Ashland Lake Gun Club

IDPA Match Details for 2016

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), founded in 1996, is an organization that has created a shooting sport based on defensive pistol techniques, using equipment including full-charge service ammunition to solve simulated "real world" self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in defensive pistol events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are deemed suitable for self-defense use.

What do I need to shoot IDPA?


IDPA is divided into six (6) regular divisions that are entirely separate. None of the following divisions compete against any other division: Stock Service Pistol (SSP); Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP); Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP); Compact Carry Pistol (CCP), Revolver (REV) and Back Up Gun (BUG). Not For Competition (NFC) is an optional division for local matches only.


  • A strong-side holster is required

  • Holster must hold the firearm with enough tension to allow the wearer to complete normal daily tasks without fear of losing the weapon

  • Except for law enforcement officers competing using their duty equipment, the holster must be concealable

  • Shoulder, ankle, or cross-draw holsters are not allowed due to safety concerns

Spare Magazines and Magazine holders.

  • A maximum of two (2) spare magazine and holders is allowable.

  • A maximum of three (3) spare speedloaders and holders is allowable.

For a complete list of allowable modification in each division, please visit


Scoring at each match is based on the time taken to shoot the stage plus time added for any penalties accrued. Penalties are given for poor marksmanship (i.e. posting hits outside the targets' highest scoring area), failure to use cover, failure to follow a Safety Officer's directions, or any violation of IDPA rules. Penalties range from one-half second per dropped point on targets up to 20 seconds for a Failure to Do Right which is a blatant violation of IDPA rules—i.e. cheating or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Unlimited Scoring

Most IDPA stages are scored using Unlimited Scoring which means that shooters may fire as many rounds as they feel necessary to make the specified number of hits. The best hits on the target are the only ones that count for score. If a stage calls for two hits on each target, a shooter may fire as many rounds as desired and no penalty will be given. Only the best two hits will count.

Limited Scoring

On a standards stage (an exercise intended to test marksmanship and gun handling skill as opposed to being a scenario) it is common for the course of fire to specify Limited scoring (previously known as Limited-Vickers). On this type of stage, the shooter may fire no more than the number of rounds specified. Firing more rounds will earn a procedural penalty and only the lowest scoring hits on target, of the number specified in the course of fire, are counted. For example: a Limited Scoring stage calls for two shots fired; the shooter fires one round into the -0 zone and one round into the -1 zone; if they fire again, hitting the -0 zone; when the target is scored, only the -0 and -1 zone hits will count. The "make up" -0 shot will be thrown out (not because it is the make up, but because is a higher score and the rationale is there should be no possible advantage accrued from failing to follow the stage procedure) and the shooter will be assessed a procedural penalty for firing more shots than the course called for. In addition, the shooter will have also added to their score by taking the time to fire the extra round.

NOTE – IDPA headquaters has announced a change in the scoring system for 2016. Points down will be equale to 1 second vs the old system of 0.5 seconds. Timing for this change is yet to be determined as a lot of scoring software needs to be updated. Please stay tuned to this change.

Cold Range

The normal condition of pistols not in use during a Course of Fire (CoF) is holstered and unloaded, with hammer down or striker forward and magazine removed or cylinder empty.

If you are a concealed carry permit holder or a law enforcement officer with a duty weapon and come to the range with a loaded handgun, you must clear your firearm at your vehicle and holster or stow it.

When you bring a firearm to the range in a case, it must stay in that case and not be handled except at the safe gun handling area. There you may holster your firearm. The firearm must stay holstered until it is your turn to shoot and the safety officer gives the command to load. Safe area is used for:

  • Handling of Unloaded firearms, such as bagging or un-bagging a firearm, holstering, drawing, dry firing, or equipment adjustment.

  • May also be used for inspections, stripping, cleaning, repairs and maintenance of a firearm or related equipment or parts.

  • In all cases the muzzle of the firearm must be pointed in a safe direction.

  • Handling of ammunition, loaded ammunition feeding devices, loose rounds, dummy ammunition, snap caps, simunitions, training rounds, or loaded firearms are not permitted.

  • This area may also be used, while accompanied by a SO, to render safe a firearm that has locked up and contains a live round or rounds.

  • Reload practice within the Safe Area is not allowed. An empty magazine may be inserted into a firearm to test functionality or to drop the hammer on a firearm with a magazine disconnect, but reload practice is prohibited.

  • The violation of any of the cases above will result in Disqualification from the match.

Range Commands:

Load and Make Ready

At the command, you may load your firearm and chamber a round. 

If your firearm has the ability to de-cock, it must be done so at this time before placing the firearm in the holster.  The safety may be switched off at this time.

If your firearm is of a type that cannot be de-cocked, the safety must be engaged before being placed in the holster.

Shooter Ready?

Provide either a verbal or visual indication to notify the SO that you are ready.

Stand By

This is the point of no return.  The buzzer will sound 1-3 seconds after this command is given.  At the sound of the buzzer, you are on the clock and are free to engaged threat targets as per the course description.

Unload and Show Clear

Upon completion of the COF, you will be given this command.  Upon doing so, you will drop your magazine and eject any live rounds from the chamber of a semi-automatic pistol. You must allow the SO to physically see that there is an empty chamber.  Do not assume that the live round was ejected and the chamber is clear.  With a revolver, you will open the cylinder and empty all fired and unfired cartridges.  Again, you will show the SO that the chambers are empty.

Slide Forward or Close Cylinder

You are now free to lower the slide onto the chamber or close the cylinder of a revolver.

Pull the Trigger

You will point the firearm down range and pull the trigger.  This is just another precautionary step to ensure that the firearm is unloaded and clear.  You may not lower the hammer using the de-cocking function on weapons with this feature.  This is to prevent you from lowering the hammer safely on a live round.


Holster your firearm.

Range is Safe

You may now make your way down range to inspect scores and paste targets.

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