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Old August 14, 2011, 08:03 PM   #1
Kimbertron
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Deaf competitive shooters

I have been shooting for most of my life and always love watching videos of competitive shooting. I have been shooting more then i ever have the last few years and even have been setting up a very shoddy but fun shooting course with 2x4's and paper plates at home. The more i have fun with this the more i have been curious about competitive shooting. The problem is i was born deaf and know that the timers use sound to signal when to start and im assuming there is someone in charge to yell to stop for safety reasons if needed. So i my question is does anyone know of a deaf competitive shooter? I have not been to an event so im not sure how easy it would be to accommodate. Having the range officer standing in front of me to signal would not work for obvious reasons haha. I suppose a tap on the shoulder would work which is how anyone gets my attention anyway but am curious if there are any other deaf shooters on here. Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old August 15, 2011, 01:37 AM   #2
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It's ironic that you posted this. Day before yesterday, I was think along the very same subject. I shoot bullseye competition in a local league and was eye-balling my club's range. Our indoor targets are hooked up to electro-hydrolics so that they turn to face the shooter when it's time to shoot and then they turn away when it's time to quit shooting each stage. Our outdoor range has turning targets at 25yds only. And that got me to thinking that even while shooting- one still has decent periferal vision. I don't believe it would be all that difficult to arrange a 110v red/green light setup with the toggle switch control being at the control stand. I don't know how such a setup would work with IDPA, IPSC, SASS, 3-Gun, or any of the rifle disciplines. But either way- technology has come a long way, and there is a way around this issue.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:38 AM   #3
Don P
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Excellent question.
The few problems and some have been stated. Tap on the shoulder to start could work. Problem comes if/when you are unsafe in gun handling or breaking the 180 rule or some other reason shooting needs to stop immediately. These situations in my opinion are critical and hearing is a must. My concern is in the above situation touching the shooter could possibly have the shooter trying to turn around after being touched with a loaded firearm. Next concern is how will the safety office know when you are done shooting and give the command to remove magazine/empty cylinder show clear, slide forward/cylinder closed, hammer down and holster. How about the starting commands?
I could be wrong here. Maybe there are some match directors out here that could chime in.
You could attend a match with some one that can translate for you assuming you are fluent in sign language and get their thoughts.
You can also contact IDPA, USPSA headquarters and get their take on this.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:49 AM   #4
kraigwy
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Quote:
So i my question is does anyone know of a deaf competitive shooter? I have not been to an event so im not sure how easy it would be to accommodate
Yes deaf competitors can shoot. I'm really hard of hearing, with ear protection I cannot hear timers. Its quite common for use that have been shooting for close to 50 years.

When timers are used, the range officer taps the shoulder of the individual who can't hear the timers.

In high Power, you scorer will relay the commands, you start shooting when you see the targets come up.

In Bullseye pistol, you have turning targets, if no turning targets are available you get the shoulder tap.

Please, if you want to shoot go to the match and shoot. Inform them of your hearing problem and they will make arrangements where it wont be a handicap, and to make sure you have a safe satisfying experience.

In every match I've run or went to, there has always been people helping the range officer to ensure safety and help those with handicaps.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO REASONS A DEAF PERSON CANNOT COMPETE IN SHOOTING SPORTS.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:28 PM   #5
Kimbertron
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Thank you all for your answers, its good to know if i get into competitive shooting there are ways to accommodate.

Quote:
These situations in my opinion are critical and hearing is a must. My concern is in the above situation touching the shooter could possibly have the shooter trying to turn around after being touched with a loaded firearm
I see the starting and stopping a match as not being ideal for a deaf shooter but this is basic gun safety. If a person is tapped on the shoulder i dont see any reason they would turn around and sweep the crowd especially knowing that shoulder taps are going to be used as a signal.

