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Target turning between timed/rapid strings

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Post by -TT- 6/9/2022, 11:18 am

I'm looking for input on the expected behavior for target turning, for my BullseyeMatch app (https://bullseyematch.app). Currently, when configured to control a target turning system, the app "faces" the target after each closing call. The expectation is that a shooter may want to scope the target mid-round, and of course score the target after each 10-shot completion.

A user has commented that the facing/edging between the two 5-shot strings of timed and rapid can be distracting. I've seen RO's do it this way, but I'm guessing there is a bit of a local style or just personal preference, so I'm looking for input on "best practice". I'd prefer to stick to that, rather than adding a setting. One thing to note, the target can be turned manually at any time by tapping the turning indicator, so there's some flexibility here.

RO's/shooters, any feedback? Thanks!
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Post by john bickar 6/9/2022, 11:29 am

Typically the target does not face in between 5-shot strings of a stage. I don't have the rule book at hand at the moment, so I can't quote the rule, but usually the targets edge (e.g.) after the first 5-shot string of TF and then do not face again until 3 seconds after "ready on the firing line" of the second string of TF, at which point you're sending lead downrange.
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Post by -TT- 6/9/2022, 11:56 am

Thanks, I checked the rulebook earlier and it's basically silent on the matter. It mentions edging before the "Load" call, facing at "Commence firing", and edging at "Cease firing", but it says nothing about other times.
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Post by CR10X 6/9/2022, 12:06 pm

You have to look in the section on range alibies and refires.  I'm not where I can look up the specifics right now.

But, the facing of the targets between strings allows the shooters the opportunity to view their targets after the first or second strings which can limit the shooters options.

While this is not a range alibi or issue by itself, having the targets visible will make the shooter's lose their opportunity to accept their target in the event of a range alibi (such as less time than prescribed for that string). 

Shooter's only have the opportunity to accept if they do not have the opportunity to view their targets outside of the time allowed for that string  even if it was an inadvertent mistake by the match. (Which I have done by mistake a few times at our match.)

Again in the event of a range alibi, that situation  - opportunity to see the target - becomes a mandatory refire of the target, just like when too much time is allowed.  (Like when targets face for 20 seconds on a rapid fire string.)  Seeing the target is not a range alibi by itself.

This has happened at Perry several times in the past and that was the procedure used every time but one.  That time nobody could confirm why it did not become a mandatory refine after the targets were faced and they declared a range alibi.  I was later informed that it was probably a mistake to not have a mandatory refire.

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Post by -TT- 6/9/2022, 1:57 pm

CR, that's an interesting point. Facing the targets does give the shooters more information, which can change how they claim either range or regular alibis.

Section 9.12 sort-of says this:

9.12 Interruption of Fire -
(a) In timed or rapid fire when the firing of a string is inter-
rupted by some occurrence which renders it impossible
for one or more competitors to complete the string under
the conditions of the match, the Chief Range Officer will
proceed as follows. Without being permitted to examine
their targets, competitors in the relay who have been so
prevented from completing their strings will be asked if
they wish to refire or to accept their score as fired.

If there's a rule which applies, I'll definitely change the app's behavior.
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Post by John Dervis 6/9/2022, 2:42 pm

I'm not up on the rules for this situation but Cecil's answer is true.  I can tell you that the targets do not face between strings at any match I've ever been to.  In addition, most range officers will not face the targets for scoring until after the line is declared safe.  People being who they are, would not be paying attention and would likely start walking down range just because the targets faced.  It doesn't matter as much in training I suppose but I always manually face mine before heading down to score during practice.

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Post by CR10X 6/9/2022, 3:06 pm

9.12 Interruption of Fire -


(a) In timed or rapid fire when the firing of a string is interrupted by some occurrence which renders it impossible for one or more  competitors to complete the string under the conditions of the match, the Chief Range Officer will proceed as follows. Without being permitted to examine their targets, competitors in the relay who have been so prevented from completing their strings will be asked if they wish to refire or to accept their score as fired. Targets will then be scored in the usual manner for all competitors except those who have elected to refire. Without being scored, the targets of such competitors who have elected to refire will be pasted or new targets substituted and a complete string will be fired and scored. 

Unless the the targets remain edged, then as written Rule 9.12 (a) cannot be applied in the event of a range alibi since the shooters have had the option to view the targets.  

(That's how it was handled at Perry on several different occasions where 9.12 (a), Reason (2) Failure of targets to operate properly or uniformly occurred.  And when trying to correct the problem, the targets were faced to the competitors.  By doing so, even by mistake, the Referee declared a range alibi and all shooters were required to refire the target.) 

Specifically in answer to my question to the Referee later; since the targets did not remain edged, the Match operation has created a condition that did not allow the shooters to compete as per the rules governing Interruption of Fire under 9.12 (a) for the listed conditions 1 - 7 as they had the chance to see the targets and so a complete refire by all was the only option.  I have to assume that's why I've always seen the Major matches and Regionals not face the target between strings.
 
