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Thread: Advise on starting a local pistol club NRA Whittington Center Raton, NM

  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New Mexico

    Advise on starting a local pistol club NRA Whittington Center Raton, NM

    As a recent transplant to northern New Mexico, I recently took the NM CCW course at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton. After the range portion of the class I asked gal that coordinates classes there if there were any local IDPA or USPSA clubs that held regular matches at the facility. She told me they hosted lots of national matches for various shooting sports, but that there was no local regular clubs. She they suggested that it would be the perfect undertaking for me to work on. I fall into the camp of shooter who has taking more courses than I have shot matches, but I've shot enough matches to have a rough idea of what would go into starting a club and hosting matches. I have the time to try and get this off the ground, but I am woefully lacking in knowledge of how to begin.

    The facility certainly has enough ranges and space to accommodate a local club, but there is not a large population near the range so I would think any potential club wouldn't grow to large, certainly not quickly.

    What affiliation would be best to start USPSA or IDPA?

    I think that there is enough equipment on hand to run steel challenges, would that be a better starting point?

    Front end paperwork, insurance, RO training, etc?

    Any rough ideas of volunteers needed to number of shooters?

    Any other resources that you could recommend?

    Thanks
    Jake

  2. #2
    I'd contact USPSA, SCSA, and IDPA and ask for match development support.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #3
    Member raks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    I started an IDPA club at a local range here back in 2006. There was an existing IPSC (USPSA) club but range members were looking for other options. I'd say the biggest hurdle will be getting helpers, in my opinion you need 1-2 other key volunteers to get a club off the ground. These folks should be willing to be trained as range/safety officers and you should have at least one other person to be able to work as a Match Director or take on some leadership.

    If there are already resources (steel targets, target stands, walls) you will have a lot easier time getting going but volunteers will still be your main challenge.

    For insurance questions, I would start with your club executive I don't think the big sports have a preference so your personal and local coverage will be whats important here. USPSA and IDPA HQ's will be able to answer your training questions. Good luck!

  4. #4
    For IDPA, to start, you need at least one IDPA Safety Officer (SO) to act as a 'club contact'. I suggest that you watch both Practiscore and the websites of (all of the reasonably-close-to-you) IDPA clubs for the next Safety Officer course(s).

    https://www.idpa.com/create-club/

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin

    starting a new club

    DON'T start trying to run complicated stages that require a lot of set up when just getting your club started. Or maybe not ever.

    If you want to attract new shooters, you need fairly simple stages so that people can look at the published course description and say, "Yeah, I understand that and I could do that."

    I've belonged to two different clubs over the last 40 years that shot IPSC/UPSA, and both clubs went through periods where they were run by people whose focus was on preparing themselves for the state match and the sectional matches and the nationals, and so in the summer they ran more complicated courses of fire. That requires more people to assist in set up (we usually never had a problem having people around to tear down after the match). Not everybody is available on a Friday afternoon or Friday evening to set up for the Saturday morning match, particularly in the summer when lots of other activities compete for your attention. So set up was left to a small group, and eventually they burned out.

    And a LOT of the shooters were NOT that interested in shooting a whole bunch of 32 round field courses, particularly the ones who had a more defensive orientation. So eventually some of them quit coming, or (often) came less frequently.

    Not everybody is interested in showing up at 8am and spending the day standing around waiting for a chance to shoot and then going home at 3pm. Most people tend to like matches that cycle quickly and get done in about four hours or so, so that means fewer stages or simpler stages.

    Talk to your membership and ask what kind of courses of fire THEY want to shoot and then actually LISTEN to the answer. And if they DO want to shoot a whole bunch of field courses that take a lot of time to set up, then press them for a commitment to regularly be around to set up.

    If you want to attract new shooters and keep your numbers up, you will probably have to select courses of fire that are simpler. Remember that people don't like to do lots of standing around waiting to shoot, particularly if it's raining or it's 92 degrees out. Pick simpler stages that cycle rapidly and run those for a while until you get used to running matches and have a feel for how many people will routinely be available to set up and tear down and administer the matches. If you have a bunch of new range officers, don't burden them with a bunch of over-complicated stages that are complicated to administer or have potential safety issues. Try to keep things simpler for the first season or two until the club gets established.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakus View Post
    As a recent transplant to northern New Mexico, I recently took the NM CCW course at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton. After the range portion of the class I asked gal that coordinates classes there if there were any local IDPA or USPSA clubs that held regular matches at the facility. She told me they hosted lots of national matches for various shooting sports, but that there was no local regular clubs. She they suggested that it would be the perfect undertaking for me to work on. I fall into the camp of shooter who has taking more courses than I have shot matches, but I've shot enough matches to have a rough idea of what would go into starting a club and hosting matches. I have the time to try and get this off the ground, but I am woefully lacking in knowledge of how to begin.

    The facility certainly has enough ranges and space to accommodate a local club, but there is not a large population near the range so I would think any potential club wouldn't grow to large, certainly not quickly.

    What affiliation would be best to start USPSA or IDPA?

    I think that there is enough equipment on hand to run steel challenges, would that be a better starting point?

    Front end paperwork, insurance, RO training, etc?

    Any rough ideas of volunteers needed to number of shooters?

    Any other resources that you could recommend?

    Thanks
    Jake
    i'm in Santa Fe, I shoot local IDPA matches at Los Alamos Sportsmans Club in Los Alamos each month, and also monthly IDPA matches at the Northern Rio Grande Sportsmans Club in Espanola. many of the same folks shoot in both places each month. some of us also wander down to Albuquerque to shoot other matches in that area.

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