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Old January 23, 2013, 04:49 PM   #1
Join Date: November 21, 2011
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RO downrange of the shooter

At my first IDPA match I watched an . . . interesting scenario. The shooter starts at P1, moves forward five paces, turns 90 degrees left down a corridor, then shoots, next returns back through the corridor, then moves uprange to his original position. (Think of an upside-down L; go out, then return on your same path.)

A new RO moved in as the first RO got ready to compete. This RO followed the shooter. On the return to P1, the RO ended up downrange of the shooter. The shooter realized what was happening at pointed his muzzle 20 or 30 degrees off downrange so as not to aim at the RO, but that was still closer than it should be, especially given the brain disfunction that occurs during the event.

Even though I have no experience as an RO, it seems that they should plan their route ahead of time to ensure that they will always be uprange of the gun.
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Old January 23, 2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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Sounds like poor stage design, too.
Requiring back tracking up range is not a good idea.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:49 AM   #3
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I do not know about IDPA, but sounds like RO interference in USPSA under rule 8.6.4. Yes, there should be some planning by the RO, but stuff happens, and that is why there are re-shoots (at least, USPSA).

Moving uprange during a course of fire is common. When we do it during a match, there are reminders to shooters (new and old) what to do. However, the RO needs to be close enough to maintain a safe environment, and to keep the timer running on every shot, so the stage needs to be designed to accommodate.

BTW, IDPA will have an "SO", not "RO".
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:32 PM   #4
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At my first IDPA match I watched an . . . interesting scenario. The shooter starts at P1, moves forward five paces, turns 90 degrees left down a corridor, then shoots, next returns back through the corridor, then moves uprange to his original position. (Think of an upside-down L; go out, then return on your same path.)
There were targets to be engaged when going in both directions?
The SO should anticipate the direction of movement - one of the things I like about "shoot it only one way" IDPA courses of fire, the SO knows where the shooter is going - and neither get in the way, nor end-up downrange of the muzzle.
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Old January 31, 2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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We call that an SO Trap. The SO should stay close enough to the shooter to take control of them in case of an I-D-10-T error, but should not be put in the situation where staying close is going to get them swept with a muzzle (or downrange of the shooter). Unsafe course design.
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Old February 12, 2013, 02:07 AM   #6
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That SO messed up pretty badly, and if I was the shooter I would not have continued shooting with another person (SO or not) downrange of me. In IDPA, there is a set way to shoot a stage so the SO knows what the shooter is going to do as far as movement is concerned.

When shooting USPSA, it can be a little trickier for the RO because the competitor can shoot the stage however he/she sees fit, so long as they don't violate any safety rules... However, it still is not that difficult for the RO as long as they are paying attention.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:17 AM   #7
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With the Fresh change in the SO's and this being the New SO's first run on that stage, he probably was not totally up to speed on the Course of Fire.
As most Stages do not Back Track, the SO got caught not realizing how fast the Contestant was going to move.
The New SO should have been up to speed on the COF so he could tell the shooter what he/she was to do if they needed clarification, and then stage himself to be able to stay out of the Contestants road when negotiating the COF.

I could see how this could have happened.
The New SO probably did not help setting the course up, or if he did he was just moving Props and Target Stands where someone had him move them. He had been working all day signing up shooters and adding up the scores, Or working the Cook Shack, etc. The New SO got finished or at least caught up with what ever Job he was doing and took over for the SO needing to shoot. On this first run the New SO did not anticipate the speed of movement, so he did not stage himself back far enough to stay behind the shooter when reversing the COF.

Someone being Creative, and trying to make a Stage more Interesting set the stage for this safety issue.

When we have a stage where the shooter starts facing Up Range I always ask which direction the shooter will turn. Also make sure they are reminded to not draw until facing down range. This helps keep everyone safe.

If we were running this Back Track Stage as the SO I would have explained the Course of Fire, and reminder the Contestant to watch the muzzle direction when backing out of this "Simulated Hallway". I would have also been back behind the contestant far enough to stay out of his/her road when Back Tracking the Course.

The SO would have to be on his toes to stay out of the road on this Stage. The SO could have been very close to the contestant when he was Engaging Targets. As soon as the last shot was made, the Contestant was backing out at full speed On The Clock. The Contestant could be behind the SO in a Fraction of a Second if the SO was beside him when they reversed directions.
Lots of SO think they need the Timer to catch every shot, when the Last Shot on a Stage is the one that counts. If the SO were beside the Contestant when the last shot broke it would have been a foot race backing out of the course. We have a couple shooters you would not out race even with a 6 foot head start.

The new SO was probably just caught flat footed not anticipating the speed of the Contestant, and also not normally doing a Reverse on a Stage.


Last edited by Viper225; February 13, 2013 at 10:55 AM. Reason: More Thought
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