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Spotters, what do you need to see in order to call a miss.


Kirk James

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Upon further viewing, I agree with you Grizz (and others). First pistol miss only.

edit - note to self: don't watch videos and post after 2 beers :wacko:

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Why don't y'all post where you shoot so the rest of us can avoid those clubs where CHEATING is so prevalent?

 

<_<

 

 

+1

That stuff needs to be called out and a stop put to it.

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If you think it's a ................ etc. You know the saying.

It can be very taxing to be a good spotter, so I appreciate others helping out if they are decent. It's unfair to a spotter and other shooters to let some folks work too long. This is very true in bad weather.

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I was spotting a stage where a local veteran shooter absolutely positively had a miss. I saw it and one other spotter saw it. Interestingly both of us that called the miss were relatively new shooters. The shooter lobbied pretty hard that he didn't have a miss. The other spotter had been around a bit longer but even he admitted that he didn't see a hit. He also didn't see a miss so he correctly gave him the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand both of us relatively new shooters were certain we saw a miss. After a debate it was scored as a miss. I'm not sure why there was a debate. Two saw a miss, one didn't. That's a miss. Guess who got a feather for a clean match? Sometime after the stage was over the score was changed by someone. I'm the new guy so I didn't make an issue about it but it sure tainted my opinion of how things are really done.

That's really disgusting. Yes, I know it happens, still disgusting, and not legal, not ethical etc. Just plain cheating.

 

Last fall I was spotting at a state shoot when another spotter asked me about my count at the end of shooting (before the TO polled us). I just put my hand even farther behind me and advised that he go with what he was sure about. We talked more before the next shooter started. Don't get mad at them, teach them. Keep on coaching them until they get it. Shouldn't be happening at a state shoot, but you go play the hand you're dealt. Spotter discussion is fine but should go through the TO, not a spotter cluster.

 

I use all available senses to determine a hit. If I can't find any trace of a hit anywhere (including the background) I'm left with a miss. I know I've called a hit when the shooter hit the stand. But if I didn't see the stand hit and only saw the target wiggle, it's the same as didn't see the miss. We have a mix of grass and gravel backgrounds in New England, so we don't always know where bullets go. But they don't vaporize, they either hit the target or they hit something else. The target may be the only thing we can see clearly.

 

When I write stages one of the challenges is making sure there is room for spotters to see everything. That I don't build in props that leave spotters clustered or where they can't get a clear view of all the targets. That doesn't always happen, but it's still a goal.

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It is unreasonable to expect Spotters to recall and recite the story of every miss, especially if there are a number of misses. However, if there is only one, maybe two misses, I don't believe that it is unreasonable to expect the Spotters to at least know which gun the miss is assigned to. Many Spotters are indeed able to zoom in on the miss, and give details, such as "third shot on first pistol was high and to the right". That is nice information to know if there is cause for the T.O. to Poll the Spotters. It is also very nice information that a experienced shooter can put to good use. Knowing about the miss, .... such a "last shot of second pistol".... could mean that the shooter was getting ahead of himself and trying to holster the pistol too quickly while moving to the next gun, or first shot out of the rifle might indicate that the shooter was not getting set. This type of information can be very important and helpful to an experienced shooter who is Hot on the trail of a win at a major match. IMO, it is a real bonus for the competitive shooter to get this type of feedback, but it is not a requirement of the Spotter.

 

We all know it... next to the shooter, it is the Spotters who determine who wins the match. I am always amazed at just how often I see some of the least competent people on the posse in one of the most critical positions of the game. T.O. should politely remove spotters who are not doing a good job. Remember.... it is the T.O. (Chief Range Officer) who Is responsible for assigning and identifying three Spotters. Most often, it is a job that the Posse handles itself, with one spotter handing off to someone else when he needs to get ready to shoot. That's OK and Good, as long as the job is done properly. Also.... Good Spotting takes concentration, and is tiring. Very few folks can spot the whole time and maintain the level of concentration required... they need to hand the job off after a while. And one final thing..... NO SPOTTER can do the job properly while being a CHEER LEADER. Either Spot, or get off the line and Cheer..... NOT BOTH. I've seen misses and procedural penalties go unnoticed by a shooter's entourage that were in the Spotting positions. They were so engulfed into cheering and hustling the Shooter through the course of fire that they often just did not see the penalties. If you spot.... take the job seriously and do it right.

