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Range Officer Information

NMLRA National Range Officer Certification Classes will be held first Sunday, of the June and September shoots at 8:00 A.M. and at 6:00 P.M. in the Education Building in Friendship, Indiana. Preparation for this intensive class includes prior study of the NMLRA Range Rules and Regulations. The course will include a multiple choice examination of 55 questions; any person getting 50 or more correct will receive a “50” patch. A score of 80% must be attained before you can proceed to the second phase of the examination—that of working as a range officer for one day on the Walter M. Cline National Range under the supervision of the Chief Range Officer. Notification of your acceptance or rejection of status as a certified NMLRA National Range Officer will be given to you before the end of the shoot.


NMLRA Range Officer Certification Program

 Purpose of the Program:
To provide training and information for range officers that will be conducting shooting events of competition involving muzzleloading guns.

This is intended to insure that All Certified Range Officers:

  • Have the same understanding of the rules of competition.
  • Receive notification of all rule and procedure changes that have been adopted by the NMLRA.
  • Have a means of expressing concerns and making recommendations that will result in improvements in the program.
  • Have a means of sharing information pertaining to situations encountered while serving as a range officer, with other range officers across the nation.

 Goal of the Program:
To insure that muzzleloading competition events are conducted in a similar manner across the nation regardless of geographic location in as safe a manner as can be achieved.

 This is intended to provide a competitor with:
The same competition experience at the local level, as they will find at any other level of sanctioned competition.
A familiarity of range commands, safety procedures, and range operation that is consistent.

Levels and Descriptions of Certifications:

(1) Range Officer Certification Chairman:
 A National Certification Instructor appointed by the NMLRA President.

(2) National Certification Instructor:
A Certified National Range Officer appointed by the certification chairman to assist in preparing for  and conducting certification classes at the national level.

(3) Field Certification Instructor:
A Certified Field or National Range Officer appointed by the Certification Instructor  to conduct field certification classes.

(4) Certified National Range Officer:
A current NMLRA member, who has successfully completed the national certification course, and required range duty.

(5) Certified Field Range Officer:
One who has successfully completed the field certification course and required range duty (one does not need to be a current NMLRA member).

 Description of Responsibilities for Each Level of Certification:

(1) Range Officer Certification Chairman.

  • To prepare one new test for the certification courses held each year. The test should consist of 55 multiply choice questions.
  • To prepare information that pertains to situations that a range officer might find himself or herself in while serving in an official capacity. This will be used during the open discussion phase of the classes, and will be distributed to all existing certified range officers at the end of the year. Generally this is information collected from certified range officers pertaining to situations that they have experienced during previous years. This information is intended to assist other certified range officers in being better prepared.
  • Make sure that all questions on the tests can be backed up with the current edition of the rulebook.
  • Keep the Instructor’s Manual up to date.
  • Prepare an instruction sheet to be sent to all Field Certification Instructors to make sure that they know what is expected while conducting the tests in the field.
  • Assist the education secretary of the NMLRA in any way necessary to insure that the program does not get bogged down in bureaucracy.
  • Make sure that everyone connected with this program stays informed.

(2)  National Certification Instructor Responsibilities.

  • Assist the range officer certification chairman in conducting classes at the national range.
  • Send a list of items that you feel are important and should be included in next years test to the range officer certification chairman.

(3) Field Certification Instructor Responsibilities.

  • Take notes on how the courses are conducted at the national level and attempt to repeat this procedure in the field during your classes.
  • Inform any people that intend on taking your field test that they will be required to obtain a study kit from the NMLRA before they can take the certification course. Included in each study kit will be some study information and a current copy of the NMLRA rulebook. There is no cost for the study kit  whether the person takes the test or not the information included in the packet will be useful.
  • Before you can conduct tests in the field you should contact the office of the NMLRA and request the field test materials. What you will be getting will be test sheets, one answer sheet, a copy of the study materials and enough study kits for the size of the class that you anticipate having. Each year a new test packet will be prepared so at the end of each year you should destroy any remaining copies of that years test. If more copies are needed you are free to make copies, just make sure that they stay in your possession. Do not allow anyone to take a copy of the test home to study.
  • Each time you are scheduling a class you will need to contact the NMLRA office and request more study kits. It is best to distribute these materials before the class is given. This will give the people plenty of time to do their study at home. The test results should be sent to the NMLRA office for certification within ten days.
  • Hold an open discussion period before passing the tests out to the people taking the course. Remember that we are trying to teach people how to be range  We are not trying to teach them how to read the rule book. This open  discussion period should cover the materials in the study kit combined with you sharing some of your experiences gained while serving as a range officer. You  do not need to read the entire rule book to the class.