Also a couple of other comments:

(1) Keeping the targets edged between strings and until the line is called safe to score provides the MD / RO time to sort out issues, if any. 

(3) I don't think it a good idea for the target to automatically face, especially for training since it provides an incentive for the shooter to jump to scope rather that calling the shot string and reinforcing the shot / string review prior to being able to see the target.  

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Post by -TT- 6/9/2022, 4:28 pm

The rules do seem to leave out some details, that can only be inferred. I agree that facing targets early would make several 9.12 conditions unenforceable.

Your (1) point is well-made. The app could avoid facing the target at the end of a string, and pause until the RO confirms it's ok to finish the round. But I need to think through how that works with an alibi round. It would take extra logic to go back to the previous string, without any new facing. Some sort of pause, with a prompt to continue or go back might work. But, the app isn't necessarily trying to do _everything_ the RO has to do, so there are limits.

On point (3), I'm not sure. The one-shot type of drill is something that people want to cycle automatically. But when training by timing a regular match, then it will behave just like #1. So, same approach I think.
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Post by CR10X 6/9/2022, 5:24 pm

Even one shot drills should keep the target edged until the next facing.  That's the real benefit of shooting one shot strings anyway.  

Admittedly I do not understand the issues with the app with respect to refire strings.  The logic should be incorporating how matches are run and the RO will always have to make some decisions based on a lot of circumstances.  Any refire strings are simply another 5 shot string on top of the two string previously fired for that match / stage (TF / RF).  Unless there is a range alibi with option to take the target or refire as discussed above.  The program should just provide an option to loop the last string again (and again) for TF or RF string or proceed to the next stage / match.  

(One more string is usual, but I have seen and had times when there were two or more additional strings needed. Shooter not ready so shot second string on alibi string and then he has an alibi; etc., etc.  25 years of shooting and running matches and just when I thought I'd seen it all, I still see things come up that I haven't seen before).  

Just wait until you go through the logic to break ties with a shot by shot scoring program.....

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Post by mbmshooter 6/16/2022, 6:51 pm

TT - You asked for the "Best Practice" when operating your TF/RF sequences.  As has already been discussed by others, the RULES are silent on the specific issue you raise and, in that instance, would suggest the targets remain EDGED until the second string commands are given and targets are FACED for that string.

Cecil - I was one of the refs on that range when the situation to which you refer occurred.  However, it was the Chief Ref who made the decision to refire.  As I recall, there was one person in particular who raised quite a stink and I believe even filed a protest which was summarily rejected by the Protest Committee.

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Post by -TT- 6/19/2022, 10:13 pm

Thanks everyone. I've definitely decided to have the app leave targets edged at the end of all rounds and leave it to the RO to face them. I'm slightly considering adding some sort of dialog after each second timed/rapid to prompt for whether a refire is required. This would give the opportunity to go back to the previous second string (leaving the target(s) edged), or moving to scoring (and turning them to face). But there are some other matters to work out first.
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Post by -TT- 6/28/2022, 11:07 am

On further reflection, I've decided to take a simple approach that doesn't require extra taps. After any slow, 2nd timed or 2nd rapid, the app will pause and count down a ~5 second timer before advancing. It will display "Touch to refire" during this interval - if you tap the screen (or click the remote), the target will remain edged and the round will repeat. If you do nothing, it will face the target for scoring, and always move to prepare for the next round - like it does today. I don't expect the pause after Slow to be used much, but it's consistent with Timed and Rapid, and consistency is good.

It feels pretty seamless, and allows for better matches. Without trying to completely replace the RO!
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Post by -TT- 9/6/2022, 8:25 am

Ok, I have a second question based on user feedback.

At the beginning of a timed or rapid round, when should the targets edge?

Section 10.7 says this:

The Range Officer having made sure that the range is clear (in
timed and rapid fire the targets must be turned out of firing posi-
tion) then commands “WITH 5 ROUNDS LOAD.”

which is what my app does, meaning, "This is the first string of...", (edge), "Load", ready/ready/etc, (face) ...

In my experience, most matches run this way, more or less. The targets are faced from scoring the previous round, and when shooters return and the range is clear, "you may handle your guns" is announced and the targets remain faced. At that point, shooters may raise on target, settle their hold, etc. It's not until the next round begins, roughly at "Load", that they're edged.

Should they be edged earlier? The difference would be about 10 seconds.
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Post by CR10X 9/6/2022, 12:15 pm

After scoring and competitors' return to the line, it appears the targets may be edged at any time.  Most matches will provide opportunity for adjusting scopes after the last slow fire target for that Aggregate when shooters have hung the 25 yard targets and returned to the line.  Perry usually edges sometime after "all competitors are back from down range" type of command.  But then again, that's usually a long time after most of the shooters are back on the line from scoring. 

