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IPSC stages at an IDPA match.

4365 Views 54 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  cenglish
We have a few cross over shooters at our non-affiliated IDPA club that seem to have a problem remaining within the course design guidlines. Sometimes I think that the only difference between our IDPA matches and the IPSC matches is the round count and the occasional tactical reload thrown in to make it look like an IDPA match. I'm starting to get aggravated!

The last match we had one stage where you had to advance forward on three bad guys and one stage where you had to sit at a desk and duke it out with four poppers and one cardboard target while sitting at the desk!:scratch: Rules on cover garments are not enforced, something I understand in the heat of summer but not when it's only 60 degrees. Top shooter had both his mag pouch and pistol forward of center!

I can live with some individual shooter transgressions, but I believe stage design is an important part if IDPA matches.

Am I picking at a nit?
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stickshooter said:
...our non-affiliated IDPA club that seem to have a problem remaining within the course design guidlines.

I can live with some individual shooter transgressions, but I believe stage design is an important part if IDPA matches.

Am I picking at a nit?
Your first paragraph stated that the club is "non-affiliated", that's the problem. They don't really have to follow any course design guidelines. As a matter of fact, they can probably make up any rules they wish. It's neither an IDPA club nor USPSA club. You can get actively involved in the course design if you want to contribute or steer it in any direction. Good luck.
 

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stickshooter said:
We have a few cross over shooters at our non-affiliated IDPA club that seem to have a problem remaining within the course design guidlines.
Get affiliated with one organization or another or quite whining. If you're not affiliated, you're a freeloader and shouldn't be claiming a type of match, using the rules, guidelines, and resourses of any organization.

but I believe stage design is an important part if IDPA matches.
But why are you complaining? You're not an IDPA club.
 

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Well, Kbear, though your post may be true in its content, try to word it a little more strongly next time. Perhaps that will get the point across.
 

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The affliation and your participation are important if you want it to change..

choose which organization for the club to join..then participate in course design and running of the club..

otherwise you're just whinning and not contributing...
 

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I'll agree that clubs running "IDPA" matches should be affiliated. Everyone running a match should want to do it right, and affiliation, along with certified SO's make for a better match.
To answer the question: I think a lot of IDPA CoFs become IPSC'd, and it's mostly because of the reality of setting up CoFs on square ranges, and the desire to shoot. It is easier to set up CoFs that have downrange movement, and it is more fun to shoot 20 rounds than it is to shoot 10. One of the things that we do at our club matches, to help retain the "defensive" nature of course designs, is to all but forbid downrange movement. Obviously, if there is cover directly between the shooter and threat targets, the shooter goes to cover, but we don't do any "house clearing" where the shooter goes deeper and deeper downrange, "hunting" for threats, without sufficient rational justification in the scenario. We start a lot of stages with T1 at contact distance, and the shooter backing to cover at the buzzer; emphasizing that the shooter is trying to get away from threats, and not going looking for them. Ken Hackathorn, in a recent Tactical Journal, suggests upping the number of scored hits per target, rather than adding targets, to get the round count up. I like scenario CoFs to have no more than four or five targets, max, so three rounds per gets you a good round count.
One of the problems that seems to be associated with IDPA "like" matches, is that it's difficult to enforce the rules. Who's in authority? If nobody really knows the rules, it's easier to ignore them. If nobody has the nerve to enforce equipment rules personally, just post them before the next match, and tell everyone that they'll have to conform if they want to shoot. The problem with this, is some people won't want to comply, and maybe won't come back. If that's a concern, that you'll scare away your "customers" by enforcing the rules (I've heard that one before), then you will still have to come to some kind of consensus about what everyone can live with. I think that's tougher than enforcing rules that are already widely accepted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been actively involved!!!! I've designed stages and organized matches. A little search will show that I've inquired here on certain methods of starting and operating a club. I've also volunteered to assume organizational responsibilities. So instead of just ASS-UMING that I'm just standing on the side lines bitching, how about a little constructive advice on stage design and how to tactfully approach the subject with a diverse group of shooters that WANT to be an affiliated club but have not yet organized themselve enough to be yet!

Yes, I understand in a range environment there are times that you have to move forward and you are limited in stage design. Jumping out in the middle of a hallway and running and gunning towards three BG's has nothing to do with range limitations! Pure speed shoots are fine...don't camaflouge them as something tactical!

