Match Notes and Commentary, 10/27/01
The annual night shoot was a complete success, not only for the safe and excellent marksmanship observed but also for the lack of rain. First dry year for a while!
At the end of the season, we integrated the skills and teachings from the entire season:
Then, we added to the mix the stresses of
To everyone’s great pleasure, we completed the match safely and with a pile of new insights. What did we learn on Stage 3, which put everything together?
Speed: With the PAR time at 125.25 seconds for the stage, I can say with assurance that most people moved far too quickly. Did you expose yourself to the popper at the trail junction? (I’d say 80% of the shooters did.) That was a test case for running too quickly down the trail without using enough light to search your surroundings.
Multiple targets: The pair of neer-do-wells at the end of the first pathway was meant to be shot with a standard response: singles get doubles and doubles get singles. Most shooters, under the stress of darkness and confronting unknown adversaries, shot them as single targets: Hammer, hammer. I heard more than one shooter bewail having shot them ‘IPSC style.’
Light: Few people used enough light to completely and thoroughly search their surroundings. Face it, once your light is on the goblins can locate you. Might as well keep it on to search for them!
Searching: Orcs and goblins, major and minor, will hide in the most unlikely places and provide some unusual targets. Before muzzle flash identified the firing point to onlookers, several shooters were quite surprised to find target #2 facing them on edge in what they initially thought was a clear path. Use enough light and quickly but thoroughly search the complete environment. In like manner, most shooters cavalierly left the NE corner of the recess in the north wall unsearched until they were fully exposed to the popper hidden in the shadows. Many shooters felt a tug on their shirts and heard a voice in their ear urging them to “search the complete environment.”
The second barricade: I designed this choke point in the path to present multiple shooting problems, layered with multiple distractions. Approached cautiously, one could see the first popper (more westerly of the pair) in the alcove, just behind the first no-shoot. Continuing to move to cover at the barricade, one could pause to reload. Carefully pieing the RH edge of the barricade, one could confront the bogeyman 4-yd downrange on the left – deal appropriately with him – and then continue to clear behind the barricade. I wanted to staple a target to the ‘downrange’ side of the barricade, standing out at right angles to the surface, but I was afraid of a shooter reflexively turning toward the target and the S.O. Then, one could safely step out in front of the barricade while simultaneously searching the remainder of the alcove. As if the narrow point, two no-shoots and a cylume stick weren’t distraction enough, several shooters surprised me by talking to the no-shoot in the BSU shirt. Can’t speak for their aversion as I went through university in a different state!
The long shot: Encountering the bad guy at the end of the path shortly after stepping through the choke point, I expected shooters either to take a knee or shoot while advancing. Only a few shooters did so. The relatively long range also provided Mag-Lite users to check out the limitation of those otherwise fine tools – the big black spot in the middle of the pattern. A shooter could – and did – completely lose the target in the black spot.
Reloading in the path: Some shooters had the presence of mind to reload behind cover or at points of known safety. Others stood flatfooted in the presence of their adversaries while they frantically recharged their pistols. Which seems like good practice to you?
The hostage shot: First lesson: shoot the man with the gun. Several shooters did not! As one should have learned by that point, presence of a shirt did not necessarily indicate a miscreant. True, the gun was difficult to see. That was the point of it!
Scoring or ‘what’s this par time business all about?:’ I did not score any procedurals or failures to do right. The only points scored down were for hits on targets and, regrettably, hits on no-shoots. Those who got to class on time (and were paying attention) heard me say 1) that stage 3 would be scored on a par time and 2) par time wouldn’t be selected until after the match. I followed IDPA advice and set par time at the point where 2/3 of the shooters met or beat par time. That happened to be 125.25 seconds. If you ran faster than that, it provided no advantage as your time score was below par and, therefore, 0 seconds. If you took longer than par time, I added the seconds above par time as your timed score. Therefore, it was to everyone’s advantage to go slowly, as did the first shooter to test himself against the course. He might have survived to rescue the hostage. Many would not have.
MD’s rant: I can hear several of you muttering beneath your breath about not understanding the par time concept and how did you know that was in the rulebook… I’m afraid that you do not enjoy my sympathy. One receives a copy of the rules with IDPA membership. Not a member? The rules are online at www.IDPA.com. We have been relatively lax on such IDPA rules as use of approved holsters and very tolerant of failures to do right. Many of the guidelines of the IDPA organization are constructed to promote fun and sportsmanlike matches. Maintaining that collegial environment requires a good faith effort to know and observe the rules – so that the S.O.’s aren’t forced to become like the ‘range Nazis’ of USPSA lore. Please, gentlepeople, read the rules and make every effort to hew to them. Rant mode off.
Profuse Thanks at Season’s End!
We’ve enjoyed a great season of shooting and have learned much. That we’ve managed to stage our matches at all is due entirely to the volunteer labor supplied by many of you. If you’ve set up, torn down, lugged targets, SO’ed a stage or three, or generally made yourself useful, I give you my profuse and heartfelt thanks. Take special note of the cadre of SO’s who have time and again provided a safe and equitable shooting experience:
· Devin Jones
· Dick Runnels
· Gary Casner
· Jon Anderson
· Justin Malsam
· Ken Reed
· Larry Webster
· Lyle Mettler
· Mike Martin
· Randy Peterson
· Rob Oates
If I have omitted your name from the list, I’ll apologize now. The hour is late and my memory grows short. Let me know and we’ll get it on the list for the public recognition you deserve!
Two men deserve individual and special acclaim:
Randy Petersen – Randy is not only a Parma R&G officer, is absolutely indefatigable when putting on our matches. Randy arrives early and stays late to lug targets, and expects to be called upon to SO every time. (Which we nearly always do!) Randy is the club’s iron man. Thank you!
Ken Reed – Ken singlehandedly redesigned and rebuilt the club’s website, which is now an excellent communications tool. He is also a fertile-minded designer and gadgetsmith extraordinary, responsible for the crafting of our rockers, the charger, and the truly original RRT. Ken, you’ve had a busy year and we are much in your debt. Thank you!