Timer Operator Fundamentals

Timer Operator Fundamentals

Sneaky's Keys to TO success

Before the stage is shot

Reading the stage- Make sure the whole posse is there when reading the stage. Read it Slowly and exactly as written. Do not interject any comments about the procedure until it is read completely.

Try to repeat the sequence when you get done reading. There will be people that do not understand the shooting sequence or gun order and getting it explained to the group will keep things moving and reduce confusion as the stage is running.

If there is a safety concern this is a good time to point it out. Moving from right to left with a long gun is always a concern. Shooting through openings and having to move to another opening is another thing to point out. Using a table prop and drawing pistols as the front of the pistol can snag on the edge of the counter.

As the TO for the stage know where the guns are staged, Starting position and shooting sequence. Also knowing the line as you will be asked by almost all the shooters.

Assign duties while the first shooters are getting loaded so when the 1st shooter is ready you can begin without delay.

Assess the stage, targets pulled, line clear, props where they are supposed to be etc.

Call the shooter to the line. As they are walking to you inventory the shooter from top to bottom.

Eyes, ears, shotgun shells, pistols and long guns. Check the hammers on pistols and rifle.

If you have a new or inexperienced shooter inventor them at the loading table. Then when all is good call them to the line.

During the shooting string.

After confirming that shooter has staged guns in the proper location and they are standing in the proper starting location. Take you position behind the shooter on their dominant side.

Confirm that they satisfy the starting position. Hands on hat, holding a prop etc.

Tell the spotters to get ready. Tell the shooter to give you their line when ready.

After the shooter gives their line give the standby, pause and a beep. Stand away from the shooter and reach forward with the timer, it should be behind their ear and at least 5” away. Do not bump the shooter or their hat. Rotate the timer in your hand so the screen is facing you. Check that it is recording time.

If they move before the beep don’t release the timer and start them over. If they fumble the start and don’t fire a shot let them start over. Most common with the Shotgun.

Whenever the shooter is changing location or changing guns the timer should be withdrawn back to the TO so as not to interfere with the shooter. As the shooter is ending their shooting string and getting ready to change locations, you should move behind and opposite the direction they are going to move. If they step back unexpectedly before they move you will not be there and they can move unimpeded. You still are within arm reach of them if you need to stop them.

Catch up to them and resume your position behind their dominant side.

If the shotgun is last and the dominant side is hard to get to or limited space the weak side is fine. Again arms reach of the shooter looking at the timer and for shotgun if the targets are down.


After the shooting string.

As the shooter is approaching the end of the string make sure that you are looking at the timer screen as they break their last shot. Immediately and in a loud voice call the time on the screen.

Tell the shooter to collect their guns and proceed to the unloading table.

Poll the spotters.

At the scorekeeper call out the time again and any penalties. Show the timer to the scorekeeper.

Make sure the stage is being reset and brass getting picked up. Is someone loading. Is there a jamb up at the unloading table.

You are not trying to rush the shooters but you are key in keeping the match moving and not taking up unnecessary time that will add up at the end of the day.


New TO progression.


You must pay equal attention to every shooter. If you get complacent or overconfident and something happens that needs your involvement you will not be ready.

This can be a difficult job. Focus on what is important. Counting the # of shots and watching the gun. If you are not confident coaching don’t. Get the shooter safely through the stage.

If you make mistakes don’t get discouraged. The more you time the better you will be. Keep at it. Try to time at every match at least a little.

Do your best to know the rules. Keep the shooters handbook and the rule card with you in your cart.

Have fun and be fun. 

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