And, for those of you that have'nt started a club, there's a process that takes a little time and it goes roughly like this:

1: Get some shooters together that want to shoot IDPA
2: Raise some money.....a good method is by having some matches!!
3: Find and coordinate for an IDPA certified SO trainer to come train some SO's for your new club. Use the money you raised at the matches.
4: Send in the application and money so that you can be "affiliated" which you can't do until you have trained SO's, which you can't do until you find and pay for a trainer, which you can't do until you've raised the money which is usually done easily by having some IDPA like matches using IDPA rules!

Now why would it be unreasonable for that group of shooters to have to hold IDPA - like matches using IDPA rules for a year or more before they could raise enough money to become affiliated?

Give me a break! How about a conversation about how you deal with shooters and even club officers that don't want to follow the basic guidelines and principles!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I don't have any problem with unaffiliated clubs. Ordinarily, there is a core group of guys that end up designing, setting up, running, and tearing down the stages. What kind of match do they want to shoot? If you run that kind of match, will you attract shooters? Do you care? The answers to those questions will determine which way to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The majority of shooters fall into a few catagories;

New shooters, maybe just got their CCW.

Casual shooters, like to shoot realistic scenarios with regular guns and like company.

Quite a few 55+ that used to shoot IPSC but don't like what it is now.

Quite a few retired military, LEO, feds that enjoy shooting what they carry or feel like they need to stay sharp.

Some current LEO's that are intrigued when you tell them their stage designs based on situations they encounter will be used if possible.

A minority that likes to shoot anything and everything, IPSC, IDPA, steel, bowling pin, etc. just give them a chance to shoot.

It's the last group that is most consistent in attendance and vocal in stage design even though they number about 5 and we average about 30-40 a shoot. The next closest affiliated club is a 3 hour drive. We have an incredible opportunity and a lot of interest. Do I care? Yes! We already have a thriving IPSC club, the IDPA matches have generated a lot of interest from people that are uninterested in IPSC.
 

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It sounds like you have a bit of burnout setting in, before your program is up and running. Our club made at least one false start, before IDPA really "stuck". One guy offered to take the lead, but only if five others would commit to helping run the matches for a year. I'm sure you understand the value of having a core group of people on board, and they need to be on board with enforcing the rules. When I say IDPA-like, I don't mean IDPA without the affiliation, but IDPA without the rules. Even without affiliation, you've got to have some kind of consistent rules enforcement.
In my area, we had six established IPSC clubs, and hoped/expected to draw from them. As it turns out, there is very little cross-over. I think we drew something like 12 shooters to our first match in '01, and this year, we're averaging about 50. But, no more than a half-dozen of them are IPSC shooters. Relying on local IPSC shooters may not be the best way to build the program. That is, put some energy into promoting your matches, to attract new shooters, as well as keeping your current group happy. We often draw a half-dozen new shooters per month to our matches. Establish a means of introducing new shooters; an "orientation", to get them up to speed on rules and basic techniques. Consider a course design seminar. There is a segment in the rule book on course design rationale; go over it with interested parties, and come to an agreement on what is appropriate.
If you have a group of people competent to act as SOs, go over the rules and agree on how they will be enforced. And, don't let anyone else take the timer. Probably the greatest complaint I've heard about IDPA over the years is inconsistent enforcement. If your shooters want the club to be successful, they should be willing to comply.
Is there a club nearby, or even not so nearby, that you could contact for help? We've made a couple of "field trips" to clubs trying to get IDPA rolling, and I felt we were a real help.
 

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stickshooter said:
And, for those of you that have'nt started a club, there's a process that takes a little time and it goes roughly like this:

1: Get some shooters together that want to shoot IDPA
2: Raise some money.....a good method is by having some matches!!
3: Find and coordinate for an IDPA certified SO trainer to come train some SO's for your new club. Use the money you raised at the matches.
4: Send in the application and money so that you can be "affiliated" which you can't do until you have trained SO's, which you can't do until you find and pay for a trainer, which you can't do until you've raised the money which is usually done easily by having some IDPA like matches using IDPA rules!

Now why would it be unreasonable for that group of shooters to have to hold IDPA - like matches using IDPA rules for a year or more before they could raise enough money to become affiliated?

Give me a break! How about a conversation about how you deal with shooters and even club officers that don't want to follow the basic guidelines and principles!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How much does it cost to get an IDPA certified SO trainer to train your guys??
:scratch:
 

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I have been actively involved!!!! I've designed stages and organized matches. A little search will show that I've inquired here on certain methods of starting and operating a club. I've also volunteered to assume organizational responsibilities.
My experience as an MD for our IDPA club has been this.....

