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My open letter to ICORE Match Directors


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First, let me say "Thank You" for putting matches together. If it weren't for you guys, I would just go to the range and waste ammo.

 

I'm new to ICORE (about two years) but I started shooting USPSA in the mid 80's, and NSCA (sporting clays shotguns) for the last 15 or so years. I'm always in C or B class, but my entry fees are the same as the "big dogs". 

 

I've grew up shooting in the Phoenix metro area, so I'm spoiled because of Cactus Match, Rio Salado, and Phoenix Rod and Gun Club. I even shot The Ernie Hill a few times, and the NSCA US Open.

 

That being said, I notice ICORE matches (outside the Phoenix area) tend to start later, end later, and are loaded with classifiers, and steel stages.  I also notice the attendance is down from USPSA and NSCA.

 

I can't speak to that, but for me, a new shooter with a little free time (I'm 63 and retired) I'd like to see the matches start at 8:00, one classifier, the rest field stages, smaller squads, and end at 1:00pm.

 

You know, just like they do in Phoenix.

 

Oh, and thanks to the CRO's and RO's too.

 

I'll be at the ICORE matches regardless, but I'll quit bitching on the internet if you make my changes :)

 

 

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Are you offering to show up at zero dark thirty to set up the match by headlamp? That's what it takes for an early start if the match can't set up the day before like Rio Salado.

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3 hours ago, ChuckS said:

Are you offering to show up at zero dark thirty to set up the match by headlamp? That's what it takes for an early start if the match can't set up the day before like Rio Salado.

He is retired so he should have plenty of time 🙂

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4 hours ago, ChuckS said:

Are you offering to show up at zero dark thirty to set up the match by headlamp? That's what it takes for an early start if the match can't set up the day before like Rio Salado.

And he would be an EXCELLENT choice as MD!

Then the match can start whenever the MD says so!

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As a match director I agree with what you say but in my area, and other places I’ve lived there’s just not a lot of participation. That’s the real problem. You get more people interested in the sport, you lose those matches you’re talking about.
 

This year is tough, last year I maxed out at 14 shooters one match. Not bad for our inaugural year. This year I had to cancel the years first match due to lack of sign up. In Atlanta it wasn’t much better. We’d get 12-20 shooters, good stages, good people. But for the largest city in the south it’s low. The demand just isn’t there.

 

Off the top of my head, Orlando, North Missouri, Philadelphia area, and Massachusetts have pretty active clubs but I don’t think they break 30. Even Phoenix, Mecca of the shooting sports, average 20ish. Compare that to my club’s weekly USPSA match. We can get 60 people on a weekday and have a waiting list.

 

I’m rambling but my point is that without the people it’s hard to set up good stages.

 

As for shooting early, not sure we have that problem. In the Midwest they’re a bit later to let people drive. But still start reasonably.

 

steel stages are a freebie for an overextended MD. Put up a box/wall and you got a stage real quick.

 

I’ve been operating under a “if you build it they will come” to my matches but it’s a lot to get all dressed up and have no one to shoot with. Even when I have a lot of field courses I’m afraid I’m gonna scare my shooters away by having them help me break down the stages.

 

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16 minutes ago, RangerMcFadden said:

Even Phoenix, Mecca of the shooting sports, average 20ish.

 

Not sure where you get that figure. The 1st Sunday ICORE match at Rio regularly maxes out at its COVID limit of 40 shooters while the 2nd Sunday match at PRGC gets 20 to 30, and the 4th Saturday match at PRGC usual pulls in at least 20.

Edited by bdpaz
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7 minutes ago, bdpaz said:

Not sure where you get that figure. The 1st Sunday ICORE match at Rio regularly maxes out at its COVID limit of 40 shooters while the 2nd Sunday match at PRGC gets 20 to 30, and the 4th Saturday match at PRGC usual pulls in at least 20.

I didn’t count them, my bad. I’m basing that off of PRGC. 
 

