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idpa classifier...do your absolute best?

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I used to do my best, both with speed and accuracy, but now I am getting older, and the body doesn't cooperate as well as I would like it to, so I don't take a knee on stage 3, would rather take the penalty and still be able to go to work the next day.

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I am a new shooter - sort of - not sure how long I get that title. I have a classifier scheduled this weekend and have been practicing quite a bit and hope to do well. By practicing I have dramatically improved my performances in the last two indoor IDPA matches I shot - I actually beat a well known master in the area this week. Not saying I am a better shooter than him and don't think an indoor match is the best yardstick but I have gotten better.

I run through a dry fire of the classifier and immediately enter my times into a spreadsheet I created to show me where my biggest weakness is. Then I drill the snot out of that skill. I think I could shoot Master this go around but i developed a tennis elbow problem with all the dry firing.

Of course after every match I analyze what was the weakest part of the shoot for me and drill the snot out of it. For example - weak hand was horrible for me in the first matches I shot. When I did my first dry fire classifier, 40% of my time miss came from the 3 weak hand shots, so i practiced it until I figured out my eye dominance problem that was slowing me down. Now - in a recent match - i had the fastest time on the weak hand string.

All that to say - practice it, analyze it, and it will help make you a better shooter. I am convinced of that. It may not have every element like moving targets etc. But it has enough elements to allow you to actually become competitive.

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Oh and the first thing I always look at on the scores is how close I am to the best shooter overall and then string by string I do the same comparison. Then I think about that stage and decide what to focus on for improvement. Winning SSP MM means nothing to me or anyone I know. If I can tell them I won overall - that makes me feel better!!!

Of course I haven't won anything yet so…..hahah

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classifier got called due to weather - disappointed and glad. It was colder than a witches….. well it was cold and raining. Loved that when I was young and in the army…Now not so much. Not sure how the weather would have effected my shooting and glad I didn't have to find out. Hopefully early next year!

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classifier got called due to weather - disappointed and glad. It was colder than a witches….. well it was cold and raining. Loved that when I was young and in the army…Now not so much. Not sure how the weather would have effected my shooting and glad I didn't have to find out. Hopefully early next year!

How could it be cold if it was raining? Rain by definition means it's at or above freezing.

BTW I agree with your classifier philosophy.

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Interesting thread, and lots of insight.

Bones, while I am unable to do those math calcs on my own, you explained it well and the logic is sound.

I consider myself an example of that. A small country, where shooting is somewhat politically incorrect and dominated by a minority demographic group, does not bode well for proper statistical data as the number of competitors are so low.

Yet here I am, classified as EX due to a match bump. I find myself somewhat disappointed, as I am not able to shoot EX on the Classifier. Yet. But someone had to be bumped, whether or not anyone from that group are indeed at EX level.

Okay since then I have started taking the sport more seriously, reading up on stuff (thanks, Mr Stoeger) and gaining advice, dry firing and practicing when I have the time. I feel like I need to be able to shoot EX at a Classifier to prove to myself that I earn the classification. There is a measure of responsibility that goes with it. I pitch at my local club (which has 2 MAs and I think 3 EXs), and some of the NOs and MMs in my detail would actually stand around and watch me shoot or ask advice, etc, and I don't want to be giving out incorrect info, and I don't feel qualified to answer them.

Either way, I have improved a lot, so we'll see at the next Classifier early next year.

What I can say, is that this mechanical system of improving classifications have forced me to become a better shooter.

In answer to the OP, then: do not sandbag the Classifier. Do your best, and accept the classification it spits out.

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An early activist wrote a shorter classifier, I think 54 rounds instead of 90, claimed to test the same skills. That could have been included in a sanctioned match without diluting the novelty events much. And I think it should. But it was roundly ignored by management, so here we are.

Jim, et. al.,

Several people have submitted different / shorter classifiers, including me. I just cut strings out of the current Classifier where skills were being tested twice. I even collected a bunch of classifier raw data, and tried to put together new times for the shortened classifier, using times from actual runs of the strings I kept. But it would be a significant change to manage, either way.

The problem I see with changing the classifier is one of momentum, that is the 20,000 shooters that are classified the current way. The TTs changed the Classifier times a bit this year based on real large match performance, and you should have heard the whining. Can you imagine what would happen trying to switch to a whole new classifier... no matter how good it might be?

