SASS Territorial Governors Meeting Minutes
End of Trail
18 June 2019
Meeting Chaired by: Blackjack Zak
SASS Wild Bunch - Misty Moonshine, Hipshot, Tex, Wildshot
ROC - Virgil Earp, Blackjack Zak and Deuce Stevens
TGS – Deadly Sharpshooter, Zona, Stone Creek Drifter, Boaz, Billy the Avenger, Mist Chance, TA Chance, Hot Tamale, El Lazo, Papa Dave, Colorado Jackson, Jackaroo, Wild Horse John, Capt George Baylor, San Juan, Smokestack, Jokers Wild, Cobra Cat, Big Iron Buster, K.C. Woody, Amaduelist, J.M. Brown, High Noon Henry, Legendary Lawman, Serenity, Hollifer A. Dollar, Riverview Rattler, Sassy Dancer, Mica McGuire, Lefty Too Slim, Capt Clark, Bighorn, Naildriver, Shenandoah, Korupt Karl, Lassiter, Alaskan, Jim Miller, Happy Jack, Dragon Hill Dave, Roys Creek Dan, Straight Arrow Hombre, Montana Long Hair, Texas Jack Daniels, Skinny, Kansan, Crisco, Marshal Stone, Smokin Iron, Cheyenne Culpepper, Santa Fe River Stan, Sue Render, Jesamy Kid, Slippery Sten, Fast Eddie, Shamrock Sadie, Gridlock Mcleod, Tumbleweed Dan, Gunsmoke Cowboy, Deacon Henry, JT Wild, Joe la Fives, Whiskey Kid.
Agenda Discussion Items:
1. Should the DNF (Did Not Finish) be changed to a DNS (Did Not Start), and the associated follow on consequences? It was suggested that it would be a good idea to define DNF as stage started but not finished & create a penalty of DNS when a shooter did not start the stage for some reason (sickness, early departure, etc). This has been a confusing penalty to apply for some CROS/TO, and has been applied incorrectly at matches. Much of the confusion centers on scoring methodology vice the assigning of a penalty.
The WB and the ROC recommend leaving it as it is, but can offer clarity on the application:
As examples (of previous clarifications) if a shooter starts the stage, but can’t finish it (say because they forgot to load their rifle) they would NOT receive a DNF, but only 5 second penalty for the 10 unfired rifle shots (in essence 10 misses, in simple terms). If a shooter forgets to wear shotgun belt – same – misses for the unfired rounds.
However, if a shooter chooses not to start the stage or not to finish the stage, but they are capable of starting or finishing the stage, then a DNF will be assigned. Also if a shooter misses a stage time (late to the range for whatever reason) and can’t make up the stage within the rules set out by the match officials or match policy, then a DNF will be assigned.
Previous clarifications in this regard include the loss of safety glasses mid-stage, where a DNF is assigned if they cannot be recovered or replaced while the shooter is engaging the stage – equipment failure. The same would apply to a disabling injury that prevents a shooter from continuing. In essence, if a shooter chooses to simply quit mid-stage on his/her own account, say because of a "P" or multiple misses and/or malfunctions, a DNF would be appropriate.
Please also be reminded: Failure to bring enough ammunition to the line to complete a stage is scored the same as misses for any un-fired rounds. SHB p.28
2. It was discussed at the last EOT to change the penalty for coming to the line with a hammer back on rifle when leaving loading table. It has been suggested that the handling of the situation is as follows: If the hammer is back on the rifle while leaving the loading table to the stage, the shooter is to point the rifle safely down range, pull the trigger. If a round is fired, squib or otherwise (live round was under the hammer) a SDQ violation would have occurred. If the chamber is confirmed to be empty (hammer goes “click” with no round fired, the shooter may continue to stage guns with no further call. NOTE: The current rule remains in effect….no change has been voted on or approved by the TGs. The ROC has agreed with this concept. There will likely be a future vote either electronically or at a Summit.
3. The “empty case in rifle - should there be a penalty?” issue was raised again. It was discussed and consensus opinion amongst those attending was that there is no valid reason to change the existing rule. Furthermore it is unlikely that the WB will allow such a change for safety and liability reasons.
