My First IDPA; a request for information

I plan to attend my first IDPA match this Friday. Hopefully (I haven’t heard they have a new shooter spot yet).

For those uninitiated: IDPA stands (in this case, there are other acronyms using the same letters) for International Defensive Pistol Association which describes itself thusly:

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 17,008, including members in 50 foreign countries.

The link is here, but you must agree to indemnify me if your eyes are harmed after following the link. It’s not a pretty web site.

I mention this as I’m not interested in showing up and looking like an idiot. I have the requisite gear, and have shot a little (ahem), but always like to be prepared and hate looking like an unprepared person.

So, for those who’ve been before, what should I take beyond the minimum, and what should I anticipate that reading the FAQ doesn’t prepare me for?


  1. Annette says:

    Welcome to IDPA! You picked a great club to start out with. I’m a match director up in the Northeast and love having new shooters show up. Bring extra ammo and remember that safety is paramount, especially muzzle direction and trigger finger discipline. The buzzer is really good at helping you forget what you are supposed to shoot, in what order, and to slow down when you need to…you’re not alone if that happens to you. Don’t forget your eye/ear protection and magazines (happens to the best of us), and hydration/snacks if you need them. Above all – have fun!

  2. Glen Wever says:

    I would suggest checking all shooting positions wearing your usual range glasses. I found that shooting around some barricades, or from prone was almost impossible, as I was looking over rather than through my glasses. This left me unable to see the front sight or the target. I now wear contact lenses for match shooting.

    I also find that amplified earmuffs allow me to hear instructions much better than when wearing earplug. They also make attending a match a much more social experience than when wearing earplugs.

    Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas

    Glen in Odessa