One issue we currently have is the incorrect perception about bumps. I hear it given as a flaw in the current system that someone gets a bump and can't shoot with the group they just got bumped into. But that is the same for all classification systems. When someone first makes Expert on the classifier, or "B" on the classifier, or gets bumped, there are a whole range of skills in that new group. Some are just about to bump to the next range, and those will be the winners at matches in their group. Some just got into the group, and will suck up the tail end of the scores in their new group for a while. Everyone gets promoted into a group they are not competitive in, no matter how bumps are done, or classifications are set. It is not a flaw in the current system. All systems have this problem.

Given that the current shooter's classifications are roughly a bell curve with the fewest in DM and next in MA, and EX being the next smallest, and the most shooters in SS and MM, maybe we have no actual problem... except on the internet.

Just a thought,

kr

Edited by freeidaho

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" But that is the same for all classification systems. When someone first makes Expert on the classifier, or "B" on the classifier, or gets bumped, there are a whole range of skills in that new group. Some are just about to bump to the next range, and those will be the winners at matches in their group. "

Sort of kind of not really. If we're comparing to USPSA (assuming that's what a B reference is here), you don't get match bumped unless there are enough Grand Masters at the match shooting that particular division. Your classification percentage dictates the bump. If you win 3 state championships in a row as B Class in Open and there aren't any GMs and your classification percentage remains at say, 65%, you aren't getting a bump. If you "grandbag" or happen to just hit it right on classifiers, sure, other people within that class will dominate that person and they'll either HTFU and train and be competitive, or they'll quit, or they'll hide in another division. The big difference is, in IDPA, if someone wants to sandbag and win 1st Place Marksman plaques, they can do it. If someone wants to keep winning B Class 1st Place plaques, they are shooting to win. Part of that effort involves shooting classifier stages as part of the match. They could try to tone that down and sandbag their percentage but in the end, that puts them at risk for not reaching their goal of a class placement.

Look at what bones posted, its reality. It's not mind shattering "math". And regarding the classifier, I know folks that never shot actoin pistol before or only shot a few informal matches and they made Expert on the IDPA classifier. People who have never competed before routinely make sharpshooter. There is a problem with this. The major things that mess people up on the IDPA classifier are the one hand only shooting portions and Stage 3; people drop way way way too many points on those 20 yard targets, and older/mobility challenged shooters lose time moving up to the barrel and taking low cover. Even so, these people can tangibly enter the game as Sharpshooters and, in an area where the shooters are not as good, they can be quickly promoted to Expert. This depends entirely on the level of shooters in any given area, as opposed to a percentage system like USPSA that bases itself off a database. In the Northeast, there are some places where there are some pretty solid guys that shoot IDPA. There's another place in the Northeast I shot this year where most people are universally terrible. A lot of the sanctioned matches I shot last year were nothing more than glorified club matches that drew the same people, so this really does play into the graph that bones posted.

Finally, there seems to be a much stronger emphasis on class placement in IDPA than in other shooting sports where the overall is more important. IDPA overtly states that it is geared towards a different group of shooters than other games. In order to keep "social shooters" happy, there needs to be some opportunity for people who shoot casually to win something. I think there is less incentive to want to sandbag on anything if a lower class is generally seen as undesirable. Personally, I cringe when I admit my USPSA/ICORE classifier percentages. It's a bad thing, and I want it gone.

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"

Look at what bones posted, its reality. It's not mind shattering "math".

.

Okay, lets look at that math. Lets start 100 shooters with "D" class skills in USPSA. They stay the same skill level forever. It seems to me, and I am no expert on USPSA classifiers, that they all make Grand Master in their first series of classifiers.

The example is contrived. It makes no sense in the real world of IDPA or USPSA or ICORE or Autocross or Drag Racing. Ever participate in drag racing. You run against whom ever shows up.

None-the-less, the point that a promotion in USPSA compares a shooter against the whole population, mostly, and in IDPA it compares the shooter against those attending a single match. One requires a whole lot of infrastructure to implement, the other requires nearly none. Two different philosophies of how to run a sport.