4. It has been suggested that the current penalty of not clearing firearms at the ULT, and then being subsequently discovered at the next stage, should be changed from an SDQ to a procedural penalty. Many agreed that the penalty for empties in revolvers (SDQ) is much worse than an empty left in a long gun (Minor Safety). It was pointed out that the reason the penalties are different is because there are different rules broken in each case. Consensus was that there is no reason to change this penalty. The ROC is firmly in favor of keeping the current penalty, as it goes completely against our safety culture of unloading firearms after use.
5. It has been suggested by some on the SASS Wire that a shooter should not be allowed to question misses because it intimidates spotters? The discussion progressed about how a shooter can intimidate spotters depending on how they behave or ask the question. It does happen. The ROC stated that if ANY behavior from ANY shooter becomes abusive or belligerent, that shooter should be ejected from the match. However, it should be handled with care initially, as some shooters who are basically well mannered and good people can get caught up in the moment and simply react out of frustration. In this case the shooter should be given a warning off the line, which will likely end the problem. If it happens again then they should be removed from the match. On the other side of this issue, it is perfectly acceptable for a shooter to ask, politely, out of genuine interest “which one did I miss?” The ROC agreed to review & possibly give a clarification on the application of a progressive penalty of SDQ/MDQ for that situation.
6. Regarding the 'One SDQ per stage' discussion at the End of Trail TG meeting, it is the ROC's recommendation to remain with the current rule.
“Two accumulated SDQ penalties (even on the same stage).
*This does not apply to a single action that carries multiple penalties (e.g. breaking the 170° with an unloaded firearm AND simultaneously sweeping someone).” SHB p.23 (MATCH DQ)
If a shooter commits an SDQ violation, the CRO/TO should stop the shooter as soon as it is safe to do so. (In cases where there is doubt as to whether or not the violation occurred, or it is deemed unsafe at that point in time to stop the shooter, it is reasonable to allow the shooter to finish the stage.)
If the shooter subsequently commits another SDQ violation while still on the firing line (all firearms not yet cleared at the unloading table), then the shooter immediately earns a MDQ.
(For example: A shooter moves with a cocked revolver and is stopped by the CRO/TO. Then the shooter sweeps the unloading table with their shotgun while moving off the firing line to unload.) Shooters must be responsible for their actions regarding firearm safety at all times, and are not exempt from penalties for unsafe actions or firearm handling, simply because they have earned one SDQ.
There are other cases where two acts of the same violation will only incur one SDQ. (For example: The gunfighter who cocks both revolvers, and then moves (more than one step) to another location - although 2 firearms are in violation, this would be ONE act that earns an SDQ penalty.)
CRO/TOs should apply reasonable thinking and take a “common sense” (RO III) approach when applying the rule for these kinds of exceptions.
7. TG Summit: The discussion continues about online voting/electronic voting vice a face to face “business” type meeting or TG Summit. Given some informal preference from the SASS Wire Forum discussion, and from those in attendance, the majority of TGs would prefer a ‘business meeting’ style Summit. This should be a compressed business meeting with a well communicated agenda, well in advance, at a location which is affordable/a transportation hub. The meeting should be 2-3 days maximum, held on the weekend to allow those who have employment commitments to attend. Not all TGs have internet access and some don’t respond to email. Therefore online voting and discussion are less than optimal, and may not be the vehicle to represent all clubs. It was pointed out however, that online voting/discussions are a lot more cost-effective than a convention. This issue is ongoing and will be reviewed by the WB for a final decision in due course.
8. The issue of enforcing Loading Table Officers was raised. The question was “are they an absolute requirement?” The TG pointed out how the requirement for a specific LTO is applied differently from club to club. Blackjack Zak (MD at Winter Range) and Lassiter/Deuce (MDs at EOT) all agreed that there must be someone checking at the Loading Table, either a specific person assigned as an LTO……or shooters at the LT check each other. In either case, a person MUST BE checking, as per our rules. A consensus was reached that what really matters is that the firearms are checked, whether by an adjacent shooter or by an LTO.
9. Shamrock Sadie raised the issue about rules enforcement at local club matches, and mentioned how it is not fair to their shooters to get them used to relaxed rule enforcement because it develops bad habits that can hurt them at "big" matches where the rules are enforced. This issue was reinforced by the ROC – it is imperative that SASS rules be followed, as this educates and trains our shooter to “do it the right way”. Also…..if rules are not enforced, the shooters who it is unfair to are all those shooters who are following the rules. It absolutely behooves all shooters, especially TGs, to know and apply SASS rules……they keep us safe.
The Meeting was Adjourned.