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Terminology (2020 CMP draft rules)

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Post by Slartybartfast on Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:59 am

So reading the rulebook we have:
- Service Pistol
- Match Pistol
- 22 Rimfire Pistol
- Center-Fire Pistol
- 45 Caliber Pistol
- Revolver
With too much and unclear overlap. 

Now I understand the need to differentiate a Service Pistol from a Pistol. Which is the major change from the 2019 rulebook where there were only Service Pistols and 22 Rimfire Pistols. But if “Match Pistol” is going to be a term, it needs to be used consistently.

So this:
4.1.6 General Rules for Match Pistols
4.1.7 22 Rimfire Pistol
4.1.8 Center-Fire Pistol
4.1.9 45 Caliber Pistol
4.1.10 Revolvers

Should be:
4.1.6 General Rules for Match Pistols
4.1.7 22 Rimfire Match Pistol
4.1.8 Center-Fire Match Pistol
4.1.9 45 Caliber Match Pistol

The separate revolvers section (4.1.10) needs to be repealed and have the relevant rules moved to the relevant match sections or section (4.1.6, 4.1.7, 4.1.8, or 4.1.9) for trigger weight.
In every case there is a rule that applies to both semi-automatic and revolver pistols, the term Pistol must be used. Every time the rule is different between the two types of pistol, the way the difference is presented must be identical.

The rule book desperately needs a Glossary that defines all terms. Then those terms need to be used consistently.

The other possibility to be considered is to create supporting documents. Such that the rules are less hierarchical and more unstructured but can retain consistent numbering long term. These rules can then be re-organised into and referenced by supporting documents that help apply the rules to specific situations. Much like separate books of statutes/by-laws and policies/enforcement.

##############################################################################
In the interest of being concise, you can stop reading. What follows is a rambling commentary on WHY you need to be pedantic and concise in rules. I realised it had become a bit of a rambling mess and cut it from the top of the post and did little further editing.
##############################################################################

This whole post arose from terminology consistency issues I'm seeing while reviewing the 2020 CMP draft rules. And having dealt with rules revisions that have become “heated” (read 9 or 10 hour days that result in one or two minor changes) and the frustrations of committees making a bigger mess of things after revision than before, I felt the over-powering need to first add context to what otherwise seems like a lot of pedantic nit-picking.

Much of the reasoning behind making changes for the sake of conciseness or terminology may well read as ridiculous or overblown by many. But rules should be clear to someone with as close to no knowledge of the sport or equipment as possible. The clearer rules are the easier they are to learn and follow, the less questioning and interpretation, the less they're challenged, and the easier they are to consult (and be used) in the heat of competition. But it is often the act of making rules clearer that generates the lowest signal to noise ratio during discussions of rules. When definitions are clear and rules are concise, discussion can focus on what the affect will occur when changing rules instead of being bogged down in what the rules say or mean.

Now, not all issues with understanding rules are the fault of the rulebook. Rules (like laws) need to keep their numbering so that they can be quoted by number. If a new rule is a subset of an old one it can be nested. But if it is new, it goes to the end of the line of all the rules at its level. And what happens if a rule is removed? The number should always stick around with a note as to when the rule was repealed. So, rulebooks should never exist in a vacuum. There should be supporting documents based on real life scenarios that order, repeat, and reference the rules to show how they need to be put into action.

A rulebook (like laws) should always start with definitions. The correct writing of the rules and consistent interpretation depends on well defined terms. When definitions are absent, rulings need to provide the definitions. This is why law dictionaries (latest edition) and precedence are really more important than the law when determining meaning and effect (and why the Sov. Cit. movement people quoting Black’s Law dictionary 2nd edition are so farcically wrong).

Now, to illustrate the point, consider pistols, revolvers, handguns, firearms etc.

If two pistols are pistols, and two revolvers are revolvers, a pistol and a revolver together are?

I, and many, might say “firearms” as a kneejerk answer but that includes rifles. So next quick answer might be “handguns” as is common with many modern and particularly legal definitions (ATF, Wikipedia, and others). Which leads to pistol/revolver being two different handguns.

So now read any rulebook with that understanding of pistol/revolver.

But most (all?) pistol competition rules stick with the historical definition that would make semi-automatic pistols and revolving pistols (or revolvers) both pistols.

Now, this failure to coin different roll-off-the-tongue terms for different actionned pistols happened WAY back. Some say when Colt made the first "revolving pistol" and then "Revolver" was coined to specifically denote a revolver, while no simple term really differentiated other types of pistol from revolvers. But even that is in dispute as handgun seems to date to the mid-14th century in English and Pistol dates to the late 16th century (at least according to one source).

