10th Annual -2006 IDPA Massachusetts Championships
David Bold - A00494
Imagine you're out on a Valentine's Day dinner date. There you are, at the table, enjoying the evening when a few sorry drunks decide to rob the place. They draw weapons and catch you and your date in the middle. How are you going to get out of this?
That's what faced almost 70 shooters when they competed in the 2006 Massachusetts State Championships of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) this past June. Competitors had to draw their firearm and shoot their way to safety. It was the skill, marksmanship and coolness under pressure that allowed them to complete this test successfully.
Scenarios in IDPA are based on self-defense situations that could happen or have happened. There are basic tests of skill such as weak-hand only or shooting while using a flashlight. Instead of punching holes on round paper targets, IDPA matches use more realistic targets as well as steel plates and pepper poppers. Some targets move while others will pop out at you and then disappear. You even have to shoot targets while you're moving. Your score is a combination of accuracy and time. There are different divisions based on what type of equipment you use and different classifications based on skill levels within each division.
The Rod & Gun Club of New Bedford located in North Dartmouth, MA hosted its 10th Annual IDPA Massachusetts State Championship on June 23, 24 & 25, 2006. Competitors from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, Indiana and California enjoyed a rather damp weekend filled with great food, door prizes and 8 challenging stages firing over 150 rounds. The rainy weather caused us to put clear plastic bags on the targets to protect them from the weather as much as possible. This was a rain-or-shine event.
Each morning started off with breakfast served by club volunteers Don Adams, Wayne Junier and Frank Sciotto while my wife Stephanie ran registration. Shooters received score sheets, tee shirts made by East Coast Screen Printing (Providence, RI), sample bullet packs from Montana Gold and the match booklet with the course-of-fire descriptions.
Many shooters also won door prizes supplied by Waller & Sons, MLE Shooting Sports, Four Seasons Firearms, Montana Gold, Zero Bullets, Midway USA, Otis Technologies and Wilson Combat. Top door prizes were two guns donated by Smith and Wesson - a SW1911 and a model 686 revolver; and a discount voucher from Para Ordnance towards the purchase of a new Para pistol. Please remember our sponsors when making your equipment choices. Their support is what makes these types of matches possible.
Squads of shooters made their way through 8 separate stages, each starting with the stage safety briefing and walk-through. The Safety Officers went over the scenario and any safety issues unique to that stage. This year's match had a theme based on the different holidays throughout the year.
The Valentines' Day dinner stage had you shooting at the threat while retreating to the cover of the bar. Once there you found the bartender's shotgun and used it to finish off the threat. The club provided a pump-shotgun and ammo for competitors to use. A shotgun is a great self-defense tool.
Valentine's Day Dinner. The targets with hands on them are no-shoot targets that simulate innocent bystanders. The black part of the distant targets simulate hardcover that would protect part of the bad-guy's body, such as body armor.
One stage had you in a club on St Patrick's Day. You had to make your way to the exit of the club while defending yourself against an armed attacker. This was on the indoor range with the lights off. Competitors had to use a flashlight while strobe lights flashed back at you. This was a very challenging stage that had moving no-shoot targets simulating innocent bystanders that kept bouncing back and forth that you had to be careful not to shoot. That would have earned you some penalty points.
St. Patrick's' Day at a nightclub, shown here with the lights on. Competitors saw this with the lights off with a strobe light flashing in their eyes.
Another stage had you manning the door for Halloween when your daughter and niece come home with trouble behind them, including some vicious dogs. You had to rescue your loved ones by neutralizing the threats. This stage had you with shooting from the cover of a door.
Although the wet weather of the day would have you think otherwise, one stage had you spending the day sunning yourself at the beach celebrating Independence Day when the locals take offense to your presence on their sand. You had to retrieve your firearm from the cooler and back your way out to safety. Shooting while retreating is more challenging than you might think, especially when the targets are moving and pop out to surprise you.
Christmas tree shopping in a not-so-nice part of town probably isn't such a good idea, especially when you're kids get taken hostage. You had to negotiate the trees and other shoppers while you stopped the threat to your children. Many of the targets were hidden behind real trees and there was a surprise target that only presented itself for about a second.
Xmas tree shopping. The targets where hidden behind several real trees.
There were also three stages that tested various shooting skills such as weak-hand only, shooting with a flashlight and basic accuracy with targets out to 35 yards.
Shooters were treated to a tasty lunch prepared and served by club members Don, Frank and Wayne. Great comments were heard about the food and the service. These guys come through every year and with the rain this year, a warm lunch was greatly appreciated. We also put up tents to provide cover from the weather and water stations along the way.
I'd like to extend a great deal of gratitude to the Safety Officers and match crew. These folks put a lot of effort into running smooth, fair and fun stages. A family emergency kept me from the range during most of the setup. These guys stepped up and put this match together. Thanks go to Doug Barressi, Bryan Baxter, Ward Benner, Scott Botelho, Scott Clarke, Dave Clough, Buzz DeMailly, John Figueiredo, Carl Frederick, Dave Guindon, John Kelly, Jay Litchfield, Bob Nadeau, Bob Nadeau Jr. and Fred Viveiros. Scores where handled by my sister-in-law Stacy Shaw.
I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't thank our sponsors again and ask that you do the same: Smith & Wesson (www.smith-wesson.com), Para Ordnance (www.paraord.com), MLE Shooting Sports (www.mle-shootingsports.com), Waller & Sons (www.wallerandson.com), Montana Gold Bullets (www.montanagoldbullet.com), Zero Bullets (www.zerobullets.com), Four Seasons Firearms (www.fsguns.com), Midway USA (www.midwayusa.com), Otis Technologies (www.otisgun.com), Wilson Combat (www.wilsoncombat.com) and East Cost Screen Printing (www.eastcoastscreenprinting.com).
If this sounds like fun, come join us for the 2007 IDPA Massachusetts State Championship on June 15, 16 & 17, 2007. Check our website at www.rodgun-nb.org for entry form and details.
|SSP Division Champion||Todd Redl|
|ESP Division Champion||Mark Redl|
|CDP Division Champion||Ralph Colon|
|SSR Division Champion||Craig Buckland|
|ESR Division Champion||Harry Simonsen|
|High Lady||Judith Lafreniere|
|High Law Enforcement||Joe Linskey|
|High Senior||Mike Grant|
|High Junior||Bob Nadeau, Jr|