Rules Clarifications for Fourth Quarter, 2013

by Editor 3. December 2013 17:28
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Earlier this fall, all members received a communications from me regarding the Rules Clarifications process. This process was established to address any issues not covered in the current rulebook and assists us in reducing HQ employee overload (spending HQ resource time on answering the same questions repeatedly), and make clarifications visible to all members.

Today, we have posted the first quarterly clarifications document. This document addresses requests that were submitted through Nov. 5th. Submissions after that period will be addressed in the Q1, 2014 Clarifications document. Some requests may not be listed if it was determined by the team that no clarification was needed, or if the request was for a rule change rather than a clarification. One request, that for a more comprehensive definition of slide lightening, is being researched. The team feels that this is too crucial to the integrity of the sport to clarify at this time. We are further exploring a definition that will be fair to the competitors as well as easy for match officials to administrate. This is not a topic to be undertaken lightly as we definitely do not want to start down the path of the equipment race as other sports have. We want to maintain the focus on readily available equipment that is not cost prohibitive to the new shooter. While we don't want to outlaw decorative engraving on personal firearms, we also will not condone the appearance of the necessity to remove inordinate amounts of material from the slide to indicate a competitive advantage. We hope to have a full definition at the next review, however, we will not make this decision lightly or before all members of the clarification team and the Board of Directors are comfortable with this decision and the direction that it will take the sport. We thank you for your patience.

I encourage all Area Coordinators, Safety Officer Instructors and Match Directors to familiarize themselves with the clarifications and cascade to their shooters.

The Q4 Rulebook Clarifications document can be found here.

– Joyce Wilson, Executive Director of IDPA

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Rules Clarifications Process

by Editor 18. October 2013 06:00
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A few weeks ago at the 2013 IDPA Nationals, I announced that we would be sharing information regarding the process of on-going rules clarifications. As mentioned, this process would be to address any issues not covered in the current rulebook; it is not a forum for request for changing current rules.

A Rules Clarification Team of 7 people, myself included, has been created by IDPA Headquarters effective Sept. 12, 2013. Reason for change: in order to address HQ employee overload, spending HQ resource time on answering the same questions repeatedly, and make clarifications visible to all members.

Rules Clarification Process:

  • All requests for rules clarifications phoned in to HQ will be routed to Robert Ray, not answered on the spot.
  • Robert will request a written email to be sent to
  • Email questions and answers will be made public in a Clarifications document and posted on the IDPA website here:

Requests for clarifications will receive one of two responses:

  • If the request is obviously answered in the current 2013 rulebook, HQ will say no change and refer the requester to the appropriate section of the rulebook or Clarifications document.
  • If the clarification is not answered within the 2013 rulebook, or the rulebook Clarifications document, the Rules Clarifications Team will add the request to their quarterly meeting agenda. The team will decide what the official response is and after the quarterly meeting that clarification will be documented in the Clarifications document noted above. Rules Clarifications will be organized by Rule and Section number so that they are easy to find, and will eventually be incorporated in the 2014 updates.

Please note that no “on the spot” clarifications or rule interpretations will be made at matches or on the phone from HQ. The Rules Clarifications team members are not permitted to make rulings or discuss clarifications without the input of all team members; please do not ask them for this.

All requests must be received using the email address above, not requested verbally or at a match. Please do not ask these folks at a match or call them for a ruling. The IDPA website is the official source for all clarifications information.

2014 Rules Review Process:

  • Beginning in 2014, IDPA HQ will open the member suggestion tool for member suggestions ~ Oct. 1 of each year. As before, a valid IDPA membership number will be required to log a request.
  • After allowing two weeks for suggestions the suggestion period will close.
  • One week after the process ends, Tiger Team members will meet to discuss suggestions. Team members will be asked to gather information from shooters outside the team to answer any questions they may have.
  • No later than 4 weeks after the suggestion period closes, the team will have a draft of changes that will be sent to the IDPA Board of Directors and the SO Education Team.
  • The final rulebook will be posted on the IDPA website and will take effect on Jan. 1 of the following year.
  • Two weeks after receiving the draft, the SO Education Team will provide updated SOI materials, if necessary.

