It's a subject that's become quite dear to my heart now - I take it you remember the debacle in New Zealand at the WFTF World Championships where practically every target on the course malfunctioned on the first shot!
The comment about poking with a stick was a bit of a reference to what happened this year in Lithuania. A target was called into question, it was ignored for a while and after repeated disputes a marshal was sent to 'check' the target. He picked up a fairly hefty stick, rammed it through the killzone and declared that it seemed alright to him
The target was later replaced after it was proved by numerous shooters to be a defective target.
I've also been appointed as the Head of the Marshalling committee for the WFTF and part of that role is to write some procedures and write and deliver a training course in Portugal next year. One thing missing was how do we (being the WFTF) check a target. There's no way I'm standing up in front of however many people in a conference hall and suggesting the recommended procedure is to find a stick and poke the target
So I really needed to come up with a better solution.
It's not my idea and it's certainly not a new one - this is a version of a target checker that Brad Troyer from the USA made about 8 years ago form a butchered Crossman 2240 pistol.