COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING™ SASS Range Operations Basic Safety Course
Watch the Gun. Many shooters acting as the Timer Operator rarely know what or where to actually look. Often, you will see them counting misses or looking around at the spotters. If you want to really know how to make more exact calls and anticipate the shooter’s next move, watch the gun! By actually looking at the gun, you can identify where the gun is pointing and usually what target the shooter is engaging. This is critical if you have to make a call pertaining to correct target engagement. By watching the gun, you can also identify squib loads, warn the shooter if he or she is getting close to the 170° safety limit, or stop the shooter if there is a problem with the gun itself.
Stay Within Arm’s Length. In order to stop an unsafe act, the Chief Range Officer must be within arm’s length of the shooter. In fact, the appropriate position for the Chief Range Officer is behind and off to the strong side of the shooter. In other words, if the shooter is right handed, the Chief Range Officer should be within arm’s length of the shooter, to the rear and right of centerline. In this way, you can see the shooter operate the gun with his or her strong hand. NEVER let the competitor get away from you. After you have run five or six competitors over a stage, you may get tired or lazy about staying up with the shooter, but remember, if that person commits an unsafe act, such as breaking the 170° safety rule, you will not be in a position to prevent it. If you are more than three feet away, you may not be able to see the gun. If you are getting tired, pass the timer to another Range Officer.
These are just some of the ways the Range Officer can apply safety in a practical manner. RANGE OFFICER ATTITUDE
Be courteous and considerate of your fellow competitors. Never be over zealous in your duties.
Always be firm, but fair.
When penalizing a contestant, do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the competitor. Stand your ground, but do so in a professional manner.
Don’t be a “hard-ass.”
Be helpful to the competitor—learn to identify the seasoned shooters from the newer shooter
you can usually tell by their manner and confidence. If seasoned shooters need to know something, they’ll ask; if newer shooters need help or coaching, give them all they need. Pay closer attention to newer shooters—from loading to unloading.
Always refer to the SASS Shooters Handbook when stating the rules. Don’t quote them from memory; you may be wrong. Enforce the rules as written, not what you think they mean. The Range Operations Basic Safety Course and The Range Officer Training Course offer interpretations and clarifications of the rules and procedures referenced within the SASS Shooters Handbook that will be helpful in making the correct call.
Make the call, and call them the way you see them!!! There are checks and balances in place. In cases of rule and policy interpretation, you may be overruled. If you are overruled, don’t take it personally. Be glad for the competitor if it goes in his/her favor.
Never allow a competitor to badger, abuse, or argue with you or any other match official. Be firm and fair, but if they persist, don’t argue with them. This is a gun sport, not a tennis
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