View Full Version : RO training and prerequisites / helping ???
Ive been seeing alot of talk here and on Facebook after matches about things done wrong by ROs. I'm even guilty of some complaining myself in the past. This got me to thinking, what's the procedure for becoming a GSSF RO? Training? Prerequisites? I'm not wondering because I think I could do better or because I think they do a bad job, I think they do a great job actually. I'm wondering because I think it would be good to volunteer and help as opposed to just complaining and criticizing.
I don't think I have enough GSSF matches under my belt to do this yet buy there's no time like the present to prepare for the future.
Is it necessary to volunteer as an RO to help? I'm sure extra hands setting up and breaking down would be a welcome change as well.
Seems the ROs job is to know the rules and know how to make sure the shooter is doing things correctly and safely.
Otherwise, if you can communicate with the RO, you can do scoresheets with no problem. I have been to matches where the ROs were all volunteers and others where they were draftees working off their required range days. Some of those guys were "just there", didn't shoot Glocks and, in some cases, were antiGlock.
ROs aren't shooting coaches and depending on shooter volume, if they were, wouldn't have much time to be "coaching" the shooter.
If you want to volunteer, contact the host range and ask if they need help. Worst thing they can say is, "No."
Seems the ROs job is to know the rules and know how to make sure the shooter is doing things correctly and safely...
...If you want to volunteer, contact the host range and ask if they need help. Worst thing they can say is, "No."
Two great statements above... and I would add; apply them fairly and equally - the mantra of ROs everywhere.
Of course, you must know the rules. Don't know about you Mike, but for me, I learn best by actually doing a task, than simply reading about doing a task. I had read the rules - front to back - but after ROing at a match (my first match), I determined that I really didn't know enough about GSSF and came back and really studied the rules and the RO Guides. By only studying the rules, I didn't even know what I didn't know. By ROing, I finally knew what I didn't know and began looking for answers. In that respect, I believe you should begin ROing in some capacity immediately. At Conyers, Cindy Noyes tries to place new ROs with experienced ROs so that newbs aren't overwhelmed. She may be the only MD that specifically does this though. She does this as a SRGC member, not as a GSSF employee. (Cindy wears 2 hats for that event.)
Match Directors for these GSSF events aren't always immediately known, but all you have to do is look up the name of the venue in The Glock Report, find them on the web, and call them. I do this for each unknown match.
Almost all clubs welcome the help. I've only seen 2 venues in 2 years who didn't want any help, insisting on using their own folks. One was a complete disaster in my opinion (mostly due to non-sqadding) and was ROed by club members who didn't know the rules, didn't shoot Glocks, etc. (see Bama's post). The other club that wanted no help, was a new venue this year and Mike Ross and I ROed it anyway as GSSF thought it would be a good idea. Actually, that club did a great job with their own ROs.
Helping to set up and/or tear down is also usually welcomed. Setup varies, but usually begins on Thursday or Friday - tear down generally on Sunday after the match. Since I am essentially retired, I often come in a day or two early, and leave late - helping set up and/or tear down. (I’m going in early at Mobile to supervise Bama, if Ed hasn’t already taken that job. :)) In Reevesville I came from another match and arrived about 5 days early and helped mud and sand drywall in the MD's new range building. On Friday, GSSF arrived and I helped set up, ROed 2 days, and helped tear down on Sunday. There is always plenty of work to do at these venues if you make yourself available – including construction work. :)
If you officially RO, you will receive gifts from GSSF for your help. You can choose mags, a match entry for each day worked, lots of different choices... At this point, you should be able to easily act as Scorekeeper. If you find a sharp CRO, they can train you for that as you keep score. If you know squadding, that would be a very important RO job to do - if you don't know and understand squadding, stay away from it. Regardless, you must know the rules and be prepared to firmly state and uphold those rules lest competitors try to stretch them to their advantage.
Regarding training... there is no formal training for GSSF ROs. I've been trying to get some going, but GSSF seems reluctant. There are RO briefings on some Friday afternoons, and all Saturdays, and some Sundays at 0800. What is covered in each briefing varies widely, so it is up to the RO to already know the rules if they are to apply them safely, fairly, and equally.
There are also no prerequisites - though Cindy (at Conyers) sends out a questionnaire to prospective ROs to gauge their experience beforehand. The only true prerequisite that I can think of is at the Knoxville match where you MUST be an NRA RSO to be a CRO at GSSF matches. This is a TVA (state) rule and the prospective GSSF RO must register his or her NRA credentials with TVA in advance. (Knoxville usually says - we don't need ROs - probably easier that way, than holding prospective CRO's hands throughout that process.) BTW, the NRA RSO course teaches from little to nothing about ROing competitive shooting sports.
