Friday, March 23, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, your humble Shepherd got seriously vexed last evening to the point of my tighty whiteys becoming uncomfortably twisted. I present the following, redacted, email exchange without further comment as a public service to shooting clubs everywhere.

-------- Original Message --------
Match Direction
Thu, 22 Mar 2012 21:58:40 -0500
[Shepherd K]

Mr. [President],

I feel compelled to write to you regarding the match direction at this evening's match at [local gun range] in [nearby city]. Frankly, I was disappointed in the attitude displayed by the match director and more than a little offended.

First, a little background. I am new to [local IDPA club], and relatively new to IDPA competition. Tonight was to be my second match with [local IDPA club] (5th match overall), and I had intended to pay for my membership upon arrival. I arrived promptly at 6:00 (I was driving over from [a location about 40 miles away] and traffic delayed me) and went in to pay my range fee. The range employee asked a gentleman who was apparently with [local IDPA club] whether or not to take my range fee as there were 38 shooters already signed up. The gentleman told her to go ahead and take my money at which time I proceeded to the match area to pay the match fee and my membership. Before I was able to accomplish either of those tasks, the MD (whose name I did not get) came in and said abruptly that I could not shoot as there were too many signed up already. I explained that the other gentleman had indicated I could. The MD reiterated words to the effect that I could not shoot, turned and left.

I have two problems with the way this was handled. First, the [local IDPA club] website makes no mention of limits regarding the number of shooters, etc. I fully understand space and time limitations; however, if this is to be a club policy, it needs to be plainly stated on the website so that people such as myself are forewarned and can plan accordingly. Second, the MD made no effort whatsoever to be courteous, see to it that my range fee was refunded or make some sort of accommodation to insure that I could be given priority at a future match. Additionally, if the MD's decision on limitation of shooters was not based on club policy, he needed to communicate that to the range staff to avoid someone such as myself being hassled.

The majority of the people I have meet in the IDPA community have been extremely helpful, kind and friendly. I hope that I simply caught the MD on a bad night; however, I have to be honest and state that the manner in which tonight was handled has left a bad taste in my mouth. The first gentleman I encountered did assist me in getting a refund and was very apologetic. Unfortunately, it was too late to "unsour" the experience.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

[Shepherd K]

Sent from my iPad

Date: March 23, 2012 9:21:43 AM CDT
To: [Shepherd K]
Cc: [all other local IDPA club board of director members]

Subject: Re: Match Direction
[Shepherd K], 

Thank you for writing to [Local IDPA club President] to let us know of an issue you had at one of our matches.  At Local IDPA club we work hard to insure each shooter has the best IDPA experience in the DFW Metroplex. 

With that said, I am disappointed to read that we did not communicate with you clearly regarding our match capacity limits for the [local gun] range.  Furthermore that one of our MD's was not courteous when discussing the matter with you directly.  

As Vice President I am responsible for the management of each of the MDs in the club.  I apologize on behalf of Local IDPA club for any inconvenience you suffered. To rectify your particular situation the following actions will be taken today: 
  1. A post will be made on the Local IDPA club forum regarding the [local] range sign in policies and capacity limits.
  2. I will speak with the MD ([short guy with an attitude]) so this situation does not happen in the future. 
  3. The remainder of the [Local IDPA club] BOD will be notified of this issue.
  4. [Local IDPA club] will waive your match fee for the next two matches.  Please let me know when and where you wish to attend a match so I can notify the appropriate MD.
Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter further please do not hesitate to email me directly or call me at [XXX-XXX-XXXX].

[VP Local IDPA club]

From: [Shepherd K]
Date: March 23, 2012 12:16:15 PM CDT
Cc: [all other local IDPA club board of director members]
Subject: Re: Match Direction
[Local IDPA Club VP], 

I really appreciate your prompt and thoughtful response. I also appreciate your offer to waive my next two match fees; however, that really is not necessary. Further and unfortunately, it will be the latter part of April before I will be able to make it to another [local IDPA club] match because of scheduling conflicts. 

I am more interested in trying to prevent a future recurrence by improving policy or procedure. In that vein, with the high turnout at matches (not just at [local IDPA club]), I would suggest that there be a mechanism to offer shooters who are turned away due to venue capacity issues a reservation or pre-sign in for a later match. I hope you would agree that such a mechanism would be a reasonable courtesy to members who come a long way through traffic but arrive a little too late to make the cut.

Again, I appreciate your response and willingness to address the issue. 


[Shepherd K]


  1. I think you handled it extremely well. Me, I would have made a homemade target that looked like a jackass, written the MD's name on it and left it in the clubhouse.

    But I have red hair.

    1. Brigid, I don't I'm hot enough or female enough to get away with that

  2. Brigid's comment cracked me the hell up. :)

    I really like your suggestion. Will you let us know what their response is?

    1. GunDiva, I met the VP in person at one of the other local clubs' match last night. He was very friendly and again asked when I would be coming to shoot with them. Unfortunately, I spotted the following in one of their forum threads today:

      "By Vice Presidential Proclamation all [local IDPA club] matches are first come first served. If it is a priority folks will be there early.

      I am not going to subject MDs to the issues involved with RSVPs, substitutions, designated shooters, promises to appear etc.


      It is not exactly prominently displayed on the website, but it is in a forum post related to an upcoming match. So, I can't say he didn't do what he said he was going to do. Not the result I was hoping for, but at least there is certainty. If I can't make it early, it's not worth the trouble to try.


I am not easily offended. Please feel free to express your opinions: good, bad or indifferent. Basically, the "Golden Rule" applies. You get what you give. Treat others like trash here, and your comments will be trashed accordingly. Rudeness and vulgarity will not be tolerated.