It's not easy for our club. We generally have 15-20 shooters a match and have had as little as 2, including myself. This spring, I will be setting up a couple of tables at our gun show and getting the word out. To assume that "if you set up a stage, they will come" will burn you out - quickly. We've got a very small core group of shooters (3-4) that come early and help set up. They get burned out just as easily as I do. I'm in a situation in which I'm trying to bring back shooters who left because of some "ill feelings" with the prior management of the game here. It's been an uphill battle, but I can't help bit think (hope) that with some work, I can get it to where it's supposed to be. Montana only has two IDPA clubs. For the 4th largest state in the Nation, that sounds pretty ridiculous. Consider the fact that we are extremely spread out and our entire state's population is much less than some of the larger cities found in the country. ;)

As far as becoming affiliated, it was as easy as coordinating with an SO instructor (who lives about 2 hours away) and having him drive over here and teach the class. We currently have 17 certified SO's. We charge $30.00 per person for the class. Most of the money goes to the instructor for his time, the rest goes to the club. We are extremely lucky in the fact that our club is rather "game friendly" and if it makes money for the club, all the better.

Does your club have a Board Of Directors? If so, I'd imagine that they have meetings at which you could voice your concerns. Maybe try to get onboard and voice your issues there.

As far as crossover's, it's been a bit difficult to get the IPSC shooters to come. We have a few, but when you see the numbers at our USPSA matches compared to our IDPA matches, it doesn't compare (granted, we've been shooting USPSA for well on 10 years and IDPA for only about 5).

This year I fell into the trap of designing stages to please our USPSA shooters. Every stage had the max number of round count, but it still seemed not enough to get the runnin' and gunnin' fans out to shoot. We also deal with varying weather here, it's either raining, snowing, or sunny (often during the same afternoon).

Anyway, I'm just rambling now. My advice would be simply to tailor your stages the way they should be according to the game your playing. I got very angry at myself for trying to change our game simply to get the USPSA shooters to come. Find out who the IDPA Area Coordinator is for your area and talk with him/her. I'm sure he/she can get you going in the right direction.
 

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...but we don't do any "house clearing" where the shooter goes deeper and deeper downrange, "hunting" for threats, without sufficient rational justification in the scenario.
The justification (from the IDPA principles) is simple, that is the ONLY way out to saftey (basically it's the same as a retreat move.......toward saftey).

From a range saftey standpoint given the nature of IDPA to attract new and inexperienced action shooters having them move "into their vision area" is MUCH safer than forcing a retreat where some may piviot and be un-aware of the muzzle direction when they turn to retreat.

Personally the only diffrences I see between IDPA and USPSA stages is round count and manditory use of cover (props) in the stages.
 

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Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, but designing CoFs that revolve around the shooter advancing toward threats is not very "defensive". I'd say that's the biggest difference between IPSC and IDPA; the former is hunting down targets, and the latter is trying extricate oneself from a simulated bad situation. Getting out of the "hole", rather than going into it, seems like a much more realistic (rule book) test. IPSC doesn't like backing up (I remember asking an IPSC MD if I could run an almost-symetrical CoF right-to-left, rather than the specified left-to-right, and he looked at me incredulously, commenting, "But, but, then you'd be backing up!?!?"), but its a lot more realistic and defensive, which is what IDPA is about.
 

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RickB said:
IPSC doesn't like backing up (I remember asking an IPSC MD if I could run an almost-symetrical CoF right-to-left, rather than the specified left-to-right, and he looked at me incredulously, commenting, "But, but, then you'd be backing up!?!?"), but its a lot more realistic and defensive, which is what IDPA is about.
I've noticed recently that IPSC stages are starting to incorporate more "back-up" type stages. One of the stages at Area 1 in Missoula this year had a stage that required the shooter to back up (Area 1 in Reno the year before had a back-up stage too) and there was another stage at the Northwest Challenge this year that required shooters back up (these are Level III and Level II matches respectively). These types of stages seem to throw IPSC shooters "off balance" because they're so used to going down range...not up range.

The one thing that shooters really need to watch when facing this is muzzle control as one will frequently find themselves reloading as their backing up.
 