For the matches I run with "Target Timers" controller, the targets will be faced from the hanging of first short line target or scoring and will  automatically edge after "The line is ready." command for the first string of TF / RF.  So to answer your specific question, for my matches, after initial hanging or scoring, the targets remain faced until after "The line is ready." for the first string.   

The RO provides all commands up to and including "With 5 rounds load." after that the voice controller takes over.  In case of any "Not Ready" calls, the RO can override the process at any time and restart the commands when needed. 

The targets do not face again after the first string of TF / RF, but remain edged.  After the second string is completed, the targets are manually faced after "The line is safe, go forward, score and repair." command.  Process is repeated for next short line target.  Therefore the only thing the RO has to remember is to face the target manually for scoring ("Reset" control). 

Face times for TF / RF are from full face position to start of edge action.  NRA allows 10 seconds and 20 second of fully faced targets.  ISSF is different.

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Post by -TT- 9/6/2022, 7:31 pm

CR, thanks. I think I will stick with edging before "Load" for now. It's closest to the section 10.7 text, and seems to be a common practice. It can be changed later too, of course.

The "face times" are another interesting twist btw. The target turners don't really send any kind of completion indication to the app, they just turn on command. I've had to build in various safeguards so the app doesn't command them to do one thing while they're doing another, but I'm also adding in a bit of delay to make those 10 seconds closer to reality. I'll make the observation that humans, pneumatic valves and 50-foot-long linkages aren't perfectly timed, either!
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Post by john bickar 9/6/2022, 8:12 pm

You'll get complaints (including from me) if you edge before "Load." I might be thinking of ISSF rules, but I believe there's something about the targets being presented to the shooters after the command to load has been given.

I think ours edge at "The Line IS Ready," but dagnabbit now that you are asking, I can't tell you for sure. It's like the spelling of the word "weird," or the pronunciation of the word "nomenclature."
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Post by RodJ 9/7/2022, 12:12 am

Spell “weird” like it sounds. “We”-“ird”. Earlier this year, only months shy of 60, I finally figured that out. And I’m finally confident of it.





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Post by CR10X 9/7/2022, 6:48 am

Just for some background.  Hans and I had this conversation many years ago when I purchased one of his earlier versions of Target Timer.  

Being in Canada, he originally set it up for ISSF face times AND only a little delay on the start of the timing to accommodate target actuation and relay delays.  

He next added the option to order with some additional time to more closely match the NRA face times.  

The latest versions have a "Variable Delay" function that the user can set to account for operation time and match the NRA face times.  Now it just takes a few minutes with a stop watch to adjust the controller to get to the NRA or ISSF face times as needed.  

And to address the original question here is the guidance from the NRA rule book.  It does not give any guidance for commands / operation between targets, only after the preparation period, but the assumption would probably be that the target edging would be at approximately the same time.    (Personal opinion here; I don't think I'm going to change anything but here are the actual words.) 

10.7 Firing Line Procedures and Commands - 

When ready to start the firing of a match the Range Officer commands “RELAY NO.1, MATCH NO._ (or naming the match), ON THE FIRING
LINE.” The competitors in that relay immediately take their assigned places at their firing points and prepare to fire but do not
load. The Range Officer then states “THE PREPARATION PERIOD STARTS NOW.” Range Officers check the location of each
competitor as to correct firing point by comparing the number of each competitor’s firing point with the relay and target number on
the score card or on the range assignment card. At the end of the 3 minute preparation period the Range Officer states “THE PREPARATION PERIOD HAS ENDED.”

The Range Officer having made sure that the range is clear (in timed and rapid fire the targets must be turned out of firing position) then commands “WITH 5 ROUNDS LOAD.”

NOTE: In slow fire events, which are scored after 10 shots, the command should be “10 SHOTS SLOW FIRE, 10 SHOTS IN 10 MINUTES, LOAD.” (The number of rounds to be loaded by the competitor in slow fire stages will be determined by the competitor.)......

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Post by Ed Hall 9/7/2022, 8:21 am

There's actually a reason in favor of the targets being edged prior to the load command, although we don't, and very few do, edge prior to that command:  If a competitor loads and unintentionally (or intentionally) fires while getting lined up, hitting the faced target, the entire line will have to be made safe while a repair is performed.  I know that many will say to just scope and record the shot and continue on, but for several reasons leaving that shot visible might be a detriment/advantage, unfair or fair.

All the controllers I built over the years had an additional delay feature to allow adjusting for individual systems.  Most often I set up the base delay for a little bit short and filled in the necessary delay via the adjustments.  For the later ones, I used four switches per each stage that added .25, .5, 1, and 2 seconds, allowing for up to 3.75 seconds of additional delay in quarter-second steps.  The earlier ones used a couple potentiometers.

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