 

Snakebite

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If you think it's a ................ etc. You know the saying.

It can be very taxing to be a good spotter, so I appreciate others helping out if they are decent. It's unfair to a spotter and other shooters to let some folks work too long. This is very true in bad weather.

There's a Fifth dimension, not talked about, but many know of its existance in CAS. The disapearance of shooters after they have shot, to not re-appear till next stage to shoot again. One never see these picking brass, nor spotting, they simple fade into the 5th Dimension till called to shoot. MT

 

Also, there are some TOs that shouldn't TO, especially at large matches. This from personal observations, and hearing from TO themselves on giving some re-shoots at bigger then monthlies when it was a shooters error in staging or starting and allowing the shooter to continue. Yet, some shooters that made same error, were not given a re-shoot. Did it change the outcome? You betchum Red Ryder. It can be a combination of bad spotting, but also bad TOs.

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There's a Fifth dimension, not talked about, but many know of its existance in CAS. The disapearance of shooters after they have shot, to not re-appear till next stage to shoot again. One never see these picking brass, nor spotting, they simple fade into the 5th Dimension till called to shoot. MT

Ooohhhhhh ain't that the truth!!!!

 

Drives me NUTS!!!!! Nuts I tell ya!

 

Like they are too good to actually help the posse run...

 

Oy!

 

Phantom

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Why don't y'all post where you shoot so the rest of us can avoid those clubs where CHEATING is so prevalent?

 

<_<

One instance doesn't equate to "prevalent" and I'm not gonna tar and feather a club with a large brush based on one incident. My overall experience has been terrific and 99.9% of the people I've met appear to be honest stand up folks. I don't know exactly what happened. I know two of us called it a miss and I know he later got credit for a clean match. We all take turns scoring, spotting, etc. He could have changed it himself without anybody else knowing about it. If that's the case it would be unfair to negatively characterize the rest of the club for something nobody knew anything about. Maybe there was a discussion amongst the powers that be and they decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. If that's the case then it wasn't cheating. I may not agree with changing the score but if it was done in the light of day it doesn't rise to the level of cheating. As the new guy I was reluctant to make a stink about it. If something similar happens again I've already made up my mind that I will ask for an explanation.
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One instance doesn't equate to "prevalent" and I'm not gonna tar and feather a club with a large brush based on one incident. My overall experience has been terrific and 99.9% of the people I've met appear to be honest stand up folks. I don't know exactly what happened. I know two of us called it a miss and I know he later got credit for a clean match. We all take turns scoring, spotting, etc. He could have changed it himself without anybody else knowing about it. If that's the case it would be unfair to negatively characterize the rest of the club for something nobody knew anything about. Maybe there was a discussion amongst the powers that be and they decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. If that's the case then it wasn't cheating. I may not agree with changing the score but if it was done in the light of day it doesn't rise to the level of cheating. As the new guy I was reluctant to make a stink about it. If something similar happens again I've already made up my mind that I will ask for an explanation.

Oh yes it is...Cheating.

 

I'd avoid any club that allows this...good 'ol boy garbage.

 

Phantom

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Oh yes it is...Cheating.

 

I'd avoid any club that allows this...good 'ol boy garbage.

 

Phantom

+1 and yes, I avoid. MT

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REF: RO1 pp. 8-9

 

You're asking us to read this early in the year?

 

Heck.....might as well go ahead and read the whole dang thing

 

<_<

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How bout coming up with some formal training for spotters. We have it for TOs. Shouldn't SASS have something similar for spotters? It seems from all the discussion that the ability of the spotters to properly do their job is the difference between winning and losing.

