I thought this to be very interesting.
I find it difficult to point out such blatant disregard for safety but,
if you think about it, the life you save may be your own. In my travels
I have formed an opinion that we are getting lax in our awareness of
safety. We set up scenarios that are not "safe" and we heap
the responsibilities of timer /RO on the shoulders of volunteers that
have the greatest of intent but do not have any idea of what they are
doing. I am intimidated by being asked to handle the timer and although
I have accepted the task, I fear that I will miss something through
ignorance. (My definition of ignorance is "not having the
experience or being exposed to…) I have not had any of the RO courses
and I look forward to attending them. In recent travels I have witnessed
shotguns sweeping the crowd. More often than not, they are doubles being
carried by the grip and, quite often, with the barrels parallel to the
ground. The ubiquitous crossdraw minus the dance. They usually do it on
the draw but brain fade occurs when holstering.
The biggest complaint that I have is the loading table. If you have
read my earlier posts you are aware that I believe strongly that a host
club member man that station and ENFORCE sass rules. It has to start at
the top. That stuff does not run uphill. The people who run the clubs
have to take notice.
"I got a call from a friend of mine that the RO Program has been
lot of beating on this forum. Having never been on this web-site before
it took me a few days to figure out how to access it.
First, for those who don't know me, allow me to introduce myself. I'm
Quick Cal, the guy that wrote the original SASS RO Program. Of course,
I can't take credit (or as some of you apparently believe, blame) for
entire program, since a committee made up of Match Directors with well
over 100 years of experience ultimately produced the end product. While
we are still working out some details and trying to improve the SASS RO
Program, it's by far the most comprehensive document ever designed for
The Program was born while driving home from an otherwise great CAS
shoot in '99. My wife and I had the misfortune of being on a posse that
had almost no regard for safety. After being swept a few times by guns
that had just been fired after the first stage was completed, I tried to
communicate my feelings to the posse. It went down hill from there and
while we were shooting another stage, I was down range resetting a
target and a shooter came to the line pulled out his loaded pistol
pointing it right at me and staged it. The RO wasn't going to do a
damned thing about it, until I produced a rulebook and showed them the
section where it spelled out that it was a DQ for doing that. I was
challenged to a fistfight and called a gamer for having a rulebook.
Needless to say we left the posse and completed the match with other
I outlined the RO Course and taught the first one in July, '99 to our
club, here in Fernley, NV, The High Plains Drifters. I offered it
online to the Territorial Governors Wire and the response was
overwhelming. To date around 4,000 folks have gone through either Level
I or Level II.
I realize that the Level I program has been instructed somewhat
unevenly. We needed to get this information out as quickly as possible
and allowed anyone that had taken the course and held some official
position with any club to teach it. But the Level I was a way to lay
down some basic procedures on how to run shooters safely through stages.
It was also a way to try to put everyone on the same page on how to
perform the various duties on helping your posse at a match. So we felt
it was important that it spread across the country through geometric
The following is right out of the course and when I instruct a course
these are some of the main things that I emphasize:
There is a large part of the course dedicated to ATTITUDE. The Range
Officers Motto: THE PURPOSE OF A RANGE OFFICER IS TO SAFELY ASSIST THE
SHOOTER THROUGH THE COURSE OF FIRE.
As a Range Officer, you are there to assist the shooter. You will
notice that the word "penalize" doesn't appear anywhere, but
"assist" does. This is not to say you won't be called upon to
penalties when they are appropriate, but it is NOT your first priority.
You are there to prevent safety violations before they occur.
RANGE OFFICER ATTITUDE
1. Be courteous and considerate of your fellow competitor. Never be
over zealous in your duties.
2. Always be firm, but fair.
3. When penalizing a contestant, do not allow you to be intimated
by the competitor. Stand your ground, but do so in a professional
4. Don't be a "hard-ass"
5. Be helpful to the competitor.....
6. Always refer to the SASS Shooters Handbook when stating rules.....
7. Make the call, and call them the way you see them!!!
8. 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 match! Heated words
between folks wearing firearms are not acceptable.
9. Always read the rulebook from the contestant’s viewpoint.
10. Always give the contestant the benefit of doubt.
Now with the above being referenced directly to you on this forum,
can anyone take the RO I Course and become an "RO Nazi". I
that either they don't know how to read or were not instructed properly
or both. I have personally encountered such an individual at a major
match myself. He didn't know me and my involvement with the program,
but it shouldn't have mattered even if he did. As the Program teaches
respect for all of your fellow competitors. I decided to challenge him
and ultimately I had his pin removed, as he didn't deserve to wear it.
I am pleased to say that now the Level II Course can only be taught
SASS Approved Trainer, as we are trying to bring about more consistency
in training. Also, I might add that any SASS Approved Trainer, has the
authority to remove any RO pin from someone who slipped through the
course with an over zealous attitude.
In closing, I hope that those who are down on the course take the
to actually read it and understand it before attacking it any further.
You don't have to take the course and become certified, just download
the Level I off the SASS Web-site, it's there for everyone to see.
Having a good time at a match takes a close 2nd to Safety First, Last
and Always. There is plenty of room for both.