Provide guidance for participants and officials during BTSA club events. This document shall not supersede existing federal, provincial, or municipal regulations.
The primary goal of this document is to put safety first at all BTSA club events and defines roles and responsibilities of BTSA officials. Examples of club events would be as follows; Action Shooting League (ASL), Steel Challenge League, Fun with Handgun League, Young Guns, Annie Oakley, Project Mapleseed and charity events are to name a few.
This policy is not intended to replace existing roles, responsibilities or reporting structures of existing international organizations when they use the Buffalo Target Shooters Association’s (BTSA) range. Examples of approved organizations include, but are not limited to: International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), or the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) as they will provide their own trained officials for their sanctioned events.
The EL is responsible for managing access to the facilities. It is highly recommended that the EL is trained as a BTSA Range Officer (RO). The EL is to work with the ROs and the Board Liaison as appropriate.
The BTSA EL shall:
- Manages the Alberta Provincial Rifle Association (APRA) gate for BTSA events.
- This could mean locking it open for certain events when non- members as required.
- Grant access to the club house and other storage areas as required.
- Close and lock the APRA gate at the end of the event as required.
- Read the Pre-Event Safety Briefing Checklist out loud to all participants prior to the club event starting; at each and every event.
- Has authority over all persons and activities within the entire facility including range safety, the operation of all courses of fire, and the application of these rules.
- All disqualifications and appeals to arbitration must be brought to the EL’s attention.
- Will implement safety measures, deal with incidents which require first aid, medical services or police.
- Will be designated as the primary caller of STARS/911 and will share event location, etc. that is found in the BTSA Incident Action Plan.
- In matters where uninvited or unwanted individuals enter the range, or in situations where a participant’s behaviour is not in accordance with BTSA policy, the EL has the authority to ask the individual(s) to leave the range or to initiate contact with local authorities if they deem it appropriate.
- This authority granted to the EL allows them to act on behalf of the BTSA Board of Directors (BoD) without needing to contact the Board for permission to act.
- Following the removal of an unwanted individual, the EL will contact the BoD as soon as circumstances permit and submit a brief report.
- A more comprehensive report is expected within 48 hours from a Safety Committee member(s) or a Board member(s) if a Safety Committee member is not available.
- Should the matter be deemed serious enough that authorities are involved, the EL will return to the range with a board member to walkthrough of the incident.
- The intent is that this walkthrough will occur within 24 hours if possible.
- Following the walkthrough, the EL will submit a full report to the board, including EMS or police reference numbers.
- During situations which require emergency services or police, the EL shall ensure all firearms are cased before the arrival of authorities and will refer to the BTSA Action Incident Plan and specifically the Pre-Event Safety Briefing Checklist for further directions.
BTSA Range Officer (RO)
The Range Officer (RO) issues range commands, oversees competitor compliance with written stage briefing and closely monitors the competitor’s action for safe practice.
There should be a minimum of two BTSA ROs for each BTSA club event; one of the ROs may be the EL.
The BTSA RO shall:
- Always have safety has their primary goal.
- Ask if all participants know and understand the range commands for the specific discipline.
- If any participants do not know the range commands or anyone seems uncertain; the RO must review the range commands before starting the event.
- If it is an IPSC/USPSA Level 1 match run by BTSA, then a black badge course is required for individuals to participate.
- Assist all competitors in their attempt to accomplish their goals without undue hindering or harassment.
- Provide firm, fair and accurate decisions and be able to justify them in a clear and concise manner.
- Maintain attention on the individual participants, avoiding distractions on and off the range while also not distracting the participants themselves unnecessarily.
- Keep personal opinions to themselves, avoiding critical comments of individuals beyond the field of the contest.
- Consult only with other Range Officers and match officials regarding the behaviour of a competitor and any decisions to be rendered.
- Be aware of their own fatigue and health while on the range.
Board of Director (BoD) Liaison
Is intended to be the face of the Buffalo Target Shooters Association as the public relations function and to provide guidance and relevant information to the event organizer to ensure the event is run in a safe manner, in compliance with the BTSA & APRA expectations.
The liaison shall attempt to secure a signature of acknowledgement from affected parties, preferably prior to the event, confirming the hosting group fully understands their responsibilities as well as the safety expectations of the BTSA facility.
Event Lead or event staff should not speak to anyone on behalf of the BTSA. This refers to issues, concerns, incidents, etc. and is designed to control the flow of information for publication or wide dispersal such as media reports. Any release of information will come directly from the BTSA BoD.
BTSA Walkthrough of Range Prior To Club Event
As stated previously, for BTSA club events the EL has overall authority over all persons and activities within the entire range, including range safety, the operation of all courses of fire and the application of these rules. It is the EL who will deal with disputes or unauthorised personnel on the range.
Therefore, the EL needs to have a plan formulated as to what action they will take under disputed circumstances. For this, the EL needs to consider and plan for “what if” circumstances before they happen.
We cannot plan for every contingency; however, any plan is better than no plan. The EL should consider how to handle the following situations:
- If someone needs to be evicted from the range due to cannabis use or possession, how would the EL deal with it?
- Would diplomacy work? If not, what would the next action be?
- Would the EL escort the violator off the range?
- Would this be done alone or with another range official accompanying them?
The wide range of potential scenarios requires the EL to be aware of the situation around them and continuously assess accordingly.
An advantage of planning for a scenario is that the EL has the opportunity, if in doubt as to the proper decision for a specific circumstance, to consult with the BTSA BoD before it occurs.
Having a plan for various scenarios allows the EL to arrive on the scene in a calm and organized way. The potential for having a solution even before arriving, can also greatly increase the success of the interaction.
Appropriate Leadership Behaviour
Anyone in the position of the EL must understand that calm is better than anger, fear or panic. Sometimes unpopular decisions must be made and sometimes discretion is the better direction to take. There will be moments of stress and confusion when mistakes can be made because the mind is dulled or distracted. Planning helps to deal with these situations.
When you have made a decision of how to respond to a situation, start immediately formulating the contingency plan. Sometimes things do not work out as expected, but these mistakes are life lessons that we can learn from. Do not let it drag you down as there lies the risk of a mental spiral of second guessing yourself and inaction.
Have a vision of what you expect to see on the range as the EL, but do not let your ego get in the way. Sometimes you need to show more kindness than you might think. The other person might need it more than you think. Kindness is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of confidence. Show people that they are worthy and that you respect them.
Whatever you do, do your best. Somebody is usually watching, recording and reporting.
It has also been said that experience is a great teacher. It gives you the test before it gives you the lesson.
Harair, Oren. (2002). The Leadership Secrets Of Colin Powell. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.
Failure to comply with the above rules may result in temporary or permanent suspension from the Homestead range and/or the BTSA and APRA.
Buffalo Target Shooters Association
PO Box 394
300, 8120 Beddington Blvd NW
Calgary Alberta T3K 2A8