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jhe888

Compare and contrast USPSA and IDPA scoring

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jhe888   

I now understand USPSA scoring. I already understood IDPA scoring.

But I'd like to hear your thoughts about what each offers. What advantages? What disadvantages? Does one emphasize some skills over others?

This has a subjective component to it, and I don't mean to have anyone shy away from giving their opinion if they think one is superior, or better for some purposes.

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IMO,

IDPA rewards marksmanship, USPSA rewards speed.

However, I have been and will continue to be wrong.

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IDPA will teach someone how to shoot better with concealment and from behind cover. One being better than the other is false, it's all trigger time and If someone wants to excel at shooting then practice both sports and you'll see your skill level increase dramatically.

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Steve J   

No advantages or disadvantages - just different systems for different games. If you shoot both, learn and understand both.

p.s. I'm sure there are previous threads that discuss this ad nauseum and probably ended up getting closed.

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RobMoore   

I'd say the only advantage IDPA scoring has is its simplicity. Add up the points down, divide by two and add to the time. Any 2nd grader can do it. No need for a calculator or computer.

Other than that, I can't say one way is better than the other for evaluating shooter performance.

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jhe888   

Of course, the mods have the final say, but this wasn't meant as a "versus" thread.

More a compare and contrast, and what difference in approach, if any, is caused by the different scoring systems.

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AikiDale   

Having shot both games it seems to me there is precious little difference. In an IDPA match the winner is the shooter who gets two hits on each target in the least amount of time, while in the USPSA the winner is the shooter who gets two hits on each target in the least amount of time.

Am I missing something here?

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UW Mitch   

Some of the things I like about the IDPA scoring are its simplicity and it's ability to compare shooters across divisions in complete match results. The score is time, there's time penalties for not making hits, and the lowest time wins. Easy. USPSA has been a little trickier for me to understand, but I'm starting to understand it's all based on the hit factor (points per unit time).

~Mitch

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We've had threads on this in the past. (mod note: as long as it doesn't go into a "versus" mode we can keep the discussion alive). If somebody wants to search for the older threads, I can combine the info in one place (as it should be).

----------------------------

IDPA = a "fixed" hit factor. Each point down is worth a "fixed" amount of time.

USPSA = a "variable" hit factor. To figure the amount of time that a point down is worth, you divide your hit factor into 1.

Both can prove to be accuracy intensive (if truly understood). IDPA is fixed at being very accuracy demanding.

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mpolans   

IBTL! I'll try to make this as innocuous as possible...but it's probably going to get locked eventually anyway. FWIW, generally, I think IDPA scoring tends to reward accuracy a little more than IPSC. However, a lot of this will vary depending on the way stages are set up. Scoring is generally simpler with IDPA.

IPSC/USPSA places emphais on free-style problem-solving. It allows the shooter to determine solve the problem by moving and shooting the targets in whatever way or order he/she sees fit; if it isn't specifically prohibited by the rules or the course description, it's allowed.

IDPA discourages shooting a stage in any way other than exactly what the course designer envisions. It enforces this by things like a mandatory order of engaging targets and if all else fails, a "Failure to Do Right" penalty.

Different strokes for different folks. Shoot 'em both for the trigger time.

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To qualify, I shoot both sports and enjoy them both.

IDPA Scoring is easier to do on the spot and does reward accuracy over speed at times. I enjoy shooting it but I like the higher round count stages of USPSA better

Even with a revolver.