- Joyce Wilson
Executive Director of IDPA

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New Rulebook (Final Version) Now Posted

by Editor 26. June 2013 12:00
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Thanks to the hard work of IDPA members on the Rulebook Tiger Teams, the final version of the new IDPA Rulebook, originally scheduled to be posted on Monday, July 1, is now available – ahead of schedule. You can find it posted here on

A special thanks also goes out to all the IDPA members who submitted comments during the comment period. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Existing Safety Officer Recertification
Safety Officer (SO) recertification for existing SOs will begin on July 1st. The test will roll out by geographic area and is listed in the schedule below. Members of each group will receive an email a few days prior to their testing period containing the link to the testing area and the password.




SO Recertification Testing - Group 1

All US Area Coordinators
8-Jul SO Recertification Testing- Group 2 CT/MA/ME/NH/NY/RI/VT (Yost)
All SOI Candidates
15-Jul SO Recertification Testing - Group 3 FL
22-Jul SO Recertification Testing - Group 4 OH

SO Recertification Testing - Group 5

5-Aug SO Recertification Testing - Group 6 CA
All International SOs*

New Rulebook Goes Into Effect Oct. 1, 2013


*Note - International SOIs are located in Costa Rica, South Africa and the Philippines. Any other country must use a US-based SOI until an SOI has been assigned to that country in 2014.

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Joyce's Air Race Adventure 2013

by 10. June 2013 22:01
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Well, it’s that time of year again for Joyce’s annual mecca in an airplane.  I’m really not very good at writing about myself.  I’d much rather talk about all the good works the Tiger Teams are doing or how IDPA is growing, but I realize that people like to know that I’m human too and have interests outside of IDPA.

As many of you know, this is my 4th year in the Women’s Air Race Classic (  I got my pilot’s license in 2007 and in 2010 competed in my first race.  This is what used to be known as the women’s Powder Puff Derby.  It’s generally about a 2300 mile cross country rally race with airplanes.  We’re all handicapped based on the planes that we’re flying.  It’s open to all aircraft under 600 horsepower that are normally aspirated, meaning non-turbocharged.  And it’s all women pilots and crew. 

Interesting enough is the fact that just like in the shooting sports, only about 6% of the competitors are women.  Just as in IDPA, we only have about 6% of the membership that are women, only 6% of the pilot population are women as well.  My race partner this year is an incredibly dynamic lady in the aviation industry.  She not only flies little single engine planes but also flies big turbine helicopters and jets.  She’s flown this race the last two years and she and her partner won last year.  Dianna gives new meaning to the title Aviatrix.

Tomorrow is the day that I leave the ranch.  We’re flying back down to her ranch in Port Lavaca, TX.  On Wednesday, we’re picking up an Angel Flight patient to fly to Kansas City.  Angel Flight is an organization that pairs private pilots with patients that need to get somewhere.  Dianna has been an Angel Flight pilot for many years and it on their Board of Directors.  She recently encouraged me to join the organization to help with their missions.   I whole heartedly accepted.  This will be my first official mission even though we’ve actually flown a couple of patients before this. 

From there, we’ll make our way to the race start in Pasco, WA.  It’s a long way over some pretty steep mountains, the Rocky’s.  Our race starts there and winds as follows:


We’re ending in Fayetteville, AR, just an hour west of IDPA Headquarters.  If you’re in the area, come see us.  The race officially starts on June 18 and we should be in Fayetteville either the 20th or 21st.  I’ll try to keep you posted as we get closer.

Our team website is and you can even like us on Facebook.  I’ll keep ya posted!

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IDPA Members Reminded To Send In Applications For 2013 IDPA U.S. National Championship

by Editor 7. June 2013 07:15
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Shooters looking to compete in the International Defensive Pistol Association’s (IDPA) 2013 U.S. National Championship are reminded to send in their match applications by close of business Monday, June 10, after which time IDPA will begin awarding slots.

