Range Officer Cheating Scandal in United States Practical Shooting Association

Why cheat at USPSA?

Long time USPSA RO Paul Hendrix caught doctoring shooter’s stage times, improved his friends’ stage times while adding time to other shooter’s scores.

Why cheat at USPSA?
Why cheat at USPSA?

Paul Hendrix is a USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) Range Officer, and a competitor in the same sport. Before yesterday, no one outside of USPSA’s Area 6 really knew who he was…until he was accused of doctoring shooter’s scores. It appears that Paul had been altering the scores of his friends, particularly Rob Jessee by reducing the times by whole seconds, usually 1-3. Not only that, he apparently would also increase the times of other shooters, with no clear motivation as to why.

This story originally broke on The Doodie Project Forums, and I encourage everyone to read the specific post linked here. That by and large breaks down the allegations against Paul, and makes very clear what he’s been doing. The Doodies actually deserve a lot of credit for this one, as they have done an incredible amount of legwork running this down and posting video evidence of the cheating. Perhaps the most damming is this video posted by Matt Olinchak, who goes by the youtube handle Super-Tactical.com. Here is Matt’s video, in which you can clearly see Paul at the start of the video. The comparison was done using the excellent Shot Coach app, which is capable of recording shot times and start/stops from video footage.

I also pulled one of the videos from the original link down to ShotCoach on my iPad to do a comparison. In this video, Shot Coach calculates the stage time to be 23.75, of which I grant a margin for error of +/- 0.50 seconds based off video quality. However, in this video you can see and hear Paul call the time as 20.59, which is nowhere near the 23 second time calculated by ShotCoach. You can even run it yourself using a stopwatch, and you still won’t get anywhere near 20 seconds.

There are countless other videos where you can see similar behavior. As mentioned, even if you lack the ShotCoach app, you can run these figures using a stopwatch, and still come within a reasonable degree of accuracy. But the evidence from ShotCoach that has been pulled in is pretty damning.

It would appear to be 100% conclusive then that Paul Hendrix is doctoring shooter’s scores; cheating to help his close friends win, and cheating to hurt other shooters for what appear to be completely arbitrary reasons. Closest to the scandal is Rob Jessee, the subject of our video and in whose videos Paul is frequently seen running the timer. Already, Paul has taken to social media to deny the allegations of cheating, saying

I…just became ware [sic] of some trash talking on something called the Doodie project. I was not aware that this forum if that is what it is existed. There appears to be some questions as to times called when ROing some friend of mine. I only called the time displayed on the timer.

And yet in the face of mounting video evidence, Paul has since gone silent, preferring to not speak in his own defense.

With all the evidence that’s been presented by shooters, we can only draw one of two conclusions. The first is to not assume malice when incompetence is a better solution; essentially saying that Paul Hendrix, a retired LEO is completely incapable of performing the duties of a range officer to the point that he cannot even read a timer correctly, a skill which an 8 year old child could successfully manage. Unfortunately in this case assuming incompetence stretches credulity too far. That leaves us with option 2, which is to assume intentional malfeasance on Paul’s part.

That opens a considerable can of worms. Paul Hendrix has been a member of USPSA since 1988. He is a fixture in Area 6, and has RO’d countless major matches at the state, section, and area level. His apparent cheating casts the legitimacy of every single event he has officiated into doubt. It also raises an entire bushel of questions, starting with “why?” Other questions raised include the legitimacy of his friend’s state championships, won while shooting on Paul’s squad. Perhaps even more importantly is the question of whether or not the shooters who Paul “helped” with his cheating were aware that their scores were being doctored. It’s obviously clear that the shooters Paul chose to punish were not aware of the damage done to their match standing until news of this broke.

How far does this go? There is little doubt that Paul Hendrix has doctored shooter’s scores, going as far back as 2011 matches. Every match he’s worked is now in doubt. People are questioning the legitimacy of titles won by his friends. Word on the street is that the USPSA Board of Directors convened an emergency meeting specifically to address this issue.