So there are:
- semi-automatic pistols
- revolving pistols (revolvers)
- pistols (either a semi-automatic pistol or revolver or “other”)

The problem is when rulebooks don't define terms in the beginning and then indiscriminately use the term pistol in different ways. 

Now, in the case of the CMP rules throw in yet another term "Match Pistol" that is both new and inconsistently applied.

The CMP rules take until page 43 to make it simply clear that the rule book applies to two types of pistol

"4.1.6 a) The pistol may be either a semi-automatic pistol or a revolver."

Glad they did it, but has everyone read through all the rules to this point and made all the connections? What about someone who has jumped into the rules with little fore-knowledge looking for a quick “how to”?

And that then brings us to the top of this post...
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Post by CR10X on Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:23 am

Instead of talking at us, why don't you try talking to the CMP and let us know how it works out?

"Have fun storming the castle." 

CR

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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:36 am

He's not on the brute squad....he IS the brute squad!  What a Face
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Post by Mike38 on Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:27 am

Just curious, does the CMP and/or the NRA have a "Rules Committee" that are current and active competitors in Precision Pistol and Distinguished Pistol competition? Someone other than a group of Lawyers? Like say two people from each Classification High Master down to even Marksman. You know, us commoners?
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Post by cdrt on Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:31 am

Mike38 wrote:Just curious, does the CMP and/or the NRA have a "Rules Committee" that are current and active competitors in Precision Pistol and Distinguished Pistol competition? Someone other than a group of Lawyers? Like say two people from each Classification High Master down to even Marksman. You know, us commoners?
They both have Rules Committees, but not sure who is on them.
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Post by Slartybartfast on Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:59 am

CR10X wrote:Instead of talking at us, why don't you try talking to the CMP and let us know how it works out?

"Have fun storming the castle." 

CR
I am trying to contact the CMP.
But in any discussion about rules best to have the widest input. It's not my place to approach any organisation with anything other than my observations. With more input from here I can learn and see how my views match (or don't) with others who have far more experience with CMP and NRA competition. 
If you agree or disagree with what I'm posting, I'm all ears. If you're bored by my posts, feel free to skip them.
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Post by CR10X on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:13 am

Sorry, but like some others here, I might be a little touchy when it comes to CMP rules.    

What I disagree with is the past attitude of the CMP when presented with corrections to their rules.  Like most others, they have a history of creating rules without input or actual experience or pretend to ask for input after making statements and decisions. 

Once you get an acknowledgement from the CMP they will politely acknowledge and accept input, then I for one will galdly spend time helping.  Last time I was told in so many words, "STFU, we know what we are doing." 

Please let me know how the CMP responds and I'll gladly participate if they want to be receptive.   If you would like input or techincal checking, also just ask. 

What I would really like is for involvement to come from those that have actually participated and had to run the specific matches, read the rules and actually had to use, implement and interpret said rules first hand.  The best way to understand what needs to be improved is to have listened to all the questions about rules over a long period of time.  That really gives a perspective on what areas are most confusing (and also how little time people spend actually reading the rules).    

CR


Last edited by CR10X on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:39 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Typed and deleted a whole bunch of examples that nobody cares about. Not even me anymore.....)

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Post by Slartybartfast on Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:25 pm

CR10X wrote:Sorry, but like some others here, I might be a little touchy when it comes to CMP rules.  
It does seem there are a number of raw nerves. Don't take it out on me is all I ask.
I'm learning that their approach isn't friendly or communicative. I've offered my help as a procedures writer and past experience drafting and implementing rules and with the software I have available to me.
Unfortunately it seems there's a real lack of public communication about questions concerning the rules and rulings made by the Rules Committee. In this day and age, a simple rule number sorted FAQ should be available for all interpretations and a moderated forum that is monitored and responded to by committee members.
If they really are as uncommunicative as it seems, the other option is to write the rules as they _SHOULD_ be written. To then be used by Match Directors. Kind of a mutiny I suppose. Which is what I believe https://precisionshootingmatches.com/ was discussing.
As long as the re-written rules are either more limiting than the "official" rules or otherwise conform to the rules committees interpretations of the official rules all is good.
A rules comparison between NRA, CMP, and others would be a useful off-shoot. Making it easier to run combined matches or prepare competitors for the subtle or not-so-subtle differences.
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Post by CR10X on Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:53 pm

If you think someone is taking something out  on you, then you might need to understand the context of "Have fun storming the castle!".