Quote:
You could attend a match with some one that can translate for you assuming you are fluent in sign language and get their thoughts.
You can also contact IDPA, USPSA headquarters and get their take on this.
I will definitely have to too look into some local matches, even if i dont compete it seems like a good time with like minded people . Of course it will also be the best way to get real information but its always good to go into it with some base knowledge so thanks all for your replies
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
My concern is in the above situation touching the shooter could possibly have the shooter trying to turn around after being touched with a loaded firearm
That's total bogus, its quite common where timers are used. Way too many shooters are hard of hearing, they put muffs on they cannot hear the timer so the range officer taps them on the shoulder. The shooter isnt going to turn around, he knows the RO tapped him because he started the timer, he's expecting it and waiting draw and fire at his targets.
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Old August 15, 2011, 08:01 PM   #7
Kimbertron
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Quote:
That's total bogus, its quite common where timers are used. Way too many shooters are hard of hearing, they put muffs on they cannot hear the timer so the range officer taps them on the shoulder. The shooter isnt going to turn around, he knows the RO tapped him because he started the timer, he's expecting it and waiting draw and fire at his targets.
In order to keep threads i start pleasant i will assume he/she hasnt seen hard of hearing shooters compete, but i did chuckle a bit thinking my being deaf would cause me to swing my gun around wildly lol. But anyway, thanks again for the info and great discussion . I have to say i am enjoying this forum alot since i registered a few days ago, great info and great discussion.
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Old August 15, 2011, 08:41 PM   #8
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Kraig is 100% absolutely correct.

Although I can hear a little with my right ear, and wear a hearing aid to function, at the Highpower match the aid comes off, a foam plug goes in, and muffs go over, and I can hear as well as a cedar fence post. I jealously protect the little hearing I have left.

They try not to put me at the far right end of the line, with nobody to watch. I know the commands, so when the shooter to my right picks up his rifle and gets into position, I know we are in prep time. The targets go up and down for prep time and for each match. When I see him insert a magazine, I know the command has been given, "With bolts remaining open, with two or five rounds, load!" - so I do, and wait for the targets to appear.

The match director knows to kick my foot (in prone) or tap my shoulder (other positions) if there is an immediate cease fire - and I make sure the shooters on either side know, too, to keep from burdening the match director (if there is a cease fire, something is wrong and he does not really have time to pamper me).

Go to the match. Let them know you are deaf. If they are like any of the shooters I know, they will make you welcome and work out procedures that will enable you to compete, safely.

Have fun!

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Old August 16, 2011, 07:20 AM   #9
Don P
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Quote:
If a person is tapped on the shoulder i dont see any reason they would turn around and sweep the crowd especially knowing that shoulder taps are going to be used as a signal.
Quote:
That's total bogus, its quite common where timers are used. Way too many shooters are hard of hearing
I too am hard of hearing myself. I made the above statements because of seeing it happen with me own peepers. I am NOT saying that a hearing impaired shooter will prone to doing this. I am just stating what I have experienced. You are correct as to not having been at a match with a hearing impaired shooter.
To reiterate if a shooter with hearing has done it it is very possible for a hearing impaired shooter to do it also. My apologies if I insinuated that only a hearing impaired shooters would sweep the crowd because of being taped on the shoulder.
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Old August 16, 2011, 11:30 AM   #10
Kimbertron
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Quote:
I too am hard of hearing myself. I made the above statements because of seeing it happen with me own peepers. I am NOT saying that a hearing impaired shooter will prone to doing this. I am just stating what I have experienced. You are correct as to not having been at a match with a hearing impaired shooter.
To reiterate if a shooter with hearing has done it it is very possible for a hearing impaired shooter to do it also. My apologies if I insinuated that only a hearing impaired shooters would sweep the crowd because of being taped on the shoulder.
No problem and no hurt feelings haha its easy to misread or misunderstand a post on the internet.
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Old August 18, 2011, 10:12 AM   #11
MGMorden
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I've shot at a match with at least one guy who was deaf. They did a tap on the shoulder at the buzzer. Not much to worry about there for the start. Only possible gotcha I could see would be interrupting mid-course for a safety violation. If you can't hear a freeze command then that could be an issue. Probably one that could be worked around though. Possibly a flag setup like they use in football. Have the RO carry a red flag in his back pocket that he can pull and throw in front of you if he needs you to stop. It works in other sports - no reason it wouldn't work here.
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Old August 18, 2011, 01:41 PM   #12
Kimbertron
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Quote:
Possibly a flag setup like they use in football. Have the RO carry a red flag in his back pocket that he can pull and throw in front of you if he needs you to stop.
I like that idea, if i get flagged though will there be a 5 yard penalty
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Old August 19, 2011, 10:36 PM   #13
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"...Please, if you want to shoot go to the match and shoot..." Absolutely. You'll find that the clubs and shooters, in general, only care that you're safe.
As mentioned, most shooters and clubs will go out of their way to help a new shooter and will sort out anything that needs to be.
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Old August 20, 2011, 12:50 AM   #14
Kimbertron
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Thanks everyone for the encouragment! Got some research to do this winter then i plan on attending some matches just to watch at first ones school slows down again. After i get a feel for how they work and read up on the rules ill have to take the plunge and dive in myself
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