MDPA started as an IPDA-style competitive shooting club. In recent years, the club has evolved its rules and procedures to be less strictly about competitive shooting and more about good tactics. However, this evolution has been uncertain and uneven. New and experienced shooters approached us and requested a clearer purpose and operation of the club in support of armed self-defense.
New shooters tell us that they want to be motivated to get serious training from the good schools and then have a place to practice their new skills. The experienced shooters want fresh challenges and a place to practice their additional skills. All shooters want to have fun doing that practice at our matches.
After many hours of discussion and consideration, several members have stepped up and contributed to a plan that will set up MDPA for long-term growth. Thanks go to George Pilgrim, Larry Baker, Dennis Hoeger, Al Roy, Darren Cunningham, and Eric Gilbertson. They and others get the credit for everything good and worthwhile in what is planned. I take sole responsibility for anything that is incomplete, unclear, or that needs more work.
So, what are we doing? We are reorganizing MDPA by taking two big steps:1) Redesign MDPA matches to make them more interesting and tactically relevant to new and experienced shooters2) Reorganize the leadership of the club into separate teams each with their own area of responsibility and control.
Summary of the new matches:
- More tactical realism for all shooters (new and experienced)
- Trade off rules-based competition for more emphasis on good tactics
- Optional procedures in some stages for experienced shooters
Details of the new matches:
- The new MDPA will focus on helping shooters practice a high level of defensive shooting in more realistic and challenging stages. More than ever, our matches will be for new and experienced shooters, who take armed self-defense seriously. The purpose of MDPA is to help these shooters have fun getting a lot of valuable self-defense practice in just a few hours’ time.
- We will be using more “blind” stages, more use of difficult-to-detect no-shoots, more movement (of shooters and targets), and much more.
- The regular monthly matches will consist of a mix of three basic stage types: Scenario, Skill-building/Drill, and “Pure Fun”
- Scenario stages will usually be shot blind followed by a full squad de-brief conducted by the SO before moving on to the next stage
- There will be less detail in the scenario stage courses-of-fire to allow more individual shooter decision-making and actions. Instead, we’ll provide more detail of the self-defense thinking behind each scenario stage’s design
- We will also be integrating long-guns and backup handguns into some of our regular matches. (You will still be able to use your main defensive pistol or revolver in all of our regular matches without having a carbine, shotgun, or backup gun.)
- Because of the increased realism of our matches, the club has instituted a mandatory Novice Classification system for all shooters new to MDPA.
- We will continue to conduct MDPA special events and after-match activities, including professional self-defense courses, legal resources, and emergency medical training. These are all part of MDPA being an important armed self-defense resource for the range and the local area.
We have already formed teams with assigned tasks necessary run our club. Each team’s descriptions are detailed below.Our Team Leaders are now recruiting team members for the limited number of openings on each team. By the March 16 match, all teams will be operational.
Effective March 16, we will be increasing match fees to $20. Team Members who work on their teams that month and all Team Leaders shoot for $10. These fees allow us to pay our way at the Logan Range and acquire better props for our matches and educational resources for our events.
George Pilgrim conducted a training session for new SOs on Jan. 26. Training is required for all experienced shooters who want to be SOs at our matches, whether you have SOed or ROed before or not. Please contact me for more details about how to become an MDPA SO. Becoming an SO will improve your own tactical performance and give you a great chance to share your skills and insights with newer shooters.
Here are the Team Leaders and team descriptions. Remember there are only a limited number of openings on each of these teams. If you see a team you would like to work on, please act early by contacting me at
and I will pass your request and contact information to the Team Leader.
Squad Officer Team – George Pilgrim
The SO Team is primarily responsible for the safe operation of the squads in the bays during a match. The SO Team is responsible for knowing and enforcing the MDPA rules during matches, esp. on safety. The SO Team will run the Shooters' Meeting at the start of each match. SOs will make sure the score sheets are properly filled out and legible, score each shooter, provide safety instructions during the match, and conduct tactical debriefs for their squads after each Scenario stage. The SO Team has the final say on who shoots in our matches from a safety and "spirit of our game" standpoint. The SO Team will select and train new SOs.
Set-up Team – Eric Gilbertson
The Setup Team is responsible for supervising setup, teardown, and cleanup of the matches; laying out the stages in the bays; maintaining and acquiring the necessary supplies, equipment, and props to conduct the matches; designing, building and acquiring new props; and organizing MDPA’s work contribution to maintaining the range and its facilities. Members of the Setup Team a) Are handy with simple tools and fix-it projects, b) Are able to visualize how a stage will actually be run and set it up to be run safely while meeting the design objectives of the Design Team, c) Have a utility trailer or at least have a vehicle that can tow one around the range, and d) Live within 30 min. of the Logan Range. Actual labor for setup is not provided by the Setup Team, only supervision. The setup labor is provided by all able-bodied shooters on the morning of the match.
Admin Team – Robert Hall
The Admin Team is responsible for keeping the financial records, the cash on hand, reporting the financial status of the Association to the Voting Members and the MWA Treasurer after each match, keeping Association records, maintaining a New Shooter Recruitment program, representing MDPA to the sponsors, affiliates, other clubs and the public, attending MWA Board Meetings, maintaining the Association email lists and the website, and creating shooter communications. On match day, the Admin Team also signs up the shooters and, with the help of the SO Team, creates the squads.
Novice Classification & Training Team – Larry Baker
The Novice Classification Team job is to determine if a new shooter has the minimum qualifications to participate in a MDPA Match. The Team will design, implement, and supervise a Novice Classification system that will allow new shooters to demonstrate they meet the minimum requirements.
The minimum requirements to achieve a Novice Classification are possession of the required equipment and demonstration of (1) the ability to operate their handgun, (2) safe gun handling (3) range safety (4) ability to follow range commands, (5) the ability to execute a simple Course of Fire.
The Novice Classification Team will make available an opportunity for new shooters to achieve Novice Classification following every regularly scheduled MDPA day match. The Team may make other opportunities available at the NC Team’s option. After each Classification session the NC Team will review individual performance, demonstrate to the new shooter the skills and abilities to achieve Novice Classification, and offer self-training advice and resources.
Match Design Team – Darren Cunningham
The Match Design Team is responsible for designing matches, creating a parts list, providing stage instructions (CoF and, for Scenario stages, also a defensive scenario), and explaining the stages to the Setup and SO Teams. The Match Design Team welcomes stage ideas from anybody.
Thanks for reading this long post and considering what we are planning. See you at the range and stay safe.