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It is possible to have some stages where you advance toward threats and still be defensive in nature such as in defense of other family members. Scenarios such as you come home and hear your child screaming for help in the back room would put you advancing to threats. A mix of the advancing and retreating scenarios would be acceptable to me so that you don't get one or the other ingrained.
 

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stickshooter said:
Am I picking at a nit?
Yes.

If you dont like the stage design, fix it.

If you think shooters should have to move their guns and mag pouches, tell them.

Until you are an affiliated club and represent yourselves as such, you are not an IDPA club and you cant hold anyone to IDPAs rules.

If you are getting shooters and a majority of them are happy, dont try to fix something that isnt broke. 10% of the shooters are going to whine and take up 90% of your time and energy.

I would have a meeting of the movers and shakers and lay down some ground work.

1st. Figure out if you are an IDPA club, IPSC lite club, tactical club, polite society club or whatever. From there you can move on. Without knowing exactly where you stand, you have no rulebook.

2nd. Appoint a stage designer to handle or oversee stage design in whatever version of a club you have chosen to go.

3rd. Give it 6-9 months and see what people think. People that are happy usually wont say so. They just come back. Unhappy people usually tell you.

I did the MD thing for many years. It is a crappy, thankless, miserable, lousy job that has to be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the good advice.

Tom Freeman, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that I either mis-communicated or you didn't have a chance to read my posts.

Since I haven't been appointed supreme dictator I don't have the final say on all the stage designs. I may have influence but certainly not the final say.

I can and do tell shooters to move their guns and mag pouches, use a cover garment etc. Once again, I haven't assumed the role of supreme dictator so short of forcing them at gun point, I can only voice my opinions!

The first step toward becoming an affiliated club is to conduct your matches and affairs in the same manner as an affiliated club and adhere to IDPA rules. That's also the best way to find out if you'll have enough shooters interested in returning! If nobody likes the way the rules and matches are, then you can change it to the "social club" or whatever.

The matches are hosted by the local USPSA club as "fun matches" so those in charge sometimes tend to have an IPSC slant.....nothing wrong with IPSC, it just doensn't fit with the stated goal which is to form an IDPA club!

As for the rest of your post, those are some good ideas that I'm going to try to implement....a sincere thanks.

Now. For all of you that chose to first snap at me for my assumed lack of participation, take this for what it's worth!

I really enjoy this type of shooting and really want the club to succeed so I've been promoting it at every opportunity. I've talked to people at the local gun shops, archery shops, LEO's, Wildlife agents, and anyone I knew that was interested in shooting or maybe just had a CCW. I even recruited a fellow out of the local Jeep club. Out of all the people I talked to, those that had once shot IPSC, which was quite a few, all had a common complaint! The attitude of the shooters and the feeling that they couldn't compete and were looked down upon for showing up with their IWB holster and carry gun! These aren't my opinions, I've met some fine people in the local USPSA club that have helped me alot, just relaying what I've heard.

I think some of you fellas have that attitude! And I do believe that the attitude shows up at both USPSA and IDPA matches!

Now, when I started asking for people to show up with stage designs related to their work or home environment and just tweaked them a little to adjust it to the rules and the range........wow, I got a lot of participation! When the fellow showed up without a BELT and we made concessions so that he could shoot safely....yea, he was hooked. Now he knows that all his John Wayne ideas didn't work and he has to rethink his rig. That's one of the great things about IDPA.


SO WHAT I WANTED........... was a discussion about how to tactfully influence some of the core group of shooters that sticking to good course design and being tolerant of the guy that shows up with his night stand gun is good for the club and better accomplishes the goal of having a succesful IDPA club.
 

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stickshooter said:
Tom Freeman, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that I either mis-communicated or you didn't have a chance to read my posts.
I did read your posts. In fact I waited until today when I had time to give you a meaningful answer to your questions and a few tips to getting/keeping your club going.

But until you decide that you are going to hold *everyone* to a rulebook, to include the guy with no belt/holster or the guy with a nightstand gun, you have nothing more than some guys getting together and shooting. People wont come back if they see the rules not being enforced across the board.

If I went to a club with no rules and someone told me to move my mag pouches or find a cover garment, I would just keep on keeping on.

When I go to a USPSA match, I conform to the division I am shooting.

When I go to an IDPA match, I conform to the division I am shooting.

When I go to a 3-Gun match, I conform to the division I am shooting.

When I go to outlaw matches with no rulebook, I wing it and don’t even expect results most times.
 
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