We’re not in the lynch mob business here. I try to report the facts. The facts, in this case, appear to be damning. Paul Hendrix has been cheating, fixing scores in USPSA. To what gain we don’t know, and that is perhaps the most puzzling aspect of this whole affair. It all raises the question, why? Why cheat at USPSA?

Personally, I’d like to extend Paul the opportunity to speak with me directly. I’d like to hear your side of the story, Paul. My direct email address is [email protected] – please feel free to email me directly.

50 thoughts on “Range Officer Cheating Scandal in United States Practical Shooting Association”

  1. I’ve read Paul’s entire “comment” which you partially quoted. In no way did he deny cheating. If he was innocent his expected response would be “I didn’t cheat” or “I did nothing wrong” The is no unequivocal denial of wrong doing. Most of his comments have nothing to do with the allegations.

    1. I’d suggest caution in this area. In a typical situation, when a person is accused of something (say theft) any action, inaction, statement, or bit of silence can be said to be proof of guilt based on how you choose to read it.

      “If he wasn’t guilty he wouldn’t get mad.”
      “If he was being falsely accused then he’d be pissed… his being calm must mean he’s just busted and trying to hide it.”

      I’m not suggesting my opinion concerning guilt here. Just stating the above as it is.

  2. These allegations seriously question his integrity as a law enforcement officer. Potential Giglio issues?

    1. If he is still a LEO yes, his integrity has been questioned and there is ample proof of his deceptions. As far as testifying in a court room his days are seemingly numbered.

    2. nope, because he isn’t active LEO anymore. He wouldn’t fall under this. And he would only fall under it if he had monetary or personal gain, which might be the case.

  3. The problem is similar to when a spy is outed at a government agency. It’s bad enough someone’s been unethical for years on end. But that also means everything they’ve ever touched is also tainted. Thanks to one man, entire championships are now thrown into doubt.

    The question now isn’t whether this ROs been deceitful. It is whether he’s the only one in the USPSA league guilty of altering scores. Given human nature, the answer isn’t likely to be “yes”. Which means lasting damage to the credibility of USPSA.

  4. You would have to had interacted with him to understand his (Pauls) comments about the accusation. He seems IMO to be above us atleast that’s the impression it got when he ROed me each time.

    1. I’d be inclined to agree with that; the problem though is it opens up the larger issue of the all-volunteer workforce and having match officials competing in the same match they’re officiating.

      1. A smartly run match separates the ROs from the competitors in prizes and rankings. Generally this only really happens in outlaw 3gun or when the ROs aren’t allowed to compete. Of course part of the benefit for ROing a match is usually free entry (a couple of hundred bucks some times) and free room and board for the match.

        Of course the best way is to just double check everything and only allow trustworthy people.

        I just shot a match where a good number of friends were ROs which is common, but my score was far from improved (look at the results and you’ll see) and even if I were at a bleeding cusp of something I wouldn’t expect them to give me a tiny bit of an advantage.

      2. I don’t have a issue with RO’s not competing for the same prize table. It becomes a little much to ask people to work their asses off, to be out in all weathers, to bear the workload and the general BS that comes along with being a RO, but not to shoot for score. Usually folks that RO don’t place as well as the shooting public. It’s just how it is. I had a discussion today with a person that said that we ought to have a paid RO staff, like the Bianchi cup. The problem with that is that the NRA has the means to lose that sort of money and that they get a lot of contributions that the USPSA doesn’t have. If we were ever to go down this road you’ll see section matches costing 2-300 bucks, area matches in the 5-500 dollar range and the Nationals close to a thousand. Nobody works free. My math may be off but you get the point.

  5. “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” (Joseph Stalin)

    In this case, it’s not how you shoot that counts, it’s who holds the shot timer that counts. Seems pretty obvious that this was bound to happen sooner or later. They either need two person integrity, or a system that removes arbitrary human interpretation entirely.

