162: A Complete Guide to Shooter/Range Officer Relationships with Heath Clevenger

The RO/Competitor relationship is one that is easily strained by a number of factors and Heath Clevenger is on the podcast to tell us both sides of this equation and how we can help each other to ensure a safe, fair and fun match.

Heath has RO’d many a match and we’ve had a few discussions on how we can improve the interactions between match staff and shooters. We’re all on the same team here, we are all in it for the love of shooting and Heath guides us through how to treat your range officer for the best results and then outlines expectations of how an RO should treat the competitors as well.

On This Podcast You’ll Learn:

  • Why True Professionals are professional in every aspect of their life
  • The main responsibilities of a range officer
  • What an RO can expect from competitors
  • What a competitor can expect from an RO
  • Plus! What does a range officer NOT want from a competitor?
  • And more!

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Links From The Podcast:

Advice from Heath Clevenger:

What does the RO want from a Competitor:

  • Be on time to the stage brief
  • Listen to the stage brief
  • Be ready (have all of your gear and guns) shoot when you are on deck, be waiting on the RO. DO NOT make the RO wait on you. This is the equivalent of making the entire match wait on you. 30 seconds of waiting for 200 competitors is 100 minutes of delay. This is the difference in shooting when the sun is up or shooting in the dark.
  • Tell the RO the order in which you plan to shoot long range targets
  • Understand that the time to ask questions is not on the clock!
  • If the stage is complicated or you plan to shoot a stage differently than everyone else, let the RO know your plan before you start.
  • Be nice, be patient with the RO. You are not the center of his universe.
  • Retrieve your equipment after you get done shooting
  • If you disagree with a call, if the RO makes a bad call, talk to the RO politely about your view. If you cannot come to agreement with the RO, ask politely to speak with the Range Master. Stay calm.
  • Remember, you will most likely see that RO again at another match. Do you want to make a friend or a foe?

What do Competitors want from an RO

  • To fully read and explain the stage brief the same way for every squad/ shooter
  • Fair calls with any question going to the favor of the competitor
  • To not be distracting or asking questions off the wall questions when you are getting ready to shoot
  • EQUALITY! – treat me the same a Jerry or Horner
  • Do not talk down to the competitor (Niki says guys treat her like she is stupid if they don’t know her, and thinks this happens to women often)
  • Consistency in everything, from reading he brief to making calls on long range, to paper hits
  • For the RO to remain calm when the competitor disagrees with a call that they made and/ or if they ask for the RM
  • For the RO to be calm and confident
  • To be paying attention to the task at hand, not having a conversation that distracts from competitor that is shooting or ready to shoot.
  • Guaranteed the exact same target presentation



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Thank you to Heath for bringing such a great topic for The 3-Gun Show!

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