Either way I don't see any shooters with MM skills classified as a Master or DM, which seem to be the worry of some. But not me. And I don't see the casual shooter taking home anything from the Nats or Carolina Cup, except grins.

kr

Edited by freeidaho

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"

Look at what bones posted, its reality. It's not mind shattering "math".

.

Okay, lets look at that math. Lets start 100 shooters with "D" class skills in USPSA. They stay the same skill level forever. It seems to me, and I am no expert on USPSA classifiers, that they all make Grand Master in their first series of classifiers.

huh?

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Absolutely. Even though it's a game, I refuse to "game" this part of it. I look forward to moving up and getting better. It's funny how a few too many of the regulars who will never miss a Sunday local match are nowhere to be found on classifier day, lol.

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Freeidaho, why are you applying bone's post to USPSA? The thread is about IDPA, and the example he gave is about IDPA. You are reiterating my point. If one hundred D class shooters sign up for a USPSA Level 2 match and there are no Grand Masters and they all shoot 20% scores on the classifiers, they will all remain D class shooters. This is an accurate representation of their abilities.

If you have the same one hundred marksman sign up for a sanctioned IDPA match and they all shoot crappy, many of them are going to get bumped solely on the basis of the scoring system.

As far as your observation about nationals or the Carolina Cup, bones model was talking about a theoretical sample that was isolated from "the real world". If someone gets a bump to Expert or Master through a local match and they know they don't have the skills to back it up, they probably are not going to make a 1,000 dollar investment to travel to a major event because they know they'll get destroyed. They stay home. That's the entire point here. In the IDPA classification system, people seem to get promoted to unrealistic and inaccurate skill levels before they're ready to compete at that level.

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Freeidaho, why are you applying bone's post to USPSA? The thread is about IDPA, and the example he gave is about IDPA. You are reiterating my point. If one hundred D class shooters sign up for a USPSA Level 2 match and there are no Grand Masters and they all shoot 20% scores on the classifiers, they will all remain D class shooters. This is an accurate representation of their abilities.

If you have the same one hundred marksman sign up for a sanctioned IDPA match and they all shoot crappy, many of them are going to get bumped solely on the basis of the scoring system.

As far as your observation about nationals or the Carolina Cup, bones model was talking about a theoretical sample that was isolated from "the real world". If someone gets a bump to Expert or Master through a local match and they know they don't have the skills to back it up, they probably are not going to make a 1,000 dollar investment to travel to a major event because they know they'll get destroyed. They stay home. That's the entire point here. In the IDPA classification system, people seem to get promoted to unrealistic and inaccurate skill levels before they're ready to compete at that level.

Freeidaho, why are you applying bone's post to USPSA? The thread is about IDPA, and the example he gave is about IDPA. You are reiterating my point. If one hundred D class shooters sign up for a USPSA Level 2 match and there are no Grand Masters and they all shoot 20% scores on the classifiers, they will all remain D class shooters. This is an accurate representation of their abilities.

I'm not sure if you missed the point on purpose or not. USPSA seems to always be held up as the perfect example of everything. So, why not apply Bones math experiment.

Now I'm not sure you understood Bones' thought experiment. In the IDPA case, Bones started out with 100 Marksman as the only shooters in a completely isolated system and did the subsequent math. If it was not a completely isolated system, then the math doesn't work.

So, just like in Bones example for IDPA, if the only shooters in the entire USPSA system are the 100 shooters with "D" class skills, there is no 20%. Their score is the 100% mark. They all make Grand Master, because their scores would be the only scores in the classification database. Their scores automatically represent 100%.

This is an apples to apples comparison using the same premise.

The example is an unattainable contrived situation. It means nothing for IDPA or USPSA. That is my point.

If you can read clearly, I am agreeing with Bones' premise that USPSA match bumps classifiy people more accurately than do IDPA match bumps.

But the math example fails for IDPA and USPSA. It means nothing for either sport.

The IDPA match bump only occurs if the shooter beats 9 others in his/her classification/division or the ones above. And as you have said, people don't spend the money to go to sanctioned matches if they can't shoot. So it isn't as bad as y'all make it out to be. You seem to be advocating that hardly anyone in IDPA is properly classified. It ain't true.

kr

Edited by freeidaho

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I can read clearly, thank you for your observation. I'm sure it carried no sarcastic overtones whatsoever. I'm not advocating that the entire IDPA database isn't properly classified, I don't know where you got that. I think there are a lot of people that end up as Sharpshooters or Experts and they don't belong there, and their attendance to sanctioned matches subsequently effects other people getting their match bump. I'm not saying it's a huge thing that must be changed because it doesn't matter to me, personally. It does matter to a lot of people however.