  6. There is a process that NROI and the BoD must follow. There is a form on the uspsa Web site that can be downloaded for a member that feels that this has affected them can fill out and submit to NROI. I highly recommend that if you have been ro’d by Paul Hendrix, your Match has been effected by this, you have additional video proof, you have first hand knowledge then you should download the form and submit it. If you were never at any of these matches or were never ran by this RO, then I would recommend to not submit the form. The BoD is aware and any reliable information that can be sent to your area Director or NROI should be done.

  7. I think the most damning bit of video evidence is how PVH, alone among major match ROs in my experience, actively hides the timer and lets neither the competitor nor the scorekeeper actually see it. That is a basic courtesy that prevents accidental misreadings of small LCD screens in bright daylight. The fact that I haven’t seen him share the timer reading with anybody in any of the videos posted over at Doodie tells me all I need to know.

    1. Thanks, Jake. For the readers, please follow Jake’s advice and only file the form if you’ve been RO’d by Paul Hendrix.

  8. You know, at the steels matches I’ve helped run the timer at, we just show the time to the person running the paper, and they confirm it. Problems solved. Is this not the common case?

    1. This is indeed extremely common—prevents errors, plus it normally makes the match go faster since the scoring RO tends to first see the time when the RO holds the timer behind his back during ULASC so it doesn’t pick up the gun action sounds.

      I note that in the videos shown, not ONCE did I ever see Hendrix show the timer to anyone else at all.

      Out here, we always do it—show it during ULASC, read it off loudly, and have it repeated back by the scoring RO to make sure their number matches correctly.

      Not so much with Hendrix.

    2. Exactly that in every match I have shot/ or helped with. The person with the timer calls the score to the score keeper, and shows it to that person. Usually the person with the paper is a random shooter. Not much opportunity to cheat.

  9. Watch the videos, he always hides the timer from a second RO. This should be suspicious. Every other RO I’ve worked with holds the timer up, so the score keeper can see it. If I’m ROing I always show the shooter the shot timer.. I hope they hang this guy by his heels.

  10. At our local range, I always call out the time, and the scorekeeper calls it back to me to make sure it was recorded correctly, but I will certainly change to let the scorekeeper see the timer as well. I was actually surprised at my first non-local match to find that they RO only showed the timer to the scorekeeper and I didn’t even know my own times. I guess there are just different ways of doing things.

  11. Paul Hendrix. Paul Hendrix…
    Apparently the man is a problem for the sport. The evidence is damning. BUT in my humble opinion, we can’t let our imagination(s) run the show. I have competed in USPSA for four short years, and in my 67 year life span I’ve never met a more honest and trustworthy group of humans in one bunch. He ain’t in the 1% category. I would think more like .0001% which mathematically isolates him as 1 of 1. jus’ sayin’

  12. I have a bad feeling the person that brought this all to light might of known or benefited from this for a while, and only recently bringing it up because of some sort of falling out or disagreement. I hope to be wrong.

    Were any match directors, Area coordinators, BoD alerted to this? If they were, and nothing was done at all, there is some fault to be shared there.

    Just seems suspicious. Unfortunately the damage is already done. He could provide actual screen shots of the timer with the exact time he called and would still be guilty in the mobs eyes at this point. Hooray for social media outcrys, were we can ruin people and businesses before knowing any or all the facts.

    1. Pk, the problem is that the video evidence, at least what we’ve seen, is pretty damning. And there’s a lot of it. Paul has ample opportunity to defend himself, but has instead chosen to make just a vague statement on FB and then retreat.

      1. Although this is more a court of opinion and not a court of law.. As just about all of us know that has taken any type of self defense classes that include a law portion.. Lawyers suggest not talking. Cause even innocent people can make themselves appear guilty. Yet by silence we use that as confirmation of guilt. What does the 5th amendment say again?

        Yes the video is damning. I actually recorded one of the videos posted on doodie. So it has affected personal friends of mine. It has been brought to light and can’t be ignored.. Let USPSA and the BoD go through their process, like I would want for any member that was facing any type of accusation, and come up with their decision and punishment.