Though I don’t think my oversight diminishes my global argument that ICORE has lower participation, thus fewer volunteers.

Edited by RangerMcFadden
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5 hours ago, ChuckS said:

Are you offering to show up at zero dark thirty to set up the match by headlamp? That's what it takes for an early start if the match can't set up the day before like Rio Salado.

 

Hey Chuck, long time no visual.

 

 

When go to Pizza Hut, I don't have to make the pizza :)

 

On a serious note, I'm just telling you guys how a long time shooter that's new to ICORE, feels. Take it for what it's worth. Maybe some of what I said is the reason for the low turnout, maybe I'm full of s#!t.

 

Either way, now you how one guy feels. 

 

Not everybody is cut out to be a Match Director, and I'm certainly not. I'd be willing to help, and have a few times at our local steel club.

 

But I wasn't having fun shooting it, so I don't go any more.

 

At least we're discussing it. Bob Boarder in Phoenix seems to get it done, maybe ask him when we're all at the AZ State Championship in October?

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30 minutes ago, ysrracer said:

 

Hey Chuck, long time no visual.

 

 

When go to Pizza Hut, I don't have to make the pizza :)

 

On a serious note, I'm just telling you guys how a long time shooter that's new to ICORE, feels. Take it for what it's worth. Maybe some of what I said is the reason for the low turnout, maybe I'm full of s#!t.

 

Either way, now you how one guy feels. 

 

Not everybody is cut out to be a Match Director, and I'm certainly not. I'd be willing to help, and have a few times at our local steel club.

 

But I wasn't having fun shooting it, so I don't go any more.

 

At least we're discussing it. Bob Boarder in Phoenix seems to get it done, maybe ask him when we're all at the AZ State Championship in October?

I'm sure if the Match Organizers were being paid, themselves not for the match, to put on COF's things could get ramped up.  If capitalism was to rear its head things could get really wild!  Pay $30 per hour, then so much per head, would set up a reason to create some really outrageous stages.  Even if one had to set up by headlights!  Stage creators competing for whose COF draws the most.  Of course then the Match Fees would get pretty high, after all that pizza ain't free.

 

But being a volunteer sport kind of limits that.  Most of us shooters can be down right frugal!!!  The thought of paying for anything makes us twitch badly, that money could've been spent on AMMO!

 

I agree with you though, ICORE just doesn't draw like USPSA.  So I drag my Revolver to USPSA Matches, A LOT!

And I will NEVER complain about a legal stage set up by someone else.  In fact I always try to find something good to say about it.

And I've seen some pretty ??bland?? stages, and set up more than a few myself.

I'm always impressed, at least here locally, with the efforts put out by some on their USPSA COF's.

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A local club here in NE PA built ranges about 3 years ago. They started USPSA matches using IDPA scoring as they were not affiliated. I shot a few of them. One of the club guys said they were looking for somebody to run Steel Challenge.

I, too, am retired, so I volunteered. I ran them for 2 years. (We got affiliated at the beginning of the next year. I did that also.) Then we could sends scores (and money) to USPSA.

Here's the thing.

I set up pretty much all of my matches on Thursday and Friday mornings by myself. Finished early Saturday, ran the match and tore down (with some help).

Last August I set up a 5 stage knock down steel match that was all man on man. Borrowed targets from 5 guys (besides my targets) and took 3 days to set up. Advertised the crap out of it. We had 14 shooters show up.

Being an MD is not for everybody. You get all the work and little of the thanks. The aggravation and complaining is a side benefit. Hopefully the club benefits. That is why we do it.

If you want "change" put on your big boy pants and jump in!

The stages lurking in your brain are what will bring shooters in.

Just don't expect a lot of help and do expect whining crying and complaining.

And, if you are lucky, somebody leaving might just stop and say, "Thanks, fun shoot"

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44 minutes ago, Dr. Phil said:

A local club here in NE PA built ranges about 3 years ago. They started USPSA matches using IDPA scoring as they were not affiliated. I shot a few of them. One of the club guys said they were looking for somebody to run Steel Challenge.

