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Rookie IPSC Rule Question about how it differs from USPSA Rules


ericjhuber
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So I've started doing competitive action shooting and I'm starting out with USPSA as my primary discipline because that's what will work out best given my local club's schedule and what they shoot the most.

I'm looking forward to adding other disciplines as I get better such as IDPA and the like, but I figure I'll stick mainly with USPSA for now so that I don't cause anyone any grief by showing up at, for example, an IDPA match and vexing the staff by setting an all time penalty record. I'm aware that as a new guy it's important that I do all that I can to learn the rules and not make myself a burden on the match officials and other competitors.

So in that mindset, I might have the opportunity to shoot a major IPSC match later in the year. My question is whether a new shooter who is reasonably comfortable with the USPSA rules and matches will cause anyone any grief at their first IPSC match. I know the history of both organizations and their relationship, but I also know that there are some rules differences like divisions and the like.

So my question is:

If someone is reasonably knowledgable in regards to the USPSA rules, will they be able to function at a ISPC match without causing any problems for the people running and participating in the match because of any rules differences there might be?

I'm not proud. I know I'm not very good at this point, but I just want to make sure I'm not detracting from someone else's match experience.

Edited by ericjhuber
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for the most part the rules are very similar. The big differences are in the handgun divisions, like production guns can hold 15 need to have a 5lb? first trigger pull and cant have non factory parts and need to be on the IPSC production approved list, Standard (like our Limited) has to fit in a box with the magazines inserted so the 141mm extensions we run won't fit. there are other differences but nothing you cant glean from reading the Rule book's . I also believe there is a restriction on taking sight pictures at make ready.

Mike

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You shouldn't have any issues. The vast majority of the shooters will be USPSA regulars shooting an IPSC match. The ROs and match staff will do their best to make sure you understand the rules differences before the first round is fired. I would check the IPSC division rules to see where your gun will be legal and competitive (not all USPSA production guns are IPSC production legal.) Go to the shooters meeting and pay attention. They will educate you on the biggest diferences between the 2 rule books.

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Of course the obvious difference is the size and shape of the targets. There are few big differences that you'll need to remember. Besides knowing the rules as they apply to your gun, here are a few that you'll need to remember.

No sight pictures or dry firing prior to the start signal. You can check your electronic optic but only while pointed at the ground. Dont' worry, if you forget,it's not a DQ, they'll give you a warning the 1st tim e, and then a proceduaral for each violation after the 1st one.

No cutting across corners, or taking a shortcut outside of a shooting area. Procedural for each shot fired after beginning the shortcut. You can go back and start over with out any further procedurals for that violation.

They're pretty strict on not having anything in your hands as a sighting aide when doing your walk thru of a stage. There is no warning on this one; you get a procedural the 1st time.

If the match is here in the States, most of the Ro's are good about pointing out the rule differences as they may apply to that particular stage.

Don't worry, you'll have a good time.

Edited by grapemeister
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They're pretty strict on not having anything in your hands as a sighting aide when doing your walk thru of a stage. There is no warning on this one; you get a procedural the 1st time.

Emphasis on "anything". I don't recall the match ( I do remember the competitor but leaving that info out because i'm not trying to beat a dead horse, just making a point ), a competitor was assessed a Procedural for having a towel in his hand. So don't have anything in your hands during a walk through.

Edited by CZinSC
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Thanks for all of the responses everyone. They are all very helpful.

for the most part the rules are very similar. The big differences are in the handgun divisions, like production guns can hold 15 need to have a 5lb? first trigger pull and cant have non factory parts and need to be on the IPSC production approved list, Standard (like our Limited) has to fit in a box with the magazines inserted so the 141mm extensions we run won't fit. there are other differences but nothing you cant glean from reading the Rule book's . I also believe there is a restriction on taking sight pictures at make ready.

Mike

I'm running a G34 Gen 4 for USPSA Production so that will bump me into IPSC Standard if I'm reading the rules correctly. That's fine with me since I'm not under any illusions of winning anything. Shooting IPSC enough will provide me with a perfectly valid excuse to purchase a Glock 17 Gen 4. :)

You shouldn't have any issues. The vast majority of the shooters will be USPSA regulars shooting an IPSC match. The ROs and match staff will do their best to make sure you understand the rules differences before the first round is fired. I would check the IPSC division rules to see where your gun will be legal and competitive (not all USPSA production guns are IPSC production legal.) Go to the shooters meeting and pay attention. They will educate you on the biggest diferences between the 2 rule books.

Okay, that's what I was I hoping. What I've learned in my very short amount of time doing USPSA/GSSF is if you pay attention and do your part to listen and learn, the ROs and staff people are immensely patient when it comes to making sure you're doing what you need to do. By the time this IPSC match rolls around, I'll have enough USPSA under my belt where I should be reasonably comfortable with that rule set.

If the match is here in the States, most of the Ro's are good about pointing out the rule differences as they may apply to that particular stage.

Don't worry, you'll have a good time.

Excellent. Thanks for the points to remember. That's very helpful.

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They're pretty strict on not having anything in your hands as a sighting aide when doing your walk thru of a stage. There is no warning on this one; you get a procedural the 1st time.

Emphasis on "anything". I don't recall the match ( I do remember the competitor but leaving that info out because i'm not trying to beat a dead horse, just making a point ), a competitor was assessed a Procedural for having a towel in his hand. So don't have anything in your hands during a walk through.