 

Most spotters receive little to no actual training except as unsupervised OJT. Training similar to the RO classes that includes videos of different scenarios where the individual watches and counts misses then receives feedback on how well they actually scored the stage is one possibility.

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How bout coming up with some formal training for spotters. We have it for TOs. Shouldn't SASS have something similar for spotters? It seems from all the discussion that the ability of the spotters to properly do their job is the difference between winning and losing.

 

Most spotters receive little to no actual training except as unsupervised OJT. Training similar to the RO classes that includes videos of different scenarios where the individual watches and counts misses then receives feedback on how well they actually scored the stage is one possibility.

RO classes does nothing for making good TO's.

 

and in the end, we'll have fewer people willing to, or "Trained" to spot.

 

Phantom

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RO classes does nothing for making good TO's.

 

and in the end, we'll have fewer people willing to, or "Trained" to spot.

 

Phantom

Actually I agree with you. However I feel that a little training would be a good thing. A lot of spotters get absolutely no training especially when it comes to detecting edge hits and spotting for BP shooters. A few pointers before being thrown to the wolves I feel would be a good thing.

 

In the past year I have seen a lot of very good TOs, Spotters, and brass pickers. I have also seen a couple of not so good TOs, and a few spotters and brass pickers that were not so good.

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I send out the newsletters for a few clubs here in GA and the latest one for the River Bend Rough Riders had an article from the match director, Cassalong Hopidy, that provided some very useful discussion on the subject of spotting. I contacted Cass and he is ok with me posting that part of his article in this thread. The remainder of this posting is that article.

 

Kajun

 

On Being A Spotter

One of the most important tasks required of posse members in cowboy action shooting is spotting. Think, for a moment, of their importance when you are the one running the stage. Let me start by saying that spotting is not for everyone. If you have trouble hearing or seeing, or just can’t bring yourself to call misses, procedurals or safety violations on others, then please don’t spot. Pick up brass, keep score, reset targets, or run the LT or ULT. There is plenty of other work to be done when you are not shooting, loading or unloading. But if are going to be a spotter (or counter as they are called in some parts of the country), I offer the following for your consideration:

