2010 IDPA National Championship
If you shoot International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) competitions, you should shoot the Nationals at least once in your life.
But why, should you try to make it to the Nationals? Well, it really is “The National Championship” (This is the perspective of the author who is just an average shooter). There were 392 competitors from all parts of the country and from all over the world. The squad in front of ours was mostly competitors from Italy and the one behind us had shooters from Trinidad. In our squad just to name a few of the States, we had people from Texas, Oklahoma, California, and Florida. The staff, safety officers and support personnel were from all parts of the USA. It truly is “The National Championship”.
The 2010 National Competition was held at the US Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There were 17 challenging stages of various difficulties and was a great place to test your skill. There were several out standing stages that should be mentioned. These stages had props and shooting positions that were challenging to any skill level.
These stages are not found in most IDPA competitions. For example Stage 7 had the starting position for the competitor, from inside a car shooting through the window then exiting and shooting through the windows of a second car then over the hood of a third car. Think how many times in any IDPA competition you were allowed to shoot through a car or over the hood of a car. Oh by the way there were several holes in the vehicles (none were added by this writer). Stage 13 had the shooter sitting on a motorcycle and engaging all targets while remaining on the motorcycle, while Stage 15 had you seated in the back seat of a car and shooting targets out of each rear window. There were several other stages that utilized vehicles, but from the comments of most competitors what turned out to be the best two stages, were Stages 16 and 17.
Stage 16 and 17 were inside a structure called “The Shoothouse”. This was a house built inside a metal building that allowed for a 360-degree shooting area. The two stages were in a house, with walls, doors, and hallways. This allowed the stage designer to place targets in positions that a competitor normally would not be able to shoot from. The stages were low light, which added to the challenge (flash lights were optional). The designer of Stage 16 had incorporated the use of a telephone to activate the final target of the stage. Stage 17 required the shooter to think. The stage had 6 targets, which the shooter had to engage, while moving from room to room, using cover and reloading.
The match had various options for when the competitors could shoot. Staff and Range personnel shot the entire course, all 17 stages, on Wednesday. Any shooters who had time restraints could shoot the entire 17 stages on Thursday. The remaining shooters were broken up over two days, with half completing the match on Friday morning while the other half on Friday afternoon. On Saturday it switched with the morning group from Friday shooting in the afternoon on Saturday and vice versa. The match was challenging and well organized.
The only minor issue that occurred was for the shooter briefing. There was no central information booth location at the range and if you did not know that the briefing was going to be conducted at the vendor tent, a new shooter to the Championship could be a little lost at first but this really was not a problem as the vendor booth was the central meeting point for everyone and one found out quickly when the briefing was going to take place.
The only negative comment heard, was one squad had an extremely long wait on Stage 16. From the time the walk through briefing took place to the time the shooter shot was about 65 minutes. The shooter said when it was his time to compete he asked for clarification, on the total shots for a specific target in the stage. The Range Officer responded it had been explained during the walk through and the shooter should already know and should not have to ask. If this did occur, this had to be an exception. The Range Officers and staff, for each and every stage made the Nationals such a great place to compete. Every Range Officer that our squad shot with was superb. They were very clear on the rules and safety requirements for each stage. It was well worth competing in the IDPA Championship.
If you decide to shoot “The National Championship”, stay at the host hotel if possible. The competitor check in is at the hotel (as there is no check in at the match site), there are hospitality rooms at the hotel, the award ceremony is at the host hotel and the room rates were very reasonable. The travel from the host hotel to the range was 30 to 40 minutes with no major traffic complications.
If you travel by air to the match, remember TSA and the airlines. Both have rules on firearms. Firearms need to be in a locked hard shell container. Check the rules for your air carrier, as each air carrier is different. TSA was never a problem when traveling to Nationals. Have duplicate keys for your locks and plan on an additional 15 minute wait before leaving the check in counter, if TSA needs to inspect your locked firearm case you’ll need the extra time for that. Just in case check TSA’s web site just to be safe. Ammunition restrictions for flying are different for each airline. Again check your air carrier for their rules.
If you need to ship your ammunition it turns out it is not a tremendous problem. The information provided by IDPA on their web site was helpful. Shipping ammunition to the US Shooting Academy was not difficult. The staff at the US Shooting Academy was fantastic in assisting shooters. They answered any questions on the phone and were even better in person (Personal experience). The host hotel said you could have it shipped to them and there were a few local gun stores in the area that had ammunition.
There are no major obstacles to getting you, your guns and ammo to the National Championship. The match is well organized, the stages are challenging and the people were great. So yes...
If you shoot International Defensive Pistol Association competitions you should shoot the Nationals at least once in your life!
Posted October 4, 2010 by John Hall - CCN Contributor
Mon, October 4, 2010
by John Hall