I don't think any clasification system is perfect. Someone in a previous example brought up letter grading, so I assumed they were talking about USPSA. The only two action pistol formats I know of that use letter classes are USPSA/IPSC (and I suppose Steel Challenge falls under that) and ICORE. NRA Action Pistol uses a similar set of classes to IDPA.

"So, just like in Bones example for IDPA, if the only shooters in the entire USPSA system are the 100 shooters with "D" class skills, there is no 20%. Their score is the 100% mark. They all make Grand Master, because their scores would be the only scores in the classification database. Their scores automatically represent 100%."

Sort of. Bones' graph discusses what could (and in my opinion, does) happen at IDPA sanctioned matches, not the classifier. You specifically mentioned the USPSA classifier database and avoiding a discussion about contrived situations so I'll talk about that. Presume the USPSA classification system is virgin and there are 100 freshly admitted shooters. None of them are very good. They all shoot a classifier match and have generally similar hit factors. Even if everyone ends up with a high percentage, the practical result is that as more shooters are added to the database, the classes will spread out. As the compettiors shoot new classifiers, the system stabalizes because the system flags certain classification scores for removal: for example, scores 15% over one's classification (must be reviewed to be input), scores that are remarkably poor due to mental or gear malfunction (see Flagging System points B and C on the USPSA Frequently Asked Questions page) Adding new participants naturally helps stabilize the system over time.

At a match, USPSA chooses to promote people if there are enough Grand Masters shooting a given sanctioned match - I don't know the procedure they use for this but I presume there has to be a certain percentage of the overall people in attendance for that division. If you have:

1st place GM: 100%

2nd place GM: 95.7%

3rd Place GM: 95.0%

4th to Infinity Place: 60%

If you were a D or a C, you may be promoted. Winning first or second in class and also shooting into the next class up may get you promoted. I'm sure the classification team would also review the classifier scores shot during the match. That's right from the USPSA rulebook.

If there was a D class with 100 people at this match and they all post D scores and D percentages, no one is moving out of D. In IDPA, there is no regard to performance, the promotion is purely based on statistics (match attendance and division/class population). Marksman shooters will become Sharpshooters. The mere act of those Sharpshooters entering the next event will bump existing Sharpshooters, regardless of performance, to Expert, and so on and so forth.

Now to relate back to the original thread, you do see people that come out "guns blazing" and have a good day at the IDPA classifier and they post into a class where they don't belong. The same could happen at a USPSA classifier match. The primary difference is that the USPSA classification system takes the top scores into account and there is a diversity of shooting challenges represented. The IDPA classifier is mostly shooting targets at close distance with the exception of the barricade stage.

Edit for addition: In the case of a virgin classification system, unless all of the fictitious competitors shot IDENTICAL scores on the initial classifier, you would not have all Grand Masters. The percentage scale would be applied accordingly. It's impossible for everyone to be 95+%.

Edited by Cd662

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Happy New Year,

I think you mostly got it now. I think two things are still off a bit

You wrote:

I think there are a lot of people that end up as Sharpshooters or Experts and they don't belong there.

I'm a data driven person, if you couldn't tell, so I'd like to see this data please. Or maybe this is unsubstantiated opinion, which means one can say anything and not have any data. When I go to USPSA, 3-gun, and IDPA matches I see some people that can not shoot up to their classification on any given month. I don't interpolate that into the thought that the classification systems are flawed. It is just the way things work. Not everyone shoots their best scores every outing, no matter their sport. Some shooters are pretty steady range session to range session, and some are up and down all over the place. It is the human condition. And each sport has a way or two that shooters can cherry pick their classifier results. Some do, some don't.

You wrote:

It's impossible for everyone to be 95+%.

Not to belabor the point, but actually it is not impossible. Take three shooters as the entire database. Hightest scored 100, second highest scored 99, third highest scored 98. All make GM. No matter how many shooters there are, if they shoot between 100 and 95, they all make GM. I know it is a hypothetical point, but lets be accurate, if not forthcoming.

