Springfield Tactical Shooters

USPSA Club IL10 - Area 5

Serving Sangamon County and the surrounding Counties within Central Illinois

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“USPSA," "IPSC," "Combat Shooting," "Action Shooting," "Practical Shooting.” All these acronyms and terms derive from practical shooting, and the organization that first began development of the sport—the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC). IPSC’s world and national championships are widely regarded as the official title bouts for shooters in all types of “action/speed/combat” disciplines. The United States Practical Shooting Association’s (USPSA) National Championships are considered on a par with the World Championship events because of the organizational and shooting depth present in USPSA.

Photo of Fall 2006 outdoor matchThe basic sport originated in Southern California in the 1950s and was known as “Leatherslap” matches. Very little was standardized. As the game evolved, it became an amalgam of many elements—some old-west fast draw, sometimes an obstacle course to run around and through, some challenges to decide what to shoot and what not to shoot, and more points awarded to heavier caliber firearms.

IPSC (pronounced “ip-sick”) was created as an organization in 1976 at Columbia, Mo., by representatives from nine nations where the sport of “combat” shooting was becoming popular. This became known as the Columbia Conference. The term “practical” went into the name instead of “combat” in deference to public image, and Jeff Cooper was elected the first president. Jeff’s writings and philosophy of “practical pistolcraft” were highly regarded and earned him the title of “father of the sport.” The intention of the Columbia Conference was to create an administrative body which could develop and standardize worldwide rules for the sport and sanction International matches. It is truly an international organization which today boasts more than 60 affiliated countries. Member nations developed national sanctioning bodies to administer matches in their own countries, and to hold their own national championships. The United States Practical Shooting Association/IPSC is the sanctioning body within the United States. Within the international administrative structure, the United States is designated as an administrative “region.” The president of USPSA, elected by vote of all USPSA members, also serves as “regional director” (RD) for the United States IPSC program. All these acronyms are really quite simple.

Photo of STS outdoor match competitionThere is a world organization, IPSC, which is made up of member nations called regions. This world organization ensures that international matches are held under standardized international rules, and administers the World Championship held every three years. The regional organizations supervise national programs. In the United States, USPSA keeps track of shooters’ classifications, sanctions official clubs and matches, and administers the annual national championship events. There is no individual IPSC membership. A person becomes a member by joining the national organization of the region where he resides. USPSA does have members worldwide, and most join to receive Front Sight. They also join for the opportunity to become classified against the best shooters in the world.

An important part of USPSA is the National Range Officers Institute (NROI) which sends instructors around the United States to conduct training and certification courses for volunteer USPSA range officers, thus ensuring that the highest standards of safety and scoring integrity are maintained at official matches right down to the local club level. Shooting clubs must affiliate with USPSA to hold officially sanctioned matches, to establish member’s classifications levels, to earn the right to send their members to the United States National Championships, and to host NROI range officer schools. Any club having 10 USPSA individual members and a place to shoot is eligible to affiliate with USPSA.

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