2019 Rulebook

The Mid Atlantic Rimfire Series (MARS) is a year long cumulative points competition for practical 22LR precision rifle shooters. MARS is a completely volunteer effort designed to give back to the firearms community by providing: affordable, competitive outlets for practical style rimfire enthusiasts; practice opportunities for precision centerfire competitors; and accessible, beginner friendly options for new and junior shooters.

SECTION 1: MARS Organization

A. Staff

  1. Series Director
    • Dave Luu
  2. Match Directors
    • Ken Yoshida
    • Lou Levy
    • Robert Burkindine
    • Jason Greer
    • Dean DeTurk
    • Aaron Sparrow

SECTION 2: Safety

A. General Rifle Safety

  1. Treat all firearms as if they were loaded.
  2. Always point the rifle in a safe direction. Never point a rifle at anything you don’t intend to kill or destroy.
  3. Always keep the rifle unloaded until ready to fire.
  4. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.
  5. Know your target and what is beyond.
  6. Eye and ear protection is mandatory for participants, spectators & officials at the event.
  7. Never use alcohol or cognitive altering drugs (including over the counter or prescription drugs) while shooting.
  8. Individual club/match/range safety rules always supersede MARS rules.

B. Rifle Safety While at a MARS Match

  1. MARS competitions are always cold ranges. All rifles are to remain unloaded, with magazines removed and actions open, except when being run through a course of fire, or with permission of the RO.
  2. Use of chamber flags is required. Chamber flags shall remain in the action until the RO verbally indicates removal is permitted. Rifles shall only be loaded, or magazines inserted, when directed by the RO.
  3. Ground rifles in a proper rifle rack, or wherever the RO designates as a safe location and direction.
  4. Rifles with removable magazines are strongly encouraged. Rifles with fixed tubular magazines are discouraged, as they are more difficult to make safe. RO’s should pay extra attention to shooters with fixed magazines.
  5. When moving to another shooting location, always ensure the rifle is pointed in a safe direction.

C. Rifle Safety During Stage

  1. Always wait for the RO’s command before removing the chamber flag and inserting the magazine.
  2. Stages always begin with an empty chamber unless specifically directed by the match booklet and/or the RO.
  3. Any movement or barricade transition must be performed with the action open and an empty chamber on a bolt action rifle, or with the safety engaged on a semi-automatic rifle. For semi-automatic rifles, the shooter must engage the safety, and yell “SAFE” loud enough for the RO to hear with ear protection.
  4. During movement, the 180 rule must always be adhered to. The 180 rule dictates that the rifle should only be pointed within 90 degrees to the left and right of straight forward in order to prevent muzzling. There may be stages when an RO sets the arc to less than 180 degrees, to ensure safety. Always follow directions and be aware muzzle direction.

D. Safety Violations and Penalties

  1. Violation of the cold range rule: Violating the cold range rule results in a match disqualification (DQ).
  2. Violating the 180 rule:Violating the 180 rule with a loaded firearm results in a match DQ.
  3. Muzzling:Muzzling with a loaded firearm results in a match DQ.  Muzzling is pointing or sweeping another person’s body with the muzzle of a rifle. 
  4. Unsafe transitioning: If a shooter fails to open the action during movements within a stage, such as transitions on a barricade, the RO will first have the shooter correct the situation. The shooter will then be permitted to move back to the previous firing position and resume the course of fire. A second violation will result in a zero on the stage. A third will result in the shooter getting a match DQ. The same applies to semi-automatic rifles that move with a closed bolt with the safety engaged, if the shooter does not either engage the safety and/or yell “SAFE”.
  5. Negligent Discharge:A negligent discharge is defined as any round unintentionally discharged from a firearm during a transition, movement, and/or weapons manipulation; or a round intentionally discharged during a cease fire period. The competitor shall automatically receive a match DQ.
  6. Mechanical Failure: A mechanical failure is defined as any round unintentionally discharged from a firearm due to a mechanical failure. The participant will be removed from the event until he or she can repair the rifle to safe working order. All stages and points will be forfeited during this down time.
  7. False Starts: Intentional firing before the start signal will result in a zero for the stage.
  8. Intoxication: If an MD judges a shooter to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during competition, the shooter will receive a match DQ and be removed from competition. The shooter will not be allowed to drive from the competition while still intoxicated.
  9. MDs have the reserve the right to amend penalties as they see fit, including warnings, stage zeroes and match DQs for any unsafe gun handling issues or safety violations.  MDs will strive to be as fair as possible. MDs’ rulings are final.