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IDPA definately rewards accuracy while USPSA rewards speed. When I started shooting competitively I started in IDPA since that was what was local to me. I was doing pretty well and a while later I shot my first USPSA match and was very surprised by my results. I was getting good hits and scoring more points than the other shooters but was getting beat. The first thing I did was convert the USPSA match I had just shot to IDPA scoring. I counted C hits as down 1 and D hits as down 3 as in IDPA. Aside from the couple of very high level shooters who would have won anyway, the standings actually changed. The more accurate guys like myself would have finished higher up the ladder than some of the speedy less accurate guys. So I did some research and tried to understand the mathematical method of scoring in USPSA. Hit factor is points divided by time which means the time is the denominator (or the bottom number) in the equation. It takes a smaller change in the denominator of an equation to get a greater change in the final result than it does if you change the numerator (or top number). Therefore a difference in time will have a greater impact in your score than a difference in the number of points unless there is a dramatic difference in points. So speed is more of a deciding factor in USPSA. Lets do the math. If you have a 100 point stage you shoot all A hits in 20 seconds, that is a hit factor of 5.00. If you shoot it in 18 seconds you now only need 90 points to get the same hit factor of 5.00. That's 10 C hits in major or half your shots for only a 2 second difference. If the second shooter only has 9 C hits he wins. Now if it was IDPA, the first shooter would have a score of 20 seconds while the second shooter would be down 10 points for a score of 23 seconds. Even though he was faster, now the less accurate shooter is 3 seconds back. USPSA = speed, IDPA = Accuracy.

Edited by Glshooter

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Genghis   
The first thing I did was convert the USPSA match I had just shot to IDPA scoring . . . Aside from the couple of very high level shooters who would have won anyway, the standings actually changed. The more accurate guys like myself would have finished higher up the ladder than some of the speedy less accurate guys.

Glshooter, that is a fantastic idea! I shoot in both games, and I've heard a lot of people say IDPA rewards accuracy, but you're the first person who has actually run the numbers. Thanks for your post!

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el pres   
Having shot both games it seems to me there is precious little difference. In an IDPA match the winner is the shooter who gets two hits on each target in the least amount of time, while in the USPSA the winner is the shooter who gets two hits on each target in the least amount of time.

Am I missing something here?

+1

USPSA Shoot A's as fast as you can

IDPA Shoot 0's as fast as you can

I dont buy the accuracy argument for IDPA across the board, I started in IDPA and did ok. I moved to

USPSA and the first the thing that I stumbled upon was the severity of penalties, mainly no shoots and mikes.

In IDPA I could just go faster and easily make up 2.5 sec. here and there but in USPSA being 20, 30 points down

destroys the stage. You loose what you have gained in the begining. Maybe in the small errors like C's vs 1 point

down are a wash or even lean towards IDPA accuracy but I think the heavy errors are more costly in USPSA...

Anyhow, as I stated in the begining and you'll be fine !! :wacko:

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Having shot both games it seems to me there is precious little difference. In an IDPA match the winner is the shooter who gets two hits on each target in the least amount of time, while in the USPSA the winner is the shooter who gets two hits on each target in the least amount of time.

Am I missing something here?

Plain and simple that is it! If you think one is this and the other is that your missing out. They have diffrent rules but the in the end its who follows those rules and gets the most points as quick as they can....PERIOD.

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Accuracy is important in both disciplines but... I really think you will finish further down in the standings in USPSA if you are not accurate (taking into consideration the Mikes and no shoots) than if you are not accurate in IDPA.

USPSA's typical stage seems to always have a lot more things that can cost you big than the typical IDPA stages...

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Maybe in the small errors like C's vs 1 point

down are a wash or even lean towards IDPA accuracy but I think the heavy errors are more costly in USPSA...

Hmm...disagree completely. :)

Take El Pres, as an example and do the math. At major power factors, you can go "A" / "C" hits all day long in USPSA. In IDPA if you shoot 6 "0's" and 6 "-1's", you're down 3 seconds. If one of those hits wander into the "-3" zone, you're really sunk. And if you ever shoot an IDPA stage, and only hang two "-3's" on the target, or, worse only one or none, it's match over, basically, when you add in the FTN penalty.

Two D's on a target in USPSA --painful, but not deadly.

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jhe888   

Thanks. These are the sort of things I was hoping to see discussed.

The penalties for misses or no-shoots in USPSA do seem harsher than in IDPA.

The conventional "talk" is that accuracy is more important in IDPA, but I don't know if that is so. The math does seem to indicate that it is a little easier to make up for a C hit in USPSA by going a bit faster.

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Folks. IDPA's fixed hit factor...is a 2 hit factor. One point down is equal to 0.50 seconds.

