All IDPA Members
Joyce Wilson, Executive Director, IDPA
December 18, 2013
2013 Retrospective and Area Coordinator
Happy Holidays to all our members near and far. This year has been tremendously difficult and fulfilling at the same
time. When the Founders started this sport in 1996, they never envisioned that it would grow and thrive as it has this last year. Neither
did they think that they would ever need more than a ten or fifteen page rulebook. They assumed that the Founding Principles would be enough to guide
Sixteen years later, as we began one of the biggest growth spurts that we had ever seen, we realized that while all of our members had
good intentions, we would need to clarify rules to make match officiating across the country and around the world more equitable. And,
while the Founders had always been the keepers of the rule revisions, we knew that it was time to obtain input from our members to gain insight as to just how
matches were being run. So we embarked on a quest to clarify the rules based on the Founding Principles and those thoughts that the Founders had as
they developed the sport.
We knew that this would be a painful process and that we might lose a portion of our membership. The organization had become
somewhat segmented as to how matches were actually being officiated. “Tribal Rules” became the catch phrase as members would
travel across the country to compete. It was time to re-center the sport; or at least to give it a nudge back to the original intention. It
was also time to hold our administration to a higher level as well. From Area Coordinators to Safety Officers, we needed to make sure that they not
only understood the rules but would run the matches to the best of their ability by the rulebook. We also wanted Safety Officer Instructors to make
sure that the new Safety Officers were able to officiate safely and consistently as well.
In September at the 2013 IDPA Nationals, we announced that there would likely be some changes as the responsibilities of our Area
Coordinators, Safety Officer Instructors and SOs changed. During our work on the new rulebook, the qualifications and responsibilities for ACs were
codified and ratified by current ACs and the Board of Directors. This information has been posted on the IDPA website, along with an application for
members who meet the qualifications and who are interested in applying for the position of AC in their area: www.idpa.com/misc/ac
Our Area Coordinators work hard as the liaison in their areas of responsibility and play an enormous part in the success of
IDPA. We hold these individuals to a higher standard, based on the importance of this position. Due to other responsibilities and personal
goals, we sometimes lose ACs in specific areas, or open up new areas based on increasing club/member numbers. Beginning Dec.
23rd – Jan. 15th
, IDPA HQ will be accepting applications for AC candidates in the following areas: SC/NC; WI/MN;
WA/AK/OR; and VA. Once selected (by Jan. 31st), we will be announcing the new ACs on the IDPA Facebook page. Nominations should be sent to
Along with developing a whole new website and rulebook, we were essentially redeveloping the framework of the sport. It was
painful, it is still somewhat painful as we are still growing and finishing our improvements. But it is positioning IDPA to be able to fulfill the
needs of the membership as the sport continues to grow. It will allow us to be more responsive to member input and with the continued use of the
Tiger Teams, obtain more member input.
While we realize that we may have lost members over the decisions of the last year, we have also gained members because of those same
decisions. While we won’t please everyone, we’re hoping to make IDPA a fair and equitable sport that continues to simulate real
life scenarios. We hope that you’ll continue to enjoy our sport. We wish you well in what ever sport you choose to
compete. Just keep shooting and exercising your right to keep and bear arms.