SECTION 3: Responsibilities

            Special Note: It is not the intention of MARS to tell any local club how to conduct their matches.

A. MARS Responsibilities

  1. MARS will gather and publish match scores from all participating clubs.
  2. MARS will generate and track series points from the match scores. 
  3. MARS will organize any prizes donated to the series.

B. Shooter Responsibilities

  1. Shooters should treat MDs and ROs with respect at all times. From time to time, disagreements arise between shooters and match officials. This is fine, so long as mutual respect and calm communication occurs. The Match Director(s)’s ruling is always final.
  2. All participants in MARS matches are looked upon as Safety Officers. Any participant who witnesses an unsafe act should call for a cease fire and stop the unsafe act. The witness should then inform the closest RO of the act.
  3. It is the shooters responsibility to know the MARS Rulebook prior to a competition.
  4. Shooters should actively try to move the competition along quickly and smoothly by participating in the stage briefing, helping reset, score or spot during the stage, knowing their position in the shooting order and being ready to shoot when their name is called.
  5. At the beginning of each stage, participants will be asked by the RO, “Shooter do you understand the course of fire?”. This is the shooters last opportunity to ask for clarification about the stage or course of fire.  After providing an affirmative answer, indicating there are no remaining questions, a shooter may not argue that the instructions were unclear or that they misunderstood the course or targets.  Any such arguments will be considered invalid. 
  6. Shooters should be good squad mates by helping police brass, helping ROs when directed, and providing coaching to other shooters after their stage is complete. Volunteering to assist with set up and take down of the match is a big help to the club and MDs, and greatly appreciated.

C. Match Director (MD) Responsibilities

  1. MDs are responsible for the overall direction of a match. He or she is the person in charge at that event. 
  2. All MDs’ rulings are final.

D. Range Officers (RO) Responsibilities

  1. ROs are any person assisting the MD with running a competition. They can be the person running a stage, a spotter, the registration staff, or anyone that the MD acknowledged, as working the match.
  2. ROs should understand all rules and regulations prior to the start of the competition to ensure the safety off all participants. Any RO witnessing unsafe acts must call cease fire and correct the unsafe act as soon as possible.
  3. ROs that are running a stage shall have complete knowledge of the stage that they are responsible for. They should conduct a stage briefing for all shooters prior to each stage and assist in target location on stages that allow for prior target knowledge. After stage briefing, the squad will have 5 minutes to prep before the first shooter is called. Once the stage begins, the RO shall run every shooter though that stage as close to the same as humanly possible. Encouraged commands are as follows. “Shooter do you understand the course of fire?” If no questions are asked, then “Shooter, load and make ready”. Once the shooter makes his or her rifle ready, “Shooter Ready?” Once an affirmative is obtained, the start tone should follow.
  4. ROs that are supervising the shooter are responsible for the safety of the shooter, bystanders and the overall stage.  Time keeping and scoring are secondary responsibilities that should not supersede the primary function of stage safety. Ideally, each stage will have also have ROs for timing, scoring, and spotting.
  5. ROs that are serving as spotters are responsible for calling hits or misses. Utilization of standard calls is encouraged. Standard calls are “impact” or “impact left target” or “reengage”. Spotters should use loud clear voices when calling stages. Calling corrections during the stage is not allowed but encouraged AFTER the stage is complete.
  6. Anytime an RO is not able to settle a grievance presented by a shooter, he or she shall request the MD to make the final judgment.
  7. Although discouraged, from time to time, reshoots of stages will occur for reasons such as a cease fire being called, prop malfunction or target breakage. The RO may offer a reshoot anytime he or she thinks it is warranted. A shooter may also request a reshoot to the RO. If the RO denies the request, the shooter may request to bring the issue to the MD. The MD’s ruling is final. The MD shall also inform the shooter if they are able to request another reshoot in the remainder of the competition. Reshoots may be complete stage reshoots, or starting in the middle of the stage with points and time consistent with the stoppage. The score on the reshoot will be the only score used.