Hosted by the U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 2013 IDPA U.S. National Championship will take place September 19 thru 21.

Last year’s championship drew over 300 of the sport’s top shooters plus an additional 80 shooters on a waiting list, and the 2013 IDPA U.S. National Championship is expected to be just as popular, if not more so, now that the organization’s membership exceeds 22,000.

“With the explosive growth of IDPA membership over the last couple years, matches all around the country are selling out in record time. The deadline to submit an application to compete in IDPA’s 2013 U.S. National Championship is this Monday, and I encourage all members to submit their application as soon as possible,” said Robert Ray, membership and marketing director for IDPA.

IDPA members will find the match application in the latest issue of The Tactical Journal or can download the PDF version from

Once completed, applications can be mailed (though not recommended due to the short deadline), faxed or emailed to IDPA Headquarters:

To Mail:
National Championship
2232 CR 719
Berryville, AR 72616

To Fax:

To Email:*
* Please note, when emailing DO NOT include credit card information. Either call or fax that information separately.

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IDPA Rulebook Update

by Editor 30. April 2013 23:27
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I am proud to announce that the preliminary version of the updated IDPA rulebook will soon be available for member feedback. I realize that it has taken 18 months to see the entire project to completion, however, I have always felt that it was more important to get the whole process right than to just push something through quickly.

While, initially the membership will see only the rulebook, we now also have in place a complete Safety Officer training program as well. We also have a complete recertification process that includes online testing so that our members will not have to complete an additional classroom session. The scope of this work was unfathomable.

The proposed rulebook, vetted by the IDPA Board of Directors and Legal, will be posted on for member review and input May 7th thru May 28th. For more information about how to provide feedback, please see below.

The feedback period will be open for three weeks to provide current IDPA members ample time to comment, followed by processing the final rulebook and the start of the Safety Officer (SO) training period. Below you will find more information on the SO certification and recertification process.

This rulebook represents a significant change for IDPA in several ways. This is the first true update of the entire rulebook since the founding of the sport. I am extremely grateful to our founders for their foresight and the strong foundation they created that has kept us on the right path for more than 16 years. This is also the first time we have utilized a member-focused approach to updates, and the indefatigable work and commitment to our sport by the members of our Tiger Teams has been incredibly gratifying. The trial run of collecting member feedback on a draft rulebook adds a lot of time and work to the process, but I believe that it will be worth the effort.

Finally, the new website will help us manage these and future changes. The new website is invaluable, and much of our communication going forward will be provided on that site. Not many mature companies or organizations will tackle two very major projects of this nature simultaneously. We essentially have rebuilt a great deal of the foundation of the sport by reviewing and restructuring the rulebook and completely rebuilding the website. While we still have some growing pains to assess with the website, it has laid the foundation for our members and our clubs to be able to communicate more effectively. In these turbulent political times it is often easier to focus on what is wrong with an organization or system. I hope that the membership will look beyond these growing pains and see how much we are trying to enable the continued success of the sport from the ground up.

I am honored to be part of this organization as it responds to our recent unprecedented growth. I hope you are, as well.

IDPA Rulebook Feedback Information

The proposed RB will be posted for 3 weeks, from May 7th thru May 28th. To access the rulebook and make suggestions, you must be a current IDPA member. During this time, current members can make suggestions to it by logging in at and selecting the Rules tab at the top. In the center of the page, click on the Propose A Change… option. You will need to Select a Category, and then fill out three pieces of information: the Specific Rule (Section), Issue with the Current Rule, and your Proposed Solution/Change prior to submitting the feedback.

To be efficient with the time of the Tiger Teams as they review these suggestions, there is a character limit in each box, allowing sufficient space to describe the issue while making it easy for the reviewers to assess the suggestion. In an effort to reduce duplication, each suggestion submitted will go into a submission queue and be approved for posting so that all members can see each proposal. The approval/posting process may take up to 2 business days before the suggestion is viewable by the membership. Contributors can make as many submissions as they desire, but only one suggestion per submission will be accepted. We expect a lot of traffic on this site, so please be patient as we review, and approve.

