Monday, July 29, 2013

The Secret to the IDPA SO Test



IDPA is changing.  The International Defensive Pistol Association has changed and not for the better.  Accompanying this change is the requirement that current SOs test out on the new rule book.  

shooter tries his tactics at solving an IDPA problem
IDPA should be about shooting your best tactics and having fun.



IDPA has tightened the rules in an effort to eliminate cheating and level the playing field.  This has lost IDPA the sense of wonderment that came with a sport that let you try out your tactical skills and compare them to other shooters.  The comment “Good tactics!” from an experienced IDPA shooter meant more than winning first place. 


Now it’s about points, power factors, challenging the scores and rulings and legal dissection of distances, word meanings, management levels, and being a five gun master.  


There was a time when we asked each shooter if they understood the course of fire and if they didn’t, the safety officer would re-explain it.  Not anymore.  That question is not part of the official sanctified ritual each shooter must go through on the firing line.  IDPA doesn’t care if you understand the course of fire or not.  Just get it over so the next unit shooter can step up.


It makes no sense to me.  I have a person with a loaded gun who’s unsure of what I want them to do.  Don’t you think they deserve a second explanation of the CoF?  According to the test I just took it’s now about efficiency and moving things along.  Too bad about the shooter unit.


In my opinion IDPA is moving toward IPSC/USPSA type shooting.  It’s only a matter of time before we have major and minor classifications and start awarding style points for most unusual shooting stance or artistic improvisation of using cover.


Sour grapes?


No.  Maybe, but I don’t think so.  I got a 91 on my open book test.  The test is poorly constructed with difficult language and frequent use of double negatives.  Not to mention discussions of things I’ve never seen and still don’t understand how they are used.  Someone should have told the IPDA Tiger Team (Gawd, that’s just so 1980ish!) that adult education is about the transfer of information and not ranking people. 


It was a good score but I had help.  My wife took the test a few days ago and got 84.3 but she needed an 85 to pass. 


In response to this (and before her second attempt) my wife made an index using an excel spreadsheet and the IDPA rule book.  She listed topics and the page they were found on.  When finished she sorted and combined page numbers to give her (and me) a fast alphabetical guide to where to find answers.


It takes a little work.  If you want to take the IDPA test, spend some time making your own index.  You can thank me later.


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