  1. If batons, flags or other markers are available to identify spotters, get one and keep it where the TO can see it. A good TO makes sure before every shooter starts that 3 spotters are on the job Make yourself easy to find for this purpose.
  2. Be in position. That means being in a location that lets you see all the targets. You may have to move between strings to see all the targets the shooter is engaging. The 170 may change (with an L-shaped pattern or shooting positions—think Cherokee Cowboys boardwalk on Bay 5). You are differentiating hits and misses with two senses—sight and hearing. If you can’t see all of each target, you are forfeiting one of the two senses needed to do your job. Hearing hits is very important. While you need to stay behind the shooter, you may need to move downrange if the shooter is required by stage instructions to do so. Some targets are a bit dead or produce a low ring tone when hit. A shooter may be shooting light loads. You may be contending with shots from other bays or other extraneous noises like wind or a plane passing overhead. Get close enough to see and hear a hit given the circumstances at hand.
  3. Don’t crowd the shooter, the TO or the other spotters. There are 3 of you so that you can spread out. There should always be at least one spotter on each side of the shooter. As part of your responsibilities for safety, you may be able to catch something not readily visible to the TO—like a cocked hammer going into the weak side holster when the TO is on the other side of the shooter, or a gun that is about to drop from that holster. And by spreading out, the spotters increase their ability to verify hits on targets that are themselves spread across the bay.
  4. As many different ways as it is said, the rule remains the same—only call a miss if you are sure it is a miss. That rule, and its concomitant—giving the benefit of the doubt to the shooter--are not an invitation to casual or heedless observation. If you are not carefully watching and listening on each shot to determine whether it is a hit or a miss, you aren’t performing the first task assigned to spotters. You can’t claim uncertainty—and thus pronounce the shooter clean—just because you weren’t paying attention. If you find yourself unable to concentrate for this purpose, hand the baton off to someone else. While benefit of the doubt goes to the shooter, it should be a doubt that arises despite the spotter’s attention to the task at hand—not a doubt that derives from inattention.
  5. Call what you see—and not what you see on another’s spotter’s hand. If you track misses or Ps with extended fingers, keep them at your side till the shooting is done. And refrain from looking at another spotter’s count until you have yours in the air. We have all seen spotters who never have a call until they see the call being made by or both of the other spotters—and who invariably align their call accordingly. Borrowing another spotter’s observations cheats the shooter and all his competitors—by reducing the number of real spotters on that stage from 3 to 2. The majority rule assumes that all three spotters are making honest and independent calls. The system falls apart in the face of collusion.
  6. Remember--the TO cannot overrule the spotters on misses. He can ask if you are sure of a miss, show you what he thinks might be an edge hit , or inquire which target a shooter missed, and you should consider the TO’s inquiries—but the decision of the spotters on misses is final. And there are no appeals for the shooter. Appeals are only available with respect to the interpretation of rules, not a factual matter like whether a bullet hit or missed a target. Everyone makes mistakes occasionally and that includes spotters. That’s one of the reasons for the planned redundancy of having three spotters. But if you are persuaded that, for example, there was an edge hit even though you saw dirt fly behind the target, don’t feel you have to stick with your initial Miss call. On the other hand, if you are certain of a miss, say so. Failing to call it may penalize that shooter’s competitors by giving him a 5 second advantage he did not earn. Concentrate on the shots one at a time. Unless there are multiple misses, a good spotter can ordinarily say not only which target the shooter missed but on what shot-e.g., the second pistol round from the second pistol on P1.
  7. Count shots. You can’t do your job of calling procedurals without doing so (e.g., in a 3-4-3 sweep). And you can help the TO and shooter by doing so, e.g. when the shooter shoots 9 of 10 loaded rifle rounds or 4 from a pistol.
  8. With respect to Ps and safeties, the relationship of TO and spotter is different than it is for misses. The TO will consider the spotters’ observations where Ps and safety violations are concerned, but final determination whether to assess such penalties rests with the TO. It is a much-misunderstood rule, but the TO is the Chief Range Officer while running the timer and can overrule the spotters on procedurals and safety violations if he is certain, notwithstanding spotter input. That means that the TO, who has been watching the muzzles during engagement, can assess a P that none of the spotters observed or called. And, while it is less likely, the TO can decline to assess a P the spotters concur on if the TO is certain the shooter engaged the targets in the correct sequence. Despite that authority, TOs generally accept the observations of spotters as to procedural and safety violations, so their role in watching for them is critical. And on this point, while all shooters are safety officers, only Range Officers can judge (assess penalties) on a shooter—and the TO is the Chief Range Officer while acting as the Timer Operator.
  9. If you see an important safety violation that creates some danger and that the TO has not immediately acted on, speak up. Loaded guns that have been dropped or which have slipped or fallen, 170 violations, sweeping someone—all these endanger the shooter and/or others and if you can assist in mitigating risk or avoiding a dangerous situation, you should do so. SDQs and MDQs are generally best handled by stopping the shooter immediately.
  10. On the other hand, a note of caution. Having a bunch of people yelling at you while you are shooting can be terribly disconcerting. Give the TO a chance to tell the shooter about the rifle lever closing or that there is one more round in the pistol. There are occasions when speaking up makes sense, and is appreciated (for example, when the TO’s view is obstructed), but remember that the TO has the primary responsibility for assisting the shooter through the course of fire—minor matters that do not pose some substantial safety concern may be better left to the TO.
  11. Remember that the SASS rules forbid spotting or keeping score for family members. It’s more about the perception of bias than any concern that a spotter will actually make a dishonest call. But in that vein, if you are too close a friend of the shooter, you may not be doing him or yourself any favor spotting for him. Others may make unfavorable assumptions, warranted or not. I shot with a posse on one occasion when it seemed sadly clear to me that their very close friendships were clouding their vision and interfering with their hearing—a number of misses about which I was dead certain went uncalled. Any concerns, whether or not justified, could easily have been eliminated by simply letting other posse members spot.