IDPA is very accuracy orientated. Some might say too much so. You can do a lot of stuff wrong, as long as you can manage to connect with that ~50 square inches of down-0 in the center mass...or the additional 36 square inches of head.

You can't get sloppy in USPSA and expect to do well when there is competition around. DVC is supposed to be testing accuracy, power and speed. It usually does.

In USPSA...shooting minor...you gotta be shooting Alphas to be in the game. Shooting Major...Alpha-Charlie can work (sometimes;))

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I've got a whole (mind-numbing :goof: ) thread on hit-factors: Wanna-b-speedy (part 3), hit factor

{Edit to add}

Any way you cut it...you adapt to the challenge or you lose.

Shooting multiple sports will test different thing. Steel Challenge, NRA Action Pistol (Bianchi Cup), IDPA, USPSA, bulls-eye, bowling pints, knock-down steel...etc.

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Thanks. These are the sort of things I was hoping to see discussed.

The penalties for misses or no-shoots in USPSA do seem harsher than in IDPA.

The conventional "talk" is that accuracy is more important in IDPA, but I don't know if that is so.

jhe888 -- if you've DONE the math, then you should SEE that this is so.

'IPSC Bob' has a competition against his friend 'Tactical Tim'. They both decide to shoot El Pres.

Bob shoots a clean run in 8 seconds. His hit-factor is 7.5 -- 60 points divided by 8.

Tim shoots a clean run in 8 seconds. His score is "8 seconds."

Both decide they could shoot a little faster.

Bob turns it up and shoots it one second faster, in 7 seconds, but starts getting some C hits -- in fact he has 6 C's and 6 A's. His hit factor? 54/7 = 7.7. He's just beat his last run!

Tim does the same, also shooting the stage in 7 seconds, but getting 6 "-1" hits. He's down 6, or 3 seconds + 7 seconds, so his adjusted time is now 10 seconds -- a full two seconds slower!!

For the last run of the day, Bob decides to let it loose, and shoots a very sloppy stage in 6 seconds. He has 2 D's, 6 C's, and only 4 A's. 48 points, but divided by 6...That's an 8 hf -- his best run of the day!

Tim shoots it in 6 seconds, with the same kinds of hits, and is down 12 points. 2 "-3's", 6 "-1's", and 6 "0's." He adjusted score is 12 seconds. His raw time is 2 seconds faster, but his adjusted time is FOUR SECONDS worse than his first run, which was clean.

Play around with this -- add a no-shoot to the mix, or see what happens if you have two "3's" on a target and get a whopping 5 second FTN penalty.

In both games, the best shooters are obviously the ones that shoot cleanly and quickly, period. But in IDPA, points down are so deadly, it obviates a lot of the nuances of the USPSA scoring system. In an upclose "speed shoot" USPSA stage, you're going to get cooked if you really shoot deliberate A's, or have a 2 second draw/reload. OTOH, on a long and difficult field course, you'd better get good hits! In IDPA, whether it's a 4-round stage, or 18-round stage; close or far, hard or easy, all points down are the same value. That's what Flex means (I think), by saying you can get 'away' with so much more in IDPA, provided you don't drop points.

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bruce282   
Thanks. These are the sort of things I was hoping to see discussed.

The penalties for misses or no-shoots in USPSA do seem harsher than in IDPA.

The conventional "talk" is that accuracy is more important in IDPA, but I don't know if that is so.

jhe888 -- if you've DONE the math, then you should SEE that this is so.

'IPSC Bob' has a competition against his friend 'Tactical Tim'. They both decide to shoot El Pres.

Bob shoots a clean run in 8 seconds. His hit-factor is 7.5 -- 60 points divided by 8.

Tim shoots a clean run in 8 seconds. His score is "8 seconds."

Both decide they could shoot a little faster.

Bob turns it up and shoots it one second faster, in 7 seconds, but starts getting some C hits -- in fact he has 6 C's and 6 A's. His hit factor? 54/7 = 7.7. He's just beat his last run!

