I think Pete D has got it pretty much spot on. Personally I think now there is almost a culture to call targets from shooters, granted there are occasions where targets are faulty but definitely not on the scale we've seen recently.
I do believe there is a large grey area when it comes to checking a target when it has been called. By this I mean without sounding too critical and not in a derogatory way, that some marshals don't really know what to look for or how to check a target.
Now here me out please don't think i'm having a pop at the marshals, they (we) do a bloody good job for the most part but just have a read through this suggestion I have. I do think that some times marshals, especially newer ones do kind of get intimidated by some shooters, thus making them feel a bit pressured and "on the spot" and I do believe it effects there rationale as they get flustered.
So I'll tell you what me and Greg Hensman do at Kibworth.
A target is called, a shooters wants it checking and basically we follow this process and it works.
-target is called
-call for a cease fire
- do not touch the string
-ask the shooter where they think they hit
-go out to the target and check:
1-that the target is not pulling forward or backwards and that the target is sufficiently fixed
2-there is not build up of lead deposit in the target mechanism (if there go to point 4 and then afterwards clean the lead deposits, this to confirm that the target either functions or fails prior to clearing of lead)
3- check position of the paddle
4- using UKAHFT target check, "shoot" the target once, if falls they missed, if it doesn't there is a fault somewhere and look to rectify before just pulling a target. If this is the case and the target is fixed the shooter is awarded a two.
at no point prior to checking should the string be touched!
As daft as it sounds maybe producing a crib sheet for all marshals to follow for target checking would eliminate any doubt that the target is fine or faulty. I've observed all sorts of differing methods of target checking, including the marshal pulling the string before checking the target.
Maybe getting every marshal singing of the same song sheet on target checking would help elimate the amount of targets been needlessly pulled?
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