So, here's what we know:
There is definitely a fault line - perhaps not called so - but a fault line in all aspects and characteristics save name. To avoid pedantic ambiguities, let's just call that point in space "it".
Only the specific SO knows for certain where it is at any given moment in time and space, because, as we know, it moves as you do. Many SOs do not agree where it is, so what really matters is who has the clipboard, as they have the ultimate power in determining it.
Some SOs discuss it privately on stages, some publicly and some not at all, but suffice to say one SO's it is not necessarily another's.
It is especially entertaining at club matches where SOs move with squads, as it - either its absence or existence at any given point in time - creates a highly fluid and dynamic situation - and hence a lively discussion.
This is because sometimes it exists and sometimes it does not on the same stage, its existence being separated only by time. It might not exist when you start, but it appears later. So you don't need to use it at the beginning, but have to in the middle or at the end of a stage.
It also depends on what Division you are shooting, as it is apparently weapon capacity sensitive. Revolvers are especially vulnerable to it, as they require more of it than other higher capacity Divisions and it tends to be in rather odd places - places where it does not exist for the other Divisions. Interstingly, though time dependent, it is not consistent - for instance a Revolver shooter would be forced to use it because he has expended 6 rd 2.5 sec into a stage after starting in the open where it did not exist, but a semi auto shooter who took 5.0 seconds to get to expend the same number of rd and arrive at the same location and time point does not need to use it, because it does not exist yet for him. Or, conversely, sometimes revolvers don't need to use it because it does not exist for the first reload, but does for subsequent ones. This may or may not be related to the "fast" attribute below - I'm not really sure.
It is also apparently light sensitive, as flashlight stages sometimes don't require it, but the same stage with the lights on does.
This can be confusing sometimes, but it happens nonetheless.
Sometimes they tell you beforehand where it is or will be.
Sometimes you have to ask where it is or will be.
Sometimes they answer when you ask with a location; sometimes they'll answer when you ask with the rulebook reference; and sometimes they won't answer at all because "you should know".
Sometimes they tell you during your performance if you are past it. The faster you go, however, the less likely you will know if you are past it "during" because, if you are fast, you must be experienced, and therefore "you should know" where it is. For clarity "fast" means faster than someone else - specifically the someone else who is knowledgeable of it and enforcing the specific rule about it.
Unequivocally, they will always tell you after you are done, when you can't do anything about it.
... and to address any ambiguities and inconsistencies:
Someone, somewhere, at some time in the future will address some, all or none of these issues if they so choose in some way that made sense to them - and is agreed to by someone else (not you). They will tell you when they are done.
In the mean time, I ask, I watch and I try to stay away from those places that are probably it as best I can. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not.
It is the nature of the beast.
In summary : it depends, just not on you.
A perfect example as to why a shooter should use head and shoulders...
Don't argue with an idiot,people watching may not be able to tell the difference. G'
SSES member #50,
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president...." --Theodore Roosevelt...
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