Tim does the same, also shooting the stage in 7 seconds, but getting 6 "-1" hits. He's down 6, or 3 seconds + 7 seconds, so his adjusted time is now 10 seconds -- a full two seconds slower!!

For the last run of the day, Bob decides to let it loose, and shoots a very sloppy stage in 6 seconds. He has 2 D's, 6 C's, and only 4 A's. 48 points, but divided by 6...That's an 8 hf -- his best run of the day!

Tim shoots it in 6 seconds, with the same kinds of hits, and is down 12 points. 2 "-3's", 6 "-1's", and 6 "0's." He adjusted score is 12 seconds. His raw time is 2 seconds faster, but his adjusted time is FOUR SECONDS worse than his first run, which was clean.

Play around with this -- add a no-shoot to the mix, or see what happens if you have two "3's" on a target and get a whopping 5 second FTN penalty.

In both games, the best shooters are obviously the ones that shoot cleanly and quickly, period. But in IDPA, points down are so deadly, it obviates a lot of the nuances of the USPSA scoring system. In an upclose "speed shoot" USPSA stage, you're going to get cooked if you really shoot deliberate A's, or have a 2 second draw/reload. OTOH, on a long and difficult field course, you'd better get good hits! In IDPA, whether it's a 4-round stage, or 18-round stage; close or far, hard or easy, all points down are the same value. That's what Flex means (I think), by saying you can get 'away' with so much more in IDPA, provided you don't drop points.

Boo,

Great example, of course if this is a Production vs SSP then Bob's hit factor goes down each time he shoots faster due to minor scoring but that is truly neither here nor there. Before Shooters Paradise burned down, I shot the monthly matches, both IDPA and USPSA. We had an IDPA SSP Master who would shot the USPSA match IDPA style, concealment vest, using cover pieing the corners and doing tactical reloads. He kicked my butt ever time because he was a better shooter.

Boo's example compares the same stage in both sports. The "speed" part of DVC not only relates to how fast can you draw, or shoot 2 alphas, but how fast can you reload, and how fast can you run? Movement plays a larger part in IPSC than in IDPA. I move slow, I'm old, fat and have bad knees. My only chance at doing well is to try and shoot all Alphas. A couple of my shooting buddies are gazelles when it comes to starting stopping and running. Although they try to shoot all A's even when they get a C or 2, their speed makes up for it.

Bruce

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Without regard to the subtleties of IPSC hit factors and the like, here is my limited perception. I've just started shooting USPSA after several months of shooting "fun" matches that were scored using IDPA scoring. There are several other people that I shoot the fun matches with that also shoot USPSA and have been doing so for a couple years. Two weeks ago, I shot a GSSF match. And, the last thing to figure into this mental equation is that my prior training was all in defensive pistol that included shooting on the move, from behind cover, sitting, standing, lying on the ground, and holding the gun between my knees (not really but it wouldn't have surprised me).

Bottom line, they are all a balancing act between speed and accuracy. There is essentially an inverse relationship between these two factors that can be ranked in either order. In order of Accuracy, it would have to be GSSF, IDPA, USPSA, Defensive. Since I started with defensive, I had to learn to slow down a bit to shoot the IDPA type fun shoots since the lost points were killing me. Now that I am shooting USPSA, I'm starting to pick up some speed. GSSF stumped me because it is much more about accuracy and I didn't slow down enough.

What this all comes down to is that each of these requires you to shoot as accurately as you can, as fast as you can - in that order. With IDPA scoring, picking up speed at the expense of points has to be done very carefully as the two are weighted in a delicate balance. With USPSA scoring, the balance is more fluid, which is in keeping with the whole nature of that sport, but in the end, 'you cannot miss fast enough to win' unless you are not a very good shooter in the first place.

For me, this translates to shooting as many A's as I can in a reasonable time. I'll let a few C's in there, but if I start getting D's or misses, I know I need to slow down. I find that the USPSA scoring system allows me to balance my shooting more than the IDPA system. But, that's how I like to shoot. As with everything, it's what you are comfortable with.

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