Everyone likes to pride themselves on the manners their mama taught them. However, competitive shooting requires more than just a “yes sir/no sir” attitude. This article addresses the basics of match etiquette and the manners that matter on the range when you’re a competitor.
Arrive at the first stage prepared and with your gear in order. Being ready helps prevent delays for your squad. Immediately prepare your gear after shooting to maintain a smooth flow.
Show courtesy to fellow shooters and Range Officers (ROs). Follow RO instructions promptly. If there’s a dispute, ask for clarification politely and escalate to the Match Director if necessary. Remember ROs are volunteers, and their job is to prioritize safety and fair play.
Resetting is a crucial part of the game. Failing to reset is considered rude and unsportsmanlike, possibly incurring penalties. Everyone, except the person on deck, the person shooting, or just having shot, should participate in resetting. No one will remember how you shoot. But they will remember how you reset.
If you arrive at a stage and the previous squad is still shooting, wait for them to complete shooting and resetting before you walk the stage. Offer assistance in resetting if needed to contribute to a smoother match flow.
Manage Your Walkthroughs.
For major matches, arrive early for a pre-match walkthrough. Respect ROs’ shooting schedules and avoid walking through stages while they’re in action. On match day, during the 5-minute walkthrough, allow everyone a fair chance to familiarize themselves with the stage.
Throttle Your Questions.
While veteran competitors love to help newbies, be considerate of your fellow squamates. Avoid bombarding shooters with questions, especially when they’re about to shoot. Respect their focus and ensure that you’re not monopolizing their time.
Show Team Spirit.
Embrace a sense of camaraderie! Offer assistance to squad members when needed and foster a positive atmosphere. Everyone is there to enjoy the sport, and a supportive squad enhances the overall experience.
Learn from Mistakes.
If unfortunate enough to be disqualified, view it as a learning opportunity. Understand the reason for disqualification and strive to improve. Stick around for the rest of the match and help reset the stages. The shooting community values those who continuously grow and refine their skills.
Show appreciation to Range Officers and match organizers. Their efforts ensure the event runs smoothly. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in acknowledging their hard work. Give each RO a handshake or hug before you leave the stage.
Respect the Range.
Treat the range with utmost respect. Clean up after yourself, dispose of trash properly, and follow any range-specific rules. Being mindful of the range environment contributes to a positive image for the shooting community.
By incorporating these additional aspects into your match etiquette, you not only enhance your personal shooting experience, but also contribute to a thriving and welcoming shooting community. Enjoy your time on the range!