 

At bottom, the responsibility of spotting is an extremely important one. A spotter should try to be just as serious and diligent about spotting as he is when shooting the stage. Good spotters really do make a big, and hopefully positive difference in the enjoyment and fairness of a match—and for that we all thank you for stepping up to a challenging chore.

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RO classes does nothing for making good TO's.

 

and in the end, we'll have fewer people willing to, or "Trained" to spot.

 

Phantom

Sorry Pard, but I disagree with you. It depends a great deal upon who is giving the the RO Class as to how much the student will come away with, and even more upon the individual themselves, but even the best of the best can not do a good job if they don't understand the rules........ and IMO, unfortunately, it takes a good instructor to explain the rules so that everyone understands them.Just reading the books will not give anyone all they need to be a good T.O. AND.... just because someone has taken the RO Class does NOT mean that they will be a good RO.

 

Snakebite

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Sorry Pard, but I disagree with you. It depends a great deal upon who is giving the the RO Class as to how much the student will come away with, and even more upon the individual themselves, but even the best of the best can not do a good job if they don't understand the rules........ and IMO, unfortunately, it takes a good instructor to explain the rules so that everyone understands them.Just reading the books will not give anyone all they need to be a good T.O. AND.... just because someone has taken the RO Class does NOT mean that they will be a good RO.

 

Snakebite

Yer right - should have said that. There are those that think they can RO just because they have taken the class...like that is all that is needed.

 

So yes, taking the RO class can help a good RO be better...

 

;)

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One last "stuff happens" comment. The Detroit Lions are out of the NFL playoffs, in no small part due to terrible officiating. Only the best officials get to work the playoffs. And they stunk up the joint. Spotters will probably miss one now and then.

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I do not see a reason for the question, The rule book tells what is a hit or a miss. What I do see and read are many questions by those holding the RO badge these shooters should be expected to at least know what is in the rule book. I do see the TO having to hold the timer up to many shooters ears because they have trouble hearing the timer go off then we see the jumbo sights on the guns and these same shooters are expected to hear and see misses.

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I do not see a reason for the question, The rule book tells what is a hit or a miss. What I do see and read are many questions by those holding the RO badge these shooters should be expected to at least know what is in the rule book. I do see the TO having to hold the timer up to many shooters ears because they have trouble hearing the timer go off then we see the jumbo sights on the guns and these same shooters are expected to hear and see misses.

Hearing abilities are pretty much the same for all shooting sports...we just can't really wear the fancy electronic earmuffs...and our sight are large because we can't use them fancy reddot or FO sights.

 

An honest question - have you actually participated in a CAS match?

 

Phantom

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Hearing abilities are pretty much the same for all shooting sports...we just can't really wear the fancy electronic earmuffs...and our sight are large because we can't use them fancy reddot or FO sights.

 

An honest question - have you actually participated in a CAS match?

 

Phantom

 

An honest answer yes.

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An honest answer yes.

I asked the question because there are issues with counting regardless of the written rules. Something that I would expect folks to understand if they have shoot many matches.

 

Phantom

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I asked the question because there are issues with counting regardless of the written rules. Something that I would expect folks to understand if they have shoot many matches.

 

Phantom

 

I am active in 3 GUN IDPA and IPSC and have shot SASS before I agree to the many issues in scoring yet, the basic rules are simple and easily understood. SASS is an aging game and still seems to have problems comprehending the basics.

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I am active in 3 GUN IDPA and IPSC and have shot SASS before I agree to the many issues in scoring yet, the basic rules are simple and easily understood. SASS is an aging game and still seems to have problems comprehending the basics.

That I agree with...but seasoned shooters have a much better grasp on the unique aspect of our scoring methodology. Because of the way the game is played, errors will always be part of the game. Minimizing the errors is the goal as well as getting folks to understand the concepts of how to be better counters.

 

Phantom

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That I agree with...but seasoned shooters have a much better grasp on the unique aspect of our scoring methodology. Because of the way the game is played, errors will always be part of the game. Minimizing the errors is the goal as well as getting folks to understand the concepts of how to be better counters.

