IDPA Rulebook released

The final edition of the IDPA Rulebook has been released early, which is pretty impressive considering the amount of work that went into it.

idpa logo 2

Predictably, there are quite a few changes from the draft rulebook that was released and the final version. The finalized version of the rulebook will go into effect October 1st, after the 2013 IDPA Nationals and will affect all future matches. It is beyond the scope of this post to cover all the changes made, rather I’m going to look at some the requests that were made based on the draft rulebook and their incorporation or not into the final rulebook.

First, is the potentially disastrous safety officer rule. We discussed how the draft rulebook actually required safety officers to attempt to stop a shooter from tripping, falling, or running into a prop. The potential safety issues caused by that were enormous, and thankfully that has been removed from the final rulebook. Shooters are free to fall flat on their faces, just like they should be.

Next up is the DQ for muzzle warnings – in the draft rulebook, a shooter could actually be DQ’d for not breaking the 180. Receiving too many warnings for a muzzle violation would result in a DQ. That seemed unfair and somewhat harsh, and has been dropped from the final rulebook.

Allow .40 S&W in CDP – didn’t happen. As I mentioned on Facebook, I can’t seem to get too worked up about this, because CDP has always been a .45 ACP division as long as I’ve played the sport. I understand that there are shooters who played the game back when CDP also allowed 10mm, but for me it’s always been .45 only.

Allow Appendix Carry: Nope, sorry.

Now, most interestingly has been the addition of rules specifically allowing for “outlaw” divisions at club level IDPA matches. Here is the relevant text:

8.2.7. Not For Competition IDPA encourages shooters to practice their gun handling skills with commonly carried firearms.
Many everyday carry firearms do not fit into the 5 competition divisions. IDPA allows clubs to add a “Not for Competition” scoring division for Tier 1 matches only. This
allows calibers smaller than 9mm, carry optics, and other pistols which do not fit into the 5 competition
divisions to participate in local club matches. All other IDPA equipment rules apply for holsters and loading device holders as well as their
placement on the body. Match Directors also have the option to allow junior shooters with .22 rimfire
firearms to begin strings at low ready in lieu of requiring a holster. All IDPA membership rules apply. Clubs are not required to implement this provision, and Match Directors are allowed discretion
with implementation so that match quality remains high.

Aside from everything else, here it is – our chance to make Carry Optics a real IDPA division. But to do that, we have to get people with RMRs on their guns to go out and shoot IDPA matches starting as soon as the new rules go into effect. Show up at matches and shoot these guns, because if demonstrate a demand for this division at the local level, that greatly increases our chances of making it happen at the national level. I pushed the carry optics boulder up the hill while I worked as a contractor for IDPA, and now others are pushing it. I’d love to see it happen.

Now, on the big pressing issue from the new rulebook – flatfooted reloads. The draft rulebook was written so that if your gun runs dry in the open, you may reload while moving to cover. This is a good rule. However, it was also written that if your gun runs dry behind cover, you may not advance in the stage while reloading so long as you remain behind cover. Essentially, it mandated that all reloads behind cover be flatfooted, regardless of whether or not you’re doing a tactical reload or a slide-lock reload. Many shooters, myself included were opposed to the rule as interpreted. I’m actually going to go into more detail on this rule in a separate post next week, because it’s an interesting topic all its own; however suffice to say IDPA decided to keep the “flat-footed reload behind cover” rule. I don’t like it, but I can also understand the decision within the context of IDPA. More on that next week.

Of course, the big one, round dumping is gone. Forever relegated to the dustbin of history. And thank god for it too; it’s just a shame that these rules won’t be in effect for the 2013 Nationals.

I don’t think the new rulebook is perfect by any means. It is a quantum leap over the 2005 Rulebook, and represents a good start for IDPA moving forward. IDPA is perfectly positioned at the wide end of the funnel to capture the surge of new shooters interested in self-defense and concealed carry, by adding the club level outlaw divisions and continuing to refine the rules, I think IDPA is in great shape for the next few years. I hope that they continue to perform reviews of the rules and listen to feedback from the membership as the sport grows.


  1. This may actually get me to shoot some IDPA matches again. What’s your feel on how much the new rulebook takes out the influence of individual SOs?

Comments are closed.