        And as Steve Thomas posted to the A8 facebook group.. The shooters are partially to blame to. I just found one of my score receipts from 2013 Limited Nationals.. I signed off on a 6 round CoF, there were only 5 hits recorded. The RO’s corrected the score in the system and then tracked me down and corrected my receipt. As a shooter I should have seen this simple mistake when I confirmed the scores. So with the outcry for more rules, more checks and balances.. NROI teaches the RO to show the scorekeeper the timer during the clearing commands (which obviously was not being done in this case), then he announces the times and the scorekeeper repeats/confirming. It is on the shooter to confirm, and be offered the chance to confirm if they question anything..

        I really hate when matches allow scoring and pasting while you are still shooting. I haven’t seen that at a major match, its more of a local thing.

    2. What exactly seems suspicious, Pk?

      The part where numerous videos have been analyzed with obviously fraudulent times, where the same video on a different stage with a different RO has been shown to match time exactly so that there isn’t a video compression error? Perhaps it was the part where Hendrix running numerous people manages to always change the times (in a positive fashion) for his friends, but doesn’t change other times? Or perhaps it was the part where _some_ other’s people’s times WERE changed, but always in a negative fashion to make their runs worse?

      What exactly about all of that is suspicious, I wonder?

      What exact “facts” were you additionally needing, I wonder?

      “I have a bad feeling the person that brought this all to light might of known or benefited from this for a while, and only recently bringing it up because of some sort of falling out or disagreement. I hope to be wrong.”

      —I’m curious as to where this came from. (Since, of course, MANY people can show that their times have been manipulated.) And what does it have to do with Hendrix’s actions in the first place? Wouldn’t your comment actually be a SEPARATE issue?

      Judging from your last paragraph, you didn’t actually look at the links (and vast host of evidence) available on this topic.

      Or, you know, you are arguing to attempt to either confuse the issue or somehow take some of the blame off Hendrix.

      1. Let’s keep in mind that videos are easily faked or doctored. Take a video, modify the frame rate by a small margin, and it would look like he faked it. Just being devils advocate here, not a match shooter and have never met the man.

        1. While that’s true, I ran quite a few tests with videos and the ShotCoach app; and it would appear that the videos that have been presented as evidence are accurate to within a 0.50 margin of error.

  13. All the comments about showing the timer to the shooter are interesting. That would seem to be a simple fix going forward, but as I think about it, I realize I’ve never been shown my time at a club match, nor has it ever occurred to me to ask to see it before. A blind spot, I guess.

    1. If that happens, I would hope IDPA would follow with the same ban as would NRA action pistol. If he shot at one of my clubs I’d get the club board to permaban him too.

  14. The guy on doodie summed it up. He is a former cop and most are on a power trip while helping one person and inexplicably fucking over the next.

  15. See, I’m not a IDPA shooter, but I thought (based on what I’ve watched of matches online and on TV) that SOP was to show the shooter and the scorer the raw time. If that was part of the formal rules, this scandal would have to have been MUCH deeper to occur at all and would have been minimized by the simple fact that ALL THREE (shooter, RO, scorer) would have to be in on the cheat – so even if the RO and scorer were in colusion, it wouldn’t permit the falsification of raw times to directly hurt any particular shooter because the shooter would KNOW the actual raw score.

    I’m not a fan of “There oughta be a rule. . . ” in general, but this simple change seems one that they should seriously consider for immediate implementation. (And I do mean “consider” – while _I_ cannot see a significant downside, it’s entirely possible someone else could identify a deal killer.)

  16. I don’t shoot USPSA/IPSC, but I do shoot IDPA, and at my club’s matches, we ask the Safety Officer to hold the timer out towards the Scorekeeper while the Shooter is unloading and showing clear. The Scorekeeper can grab the time then, and then the SO calls out the time after the Shooter is cleared. Then it’s off to score the targets. That way the Scorekeeper sees the timer, and the Shooter hears the time.
    I would be *very* suspicious of any SO how would not show the timer to the scorekeeper.

