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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