(4) Certified National Range Officers Requirements.

  • Offer to work as a range officer whenever you are attending one of the national matches or at the western national matches held each year. Your term  of duty can be for as little as a few relays to a few days depending on your  other commitments and the need for range officers at the event.
  • You are also encouraged to serve as a range officer at any local black powder shooting events, including the National Territorial Matches if your services are needed.
  • Remember to only use the commands that are listed in the rule book, and only enforce the rules that are either in the rule book, or listed in the shoot program. Do not attempt to enforce any rules that are not written in one of these two places.
  • If you feel that a new rule is needed you should submit a request for a rule change to the range rules committee for consideration.
  • Submit a list of unusual range officer situations that you have experienced during the year to the Certification Chairman. Include comments or suggestions for improvements in the program that would help you become more effective as a range officer.

(5) Certified Field Range Officer Requirements.

  • Offer to work as a range officer whenever you are attending the western national matches held each year. Your term of duty can be for as little as a few relays to a few days depending on your other commitments, and the need for range officers at the event.
  • You are also encouraged to serve as a range officer at any local black powder shooting events, including the National Territorial Matches if your services are needed.
  • Remember to only use the commands that are listed in the rule book, and only enforce the rules that are either in the rule book or listed in the shoot program. Do not attempt to enforce any rules that are not written in one of these two places.
  • If you feel that a new rule is needed you should submit a request for a rule change to the range rules committee for consideration.
  • Submit a list of unusual range officer situations that you have experienced during the year to the Certification Chairman. Include comments or suggestions  for improvements in the program that would help you become more effective as  a range officer.

(6)  Keeping Your NMLRA Certification Current.

All classes of certification are dependent on three things:

  • NMLRA membership must be kept current except Field Certified do not need to be current NMLRA members.
  • Remaining active within the description of your certification by working at least 8 hours every three (3) years.
  • Satisfying the requirements necessary to receive the information package.

 (7)  Range Officer Certification Chairman:

  • Term of Certification is three years from date of issue.
  • All of the requirements listed for this position must be completed at least once each year to retain certification.

(8)  National Certification Instructor:

  • Term of Certification is three years from date of issue.
  • All of the requirements listed for this position must be completed at least once each year to retain certification.

(9)  Field Certification Instructor:

  • Term of Certification is three years from date of issue.
  • All of the requirements listed for this position must be completed at least once during each three year period to retain certification.

(10)  Certified National Range Officer:

  • Term of Certification is three years from date of issue.
  • All of the requirements listed for this position must be completed at least once during each three year period to retain certification.
  • Range officer duty that will qualify to satisfy this requirement can be any one of the following:
  • Either one of the two National Matches
  • The Western National Matches.
  • Any of the NMLRA sponsored Territorial Matches held across the nation.
  • Any Rendezvous.

(11)  Certified Field Range Officer:

  • Term of Certification is three years from date of issue.
  • All of the requirements listed for this position must be completed at least once during each three year period to retain certification.
  • Certified field range officers may work at the Western National shoot.
  • Any of the NMLRA sponsored Territorial Matches held across the nation.

(12)  Increase of Certification:

Any certified Field range officer may have their certification advanced to National range officer by working two shifts on a National range.

(13)  Reduction of Certifications:

  • The certification chairman, the national certification instructor, and the field certification instructor classifications may be reduced to certified national range officer for either of the following reasons.
  • Written request for a reduction of certification from the individual holding the certification. This request should be sent to the education secretary of the NMLRA, or the Certification chairman.
  • Failure to satisfy the requirements outlined in “Keeping your NMLRA Certification current.”

(14)  Loss of Certification:

Any level of certification may be revoked for the following reasons:

  • Failure to maintain membership in the NMLRA except Field Certified do not need to be current NMLRA members.
  • Failure to meet the requirements listed for the specific level of certification.
  • Conduct or actions that are determined to be “Not In The Best Interest Of The NMLRA”.

 (15)  Reinstating A Previously Held Certification.

A certification that has lapsed may be reinstated if:

  • The reason for loss of certification was not for actions that were “Not In The Best Interest Of The NMLRA”.
  • The education secretary of the NMLRA receives a written request.
  • The person making the request must attend a class of instruction pertaining to the desired level of certification. The written examination, and range officer duty will not be required.

