Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pine Tree USPSA, More Hard Calls, and 85%...

Pine Tree USPSA

Kozy, Email (Kozy's dad), Jay Carillo, Tony Alterio and I rolled out to shoot the monthly USPSA match at Pine Tree. We usually get up early, get to the range around 7:15 and get on the first squad - we like to get in, get done, and get out for breakfast. However, it turned out that there was an overwhelming demand to shoot the match. I heard that there were ~90 shooters and that they had to turn some away! A match of that size generates some very difficult situations, logistically speaking, and I know that many existing Pine Tree members are miffed that they can't jump on a stage like they did in the past.

Having already setup an online registration system for McHenry IPSC, I know the growing pains associated with this, but know that our process really helped to make MISS's registration equitable, simple, and lower the logistic-related stress of dealing with mobs of folks who aren't easily going to be turned away.

All that being said, I'd recommend that competitors sign up online from now on!

We did pretty well - though Kerry Dean was brought down by the flu (Speedy Recovery!) - I took 2nd, just behind Alex G, with a few stage wins. Jay took 6th with a nice stage win, and Tony and Kozy took 7th and 9th respectively.

Hard Calls

Along those lines, It is amazing to think that the sport is growing so much in popularity! With that growth, however, comes the fact that not all new competitors will be 100% on the rules and the requisite safety requirements that come with action shooting. Moments like these create tense situations for RO's:

Kozy and I RO'd the WIIT (Winter Indoor IPSC Tournament) and made some pretty tough calls - I posted about it last month here - we didn't think that a club-level match was going to be as taxing, but we were proven wrong when we had to DQ two competitors for unsafe actions: The first one swept his arm going through a door and the second one decided to "Make ready" before the RO issued the command. After being DQ'd myself - and forced to eat a delicious cone - I really did sit and think about the nature of DQ's. My conclusion is that it is always the fault of the shooter.

Let me explain: These three DQ's both represent failures on behalf of the competitors - the first for deficiencies in gun handling and the second and third (mine) in regards to deficiencies knowing the rules. The god news is that DQ's, if nobody got injured, represent an opportunity to learn about a gap in our knowledge, skills, or attitude in regards to the sport. However, much of that learning process is incumbent on the participant before showing up at a match, which is really a validation of your abilities. The RO's are there to call penalties and allow competitors to "do their thing", not shepherd new competitors through a stage. Anyone have a different view?

Anyway, I guess it is this realization - that many of the new shooters that we're seeing who are woefully uninformed - which admonishes me to tell new shooters to observe a few matches, read the rulebooks, and take a competition class with TD Roe or Perry and Greg, or other training, like that with Team Spartan, which will supercharge general safety and gun-handling abilities.


Imma mid-80's kinda guy...

At the Florida Open I was 89% of the #1. On Sunday I was 85% of #1 (took 2nd!). The classifiers I'm shooting are averaging out to be just below 85% (85% is the cutoff for Master class).

See, over the winter, I've been shooting IDPA, Bullseye and PPC in addition to USPSA. I've been on fire with my scores in PPC and Bullseye, however, these wins haven't come without sacrificing some of the focus on really maxing out my USPSA abilities.

Something had to give, so I made a decision on Sunday night: after shooting a few more, larger IDPA matches, I'm going to really dive into shooting USPSA the bulk of the time. I really feel I'm not that far off, the holdbacks occurring with my mindset and focus, rather than anything else...