The rulebook should be the end of it. There should be very interpretation needed.
Luddite Crumudgeon #1
The problem is so many people in positions of power (match directors, range masters, RMI) want things to go their way and the make rulings that cannot be supported by the rule book.
At the SNS 400 we had an AD by an Open shooter on our stage. It hit the port the shooter was going up to but was in the general direction of the target. The RMI (Gary Johnson) clearly taught a batch of new RO's that this was not a DQ. (Happygunner loves to talk about GJ) The RO stopped shooter. The RO watching and the 180 and I agreed that it was not a DQ and we both saw this happen.
Troy told the RO that he would have stopped the shooter and Dq'ed him. (I feel like the RO descibed the situation a little differently than it happened) The first step is that the RMI corp needs to be on the same page. The second step is that ruling needs to be much less frequent and the rules be where things start and stop. I think fewer rules would be better. Things such as squarely uprange and down range are a waste of time and are present to limit gaming. Gaming is a part of the game. Don't be so liberal and let people have some fun.
I think the current book is pretty close to that ideal balance of not covering every single imaginable situation (which would required something the size of volume 1 of one of those old encyclopedia Britannica books they used to sell door to door) and being too simple which would leave LOTS of situations up the discretion of the match officials.
There will always be interpretation issues, strange situations, new equipment and techniques... you'll never get away from that no matter how simple, or how detailed we make the book. That's why we have an appeal processes that ends with a "jury of your peers" for most issues.
One of the biggest problems in regards to uspsa rules is stability. A simple change, like adding a definition for "Facing Downrange," can cause years of interpretation issues, un-necessary reshoots, require addition of more rules, etc... It seems like the last few years, we've had a stability problem, especially in areas where it didn't seem real problems existed (like Facing Downrange or the wall height issue or production hammers) without regards to the ripple effect.
Personally, I hate this stuff. I hate working matches because of it. And it's worse now than years past, because now heaven forbid you forget about exception x.y.a.b.c.n.q or didn't read the whole 87 page thread on Enos and your 'mistake' ends up on Enos and Doodie and Ingo and youtube and facebook and people are now bashing you and the match as a whole... What It comes down to is we have to do the best we can, be confident in our call while being open to things we hadn't considered, and otherwise let the shooter work w/in the appeals process, while realizing the interpretations of these obscure situations may not always end in the same result...
Ryan V. B. TY56060 Come shoot USPSA w Ft Wayne Area Practical Shooters: www.facebook.com/fwuspsa
"Well Jakey, it's a bit ambitious" -Ken Skeeters