That's just wishing you good luck on a pretty much impossible endeavor.

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Post by Wobbley on Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:54 pm

https://youtu.be/AjUmULa0R-8
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Post by Slartybartfast on Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:12 am

CR10X wrote:If you think someone is taking something out  on you, then you might need to understand the context of "Have fun storming the castle!".

That's just wishing you good luck on a pretty much impossible endeavor.

CR
Inflection and tone really is lost in text. I wasn't saying you were.

I would genuinely like to know what people have identified as issues and proposed as changes in the past.

The solution may well be a "grass-roots" rulebook agreed to by a plurality of match directors. Is there a list of NRA and CMP match directors?

There are the "State Directors" listed on the CMP website. Each reachable by: cmp##@thecmp.org with "##" replaced by the state abbreviation. With the exception of ND and TN where the post is vacant.

If the rules committee won't communicate with their audience, the audience needs to communicate with them.
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Post by bobbethune on Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:40 pm

Another piece of terminology that seems like it could use a touchup is “slow fire”, “timed fire”, “rapid fire”.

All three are timed, so the middle one is the problem. I suggest “sustained fire”.

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Post by james r chapman on Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:01 pm

Ah geez 🙄
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Post by Founder on Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:03 pm

Slartybartfast,

I've been trying for years to get the CMP to alter the script portion of the rulebook since they inserted the extra prep periods and required the use of the word "clear" instead of "safe".....no bueno.

It's only been in the past week or so that I have feedback that those changes will actually be considered.

Keep posting. If the CMP does intend to improve their rulebook, your proposals are here for the world to see and comment on.

I find your observations to be helpful.
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Post by Slartybartfast on Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:47 am

Founder wrote:Keep posting. If the CMP does intend to improve their rulebook, your proposals are here for the world to see and comment on.

I find your observations to be helpful.
Thank you for you message of support.
Seems to me competition rules should be all about those that run the competition. The lead in the discussion about and revision of the rules are the match directors. I don't think I'm the person to do that. I'm not American, I only attend two matches a year in Vermont.
But the match directors should be communicating with each other and the CMP. I might be wrong about the specifics, but many of the official CMP rules are pliable through mention in the match bulletin. So, create a document that the Match Directors want and start using that document as the principal reference during matches.
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Post by Founder on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:31 am

Slartybartfast wrote:But the match directors should be communicating with each other and the CMP.

When they changed the rulebook a couple years ago, we were in communication here and via email to the CMP. It pushed one of our match directors right out of the sport.

Hopefully this transition will be easier and the CMP more responsive.
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Post by Slartybartfast on Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:34 am

Founder wrote:

When they changed the rulebook a couple years ago, we were in communication here and via email to the CMP. It pushed one of our match directors right out of the sport.

Hopefully this transition will be easier and the CMP more responsive.
Found a cute error.

"A Match Program may not change, set aside or alter any rules in the CMP Competition Rules, except as permitted in Rule 3.1.4."

Rule 3.1.4 is "Range Incident Forms". Nothing to do with changing rules.

So seeing as the CMP says you can't set aside or alter the rules, hardball tactics may be required. Stand together, vote changes, present the revised rulebook to the CMP. I would hope that the interest in competition is more important than any points etc. that the CMP might bestow. It may just take a few competitions being run unsanctioned to get the CMP into a cooperative mood.
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Post by BrianD on Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:46 am

How are you going to run EIC match unsanctioned?  If it is not sanctioned it is not a EIC match and competitors will not received points toward their badge.  I am a match director and from years of dealing with the CMP it will not get them to be cooperative.

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Post by Slartybartfast on Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:09 pm

BrianD wrote:How are you going to run EIC match unsanctioned?  If it is not sanctioned it is not a EIC match and competitors will not received points toward their badge.  I am a match director and from years of dealing with the CMP it will not get them to be cooperative.
Well, and some point you have to decide if you're going to make a stand or not. You run an event that is exactly the EIC but with the different rulebook if not sanctionned hold the CMP fees.
If the shiny bauble of immediate EIC points is what is driving you maybe having to wait to have things approved retro-actively or missing out a few opportunities is too much of a sacrifice to you.
But Match Directors have to bow to the CMP or not. Unless the CMP has a few standing around just waiting for the opportunity to run an event.
Alternately, competitors could start giving a damn about the rules and lodging protests where it is impossible to follow the rules or wherever the rules are unclear. Force the CMP to make rulings.
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