Have you ever met someone that has a tendency to dive into a new hobby with tremendous furor, fist-pumping all the way down? I’m a lot like that guy. I tend to find something I enjoy and get involved quickly. With my First IDPA Match behind me, you can only imagine the thoughts that are racing through my mind right about now.
The issue is that I don’t want to just shoot a monthly match at a local club. Oh no, I want to do better than that and shoot at an IDPA Sanctioned Match, the Liberty 2012 Match at Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club, to be precise.
So what is the big deal, it is just a matter of showing up and shooting, right? Unfortunately, there are criteria that must be met in order to compete in this match. Those criteria are simple enough to reach, the issue is the time frame in which I need to accomplish everything.
The time frame I’m up against is the following “Registration closes at 12:01AM on September 14 2012. Or sooner at the discretion of the Match Director.” In addition, open squad slots seem to be filling up. By the time I submit my application I may be lucky to get one, let alone a slot on a squad where friends are also shooting.
As you would imagine, shooting at a Sanctioned IDPA Match means being a member of the organization. At this particular time, I do not satisfy that requirement. The process is simple enough and can be completed online. Annual membership dues are $40 or $105 for three years.
My inner cheapskate, however, tells me not to complete the online registration. If join IDPA through a club, such as Lower providence Rod and Gun Club, I get to shoot the match in which I join, for free. This essentially saves me $15 that could otherwise be used for ammunition.
My only concern at this point is, do I have the time to wait around for the August match before signing up? Even if a late August match would be cutting it close, how much time will it take for IDPA to process the paperwork and provide me with a membership number for the Liberty Match Registration Process, if I sign up right now?
Once the registration process is finished, the next order of business is getting myself classified. Shooters are required to classify Marksman or higher. I’m not particularly concerned about actually making Marksman. The time seems fairly generous as it is the bottom rung of the classification ladder (Novice is actually below Marksman but there is no time requirement for Novice. I imagine that is your classification fresh out of IDPA Membership).
The concern is actually getting myself classified. Many of the clubs in my area seem to run a classification match once or twice per year. This acts as a re-certification, of sorts, for members. If you were guessing that I’m out of luck for a classification match, you would be correct. There is an alternative, though.
Ontelaunee Rod and Gun Club runs a program for new shooters. This program is free of charge and acts as a way for potential shooters to learn about the sport and shoot two small IDPA Style Stages to test the waters. After completion of the class, shooters who join IDPA are offered the opportunity to shoot the classifier through the club. From what I understand, it is simply a matter or agreeing on a time that works for both the shooter and instructor.
If I can make the August 12th Class and make arrangements to shoot the classifier, shorty after, I may be able to become classified before match registration closes on September 14th. Even if the stars align and everything works out, I think the time frame is really tight.
Ask The Readers
By this point you’re probably thinking I’m crazy. I have one IDPA Match under my belt, I’m not even a member of the organization, and I want to shoot a sanctioned match? Remember the part about diving into a new hobby with tremendous furor, fist-pumping all the way down? Well, what did you expect after reading that?
What I would like your help with is, do you think I’m overdoing it? Should I hold off on shooting a sanctioned match until I have more experience? Do I even have a prayer of meeting all of the requirements by the September 14th cutoff date?