This online option will be the only channel for members to submit feedback on the rulebook. So that we may concentrate on serving our customers and working through the suggestions, Headquarters staff will not be monitoring any forums and will not accept suggestions or changes made verbally, via telephone or email. Only comments made through the website will be considered.

Each Tiger Team will review suggestions made to their area and act on them as needed. Once the feedback period ends, it will take a few weeks for us to update the rulebook and the SO recertification test questions. Please note that the updated rulebook will go into effect on October 1, 2013.

Safety Officer Training

Existing Safety Officer Recertification
Safety Officer (SO) recertification will begin as soon as a final rulebook is published on the IDPA website. At that time, we will begin the testing process and will also resume classes for new SOs. Recertifying SOs will be required to take an online test of 100 questions focused on changes/updates in the new rulebook. A score of 85% or higher is required to pass, and each recertifying SO will have 2 opportunities to pass the test. Immediate feedback on missed questions is provided within the software at the end of the exam. Although a time limit of 2 hours for the test exists, users may stop and save their work and return at a later time to finish. Anyone not passing the exam after 2 attempts will need to take the full length SO class from a Safety Officer Instructor (SOI).

The test will roll out by geographic area and is listed in the schedule below. Members of each group will receive an email a few days prior to their testing period containing the link to the testing area. Please confirm that your email address is correct on the IDPA website so that you receive this important email. Please note that the recertification test will be online only – no written tests will be accepted.

SOs are encouraged to take the exam within one week of receiving the emailed link for testing, thus performance of the testing database is not compromised. If this is not possible, users will have access to the exam for 30 days.

New Safety Officer Classes
New Safety Officer Classes can be scheduled as soon as a final rulebook has been posted and SOIs selected in your state. A new process, including a pre-test that must be taken prior to the class, will be outlined in the rulebook. To apply for the class, each candidate must meet the criteria for SOs as outlined in the Match Officials Handbook. An online-only pre-test, consisting of 50 questions, must be successfully completed prior to the class and proof of completion provided to the instructor (due date to be determined by the SO Instructor offering the class). Upon signing up for the class, the SOI will provide you with a link for the exam. If you are in need of an SO class, contact the Safety Officer Instructor in your area for a schedule or your Area Coordinator or more information.

International Members
As a brief update for our international members, we want to assure you we have not forgotten you. Since the rulebook is the foundation for growth, that has been our primary focus for some time. Once that is in place, we will begin to work on a sustainable, flexible model for our international clubs. One of our International shooters recently sent us a message in which he stated “Our country is different than the rest of the International clubs.” And he is right. But that is only one piece of the challenge. Every country has different needs and regulations. No two are even remotely similar. HQ needs a system to be developed for a scalable, adaptable system that can be used all over the world regardless of country specific requirements. Developing this system is going to be a challenge all unto itself. Based on everything we have on our plate right now, it is likely that we will not begin this work on an international management system until late 2013 or 2014. Until that time, no countries outside the US will have Area Coordinators or SOIs appointed. Any new SO training will take place by US-based instructor, with the exception of Costa Rica, the Philippines and South Africa. That means that each country will have access to any US-based SOIs for training needs this year, based on their availability and willingness to negotiate travel and dates. Members who were already SOs in each country will be able to recertify as SOs by taking the online exam (see schedule below).


(Note: States with multiple ACs
may be combined on this sheet)


Final Rulebook Posted


Recert Testing - Group 1
(Control Group)

TX/NM (Webb) All US
Area Coordinators


New SO Candidate Test

8-Jul Recert Training- Group 2* CT/MA/ME/NH/NY/RI/VT (Yost)
PA/NJ (Murphy)
All SOI Candidates*
15-Jul Recert Testing - Group 3 FL (Biddle)
NC/SC (Byerly)
WV (Tate)
VA (Tate 2)
22-Jul Recert Testing - Group 4 OH (Buchanan)
TN/KY/MS (Breeson & Carter)
IL (Duckworth)
IN (Poe)
Al/GA (Werner)
MI (Cutitta)

Recert Testing - Group 5

WI/MN (Dilley)
MO/IA (Goede)
AR/LA/OK (Ritchie)
ID/MT/UT/WY (Reed)
CO/KS (Lada)
AZ (Barron)
5-Aug Recert Testing - Group 6 CA (Gould)
All International SOs (HQ)
Table Cell

New Rulebook effective
Oct. 1, 2013


*Note - International SOIs
are located in Costa Rica,
South Africa and the
Philippines. Any other
country must use a US-based
SOI until an SOI has been
assigned to that country in 2014.

