Saturday, February 19, 2011

Last weekend I posted about new shooters, as in "It's All Good".

There was a comment from an anonymous "Guest" reader, who had what I thought was a really qood question:
Wow I had a chance to shoot at Douglas Ridge last weekend, and it was very refreshing, there were a lot of new shooters there but they were doing something that I couldnt help but take notice to and that was they were just having a good time!!!!!
It caused me to really reflect on what we are doing in our area and what we are doing for new shooters, does anyone think that perhaps we should offer the class that Jerry runs and then offer them a match that is a little scaled down (less imitaditing) than one of the normal matches at Albany or Tri County or Dundee??? Perhaps 4 stages with a few less round count and less movement maybe not as many 180 traps and such. It seems like we get a lot of new shooters but somewhere they fall from our fold and perhaps it is because the stages are a little hard and they are not having fun???
Just a thought?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Douglas Ridge range program, here is a short description of the monthly matches there (which I have never attended, although I know that Paul [The Soccer Coach] and [Big Dawg] John often run it, and [White-Fish] Fish has mentioned that he sometimes attends the matches, so I'm not entirely ignorant because these guys tell me what's going on.)

One or more experienced IPSC competitors run the matches, and they are deliberately low-key stages. They set up two stages side by side, and they run everybody who shows up on one stage, then the run everybody through the other stage, and then they stop to set up a couple more stages. This routine is necessary because they don't have a lot of room to work with; it's a popular club, and they muse necessarily take up as little room as possible because other shooters are using the rest of the range.

Most of the people who choose to participate at these matches are NOT folks who compete at 'regular' matches in the Columbia-Cascade Section. They're just people who want to shoot their pistols, and don't really care about competition except that they Do, sort of, compete; but against other people who are of the same mind-set. They aren't necessarily competitive, and they don't choose to invest their time and 'disposable income' to the degree which they may feel obliged if the "competed" in "regular matches".

(I'm counting on people like Paul, John and Fish to correct me if I misrepresent the situation. As I may have said before, I'm never attended one of their matches: I don't even know how to find the Douglas Ridge range, although I'm reliably informed that it's somewhere East, and a little South, of the Portland Oregon metropolitan area. You can find directions at the website .. or go directly to the directions here. You can find out more about the club at their website here, and you can find more information about their USPSA program here.)

No, I don't know when the matches are held; according to the website, the last match for which scores are published was held on October 2, 2010 --- which was the FIRST SATURDAY of the month.

Taken directly from the USPSA Program page (see link above), here is their description of the program:
Welcome to DRRC USPSA/IPSC shooting. We are offering monthly USPSA/IPSC style matches. Initially these will not be sanctioned matches but we will follow all USPSA rules and procedures. This will be a training ground for those who wish to learn and become proficeint in USPSA shooting skills. We will be promoting safety, training, proficiency, and fun. USPSA shooting is commonly referred to "Run and Gun" because you do not just stand and shoot. Many stages require moving to/from different targets and shooting under, over, and around barriers.

This discipline is not for first time or inexperienced shooters. You must be able to compentently handle a handgun to particpate. If you are interested in USPSA shooting or joining USPSA, you can access the USPSA Safety Manual at the link below. Training outside of a match is available to interested new shooters. Matches are open to the public and all are welcome.

So, what we have here is a COF (Course Of Fire) which is true to IPSC/USPSA standards, but unofficially is less ... intimidating .. than a "standard" Practical Pistol match.

I suspect, given the descriptions that I have had relayed to me by the folks who administer these matches and at least one person who has attend, that the stage designs are deliberately chosen to be less complicated, and less intimidating (fewer problems understanding the nuances of the stage designs) than those which are typically encountered at a "regular" USPSA match in Oregon.

Frankly, I would like to attend a few of these matches, if only to get a better understanding of the stage design philosophy. Unfortunately, it conflicts with the "Introduction to USPSA" class which I instruct at ARPC (Albany Rifle and Pistol Club) on the First Saturday of every month, so I simply cannot do so because of scheduling conflicts.


Based purely on second-hand descriptions of these matches, both from people who have participated as shooters and those who have been administratively responsible for presenting the matches, I think that this depiction is reasonably accurate. However, I may be wrong.

I'm hoping that someone who knows more about Douglas Ridge will chime in via the comments page, and perhaps correct any inaccuracies.

Still, the original comment has merit; we need to have opportunities for folks who aren't feeling very "competitive" to try the game and see how they like it. If they don't want to become more invested in USPSA (or IPSC), that's fine. But after they've tried it for a while, and decide they want to more challenging stage design ... there's always (along the Willamette Valley, in Oregon) a place to play within an hour's drive via the I5 corridor.

And if you're a safe shooter, with good gun-handling skills, you're always welcome at any of the regular USPSA matches.

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