This post isn’t going to be particularly well laid out, because I wanted to create a place that I could collect all of my thoughts on the 2014 IDPA Nationals. I actually spent more time thinking about this match than I usually do, probably because I tend to get introspective when I’m trying to stay warm. Which actually brings me to my first thought:
Holy mother the weather was weird. The day we showed up it was hot and muggy, then Thursday it was cold, Friday it was cold and raining, and then Saturday was pretty pleasant. We went through three seasons in three days, and that was kind of adventurous, especially if you’d used Siri’s weather forecast to pack. If you’d done that, you were probably woefully under-prepared for the cold, and had to go to Target three or four times to buy gear. Speaking of Target, and Oklahoma in general, did you know that you can’t buy real beer anywhere but a liquor store in OK? The only “alcohol” they can sell in grocery stores/gas stations is “low point beer” which has to be 3.2% alcohol by weight or lower. And they close the liquor stores at 9pm. This is what happens when you let puritans run a state.
I honestly don’t think the stages at this year’s nationals were as good as 2013’s stages. There just weren’t a lot of hard shots, as partly evidenced by Bob Vogel only dropping 10 points the entire match. The points down this year were lower across the board for most shooters it seemed. But that’s not to say that the stages were bad, they just weren’t particularly hard. Nothing as epic and difficult as 2013’s prison bars stage or 2012’s running drop turners. The stages were fun, they just seemed kind of simplistic. However, that does present an interesting trap of its own; namely that it was easy on some stages to try and hose them, when the targets really required a bit more precision. So the stages were nothing fancy, but you still had to actually shoot them well to win.
It’s time for fault lines in IDPA. It just is. The new rule book made a valiant effort to eliminate subjectivity in cover calls. It didn’t work. Can we just accept that we’re all playing a game here, and in order for the game to be fair for all participants, the rules must be enforced the same by all the officials? I’m not saying that any of the officials did a poor job either, I’m just saying that everyone has their own idea of when and how to call cover. It’s time to get rid of that, we need fault lines so that there is quite literally a line on the ground for shooters to know not to cross. It doesn’t need to be raised like in USPSA, it can just be spray paint.
I shot okay. Nothing great, I didn’t win SSR, but I shot a respectable Master-class time and finished 1st Master. I got beat by a couple of Experts who shot even better Master-class times and should get match bumps but won’t because there aren’t enough revo shooters to warrant that. But that got me thinking about my shooting, and how important winning a National is. The problem is that it’s not important…right up until it is. Basically, for 10 months of the year I don’t even really think about IDPA Nats, but then for 2 months I do. As it turns out, 6 weeks of training isn’t enough to win the match, but the amount I shoot and train each year is enough to keep my skills from degrading. That leaves me with a question: do I really care enough to put in the effort necessary to win the match?
It turns out the answer right now is “I don’t know.” If you’d asked me the night of the awards ceremony, when I accepted my second “1st Master” plaque this year, I would have said yes. But right now, on Monday morning, when I’m back in the office and I have articles to write, ads to sell, and employees to pay? I don’t know.