 

Phantom

You may be expecting to much. after all look how many shooters still do not know where their belly buttons are.
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I am active in 3 GUN IDPA and IPSC and have shot SASS before I agree to the many issues in scoring yet, the basic rules are simple and easily understood. SASS is an aging game and still seems to have problems comprehending the basics.

 

 

You may be expecting to much. after all look how many shooters still do not know where their belly buttons are.

 

 

Have shot those others also.

 

Believe me. They have there problems also.

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Towards the end of my first shoot ever someone shoved a little flag in my hand and said, "go spot for a while".

 

I was nervous, but that just caused me to pay really close attention to everything. I enjoyed it very much.

 

It ain't rocket science. You pay attention, do your best, and tell the truth. Nothing more to it than that.

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Towards the end of my first shoot ever someone shoved a little flag in my hand and said, "go spot for a while".

 

I was nervous, but that just caused me to pay really close attention to everything. I enjoyed it very much.

 

It ain't rocket science. You pay attention, do your best, and tell the truth. Nothing more to it than that.

I think you pretty much nailed it.

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I can understand the angst when you think you have had a bad call. At least we have three spotters. I was a referee for skeet shooting matches at the state level for many years. One missed call put the shooter out of the competition many times. You just do the best you can. Damn the human condition.

 

Other sports, like baseball and football are going the way of digital cameras and computerized equipment to offer reviews. Look how often strikes and balls as shown by the hi tech equipment differ from the referee's call.

 

While we quibble over this and other SASS issues the government will ban our firearms and we can move to low power lasers where the machine will never miss a hit. A laser over the berm that hits a passing aircraft will result in MDQ and jail time.

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Towards the end of my first shoot ever someone shoved a little flag in my hand and said, "go spot for a while".

 

I was nervous, but that just caused me to pay really close attention to everything. I enjoyed it very much.

 

It ain't rocket science. You pay attention, do your best, and tell the truth. Nothing more to it than that.

I think you pretty much nailed it.

 

Congrats on your first shoot .I ask, are you saying that at your first shoot you already knew the rulebook and the entire job of a spotter?

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One instance doesn't equate to "prevalent" and I'm not gonna tar and feather a club with a large brush based on one incident. My overall experience has been terrific and 99.9% of the people I've met appear to be honest stand up folks. I don't know exactly what happened. I know two of us called it a miss and I know he later got credit for a clean match. We all take turns scoring, spotting, etc. He could have changed it himself without anybody else knowing about it. If that's the case it would be unfair to negatively characterize the rest of the club for something nobody knew anything about. Maybe there was a discussion amongst the powers that be and they decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. If that's the case then it wasn't cheating. I may not agree with changing the score but if it was done in the light of day it doesn't rise to the level of cheating. As the new guy I was reluctant to make a stink about it. If something similar happens again I've already made up my mind that I will ask for an explanation.

I know this is from a couple days ago, but since charges of cheating are being tossed around, I have to ask. Are you certain the club didn't have some way to buy misses? My home club will let you buy 1 miss ticket for a dollar at the monthlies. When you get a miss, you hand it over and they record one less miss. So if that's the only actual miss you had, at the end of the match you get credit for a clean match.

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I know this is from a couple days ago, but since charges of cheating are being tossed around, I have to ask. Are you certain the club didn't have some way to buy misses? My home club will let you buy 1 miss ticket for a dollar at the monthlies. When you get a miss, you hand it over and they record one less miss. So if that's the only actual miss you had, at the end of the match you get credit for a clean match.

Wow!...............Hey Vanna.... I want to buy a vowel.... in fact, just let me buy the match, I'll gladly pay your Tuesday. ;)

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Why don't y'all just PAY someone to spot, $8.00 per stage or $3-5.00 per person. Better yet pay by the hour at the going rate of $15.00 per Hour...ya think,then you could fire them for what ever reason you wish. This horse has been beaten to death before, you want persons to do a job to make everybody happy, that ain't gona happen. Go by the book or figure a better way!

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