At the beginning of December, I had the pleasure of shooting IDPA at New Holland Rifle and Pistol Club. During registration, there was a notice that in 2013 the price for registration would be increasing. Non Club members would be charged $20 (formerly $15) and Club members would be charged $15.
When I first saw the notice, I had mixed feelings. With my current shooting budget I need to walk away from each and every match feeling as though I got my monies worth. My initial thought was that perhaps the New Holland Rifle and Pistol Club was having some money problems and needed to increase revenue (I spoke with a couple of people who weren’t pleased with the $250 initiation fee for new members).
The weekend before Christmas, I walked into registration at Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club and was disappointed to see that they too have increased their fee. I handed over my $20 and proceeded to shoot the match.
While I don’t consider myself cheap, per se, I am critical in how I spend my limited shooting budget. Prior to this increase, I was okay with spending $15 to shoot approximately 100 Rounds of ammunition at a given IDPA Match. This, of course, is added to the cost of driving roughly 40 miles each way (Approximately $15 to $20 depending on the price of gas). This brings my average cost, per match, to about $50 when using factory 9mm ammunition.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that a $5 increase isn’t a lot of money. The issue I’m having is principle. The price increase puts the registration fee directly in line with a USPSA Match. The difference there is that I know a portion of my registration goes towards making payouts to Division and Class winners ($30 and $20). On more than one occasion I’ve managed to win my registration fee back (meaning I can shoot more for the same out of pocket cost). IDPA doesn’t have a payout structure in place and it is very doubtful that the organization ever will.
Since USPSA Matches tend to use roughly 50% more rounds than IDPA and the stages tend to be more complicated, I walk away from those matches feeling as though they are a better bang for my buck. The issue I’m facing now is a tricky one. Do I suck it up and simply pay more for what I perceive as a lesser value or do I change directions and reinvest that money into rounds used for practice at my local club?
A practice session wouldn’t be as fun or as social as a formal IDPA match but it may be better for my overall goal, which is to build on my skills for USPSA. There is a saving grace to all of this, though. Not all clubs are raising their rates. During the very same Lower Providence match in which I paid $20 to shoot, I spoke with Dave Bair, Match Director at Ontelaunee Rod and Gun Club, about their price structure for 2013.
Dave Bair via Facebook:
Here is our 2013 Schedule of IDPA Match Fees
- IDPA Members ( Must have a valid IDPA #) $15.00
- Non-IDPA Members $20.00
- Junior Shooters ( 12 – 17) $5.00
- Any Safety Officer That runs a Squad $5.00
- Active military FREE
Not only are the Ontelaunee rates not increasing for the average shooter, it seems as though the club is actively trying to increase its volunteer, junior, and military base. I think this is good example of raising a clubs revenue by increasing shooter turnout, rather than increasing rates across the board.
Perhaps these price increases have nothing to do with clubs needing the added revenue and is merely a case of charging what the market with bear. Regardless of the reason, in my eyes Ontelaunee Rod and Gun Club is king of the hill in terms of best value or bang for my buck.
In your opinion, What is a fair price to pay for a typical IDPA Match
consisting of five to eight stages and a round count of roughly 100?
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