This past weekend - GA State IDPA match


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Feb 23, 2014
GA; (CT escapee)
Miscellaneous thoughts from this weekend's GA State IDPA match.

I mostly shoot tier 1 matches, (local), I've shot (and worked) a couple of Tier-2 matches, and previously shot two State level matches. I shot MA State IDPA at Woburn, nicely run by @ddraper, last year - he had to cancel it this year due to Covid19. I shot GA State USPSA a couple of weeks ago up in Dawsonville and got a serious lesson on how good shooters run stages, (better than me).

In 2017 Mark Compton, (match director at 17South), put together "The SandGnat Challenge", a Tier 2 BUG, (Back Up Gun), match. I think we had 61 shooters that first year including staff. We ran it again in 2018 and 2019. This year, we upped it to a Tier 3 State match with 233 competitors/staff.

13 stages plus a side match. Stage 1 was a "burner" stage, 7 yards, limited to two, best shot counted. Stage 13 was somewhat similar. 2 shots from 10 yards, mandatory slidelock reload and 2 from 7 yards. That was probably my best stage of the day. :)

I helped setup Wed and Thu; shot with the rest of the staff on Fri and ran a stage on Sat. By Sunday I was beat - so of course I ended up helping my son move furniture. Monday really sucked.

I saw a lot of really skilled shooters go through my stage on Saturday, and shot with a couple on my squad on Friday. I was on the same squad as one of the guys working my bay, and he was simply amazing with a PCC - he took third overall. PCC with optics AND a lazer is insanely fast.

Scott Warren came through my stage, and I did a double take when I saw his shirt. Asked him "are you Scott Warren?"; when he said "yes", I told him that I have his sights on a bunch of my guns. Great sights and he turns orders around rapidly - like four days from order to my mailbox. was here again. Gary and his wife Patty are simply terrific people. He was on my squad Friday and Gary P

Mark, (MD), told us that we would have at least one "adaptive shooter" in this match. Google "Henry (Bubba) Stevenson and then don't make excuses that you can't do something - he was born without arms. We had "squad keepers", aka "squad moms" traveling with each squad. When Henry's group came to our stage, Ed did the usual briefing while I talked to Emily and Henry about how the stage would be set for him. We had a SP and (4) POCs, (three behind a wall with a port in it) for mobile shooters. For Henry we set up two chairs, and I moved the first one to his third firing position. Here's a link to someone else's stage with video of him: View:

A couple of the other shooters weren't quite as graceful/noble; the usual lawyers in fishing vests bullshit. I called a miss on a shot, and the shooter was insistent that it had broken the hard cover into the target. We had the match director over and he gave her the shot. I disagreed, but that's their right and he called it in her favor. While we're looking at it, I've got another shooter on her squad injecting himself into the conversation, loudly - and he got upset when I told him that the conversation was between the shooter and the SOs.

In contrast I had a shooter laughing at himself because he failed to download for a BUG, and my scorekeeper caught the extra round when he racked the slide to clear a malfunction. Just a wry "oh crap" from him and procedural taken. Another shooter left cover with an empty gun, saw the "surprise target" and went back into cover. We'd stated in the brief that you could not leave cover with an empty gun. So we gave him a procedural. He politely disagreed. We agreed to score his targets while we waited for the MD; scored them and then had a conversation with shooter, scorer and match director. Facts weren't in dispute, the question was whether he got the procedural. The match director agreed with the shooter, we removed the procedural. All done politely, courteously on both sides - the way it's supposed to be handled. As an SO, my job is to enforce the rules fairly and score targets correctly. It's NEVER supposed to be confrontational.

I ran classifiers for 7 shooters on Thursday/Friday. How do you get to the day before a State match and not have your classifier shot? We've been running classifiers at our matches for the last four or five months so that we wouldn't have this issue. Hell, we had two shooters whose IDPA memberships were expired. WTF?

Social distancing? Plenty during the match. We're outside in the sun, (is this a good time to mention to New Englanders that shorts and t-shirts were the order of the day?). Not so much afterwards at the clubhouse. There had to be 150 people in the clubhouse after the match, waiting for arbitration period to end so that awards could be determined and awarded. If you hear about a "super spreader" event outside of Savannah...

17South opened up about four years ago as a private range. At opening it had (2) tactical bays. As of right now we have (12). Plus (2) pistol ranges, (2) rifle ranges, a long distance rifle range, a .22 range, skeet, trap, sporting clays, five stand, archery and a stocked pond. The club has grown incredibly and our Practical Shooting Club based there continues to thank the owners for listening to us and building us the facilities.

We're having conversations now about running SandGnat in the Spring and GA state in the Fall.

Meanwhile, GSSF is at 17S in two weeks - I've got guns to clean and mags to load.
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