of a perfect example today at Sycamore. I also remember my first cowboy shoot at Rockford when I lost track of the shooting order. The timer indicated the next target and I was shocked that he would help me - not like IPSC or such. I knew right then that this was a group of folks I wanted to shoot with again.
~dd~

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#6 Kidd Casey

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:18 PM

"The purpose of the range officer is to safely assist the shooter through the course of fire.  If you can anticipate the shooter's next move, you may prevent him/her from acquiring penalties or commiting an unsafe act.  This is the mark of a truly great range officer."  "Even though it is not an RO's job to shoot the stage, coaching is not considered RO interference."  as stated in ROI handbook.  K.C.     :cowboy1:
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#7 Devereaux

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 08:04 PM

Now, Muddy -

Look at all the above comments and then compare us to Idaho. We here are first and foremost a friendly bunch. We look at our posse kind of like "the Good Guys" (as many of us are - posse members that is). If you were out somewhere in a real fight, and you saw a threat to one of your friends, you would say something. Kind of like here. If you are doing everything right, no one says anything. It's when you start to mess up that you hear from the RO. Not so in IPSC. But then, in IPSC, you can get as many procedurals as they can make up. It's a different ballgame. While everyone wants to do well, it isn't the be-all and end-all. Mostly we like being out there shooting, thinking some (perhaps only from time to time) and breaking caps. We rib each other, laugh a lot, mostly out loud, and overall have a good time - or you're a huckleberry if you don't. I have caught more than my share of folks at the loading table trying to load a tenth rifle round when the scenario calls for 9. I have always spoken out to keep them from making that mistake. In IPSC you would have smirked inside and known that THAT dude was getting a procedural for loading the wrong number of rounds. If all this is is how fast you can shoot, and whether or not you mess up a stage, then you would find the IPSC crowd perfect. Me, I like the cowboys. And I like that JJ won't let you do something dumb like return the pistols to the shelf instead of the holsters. Just me, hoss. Those that win matches don't need the help - it's the rest of us that benefit from a little "coaching".
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#8 jeweler jim

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:39 AM

Actually I did let them return the guns to the counter, but then yelled "Holster!" if they started for the rifle without doing it.  Try not to break the the shooters concentration or flow as they might have planned on putting the first gun back to the counter and holstering both at the same time.  Wrong way to do it time wise, but that's what I ended up doing when I shot the stage.  Like I've said many times, "I ain't never going to be fast."  

Edited by jeweler jim, 06 August 2007 - 06:39 AM.

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#9 Turkey Legs

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:47 AM

"Those that win matches don't need the help - it's the rest of us that benefit from a little "coaching"."

Actually Dev I think everyone can benefit from the "coaching" of the RO. Sometimes it takes awhile to understand the scenerio - sometimes it's easy for the scenerio to sink in right away and other times it takes longer - if at all. Been to alot of big shoots and monthly shoots and if the RO see's anyone making the wrong move (regardless of who they are) they help them right away. This to me is the "cowboy way" - help everyone as you would want to be helped if you had a "Brain Fart".

I think Kidd Casey summed it up by quoting the RO handbook - which keeps us all on the same page.

TL  :cool:
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#10 Push the Button Wyatt

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:47 PM

I agree with every thing that has been said.Me,i'm old,i need all the help i can get.Some times i can't remember the right way to shoot a stage untill the next day. i just try to be safe and have fun. :whistling:

#11 Big Grit

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:09 PM

Muddy, A faster/ more experienced shooter will generally have made a mistake long before you as the R.O. can correct them. If I see someone obviously engaging the wrong targets, or grabbing the wrong weapon I will try to say something. That said, my primary focus is counting shots,listening for squibs,and generally just watching the shooter handling his or her weapons. Big Grit

#12 Muddy Gap Shootist

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:48 PM

Thanks, everybody for helping me understand "best practices" of the RO.  I have just experienced so many different approaches I thought it was time I asked the question.  I concur with everyone who replied to my question and will try to live up to being the kind of RO you expect me to be.  I teach business coaching for a living so I should be able to apply some of those principles to the firing line.

BTW, never shot IPSC and based on what I've heard, never want to . . .

Thanks again all y'all.
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#13 Devereaux

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 06:44 AM

IPSC has its points. It is probably much like what you shot out in Idaho, except with modern guns, reloads, etc. It has a different focus, and a different approach, and a WHOLE different feel. It IS about speed, and about winning, and it has ample penalties for missteps, no matter what the form. It is usually much more pressured, and no one particularly talks to anyone else. Lots of "secrets" about how you load, what you load, how your gun is set up. Not everyone in IPSC is like that, of course, but the sport in general is just -- well -- DIFFERENT. They don't call them "race guns" for nothing - the shoot is much more like an auto race; you look at each one out there as someone to beat, and if they make a mistake, it only means that you passed them and are looking for the next one to pass.
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#14 Ugly