SECTION 4: Rifle Rules, Scoring, Classes, 2019 Schedule, Series Champion and Awards

 A. Rifle Rules

  1. Rifles must be chambered in .22 Long Rifle. 17 HMR, 22 Magnum and like rimfire cartridges are not allowed.
  2. Any .22 Long Rifle chambered rifle may be used, however, rifles with removable magazines are strongly encouraged. Rifles with fixed tubular magazines are discouraged as they are difficult to make safe. ROs should pay extra attention to shooters with fixed magazines.
  3. Any scope, iron sights, or electronic sights may be used. However, magnified rifle scopes with externally adjustable turrets and reticles designed to assist in holdover and measurement are highly recommended.

B. Divisions

  1. There are two scoring divisions:

            a)  Bolt Action Rifles (Bolt)

            b)  Semi-Automatic Action Rifles (Semi) 

C. Series Points

  1. Competitors will get a match score on Practiscore for each match. Match scores will be converted to series points, based on the percentage of their match score as compared to the overall match winner.

                  Series Points = Your Match Score/Match Winner’s Score x 100

D. 2019 Schedule

  1. The MARS schedule will be posted on the MARS website, Matches/COF.

E. Series Champion

  1. To qualify for Series Champion, competitors must shoot matches at three (3) of the five (5) participating clubs four (4) of the six (6) participating clubs(revised 9/23/19)
  2. To become Series Champion, series points earned from the shooter’s top three (3) matches will be combined with series points earned at the finale. The most series points wins.
  3. Anyone can shoot any match, including the finale. 
  4. There will be a Series Champion for each division.

F. Awards

  1. There will be trophies for the top finishers each division. 
  2. We will strive to split the donated prizes with approximately half going to a series finale prize table for top finishers, and half going to random drawings for all competitors.  
  3. All prizes are due to the patronage of the sponsors.  All MARS participates are encouraged to both:

                  a)  Consider the sponsors when purchasing equipment

                  b)  Contact the sponsors to thank them for their contributions

SECTION 5: Sportsmanship

 A. Good Sportsmanship

  1. Good Sportsmanship is one of the founding principles of MARS. Good sportsmanship helps grow the sport, creates positive role models, and is impressive to the sponsors. It is not something that can be measured, but is easy to recognize by all participants.

B. Unsportsmanlike Conduct

  1. Unsportsmanlike conduct is taken very seriously by MARS.  Examples of bad sportsmanship include treating participants or range staff with disrespect, abusive behavior, unwarranted complaining, throwing tantrums, or disruptive behavior.

C. Cheating

  1. MARS defines cheating as: acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage in competition. Examples of cheating are:

                  a)  Sabotaging another shooters equipment

                  b)  Altering or destruction of score sheets

                  c)  Any other act as deemed unfair/cheating by a RO or MD

D. Penalties for Unsportsmanlike Conduct and Cheating

  1. A competitor deemed as acting in an unsportsmanlike fashion will be subject to any penalty that the MD deems appropriate including warnings, stage zeroes, match DQs and being removed from the match.
  2. The Series Director may remove the competitor from the series for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  3. The only penalty for cheating shall be match DQ and removal from the series.

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