  17. The process is simple and stops a lot of BS. Durring ULSC to put the timer over your shoulder so the scorekeeper can read it. Then after “range is clear” the RO calls the time and the scorekeeper calls it back. Two things stand out to me. One Paul never does that, two he always uses the small CED timer and not the one provided by the range. I have been over a bunch of the video and it just happens way too many times.

  18. I makes you wonder why POV cameras were banned at so many clubs and matches. Sure, they have a given excuse, privacy, but now it seems like there could have been other motivations. I’ve always talked about home club advantage when shooting club level IDPA matches. There are a lot of calls (cover) that are not applied equally to all competitors.

  19. I hate cheaters more than anyone. I have long suspected and on rare occasion caught ROs doing this during USPSA matches over the last 15 years. When I called them on it, they simply have said that they misread the timer. Now when I hear a time that doesn’t sound right, I always look at the timer and sometimes even demand that the RO review each shot to make sure that it didn’t register more shots than was shot by me. It’s easier now that I shoot Production since I don’t take many extra shots. By doing this I catch timer or RO mistakes on occasion. Timers are not 100% reliable. Sometimes they register echoes as shots, sometimes the brass striking the timer register as shots, sometimes the racking of the slide during unloading registers as shots. The idea of destroying this guy’s reputation over this doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. The fact of the matter is that it will never be proven unless he admits it. What we should be doing instead is encouraging USPSA BOD to use this incident to change the process at the matches. It should be written in to the rules that the RO, the Score Keeper, and the Shooter will all review the timer immediately after the unload and show clear to verify the time. The RO should also show the timer to the scorekeeper prior to giving the command of unload and show clear to ensure that the timer is not registering extra shots after the last shot fired. Let’s push the BOD to change the process. Forget trying to hang this guy in public. It serves no purpose except to bring negative light to USPSA. All he has to say is that he read what was on the timer, and no one can ever prove otherwise. Let’s all move to solve the problem.

    1. Yong, thanks for the post. I don’t know about destroying people’s reputations, but I do think this story needed to get out specifically so that the BoD would take action. As of right now, Chuck Anderson is leading the investigation, and that’s good enough for me, for now.

  20. I didn’t watch the videos but here is what I posted elsewhere ( I have no desire to return to USPSA competition and in general I bear no ill will to any current active shooters-I’m sure you are all fine upstanding rule following folks):

    I shot this sport when there were only two classes: Open and Limited-so twenty years ago. I served as a local club secretary for two years with the primary responsibility of collecting score sheets and entering them into a computer program. People will not like what I am about to say but I still have a briefcase locked away in the back room which bears considerable proof of mis-deeds; everything from cheating like this scandal to outright fraud and theft of community funds. To this day I maintain these material in the chance I will need them in a court of law. Cheating in USPSA is essentially built into the system. ‘Fudging’ on starting positions, hand placements and foot placements, walking the line on equipment usage (holster and mag positions on the belt) and using the ‘walk thru’ to practice and plan rather than listening to the safety consideration are just the start of such misdeeds. I’ve found score sheets from shooters not actually in the match and the notion of friendly ROs (or not so friendly depending on your status/rank) is almost always present even in non-prize local ‘friendly’ matches. I’ve witnessed penalties ignored and penalties ‘made up’. I’ve no doubt been present when times were ‘adjusted’. And the number of times serious safety violations occur on the typical super squad (the type mandating a DQ) has been a frequent topic of after match get togethers (where I, once again have been present to hear and observe the typical pantomime of the infraction performed by other participants). I’m not judging Mr Hendrix-don’t know him and not actively shooting the sport so I don’t care so the only surprise here is that it has taken so long to be found out. There are mitigating factors at times: it is very intimidating to be a fresh RO for a big name shooter and there is always some friction and even blow-back of the nature: you gotta get it right. People, especially new comers to the sport need to keep in mind that USPSA is just a game, it bears little resemblance to any actual reality and your only competition is yourself. If you as I, learn anything it should be safer gun handling and better marksmanship. Winning a prize is and always has been more about luck. The best I ever did was a belt tool and a 500 count box of bullets.