We agree, that it doesn't much matter to either of us. Each sport has ways to nudge a classification up or down artificially by keeping only the best scores, or keeping only the worst scores, and that doesn't even include just throwing a few shots. The big talk right now is the new female GM is not a real GM. How can that happen with a classification system that is so complicated it has to be computerized and held up to be perfect in every way? Dunno.

BTW: This thread is open on the IDPAforum, here and the Doodie project. Lots of good stuff written in each venue. Check out GlockToGo's post on Doodie.

One last thought. Practice makes way more difference on one's classification than does any of the common classification systems. If one is worried about their classification, I'd recommend practice. If one is worried about the classification of others, there is no solution for that.

kr

Edited by freeidaho

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The thing is...USPSA's system is not closed off to those 100 D shooters. The scores are still based on the high hit factors, nationally.

At IDPA sanctioned matches, the classification system IS based ONLY on those local people who happened to show up to the match. That's what Bone's comments were about. Now is that a problem? I don't know. It does keep people from coming to their local sanctioned matches and winning MM division year after year. On the other hand, I know a few people who have bumped in matches by finishing 2nd or 3rd in a division, and never had a chance to actually win anything. I guess they'll have to practice now.

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The thing is...USPSA's system is not closed off to those 100 D shooters. The scores are still based on the high hit factors, nationally.

At IDPA sanctioned matches, the classification system IS based ONLY on those local people who happened to show up to the match. That's what Bone's comments were about. Now is that a problem? I don't know. It does keep people from coming to their local sanctioned matches and winning MM division year after year. On the other hand, I know a few people who have bumped in matches by finishing 2nd or 3rd in a division, and never had a chance to actually win anything. I guess they'll have to practice now.

Matt, I think you have hit the nail on the head. The 'localized' classification advance (via IDPA sanctioned match bumps) can obviously advance a shooter into a classification where they cannot perform at that level. Bone's math is dead on. He has a very sharp mind when it comes to statistical data. The overall data base used by USPSA and ICORE is a far more accurate the determination of a shooter's actual skill level.

The concept of actually shooting that Classifier score to be able to hold onto the match bump one received is a good one. Just because 10 lower level (just out of Novice Class) MMs showed up at a IDPA sanctioned match and one of the them won that Division by one second, does not necessarily make that shooter competitive in SS Class.

The IDPA match bump system does have flaws, although those who cheerlead for IDPA and say they can do no wrong may disagree. I'm certain that the Head Cheerleader will chime in on that statement, and likely in a somewhat sarcastic (as usual) manner. But, that doesn't change the facts.

An Internatioanl organization should base its shooter classification data on overall data, and not localized results.

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Last post by me, you win I guess. I'm not regged at Doodie, but it's an amusing place. I didn't know there was a thread there about this.

"I'm a data driven person, if you couldn't tell, so I'd like to see this data please. Or maybe this is unsubstantiated opinion, which means one can say anything and not have any data."

Sure, I'll just start interviewing every IDPA shooter in the world that participates in sanctioned matches and establish criteria to isolate geographic areas where the performance base is not as good as other geographic areas. Then I'll have to pinpoint the shooters who had match bumps. Then I'd have to establish some sort of base performance model for competitors in the same division. It'll take me 20 years and a lot of money to complete, PM me an address to send the consultation bill to. You are correct, a very small sample size can yield goofy results. What I do see, in practical observation, of which there is no data because I can't connect my brain to a computer like in the Matrix, is that a ton of people come out to IDPA Sanctioned matches and they're surprisingly not the same people that are regulars at club matches. For example, up here in the Northeast, some people make it a point to shoot the S&W Indoor Nationals but they don't shoot any other sanctioned matches. They know they aren't going to be competitive and they don't care. Within the IDPA match bump system, the mere participation of these individuals has an immediate effect on other people in the division. The same CANNOT be said for USPSA, or ICORE, although I don't know about Bullseye, PPC, Silouette, Bianchi, etc.

One thing I do like about the new IDPA is the inclusion of standards-style stages to certain tier matches. It's not a classifier, but it's a step in the right direction.

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It's trickier to compare scores in IDPA. I like the uspsa percentage system, because I can track my improvement as my percentage of the winner's score goes up. with idpa i have to get my calculator out to figure how close I am to the top dogs.

