Fault Line Communication
There are many conversations taking place using information that is inaccurate concerning the use of required fault lines on stages with props simulating hardcover.
The 2022 rules ended the practice of extending fault lines infinitely up range to the back of the stage boundary.
The use of distant cover at a shooting position has not been limited forcing shooters to crowd cover. They are free to engage targets at any distance provided they do not enter a new opening and expose themselves to a second array of unengaged targets.
Here is an example to illustrate the rule:
Stage with 3 positions of cover shot the way the stage designer intended.
In 2022 the rules were updated to prevent these cases where shooters argued they were inside the fault lines when engaging targets, as seen below.
Recently, we have been seeing a number of cases where MD’s are using the 3′ to 8′ limit of the lines on the ground to create an artificial shooting area with the mistaken belief having half a foot beyond the end of a line on the ground constituted a penalty.
This is not supported by our rules.
Here is an example of distant cover used legally:
In the above example, the shooter moved back on a diagonal line from position 1 and towards position 3 but stopped short, behind the cover on the right-hand wall and still remained inside the fault line for position 2. Perfectly legal.
The difference here is the shooter did not expose themself to unengaged targets from a second opening. If you refer back up to example 4, it is easy to see the shooter is exposed to unengaged targets by entering the position shown and that is what earns a shooter a penalty.
Not standing beyond the end of a line on the ground. As has been the case from the days of the first rulebook, our current rule 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 rely on the use of cover.
Try not to overcomplicate this whether you are a Match Director, Safety Officer or a competitor developing a plan to shoot a stage.
Good Luck with your match.
Rick Lund & Brian Ehrler
Regional AC Leads
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