See What You Need To See

Ben BerryBlog

Yesterday, I made a mistake. As I was going through my CRO exam, a question came up about a rule in the rulebook I’d not seen before:

7.1.8 Director NROI(“DNROI”) – While serving at a match as a member of the staff carries the same overall authority as the Match Director and Range Master. The DNROI while on staff will be there to assist the Match Director and Range Master in all endeavors to keep things running smoothly and help to make the match a success.

I thought this was a particularly strange and non-sensical rule. In what scenario would DNROI be working a match as staff, but not an RM, but need a rule to allow him to step in and overrule the MD and/or RM. If someone arbitrated the decision of the DNROI, would he get to choose the Arb Committee (which is the defined purview of the MD)? How can one person have the “same authority” as both positions?

It’s a very strange rule that reeks of central control and a need to be top dog at a match, even if you weren’t asked to work it.

What I got wrong is that this isn’t a new rule. I’ve been an RO since 2014 and thought I’d read just about ever rule in the old red-cover rulebook, and that one didn’t ring any bells. I did a quick cursory glance at my paper copy and didn’t see it.

The post was already writing itself in my head. The online rulebooks with no changelogs beyond the most recent revision made it impossible to tell when… You get the idea. But after I dashed off the post and hist publish, a reader pointed out 7.1.8 was in that 2014 rulebook. I looked again and saw that sure enough, he was right. The whole post was built on the foundation that this was a new rule, snuck into the “evergreen” rulebook by a USPSA President bent on personal control and his compliant board.

But it wasn’t true. I took the post down. I know only a few dozen people probably saw anything about it in the 20 minutes before I realized the issue and removed it. But for those people, I wanted to follow up. It was a quick post, dashed off in an evening after dinner, between finishing my CRO exam and designing the stages for the local match I help out with. I am very much human and that means sometimes I see what I want to see, even when it doesn’t quite match reality.

I do think that there is a lot of work to undo the mess that’s been made by Mike Foley and the Board that approved his measures. But this isn’t one of them. It remains a weirdly controlling rule, while at the same time being applicable in a vanishingly small number of instances. It’s probably worth revising at some point. But it’s definitely not the low-hanging fruit of things that need to be fixed. And for anyone that read that post yesterday and thought it did, that’s on me. I always try to be careful and considered in these posts, even when they are at times sensational and inflammatory. I’ll slow down and double check the facts the next time I think I have a story too good to be true.