This may be closer to the answer than you think. Here's my take. In IDPA, they go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome (I know, I know, the Joyce letter and silly rulebook changes notwithstanding). Here's how. They specifically divide everyone up into categories and avoid overall results like the plague. What you appreciate in having the precentages totaled for YOU, would be more discouraging to the average IDPA shooter.

"Hey I won my class this weekend!"

"Great, what was your percentage overall?"

"Umm, 54%." :(

And there's your answer. Instant gratification without all those annoying, in your face test scores that reveal you're really not as good as that "wood" would suggest. By way of that, it's easier to keep those with easily bruised egos in the game. Being an IDPA shooter, I've always said the better shooters are in USPSA/IPSC. It may not be so much that shooting IPSC is harder or more challenging, but that there's less room for error. Too many errors and those without fortitude will go home and stay home. The numbers don't coddle fragile egos.

I shot IDPA with Bones for years. He knows that all I ever care about is overall placement. The most aggravating thing for me as a "sportsman" shooter is to get beat by anyone in a lower class in ANY division, or getting beat by other "sportsman" type shooters who are also unsponsored. If I had more time and money, I could probably give USPSA a run and not get dejected. A great number of IDPA shooters have the want to win attitude, but not the skill or fortitude to back it up in USPSA. That to me is one of the substantial differences. That and subjective vs. objective rules. JMO, YMMV

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I've always done my best, but I wasn't bright enough to figure out the sandbagging thing until it was too late.

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Freeidaho, why are you applying bone's post to USPSA? The thread is about IDPA, and the example he gave is about IDPA. You are reiterating my point. If one hundred D class shooters sign up for a USPSA Level 2 match and there are no Grand Masters and they all shoot 20% scores on the classifiers, they will all remain D class shooters. This is an accurate representation of their abilities.

If you have the same one hundred marksman sign up for a sanctioned IDPA match and they all shoot crappy, many of them are going to get bumped solely on the basis of the scoring system.

As far as your observation about nationals or the Carolina Cup, bones model was talking about a theoretical sample that was isolated from "the real world". If someone gets a bump to Expert or Master through a local match and they know they don't have the skills to back it up, they probably are not going to make a 1,000 dollar investment to travel to a major event because they know they'll get destroyed. They stay home. That's the entire point here. In the IDPA classification system, people seem to get promoted to unrealistic and inaccurate skill levels before they're ready to compete at that level.

Freeidaho, why are you applying bone's post to USPSA? The thread is about IDPA, and the example he gave is about IDPA. You are reiterating my point. If one hundred D class shooters sign up for a USPSA Level 2 match and there are no Grand Masters and they all shoot 20% scores on the classifiers, they will all remain D class shooters. This is an accurate representation of their abilities.

I'm not sure if you missed the point on purpose or not. USPSA seems to always be held up as the perfect example of everything. So, why not apply Bones math experiment.

Now I'm not sure you understood Bones' thought experiment. In the IDPA case, Bones started out with 100 Marksman as the only shooters in a completely isolated system and did the subsequent math. If it was not a completely isolated system, then the math doesn't work.

So, just like in Bones example for IDPA, if the only shooters in the entire USPSA system are the 100 shooters with "D" class skills, there is no 20%. Their score is the 100% mark. They all make Grand Master, because their scores would be the only scores in the classification database. Their scores automatically represent 100%.

This is an apples to apples comparison using the same premise.

The example is an unattainable contrived situation. It means nothing for IDPA or USPSA. That is my point.

If you can read clearly, I am agreeing with Bones' premise that USPSA match bumps classifiy people more accurately than do IDPA match bumps.

But the math example fails for IDPA and USPSA. It means nothing for either sport.

The IDPA match bump only occurs if the shooter beats 9 others in his/her classification/division or the ones above. And as you have said, people don't spend the money to go to sanctioned matches if they can't shoot. So it isn't as bad as y'all make it out to be. You seem to be advocating that hardly anyone in IDPA is properly classified. It ain't true.

kr

Wow - just read this after being away awhile.

I was not advocating anything, nor was I applying my example to the USPSA Classification system (which I consider to be superior to the IDPA system because it sets and maintains an absolute reference - the 100% line). A thing can be both imperfect and superior to something else.