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:21 AM

Dev, what you said is true to a certain point.  I don't know where you and the others shot IPSC but just ask Big Grit, Huckleberry, Jailbird, W.B.S.E., C.W. Windtamer, Sgt. Scattergun, Bird Dog and me; we all met twenty-some years ago shooting IPSC at local clubs and always had a good time and a lot of laughs, not just among ourselves but with the other shooters too.  If there was something different about a stage or course of fire everyone gave hints and helped the other guy; I've had guns offered to me if mine gun broke, parts and repairs were offered and made right on the range; I've had ammo offered; equipment of all kinds was offered, belts, speed-loaders, you name it.  I went to numerous area shoots and the Nationals, the Single Stack Classic and the Masters and always met nice, helpful folks.  The most helpful were the top 10% shooters in the world.  I've had good experiences and really good memories from IPSC; just too old and fat to be competitive now.  Also, I shot stock or limited ten; no need or funds to buy expensive race guns so I shot the classes I could afford.  IPSC if nothing else prepared me for cowboy shooting with the ingrained safety and gun handling and also the different ways to see how a course of fire can be addressed as far as transitions, movement and gun placement.  Just my views on a (for me) very pleasant twenty or so years of shooting in a different shooting sport.
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#15 Devereaux

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 08:49 AM

I would have to say I'm very glad that you had good experiences with IPSC. Can't say mine were BAD, but they weren't what you recollect. Not nearly as friendly, nor as helpful. No one was rude (never pays to be rude to people with guns), but many weren't particularly helpful either. This was especially true early in the game, when I was trying to find out about guns, loads, gear, etc. I shot a race gun, but finding out how to load a .38 Super was a chore - no one seemed to want to talk about it. I was an old bullseye shooter, and those were seemingly looked down upon, at least in the group that I shot with.

Now, all that said, I stick by what I said earlier. IPSC is DIFFERENT. I fully agree that there were many skills that one carries over to CAS, including the ability to look at a scenario differently, from a more practical point of view, etc. I never had as much fun shooting IPSC as I do shooting cowboy. Yes, I don't move as fast any more as one needs to for IPSC (and I use to), and a bunch of other issues, but just overall it wasn't as much fun then as cowboy is now.

Maybe it's just the people. I dunno. I never hung out with IPSC shooters, and I do with these guys, and really enjoy their company. For me that wasn't there before.  Just MY personal opinion, hoss.
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#16 W.B.S.E.

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 04:06 AM

I feel that I have to respond to this since there have been some serious misconceptions bantered about here. I have been shooting competitively for over 35 years. Military, IPSC, Bullseye, PPC, NRA action pistol, Steel challenge, bowling pins, etc.. Most of the time it has been in IPSC. Major matches I've attended include Second Chance, The Single Stack Classic, The Masters, Bianchi Cup, USPSA Nationals, various state and area IPSC championships which are too many to mention.
I list these things not to impress anyone but to validate my opinions which are based on many years of experience and fact. I've had the distinct pleasure of being involved with IPSC from its beginnings and have met many fine individuals and have been able to hone my skills because of the great help I've received from some of the top shooters in the world. I've also found that by shooting other disciplines my skill level has grown. We must all continue to learn or risk becoming stale.
Several statements were made in a previous reply that have to be addressed however. Yes, IPSC is different. The rules are different. There is no coaching allowed. Not because they want to see anyone fail but because the only way to be fair to all is let each shooter do it on their own. SASS allows it and it does help some but how many times have you heard someone yell out to the shooter that they still have to do something that they've already done but the person yelling didn't catch it.
There are also penalties, but not any more excessive than those encountered in SASS. Also people can not "hit you with as many penalties as they see fit". If you get a penalty you've earned it.
Ther are no loading tables in IPSC, but no one would stand there and "smirk" at someone because thet didn't assemble their gear properly for a certain stage. In fact they would be more than helpful to a first time shooter.
IPSC shooters are dedicated. They practice hard and want to do their best at each match. They don't walk around looking for someone to beat.
All people that I've been involved with are more than willing to trade ideas about how to shoot a stage or equipment modifications. Nothing was "secret".
In this day and age when almost all politicians are trying to disarm us we need to band together and help and learn from each other instead of discouraging participation in another discipline.
I guess what bothered me most is when I see a person say that they "probably won't try another discipline" because of what they've heard about it. Well, as Paul Harvey would say..."Now you've heard the rest of the story".
Remember SASS shooting came about from a bunch of IPSC shooters who wanted to develop a match in which they could use their old guns, not because they were disgruntled with IPSC. The original matches were more IPSC than anything else.
The SASS range officer program is a direct off shoot of the excellent NROI from IPSC.
In all of the matches I've attended I've heard people ask questions about why certain things are done in SASS the way they are but I've never heard anything derogatory about the discipline. I'm sorry to say that I can't say the same regarding some
SASS shooters. We need to open our minds, that way we can learn from each other.




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