It was my first nationals as well and I have a pretty huge mixed bag of feelings on the whole thing.
I thought the stages were very vanilla uspsa courses which I don't think is a bad thing for a nationals as it seemed pretty representative of all the various skills needed to be successful in our sport.
I liked the mix of short medium and long courses in a zone, my only grieviences with this was the flow of zone A. I think they really needed 1 more short/medium course packaged in with the chronograph stage to even out the flow and help prevent a backup on stage 1. I'm sure the number of bays available was the main issue here.
The range and location were excellent! Reasonable drive to our hotel in Oxford with lots of restaurants right there. I would love to shoot more majors at CMP even though it's 1/2 way across the country from me.
ROs seemed to be in good spirits and were helpful and seemed to really try to do a good job for the most part.
Constant supply of cold water in between each bay was very great and they seemed to do a great job of keeping the coolers stocked and full of ice. Huge props to them on that!
Sorry for the guys that didn't get food, I thought it was really good as I was one of the first 50 or so thru the line. Too bad they didn't have more of it.
Things they should work on improving:
Bathroom situation was embarrassingly bad. Whoever decided to save a few bucks by not having a minimum of 1 outhouse for 2 bays should be forced to use on the the nearly overflowing outhouses for a month.
Target presentation, I liked seeing them use 2x2s for target sticks, I wish more than 1 bay would of been equipped with door shims to shim them into the target stands though so they didn't blow around in the wind and it just makes pasting easier as well.
Poppers were old and a few of them were super jankey. I didn't experience any issues with stuff not falling when shot but that comes down to luck, they should of had newer equipment then that out there to determine a national championship. I ended up watching a top 10 shooter on my squad get knocked out of the top 10 by having to shoot a popper 3 times in the calibration zone to get it to eventually fall.
RO instruction prior to the match, we had a number of shooters on our squad with flashlights. You could tell the ro staff was given no formal training or instruction as to how to check if a flashlight worked. There was no proper range commands given any of the times I saw guys get checked, I swear I saw 1 ro put his hand in front of the light to see if it turned on. I don't blame the ro staff, this is an issue that the NROI should of addressed prior to the match and instructed everyone on.
I don't mind people smoking cigars and enjoy them myself but if you are an RO at a major match I don't think you should have the timer in one hand and a lit cigar in the other when you're running shooters but maybe that's just me.
A little instruction as to if beer was OK or not to have at the awards ceremony would of been nice, possibly something they needed to clarify in the match book so more people could of been in there earlier instead of enjoying a cold beverage in the parking lot.
Not having preprinted official match books was super annoying. I know our organization doesn't like commiting to things in hard print but it would of made referring to the schedule way easier.
I don't think there is any valid reason at any major match to not have the written stage brief laminated and posted with each stage from the prematch through the entire match. It's annoying to me that the ROs seem to only have 1 copy of it and they keep it stored away and it disappears with them if they aren't on the bay.
Prize table seemed to be a CF. It blows me away that more matches don't handle it like they used to at the IRC when it was at the Hogue Range in CA. They had the prize packages all bundled up, numbered and the entire list printed off and given to all the competitors. They would just go through the list of finishes and you go up, grab the number of the package off the board and turn it in so they can hand you the prize pack. It was fast, efficient, you could see what was still left and what was taken as it went. The other thing is it highlights the sponsors and shows what everyone donated and who the big donators were. Not that I'm there for a prize table as we left when that mess started but it would of been neat to know what was all in that room.
Overall it thought it was a pretty good match but the whole thing kinda blurred together for me as all the stages were very very similar. Looking back it's tough for me to remember which zone each stage was in, I'm not sure if it had to do with the fact they named everything in Italian with no translations until a social media post on day 2 or if it was overload from it being my first nationals. I think they should of color coded each zones walls or something to differentiate them other than zone C being pretty much all classic targets and A and B being totally interchangeable.
Overall match experience I would give it a 7/10, would shoot again.