I, too, am retired, so I volunteered. I ran them for 2 years. (We got affiliated at the beginning of the next year. I did that also.) Then we could sends scores (and money) to USPSA.

Here's the thing.

I set up pretty much all of my matches on Thursday and Friday mornings by myself. Finished early Saturday, ran the match and tore down (with some help).

Last August I set up a 5 stage knock down steel match that was all man on man. Borrowed targets from 5 guys (besides my targets) and took 3 days to set up. Advertised the crap out of it. We had 14 shooters show up.

Being an MD is not for everybody. You get all the work and little of the thanks. The aggravation and complaining is a side benefit. Hopefully the club benefits. That is why we do it.

If you want "change" put on your big boy pants and jump in!

The stages lurking in your brain are what will bring shooters in.

Just don't expect a lot of help and do expect whining crying and complaining.

And, if you are lucky, somebody leaving might just stop and say, "Thanks, fun shoot"

I would like to like this post

 

Well said 👍

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First question, have you ever been a match director or a volunteer at a ICORE match, regional or IRC? If not why, and with all your insight and free time it should fall into your time schedule. I would show up to a match that you promote and run and I will even help RO on my dime. Here are the clubs in California that promote ICORE  and  I am sure they would appreciate the help. Apply to ICORE to hold a regional or the IRC with a plan and they will look at and  approve a match to the schedule. Some of the best IRC's I attended were in California at San Luis Obispo at the Hogue range. 

 

So to put it into simpler words either get on board to help run matches and improve or if you just chose to shoot and not help and then bitch. Well then just shut the f---k up and enjoy what others put out there to enjoy and don't shoot ICORE and go back to NSCA. Life is that simple. 

✌️

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8 minutes ago, revoman said:

First question, have you ever been a match director or a volunteer at a ICORE match, regional or IRC? If not why, and with all your insight and free time it should fall into your time schedule. I would show up to a match that you promote and run and I will even help RO on my dime. Here are the clubs in California that promote ICORE  and  I am sure they would appreciate the help. Apply to ICORE to hold a regional or the IRC with a plan and they will look at and  approve a match to the schedule. Some of the best IRC's I attended were in California at San Luis Obispo at the Hogue range. 

 

So to put it into simpler words either get on board to help run matches and improve or if you just chose to shoot and not help and then bitch. Well then just shut the f---k up and enjoy what others put out there to enjoy and don't shoot ICORE and go back to NSCA. Life is that simple. 

✌️

 

And we wonder why ICORE is a dying sport?

 

I have no "insight". I'm a new shooter, just saying what I'd like to see. And the funny thing is, I see it every time I shoot in Phoenix. 

 

Take what I've posted or not, I'll continue to shoot in Phoenix and enjoy it.

 

Whether you believe it or not, all sports are business, and can't survive without customers (shooters).

 

 

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As  per the OP's suggestion of making a match one classifier and then all field courses I'd hate that match because this is not USPSA.  Every stage has to be 8 round neutral, use to be 6 round neutral but with the advent of the 8 round revolver things changed.

 

Standing and shooting like you do in those Steel Challenge stages can be as much fun as a small field course.  As in all ICORE stages accuracy is very important.

 

I've been Match Director, Statistician, RO and take-down volunteer for years.  I no longer shoot ICORE, I now only shoot SC matches do to health reasons.  I was the first member of ICORE aside from the Igashis.  I probably spelled their name wrong.  I could of had any member number I wanted and since I was shooting a 625 at the time my member number was AZ-45, I was also one of the first Master Class shooters..  

 

Everyone has to help at ICORE matches.  Many of the clubs in Phoenix either offer a free shoot or cash for their participating in the chores needed.  Rio was the first ICORE club and has a great cadre of experienced shooters to put on their matches.  You probably noticed that when you were shooting. (Just a little history)

 

Volunteer to help design stages, be an RO, set up and take down and you can have a match that you would like.

