The International Defensive Pistol Association as any other sport shooting endeavor, classifies its shooters. IDPA has an specific match called The Classifier designed to exact the same challenges to all shooters and to quantify how much or how good a shooter has become assigning a classification (Novice, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master) based on the performance in said Classifier.
However there is another Classification of IDPA shooters through the Classifier but based on their behavior at the range and that is the one I intend to share here. Without further ado….
The Newbie: The shooter might be new to the sport or have been shooting it for a decade, but this is the one that is not a gifted individual but reaches a higher level of classification by sheer determination and celebrates the new milestone as if he or she just discovered sex or fart jokes. They are a joy to watch hooting and hollering and make working a Classifier lots of fun.
The Old Hand: This is the guy who finds out today is the Classifier and shoots it for the hell of it. He’s been at the same classification since Bill Wilson founded IDPA and really do not care about moving up. He shoots for the pleasure of it and to comply with the One Classifier A Year rule in case there is a sanctioned match in his future.
The Mathematician: Easy to recognize because they have a huge scientific calculator in a pouch next to the magazines. He carefully examines each stage’s performance and makes a mental note of how fast and how many points down he can obtain in order to rise in classification. They usually kidnap the scoresheet, check carefully, does notations on the paper and finally figure out that Stage Three is the killer when you drop 26 points down in one target alone. He is truly surprised to find out that he was given 2 procedurals for cover because the calculator was sticking way out the Bianchi Barricade.
The Rock Star: He shows up with an entourage that include assorted girlfriends, two shooting coaches, a meteorologist, the gunsmith who built his “out of the box” gun, representatives from every ammunition manufacturer with lots of “finely tuned” (read gaming) ammunition, three lawyers, a masseuse, a Zen teacher and a choir of singers belching meditation music. The Rock Star has been stuck in his level for the past 8 years and tries to eek every possible advantage and spend any amount of money in order to get that next Classification. His temper tantrums when he does not make it tend to be quite spectacular and they include blaming everybody from the Safety Officer to the Trilateral Commission for his failure.
The Embarrassed: He is the poor cousin of the Rock Star and he owns a dremel tool. After blaming his poor performance on cosmic events, the position of the sun or the new set of Wolff springs installed in his modified Glock 34 for max performance (as shown in GlockTalk.com), he usually snatches his scoresheet and destroys it before anybody finds out that he missed his goal by 45 seconds, penalties not included.
The Sandbagger: Evil Twin Brother of the Mathematician. He is going to a sanctioned match and he will do the Classifier keeping track of his score and then, suddenly, drop enough time NOT to raise in classification. His goal is to reach the new level at the sanctioned match and bask in self-adoration when he receives his winner plaque and has his IDPA card signed by the Match Director. The Laws of Unintended IDPA Consequences dictate that he will either perform poorly at the sanctioned match of there is not enough shooters in his classification to bump him to the next one.
The Barrister: This is the guy that shoots with one hand in the IDPA rulebook and works as intern at the Supreme Court to improve his argumentative skills. He will challenge every call the Safety Officer makes and lodges a legal challenge with the Match Director (“But my ethereal body was totally behind cover and that is the intention of the rule.” or ” The farthest target had the rocket launcher and had to be engaged first. Slicing the Pie does not count in this stage.”) He is usually invited to serve as target holders for the next match.
Special mention to a sub classification: The Gypsy. He spends his weekends traveling from town to town wherever a Classified is being offered. This could be combined with one of the above types (Newbie and Old Hand not included) and Like a modern Galahad, he wonders around the land seeking the Grail of Higher Classification.
Important Note: With the exception of the Newbie and the Old Hand, the annoyance level of the types above described reach volcanic proportions if the subject is an Expert vying for a Master Classification. And old IDPA shooter (who shall remain anonymous) said that some people should be executed once they become Experts because like zombies, they turn into assholes once bitten with the idea they may become Masters.
I think I might be missing one or two more types, but I am still suffering from the effects of too much Christmas Food Intake and brain process is a bit under par. Anyway, I must get ready, I have a Classifier to prepare and score next month.