Good Timer-Operators

Excerpt from The Cowboy Chronicle with permission from Pale Wolf Brunelle; reformatted for Website presentation

Authors: Pale Wolf Brunelle – SASS #2495, Ol’ #4 – SASS # 41004, and Big Iron Buster – SASS #9361

A “Good T/O”:

  • Confirms the stage is Set and Safe
  • Confirms spotters are present and attentive, then
  • Calls the shooter to the line in a timely manner
  • Asks, then checks, the shooter for proper equipment and supplies (may be an expediter)
  • Enough shotshells, possible reload with another firearm
  • Pistols holstered and un-lashed
  • Confirm rifle ammo count
  • Properly placed/worn equipment (holsters, spurs, chaps etc.)
  • Properly staged firearms (in the rack, on the table, etc.)
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Properly positioned to start per stage instructions (Prop in hand, hands at …etc.)
  • Confirms spotters are attentive and properly positioned for the condition of the shooter (right or left-handed, black powder, Classic Cowboy, B-Western, Gunfighter etc) [BTW, while the shooter is coming to the line and staging the guns all of the above takes about seven to twelve seconds]
  • Asks shooter to say the “line‟ or asks if “ready”
  • Delivers “Shooter Standby” in a consistent tone and volume
  • Hits the buzzer with a consistent delay between standby and “Beep”
  • Stays positioned to assist the shooter away from pitfalls and excessive muzzle swinging
  • Remains close enough to verbally ‘coach’ the shooter through the sequence and around the props
  • Remains close enough to STOP the shooter if a major infraction occurs either by their own mistake or a condition on the range.
  • Counts all the shots from each firearm as it is fired
  • Follows each firearm through the prescribed sequence to guard against “P’s” and to enjoin the shooter with the correct target after a temporary distracting malfunction in mid stage
  • Remains close enough to be able to gather a malfunctioning firearm that can not be safely re-staged
  • Confirms, as best they can, that a re-staged firearm is safely positioned
  • Confirms, as best they can, that a re-staged firearm is “Open and Empty”
  • Clearly informs the shooter that a re-staged firearm is ‘faulted’ (empty left on the carrier, not properly staged as instructed…etc.)
  • Watches, as best they can, that the pistols are completely and safely holstered
  • Positions themselves to see, and call, fallers/KD’s and announce whether they are down or not
  • Stops the shooter at the end of the stage sequence and clearly, and sufficiently loudly, announces the time so others, including the scorekeeper, can hear it
  • Directs the shooter towards the unloading table and, as soon as the range is clear…
  • Declares the range is safe to pick brass and set targets, if that is the range procedure at the time
  • Clearly and consistently calls all observed penalties
  • Confirms any observed penalties with other range/stage officials
  • Polls the Spotters for misses and any other penalties
  • Approaches the scorekeeper and restates the time and shows the timer face to the scorekeeper to confirm the call, and announces any misses and penalties and watches as the score is recorded.
  • Determines the range is Set and Safe
  • Calls the next shooter to the line
  • Start at the top of the list again…

A T/O does NOT:

  • Physically contact the shooter to move them through the stage unless an unsafe condition might prevail; or physical condition of the shooter requires it
  • Stop the shooter to ‘coach’ them about better shooting behaviors, either during or upon completion of the stage
  • Re-stage, or touch, a shooters firearm, except to avoid a potential unsafe condition
  • Count MISSES
  • Explain the course of fire on the shooting line
  • Argue with the spotters about misses
  • Overrule Spotters’ calls