Safety Trumps Coolness

Walt in PA has a great post regarding a DQ that happened as an IPSC match he attended. I saw the video and what struck me as unsafe is the way a shooter had to manipulate the gun to keep it safe as he moved. The more I watched the video, the more I got angry at the stage designer. I am not an IPSC shooter, my “expertise” is IDPA so I might be totally off on this one, but I doubt it.

Here are a couple of captures from the video.
I understand that a gun should be pointed downrange to keep the game safe, but if you force the body to go uprange at the same time, you are forcing the shooter to handle the gun in an unsafe manner. That gun is not being gripped properly no matter what anybody says so now you have a shooter running with a somewhat loose gun in his hand.

This part made me think that probably Walt and/or some other shooters managed to sweep themselves as they ran upstage. This again is a design fault. I am all for the coolness factor but making the shooter do stupid crap will result in a DQ in the best of cases or a ballistic piercing in the worst.

There is a principle in design I apply to IPDA stages: No Course of Fire survives set up. No matter how great a stage may appear on paper, you will invariably have to change it once you start setting props up and probably again after everything is “ready” when an enterprising soul points out a major safety error you failed to see at home.

I understand we get married and defend our little creations to the point of fanaticism. I also understand that we want cool stages so people have fun. But what we can never do is create a stage that forces people to be unsafe.  Our primordial responsibility is to the shooters and their safety, not their Disney-type entertainment. Besdes, DQs and bullet wounds are no fun at all.

UPDATE: At Walt’s request, I transformed the stage into IDPA Legal (I think.) Please make a note that where it says “retreat” it means walking backwards. None of that Duty to Retreat crap in IDPA.

It has the 18 shots allowed per IDPA rules and the shooter must start sitting down with a cigar in one hand and a big Slurpee/Smoothie-type container in his other hand.

Variation 1. (For matches with New/Inexperienced Shooters) Shooter must drop items, stand and then draw his weapon.

Variation 2: (For matches with Experienced Shooters) Shooter must drop items,before drawing & shooting. Shooter can engage from seated position or stand up to shoot. Be careful not to sweep your leg (or any part of yours or anybody’s anatomy) or automatic DQ will be issued.

One Reply to “Safety Trumps Coolness”

  1. Great comments on this stage design. The shooter in the video is trying to twist his torso. One way to deal with this would be to require holstering prior to moving to the next part of the stage. The shooter would be able to run a lot more efficiently as well.



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