Here's what I meant:

The IDPA match bump system is structurally flawed in that produces Classifications that exceed basic skill levels set by IDPA. The IDPA Classifier sets a (relative to USPSA low) 75% line (at best) as its highest skill level bar. Ergo, relative to USPSA, it is much easier to progress to higher Classification levels without commensurate increase in skill level. By design or by unintended consequence, the system is built that way.

Here’s why I said it:

I was making an observation based on a very large sample size. The majority of IDPA shooters I have met classified at any rank above MM cannot demonstrate basic shooting skills that match their Classification level on demand (as IDPA itself defines them in the IDPA Classifier). The frequency of this observations increases significantly as one progresses to higher Classifications MA>EX>SS ). My observation was that the match bump system was the primary cause. In fact, I met many MAs who never shot a Classifier at their Classification level after their first one to make MM, and simply progressed via "match bumps". Many, ironically, referred to this as "doing it the hard way". I get a big kick out of that response - they are implying a photographer's vest, some blue barrels and a NT stapled to the target array would imbue them with better shooting skills. No wonder "tactical" and ""CCW" clothing costs so much. The rules only require a Classifier be shot every year, not that skill be demonstrated - this is another contributor to the "bump" dilution of shooting skills at higher Classifications. As long as they don't put a round over the berm, they maintain their rating.

I argued against the creation of DM. I thought it was an unnecessary response to a nonexistent problem. The perceived "problem" from my perspective was not that there were too many MAs; the problem was there were too many EXs in MA.

Those EXs got to MA via the (flawed) match bump system. Obviously, they were not competitive (“winning” as they defined it) in MA at larger matches. This made them unhappy. The match bump system was setting unrealistic expectations by promoting them without confirming a basic skill level. These are the shooters “who do not test well”, whatever that means to a physical skill.

My recommendation when the creation of DM was clearly inevitable was to require both a match win (or absolute performance level) and a documented Classifier time. I know many of us submitted documented classifier times to use as a basis for establishing a criterion.

Now, I will advocate something:

The data for Classifier times and match winners exist in the HQ database. Therefore, the overlap of these two populations can be known.

If the classifications for members were reset using this data (i.e. a documented Classifier Time and Match bump would be required for all Classifications beyond MM), the mean would shift to the left (lower classification level). Would that exercise not answer the "properly classified" question definitively?

This would not require anything beyond time to cross reference the data (nor will it likely sell more subscriptions), but it would reconcile the obvious incongruity of the 2 independent systems.

This would not affect how many trophies are awarded at matches, since this is done on a fractional, and not an absolute performance, basis.

I am, however, under no illusion that this will be seriously considered.

I am, hopeful, however, that after a short break my good friend Glocktogo will wake up, and that we will continue to shoot together in Single Stack. Barry, IL is about halfway between OK and MA last time I looked. For what it's worth and if anyone is still reading this very boring post, he should have been on the original DM list, as I am certain he would have met any and all the performance criteria everyone who ultimately ended up on the list did, but the cut off date that was selected excluded him.

Edited by Bones

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Put another way, the match bump system extrapolates an attribute from a sample size of 10 to a population of ~10000. I am estimating there are about that many competitors with SSP classifications - you get the picture.

Ken, you seem like you know some math. Go to your T table (not the Tiger Table, Student's T table). What is the confidence level of that assumption?

Now, at that confidence level, replicate the exercise, say 5000 times, assuming half the shooters in A class above master got there via the 'bump' and tell me what the relative variance of the population is.

You will quickly see that the error in that extrapolation exceeds the result value, (i.e. it has a confidence level that approaches 0. For any given individual , the attribute ( their classification) is more likely wrong than correct. This assumes their Classifier score would be "correct".

The systems (classifier and match bump) are not equal. They produce very different results. You can not equate them or their products. The weaker system (bump) significantly dilutes the stronger.

And since you brought it up, if Members pay the same match fees and annual dues, etc. why should they not expect the a similarly robust and unambiguous assessment structure, representation or service at the same price point? I'm glad it's easier, but frankly, we are not giving money to a charity in either sport. Aspects of the individual sports aside, members are buying services that provide competitive shooting venues.

Edited by Bones

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