  21. I have to echo Caleb’s comment…

    WHY???

    For the Love of God, WHY??

    It can’t be for the Trophy or Plaque, because those are somewhat meaningless in the grand scheme of things!! Who gives a shit if you win (Name State) Championship in B Class?? Honestly, WHO CARES?? Even Overall State Championships?? There are more pressing issues in America than who is USPSA Champion!!

    Sponsorships?? Can’t be that, because those are like Hens Teeth!! They are made out of Unobtanium nowadays!! The days of the Rob Leatham $1,000,000.00 Contract are HISTORY, so GET OVER IT!! You WILL NOT GET ONE!!

    Prize Table?? Seriously guys?? ADD IT UP!! Ammo, Travel, Meals, Hotel, Match Fees, Practice Ammo and Travel…

    ADD IT UP!!

    IF you end up wining a Glock Certificate, YOU LOST MONEY!!! Heck, even if you win an AR-15, YOU LOST MONEY!! Heck, you could go to a store, Pay Retail for the Gun, NOT go to the Match and end up SAVING Money!!

    So, WHY in the Whole Wide World of Sports would someone cheat at USPSA or ANY of the Action Sports today??

    IMHO, JUST TO BE AN ASSHAT!!

    FWIW, I refuse to read Doodie Project, NOT my kind of Forum, everything I’ve read it has been on FB and now here, so I thank Caleb for posting this, so we can have a somewhat civilized discussion on this subject!!

    AFAIK, the only person accused of cheating is the RO, NOT the shooters benefiting from this issue.

    I think I have met this person in the past, but I’m terrible with names, but his face is very familiar. I might know the shooter, but again, I can’t remember names for shit!!

    Again, thanks Caleb for sharing this and let’s hope it gets solved fast and it NEVER happens again, EVER!!

    Lets get back to the more important things in life, like God, Family and Country!!

    1. Why?

      Its about a person having a ‘God complex’ who wants to be the boss of everyone. Its about control, being the judge of anyone and everything. The problem is that more videos are showing this POS has doctored times; many for his mates too.

      Lifetime ban from all competitive shooting sports – don’t even let him paste targets!

  22. I don’t agree with those that say just let the USPSA and their BoD handle this in house.
    That would be the worst thing they could possibly do. I’d never trust them again and take my shooting elsewhere.
    The concept of Sunshine Laws has merit.
    Plus…I always tell my employees, you make someone happy and they might tell 2 or 3 people.
    You piss them off and they’ll tell everyone they see, including strangers.
    USPSA needs to be completely open about this and settle it quickly with authority.

    1. Chase,

      That is EXACTLY what USPSA is NOT going to do!!

      The BOD will have a Secret Emergency BOD Meeting and we won’t know what happened until the Minutes are Published, but NOT everything that goes on at the BOD Meetings are recorded in the Minutes!!

      Where is the Official Comment from USPSA??

      President?? Executive Director?? ANYONE??

      Nope!! Nothing!! Like nothing really happened!!

  23. Sounds like Hendrix might have that law enforcement range officer syndrome most law enforcement veterans are all too familiar with. Although they make up only a small minority of LE firearms training officers, some of the worst know it all jerks in law enforcement for some reason gravitate toward and somehow wind up as firearms instructors, and only become bigger @$$holes with a title like ”range master”. The worst of the bunch are often members of a police shooting team that once established, has little use for new shooters who might outshoot a fellow shooting team buddy. It comes as no surprise that someone like Hendrix would try to give his insider buddy an advantage by nitpicking and calling fouls and penalties on any new shooter viewed as an outsider, but what does come as a surprise is that he did it in such a blatantly obvious dumb@$$ manner by adding or shaving as many as 3 seconds off the clock, he needs to be banned from all shooting sports.

Comments are closed.