You can see that through most of this, you must be proactive if you want to help. You must make it known to the venue and make yourself available. If you volunteer early enough, you can usually choose the CoF you would like to work. That's 'M' for me. I think Ed likes plates. MDs try to accommodate.
...any of that help??
This may be a worthwhile place and time to post excerpts from an informational document from Cindy Noyes concerning Conyers matches. The information is similar to other matches and what can generally be expected. Lunch is typically provided for one or both days - if you work AM and PM.
THIS IS NOT A GENERAL CALL FOR CONYERS ROs. It is offered as a general idea of what ROs may expect regarding most matches - but in GSSF's words.
GSSF Annual Shoot – Range Officer Information
GSSF General Information
GSSF Matches are designed for people who have never competed before, as well as experienced shooters. They consist of 3 courses, the GLOCK ‘M, Five to GLOCK, and GLOCK the Plates. You can shoot in any of 7 divisions depending on the GLOCK model gun that you have. For each division you shoot, you will need approximately 100 rounds of ammunition. For more information on the competitions, visit the website at http://www.gssfonline.com . We are looking for friendly, safety concious people to assist shooters through the match. Our hope is that these competitors will enjoy the match and want to try other types of competition like USPSA, IDPA, NRA, Bianchi, and Steel Challenge, etc.
GSSF matches are different from USPSA and IDPA matches in that you can come out and shoot any time between 9am – 3pm on Saturday or 9am – 2pm on Sunday. We don’t do traditional squadding like you will find at a USPSA or IDPA match because our shooters don’t all show up at one time. We have a unique way that works for GSSF given that competitors will be coming all during the day. These procedures must be used at the match to keep it flowing. Typical duties include running a timer, writing down scores, resetting steel targets, pasting paper targets, and scheduling/squadding shooters. For some of these jobs, you don’t need any experience, just a willingness to learn and a friendly attitude. We will be running some fun non‐shooting games suitable for children and there may be a need for help with them. You will also need to bring eye protection and hearing protection and wear them at all times while on the range. Please visit our website for information on Range Officer duties at: http://www.gssfonline.com/range‐officer.cfm .
The first day you show up, you will be given a hat, a shirt, and a form to fill out that tells us who you are and what you want for your ‘GLOCK Goodie’. Goodies are gifts that we give you for helping at a match. Typical goodies are field knives, backpacks, benchmats, gun rugs, gun magazines, entries, etc. We mail these to you after the match. You get one goodie for each day you work to a maximum of two gifts.
You will be entered in a drawing for Glock Pistol certificates based on how many days you work. You get one entry into the drawing for each half day worked, so the more you work, the more entries you will have in the drawing. The drawing is held Sunday afternoon as soon as we have finished putting away our equipment and clearing the ranges. You do not need to be present to win.
If you are working a full day (both shifts), you will be given a lunch ticket by the SRGC Host Coordinator at the match. If you are on the setup crew, lunch will be provided during setup.
Range Officers shooting the match
Range Officers are encouraged to shoot the match. Saturday is our busiest day and if you are working both days, we prefer that you shoot on Sunday. On Sunday morning, we set aside 3 ranges for the Range Officers to use for their match entries. If you need to shoot at a different time, please let the GSSF scheduler know in advance and we will make arrangements so that your range is covered while you are shooting. You must be a GSSF member to shoot the match. You can select a match entry and/or membership as your ‘GLOCK Goodie’.
Typical RO Day
ROs work in teams of 3 or more depending on the course(s) you are assigned to work. There will be an RO Orientation Saturday morning at 7:45am and Sunday morning at 8:15am to give out assignments, discuss GSSF rules and answer any questions you may have. After the orientation, you will make sure your range is set up and begin running shooters. There will be GSSF experienced Range Officers on each course, so if you are new or inexperienced, have no fear, we won’t put you out there by yourself! We hope to have plenty of workers, so there should be time for breaks and lunch. At the end of the day, we will let you know when to close your range down. On Sunday, we must make sure that all shooters have finished, but we do begin closing ranges as needed after 2pm. A GSSF Rangemaster will let you know when you can close down or tear down your range. As an added benefit, ROs get to keep the spent brass on their range. You can help with pickup by bringing a small vinyl tarp to catch the brass as it is being ejected from the gun. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
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