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We're Looking For A Few Good SOs For Nationals

by Editor 5. April 2013 13:33
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The SO Entry Form for the 2013 IDPA US National Championship is now available!

Safety Officer Entry Forms may be found by going to the IDPA website and looking under the download section on the right side of the page for the Nationals match event. Or, you can just CLICK HERE.

If you would like to be considered for SO or Staff for this match, please completely fill out this form and return it as soon as possible. Selections for SO's and Staff will be made on April 22. We look forward to seeing you at this year's IDPA National Championship.

Thank you in advance of your interest and willingness to work this great event.

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Update From HQ: Joyce's Presentation From The S&W Indoor Nationals

by Editor 19. March 2013 19:26
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Last month, the 16th annual Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals was held in Springfield, MA. We would like to thank Smith & Wesson for their exemplary and continued sponsorship of our sport, especially during this time of challenge to our Second Amendment rights.

On Saturday evening of the event I addressed the shooters at the banquet, and would like to share the information with our members who were not there. There are many exciting events happening in our sport and here are the highlights.

Tiger Teams:
Many of you have asked about the updated rulebook. I am happy to tell you that I have in my possession a copy of the new IDPA rulebook. Although we still have one Tiger Team working, the SO Education team who is finishing the SO curriculum, we are ready to move forward. The next four steps include:

  1. A continuity review which is scheduled for the 3rd week of March. That review, which will include myself, Robert, Terry, Kitty, and other team members, will see us reviewing our document and confirm we have covered every area we want to address.
  2. The second step is presenting the new rulebook to the IDPA Board of Directors (BoD).
  3. The third step, after BoD changes and approval, is to post the document on the IDPA website for member input.
  4. Finally, the fourth step, after assimilating member feedback, is to post the final rulebook, along with a future date that the new rulebook will be in effect. This timeframe between posting of the final rulebook and the effective date will allow members to read it and make themselves familiar with it. We will also use this time to recertify all current SOs and select Safety Officer Instructors for each state. Additionally, our Tigers have selected and are implementing the on-line software that will be used for recertifying current Safety Officers. There will be no charge to our members for this recertification.

As we have mentioned previously, we have always been driven by the need to do the best possible job with the new rulebook, rather than drive to a specific date. We will continue to follow that methodology until such time that we can provide finite dates for each milestone individually.

I am most excited about our continued work on our new website with RangeLog. Events are the lifeblood of any sport - RangeLog’s new Member Services will offer the ability for IDPA clubs to build single day, multi-day and recurring matches and display the events on the club’s detail page, as well as the IDPA’s match calendar.

IDPA competitors will be able to build their personal shooter biography, display or keep private, and allow members to view and bookmark other members from public score cards and leader boards. The new website will also provide IDPA competitors with a central site to view scores from matches and compare best scores/times for each stage they have completed. Coming soon, IDPA clubs can post registration fees and collect fees online, with access to online self-squadding tools and match management.

Smith and Wesson will be hosting the first-even Backup Gun (BUG) Nationals in November of this year. Shooters will be alerted later this year of specifics for this match. Watch for more information about all of these initiatives in the Tactical Journal and on the IDPA website and blog.

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Keep Calm, There Are Still Plenty Of Targets That Need Shooting, Scoring & Taping

by Editor 7. November 2012 08:28
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Got the post-election blues? Time to join IDPA, hit the range and cheer up. The 2013 IDPA shooting season is just around the corner, so find a match and make your plans.

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It's OK, You've Got Official Approval

by Editor 2. November 2012 13:50
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