What sort of penalty dose a Procedural violation get you? Additional time tacked onto your score or is a point reduction for the total?

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They're pretty strict on not having anything in your hands as a sighting aide when doing your walk thru of a stage. There is no warning on this one; you get a procedural the 1st time.

Emphasis on "anything". I don't recall the match ( I do remember the competitor but leaving that info out because i'm not trying to beat a dead horse, just making a point ), a competitor was assessed a Procedural for having a towel in his hand. So don't have anything in your hands during a walk through.

What sort of penalty dose a Procedural violation get you? Additional time tacked onto your score or is a point reduction for the total?

-10 points

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They're pretty strict on not having anything in your hands as a sighting aide when doing your walk thru of a stage. There is no warning on this one; you get a procedural the 1st time.

Emphasis on "anything". I don't recall the match ( I do remember the competitor but leaving that info out because i'm not trying to beat a dead horse, just making a point ), a competitor was assessed a Procedural for having a towel in his hand. So don't have anything in your hands during a walk through.

I think that was Blake M. who was assessed that penalty.

However, you'll be fine, go and have fun but read the rules.

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a competitor was assessed a Procedural for having a towel in his hand.

And that is why I won't be shooting IDPA. Way too much subjectivity in the rules. I'll bet that shooter could have done that at 50 matches and never penalized for it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I understood the incident, the towel as a sighting aid violation wasn't during a walkthrough. It was at "Make Ready" when the shooter going through his "Make Ready" ritual of wiping some sweat off raised his hand with a towel to look at a target.

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Skydiver, you are correct, I did a search, found this from an old thread. This is one of the person's squad mates commenting on the issue:

"I was shooting in the same squad with xxxx. Long story short. Long field course with a loaded gun on table start and all magazines on table. Start position was seated facing uprange. xxxx was given the make ready command. After making ready, he returned to the start position where he had left a white hand towel. He picked the white towel up and sat down and wiped his face and hands off. The RO on the right side of the stage yelled "That is a procedural." After completing the stage, xxxx was informed he had broken rule 8.7.4. He appealed to the CRO, then the Range Master, who both refused to overturn the call. Discretion being the better part of valor, xxxx declined to go to arbitration. Who knew that a small white towel was an aiming device."

AGAIN...I removed the person's name ( I think we all know who it is by now anyway ) because my original intent of the example was to show a rule that you may not be aware of and not focus on the person that committed the foul.

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...

I'm not proud. I know I'm not very good at this point, but I just want to make sure I'm not detracting from someone else's match experience.

As long as you are safe and you pay your match fee, you have every right to be there just like anyone else.

Make the most of it and enjoy the experience.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After completing the stage, xxxx was informed he had broken rule 8.7.4. He appealed to the CRO, then the Range Master, who both refused to overturn the call.

This must have been some time back, because the current IPSC Handgun rule book no longer has Rule 8.7.4. The current rule is 8.7.2, which sets penalties during the walkthrough period of course inspection for using firearms, replicas, or firearm parts as sighting aids, not towels. The US had a similar rule about ten years ago for having anything in your hands during the walkthrough. I think that rule was taken behind a berm at a major match late in the year and executed, because it was gone by the next shooting season. I know that rule continued in the IPSC rulebook unchanged for a few years. You still can't take a sight picture in IPSC, but that is rule 8.7.1, and requires a firearm if you read the definitions of "sight picture" and "aiming."

As to the OP's concerns, there are several good threads here dating back to 2009 or so, from just before the match which has been known as the IPSC qualifier match, or more recently, the IPSC Nationals. This year's match is in October at Frostproof, and is presumably the match to which you refer. There will likely be another thread about rules differences this year also. Some of the past threads have included some longer posts that detail all the rules differences. I would check this forum topic last year around September to find the most recent.

As has been mentioned in this thread, the RM & MD both conduct a shooter's meeting to assist the shooters with unfamiliar rules. The primary ones are no sight pictures, even after "Load and make ready," which is the IPSC command that starts the course of fire, no stepping out of the shooting area to shortcut a turn or corner, and no gun parts in your hand during a walkthrough (i.e., magazines). As a range official at these matches, I try to do everything I can to let USPSA shooters know about these rules before they shoot a stage. It's really not too much different.

See you at the match,

Scott

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The consensus of the people who I have spoke to on this is that I likely wouldn't have any problems. What I've decided to do this year is to do the Steel Challenge World Match at Frostproof since I'm going to doing quite a bit of local Steel Challenge rather than this event. I'm not concerned about the rules differences now, but I think some more experience under my belt as a USPSA shooter is warranted before I try something like this. I've watched some of the video of past major IPSC matches and the stage design look very creative and challenging so I'm going to jump in once I think my skill level warrants it.

I know the 2014 IPSC World Shoot will be at Frostproof next year. That looks like it's something that I won't be able to enter because there is a qualification process (but one that I'm hoping to at least spectate at), but one of the nice things about living in the Tampa area is that we're close to a lot of shooting events including all of the great stuff they are doing at Frostproof/Universal Shooting Academy. I was just shooting their local action steel match not that long ago and I was very impressed with the facility and the staff. Shannon Smith was very approchable and was a fine host when I went down to shoot there for the first time.

Thanks, Cigarguy, for posting that. That's very helpful. I'll certainly enter a major IPSC match once I get some more experience.

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