Thursday, December 09, 2004

USPSA Rules 1.2.1

This is the text of my most recent post to The Unofficial IPSC List:
(NB: Updated with Mr. Amidon's comments on Dec. 12)

Mr. Amidon,
the new USPSA rule book, both in rule ("Medium Courses") and ("Long Courses") includes the following verbiage:

"Course design and construction must not require more than 9 scoring hits from any single shooting position or view, nor allow a competitor to eliminate a location or view in the course of fire by shooting all available targets at an earlier location or view."

(Emphasis added)
JA-What this means, and has been the case for several years, you cannot shoot all the shots from one location or view, prior to the change in the wording, IPSC only allowed 9 shots from one loacation or view, this kind of contridicted free style, all it accomplished was to take the boxes off the ground and place them onto walls as ports. With the added language, they are allowing you to have more shots from one location or view, you just cannot shoot them all from one.
jdg. This clause seems to have been overlooked by both IPSC and USPSA during their evaluation of the rule book.
This clause is a concern because it seems to entirely remove the possibility of "Free Style" competition.
For example, stages which might offer the competitive option of shooting all targets from one position, or of moving down-range to engage difficult targets at a shorter distance, now seem to be illegal.
JA-What is illegal, is being able to shoot all the shots from one position.

jdg.Also, shooting from a Bianchi-type barricade, it might now be mandatory that competitors shoot at one or more targets from each side of the barricade, instead of only one side. (As you know, many USPSA classifiers require that some targets be engaged,. or 'shot at', from one side and some from the other. This establishes a precedence for this interpretation.)
JA-Classifers are a seperate course of fire and the rules allow for them to stipulate
reloads and they are exempt from having to follow freestyle completely as most are shot at local clubs (level I). Now if it wasn't a classifier and you had the Bianchi-type barricade, and there were ten shots in the stage, and you could shoot them all from one side of the barricade, it would be an illegal stage, if it were only nine shots, then no problem.

jdg.Worst, and most bizarre of possible interpretations, when the stage procedures require the competitor to 'shoot them as you see them', if it is possible to shoot at some targets from more than one position ... how does one judge when the rule REQUIRES the competitor to move to a new shooting position even if there is no other reason to do so?

JA-The rule is a course design issue, not a competitors, as 1.1.5 states competitors must be able to solve the challenge presented in a freestyle manner and to shoot the targets in a as visible condition.

jdg.How is the competitor to know when this clause will be considered when shooting a stage?
How is the Range Officer to know when to invoke this clause?
What are the penalties involved?

JA-There are no penalties to the shooter, as stated, these restrictions applies to course design and setup issues, if someone fails to follow them, the only issue would be an arbitration and the possibilty to have the stage thrown out.
jdg.Perhaps my ultimate question is that, if a competitor finds it possible to engage all targets from less than all possible locations or views, and chooses to do so, will penalties be imposed on the competitor? Or, alternatively, must the stage be thrown out of the match because the stage design didn't meet these arbitrary restrictions?
JA-I know this may sound repetive, but if the course of fire states on signal, engage targets,
how does a competitor obtain a penalty for figuring out a better way to shoot the stage,
assuming that everything they do is done safely and no other rules are violated? It is
not a competitor rule, it is course design and setup.

jdg.Or can we just ignore this otherwise unenforceable rule clause?
And if so, how do we reconcile this with the published rules?
JA-You cannot ignore any rule without ramifications, however, I question
your statement that it is unenforceable. If you send me stages for approval for
a level II or level III match, and it appears that you are allowing 24 rounds to be
fired from one position, even though there are other positions, I would not
approve them.

jdg.Give the new restrictions on Arbitration Committees, can you provide a guideline for acceptible decisions when this question arises during a match?
JA-I cannot predict how an arbitration committee would rule on any issue, but if a
club asked for approval on stages presented for sanction or tournament, and it was granted,
then they set up a stage that allows all the shots (more than 9) from one location or view,
and someone files an arbitration as the stage being illegal, the arbitration committee SHOULD
rule that the stage be tossed.

jdg.Are there other rules which are unreasonable upon consideration, and are similarly subject to NROI interpretation?
JA-unreasonable is in the eye of the beholder, some say no more than two hits on a
penalty target is unreasonable, some say not allowing the static target to be put at an
angle greated than 90 degrees is unreasonable, so the only answer I could give
on this question is, if you have a question, reach out.

John Amidon

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