 

 

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At the risk of pissing on the third rail:

 

I really don’t get this mentality of saying “if you don’t volunteer you can shut up”. I bust ass on each match I run. I sacrifice family time and my own practice time. So why would I do all that and ignore feedback from the very people I’m aiming to please? Sure, if they’re rude about it I’ll ignore it but telling anyone to “shut the f—- up” just because the didn’t make the same sacrifice as me is really unacceptable. 
 

Sure, at the end of the day it’s your match. Run it like you want! But don’t shut people out.

 

As far as classifiers go, I don’t think they belong at a major unless it’s new and we need to determine the 100%. The reason? They’re measured, we can shoot them anywhere; probably at our home club. I’d prefer to see something new and unique; to taste the regional favor of a match.

 

Before you tell me to “shut up” I’m a MD, set up a club and gotten new due paying ICORE members signed up, always have a run at the timer at my regionals, squad mom at the IRC, etc, etc. But again, that really shouldn’t matter when sharing opinions. If did does we’re gonna gatekeep ourselves out of a sport one day.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, RangerMcFadden said:

 As far as classifiers go, I don’t think they belong at a major unless it’s new and we need to determine the 100%. The reason? They’re measured, we can shoot them anywhere; probably at our home club. I’d prefer to see something new and unique; to taste the regional flavor of a match.

 

 

Roger, please don't bring logic and reason into an internet discussion :)

 

I posted my same OP on a local web forum, and one of the members replied, why don't I just shoot my local USPSA match in the revo division. They shoot seven stages, and are done by 1:00pm

 

That's probably what I'll do.

 

Thanks guys

 

 

 

Edited by ysrracer
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9 minutes ago, ysrracer said:

 

Roger, please don't bring logic and reason into an internet discussion :)

 

I posted my same OP on a local web forum, and one of the members replied, why don't I just shoot my local USPSA match in the revo division. They shoot seven stages, and are done by 1:00pm

 

That's probably what I'll do.

 

Thanks guys

 

 

 

Brad, you stand a good chance of winning your division! 

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13 hours ago, Dr. Phil said:

A local club here in NE PA built ranges about 3 years ago. They started USPSA matches using IDPA scoring as they were not affiliated. I shot a few of them. One of the club guys said they were looking for somebody to run Steel Challenge.

I, too, am retired, so I volunteered. I ran them for 2 years. (We got affiliated at the beginning of the next year. I did that also.) Then we could sends scores (and money) to USPSA.

Here's the thing.

I set up pretty much all of my matches on Thursday and Friday mornings by myself. Finished early Saturday, ran the match and tore down (with some help).

Last August I set up a 5 stage knock down steel match that was all man on man. Borrowed targets from 5 guys (besides my targets) and took 3 days to set up. Advertised the crap out of it. We had 14 shooters show up.

Being an MD is not for everybody. You get all the work and little of the thanks. The aggravation and complaining is a side benefit. Hopefully the club benefits. That is why we do it.

If you want "change" put on your big boy pants and jump in!

The stages lurking in your brain are what will bring shooters in.

Just don't expect a lot of help and do expect whining crying and complaining.

And, if you are lucky, somebody leaving might just stop and say, "Thanks, fun shoot"

I like the attitude of "The aggravation and complaining is a side benefit"  I know it's tongue in cheek, or sarcasm?, but I always looked at it kind of that way, at least they were there to complain!

Man vs Man stages are great, I've done a few to be shot after a "qualifier" COF.  I liked to set up a qualifier to rank the shooters, and as a bit of a twist I set up the qualifier as an accuracy oriented COF.  Tended to make the speed demons work harder in the mvm, cause they were seeded lower.  Many I used a handicap system (more plates for "faster divisions" and higher classes, so all of the platforms had a chance and even gave the lower classed competitors an actual chance to compete.  