 (16)  Certification Test Procedure.

  • It is important that all NMLRA certification classes are conducted in the same manner.
  • If some classes are conducted in a way that makes them extremely difficult to pass, while others are conducted in a way that allows everyone taking the  test to get 100%, the program becomes ineffective.
  • A passing grade on the written certification test is 80%. Therefore 80% of the questions on the test are covered during the open discussion phase of the   Included in this discussion are any questions that pertain to safety.  Any person that is paying attention will be able to pass the test.
  • 10% of the questions are taken directly from the rule book and are not covered during the open discussion phase of the class. These questions give the person that has studied the materials in the study kit a distinct advantage.
  • The remaining 10% of the questions are based on a common sense application of the rules pertaining to situations that range officers might find themselves in. These questions give the person a working knowledge of the rule book and a fair amount of common sense to obtain a passing grade.
  • After the open discussion phase of the class has concluded the class should be given a short break before the test papers are handed out. When the tests are handed out have each person sign the front page of the test papers and initial all remaining pages. This will allow the test papers to be kept together if they should become separated.
  • The test is now an “open book test”.
  • During the test if a person does not understand one of the questions they should be allowed to ask for clarification. If any questions are worded in a way that is unclear this procedure will allow everyone taking the test an explanation.
  • There is no specified time limit for completing the test but most tests are completed in less than an hour. When a person has completed the test they should be allowed to turn the test into the instructor and take a break. If one person is having trouble finishing the  test after everyone else is done allow him or her another ten minutes and declare the test period over.
  • The instructor will read each correct response to each question. If any person correcting a test has an incorrect response to one of the questions they should raise their hand. When this happens the instructor will read the question out loud and explain the correct response. This procedure is intended to teach each person the correct answer even if they got it wrong on the test.
  • Any person that gets a score of 50 or more correct answers on the national test will receive a Range Officer 50 patch from the NMLRA.
  • Every person that passes the test will be required to serve on the range as a range officer. Each person’s performance will be given one of the following grades excellent, good, fair, or ineffective. A grade of ineffective will not be  sufficient to pass the course.
  • National certifications will require two, half days, of supervised range duty. Field certifications will require a minimum of two hours of supervised range duty.

 (17)  Qualifications Needed To Take The Certification Class.

  • Must be a current NMLRA member, except Field Certified do not need to be current NMLRA members, that is at least 18 years of age.
  • Must have previously received a course study kit from the NMLRA. This will give everyone taking the course an equal chance at getting a good grade and provide these same people with ample time to prepare. There is no cost for this study kit and it can be obtained by any member of the NMLRA by contacting the main office and making a request or they may be obtained  through a field certification instructor. Each study kit will include a current  copy of the rule book and additional study information pertaining to range  officer duties.
  • After the examination and the required range duty is completed, the completed test papers are to be filled out by the course instructor and sent back to the main  The NMLRA office will enter this information in the database, and send  a certification card to any person with a passing grade. The certification will be valid for a period of three years beginning on the date of issue.

 (18)  Certified Range Officer Information

  • During the course of the year every certified range officer, and instructor, is encouraged to send recommendations to the Certification Chairman pertaining to changes and improvements needed in the program. Included in this should be an explanation of difficult situations experienced during the preceding year.
  • This information will be used to make changes in the program, as well as aid in the preparation of the information package for the next year.
  • This information package is intended to keep everyone up to date with current trends across the nation and to provide everyone with the latest NMLRA approved range officer procedures.
  • It is also a means of sharing our experiences with each other along with advice on the best way to handle each situation mentioned.
  • It is vital to keep all members in the certification program up to date.

(19)  Chain of Command

  • Chief Range Officer which is a certified Range Officer is in control of all ranges and is appointed by the President.
  • Head Range Officer appointed by Chief Range Officer to control a certain range, for example the rifle line and pistol line. His/Her responsibilities include the complete operation of that range to find Range Officers to work for particular time slots. If he/she cannot find someone to fill those time slots, it becomes his/her responsibility to work them.
  • Range Officer NMLRA certified to work on any range that he/she wants to volunteer for.
  • Block Officer does not need to be a certified Range Officer, but able to help Range Officer operate the range, such as time keeping for Limited Time Fire (LTF) and silhouettes. He/She may also watch for other safety concerns and report them to the Range Officer.