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14 minutes ago, ChuckS said:

Brad, you stand a good chance of winning your division! 

 

Are you back at Wednesday night steel? I haven't gone for a while. 

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26 minutes ago, ysrracer said:

 

Roger, please don't bring logic and reason into an internet discussion :)

 

I posted my same OP on a local web forum, and one of the members replied, why don't I just shoot my local USPSA match in the revo division. They shoot seven stages, and are done by 1:00pm

 

That's probably what I'll do.

 

Thanks guys

 

 

 

To paraphrase the new old guy C'mon Man!   Don't give up on ICORE.  

Some of us can get a bit testy at times, but I still think we mean well, I know I do and am at times.

The gist of it all though is this is a Volunteer Sport and we all want to have fun, even the one who's spent hours setting up.  But being a volunteer sport the experience is limited to who will sacrifice.  One of the downsides of the popularity of USPSA is there are more who really don't want to help.  The percentages are probably close, but the numbers are higher due to the volume.  The one thing that really depresses a match to me isn't bland COF's but being in a squad with those who won't help.  I'd rather run the timer than paste & set steel but I also don't want to run "everyone" in the squad.  And when I'm not running the timer I will paste & set.  Sometimes it's hard to keep your balance when you don't get help.

 

Personally I agree with you I'd rather not see classifiers at a large match but I'll not complain about it, hey it's a Revolver MATCH I'm happy!

Hopefully you will take some of your ideas, combine it with your enthusiasm and create some COF's at a local match, state or regional match.  It will take some time maybe even a bit of money but there is a nice sense of satisfaction in creating a COF for everyone to enjoy.

 

I will drive almost 2 hours to help set up COF's, then back home and go shoot the next day.  Not every month but 2 or more times a year.  Other times I'll go help set up a couple of hours before the match and I'm always there at tear down.

 

So don't just give up, I know I like hearing fresh ideas (if there are actually any or is it we've just gotten complacent over time:) and encourage others to act on them.

 

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Well, when your setup crew consists of yourself and 5 guys in their 60s and 70s there's a difference between what you would like to do and what you can do. We have been drawing 9 shooters to our monthly matches this winter, so a setup crew of 6 was pretty impressive turnout.

 

Big field stages take time, if you're gonna build a few of these, then that means some of the other stages need to be quick to setup. In addition, ICORE allows for more variation in stage design than USPSA and I think you'd be foolish to not have a little more variety in your match.

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22 hours ago, ysrracer said:

First, let me say "Thank You" for putting matches together. If it weren't for you guys, I would just go to the range and waste ammo.

 

 

Could everybody go back and re read my first paragraph? Oh wait, here it is ^^^^

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6 minutes ago, ysrracer said:

 

Could everybody go back and re read my first paragraph? Oh wait, here it is ^^^^

 

You understand there's a difference between someone being argumentative and someone who's trying to offer their opinion, right? 

 

I'm not a member of the "volunteer or GTFO" crowd, but there's something of a disconnect when the list of suggestions is:

  • Make the stages bigger and more interesting
  • Make setup happen faster so the match can start and finish earlier
  • Make everything run more efficiently
  • Just do it like the most popular ICORE clubs in the country!!

 

I think it's reasonable for folks who run matches to explain to you, a self-described new ICORE shooter who doesn't want to MD, the considerations you might be missing. I also don't believe the lack of ICORE shooters is attributable to the issues you describe. I think it's the inverse; the lack of turnout means less help, which in turns means simpler stages that will take longer to run and tear down. If the problem was 100% match management, we'd be seeing a good wheelgun turnout in the local USPSA and IDPA matches and then a sharp dropoff for ICORE. Instead, even having 10 people show up for ICORE feels artificially high based on the number of revolver entrants in other sports (obviously I'm only talking about our region here; I can't speak to the rest of the country).

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