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Thread: What else could the USPSA classification system be like?

  1. #21
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheby View Post
    I think grandbagging and sandbagging is not a problem. GrandbRagging on the other hand, is
    What's the equivalent for M class shooters? MasterBragging? Masterbating?

    The GMs in our area are solid shooters who deserve their classification, and are good dudes. I haven't run into the bragging thing around here.
    Last edited by Clusterfrack; 12-22-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 45dotACP View Post
    I feel like the USPSA classification system works for everyone except the guys at the very top level
    So do we need a Great Grand Master class?

    Jeff Cooper wrote that in the early days A was about a half dozen shooters who would dominate a match. B was another half dozen who would duke it out if none of the As showed up. C was the top half of the mass, D the bottom half. (No Masters then.).
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #23
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    Probably not. It just needs to be understood that a GM card...much like a black belt in a martial art, means you still get to learn.

    Not every BJJ black belt can be a world class competitor. You'll probably see an enormous skill difference actually. But that doesn't mean they aren't a black belt.

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  4. #24
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    What else could the USPSA classification system be like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 45dotACP View Post
    Probably not. It just needs to be understood that a GM card...much like a black belt in a martial art, means you still get to learn.

    Not every BJJ black belt can be a world class competitor. You'll probably see an enormous skill difference actually. But that doesn't mean they aren't a black belt.
    Well said. I emphatically agree.
    Last edited by Clusterfrack; 12-23-2019 at 12:08 AM.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  5. #25
    Does BJJ not have the multiple degrees of black belt common to the Orientals?
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  6. #26
    I would think most if not all GMs should have a decent idea where they stack up in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand I think accurate classification is actually more important for lower classes where people lack the experience in the sport to know what level they're at. As a newer shooter myself I find it very annoying that I am comparing myself to people who made a classification years ago and haven't shot that division since, or I am comparing myself with tons of unclassified shooters.

    It may also be important for instructors trying to market, using their classification, to outsiders who don't really understand the nuances of the sport. I see lots of people who don't understand how hard it is to make master or GM, how the relative skill levels stack up within each classification, that not all GMs are competitive with the top GMs, etc.
    Last edited by Eyesquared; 12-23-2019 at 01:29 AM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    Does BJJ not have the multiple degrees of black belt common to the Orientals?
    It does...but there are only a handful of 10th Dan BJJ practitioners. It doesn't mean you're the best in the world because by that time you're pretty damn old, and remaining competitive in a combat sport is a younger man's game.

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  8. #28
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    The 4 new classifier that were recently introduced (19-01-04) are in the right direction imo. I hope that starts a trend for classifiers going forward.

  9. #29
    Lowly Production C-Class olstyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dismas316 View Post
    The 4 new classifier that were recently introduced (19-01-04) are in the right direction imo. I hope that starts a trend for classifiers going forward.
    Classifiers with movement are IMO a good thing, and more likely to be predictive of real match performance than the mainly stand and shoot ones the sport has relied on in the past. El Pres, while definitely a valid test of shooting skill, is pretty much nothing like you'll ever see in a "real" stage. It'll be interesting to see what more classifiers with movement in them do for different shooters' classifications. You could have two people at the same classification level who got there in two very different ways; maybe one is great at old-style stand and deliver style classifiers and the other doesn't shoot as fast in that scenario but has a higher fitness level and thus moves much better. Ultimately, making M/GM level is still going to require a high level of dedication to training/practice either way, though.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha Sierra View Post
    @GJM suggested in a different thread that a discussion of how the USPSA classification system could be revamped to better reflect match performance. I think that's a fair question, so here it is.

    I'm not going to detail here how the USPSA classification system works. I assume most reading this subforum already know that. If a reader unfamiliar with it wants some background, all one would want to know is here: https://uspsa.org/pages/about/classification

    As a way to kick off the conversation I'll bring up a sport that has some important parallels to practical pistol competition: sporting clays. The relevant similarity is that both sports have non-standardized courses of fire. Sporting clays target presentations, like those of USPSA (and IPSC and IDPA) are never the same from match to match. even at the same range/shooting ground.

    US Sporting Clays (governed by the National Sporting Clays Association) has no classifiers. Your classification depends on how you place within your class at every match you go.

    The basic system works on the premise that it takes a certain number of "punches" (aka points) to move up in class. As the classifications go higher, the number of punches needed to get into them increase.

    Punches are awarded on a sliding scale based on how many people were in your classification at a particular match. The more people in your class at a particular match, the higher the number of punches for the class winner and the deeper the punches go within class.

    Examples:
    • 1 to 2 shooters in a classification at a particular match = no punches for anyone
    • 3 - 9 shooters in class, 1 punch earned by top score in class and all those who tie it
    • 10 - 14 shooters in a class, 2 punches for high score and ties, 1 punch for second highest score and ties
    • 15 - 29 punches in class, 3 punches for high score and ties, 2 punches for second highest score and ties, 1 punch for third highest score and ties
    • etc.....


    Punches earned in a calendar year carry over one more year. You lose punches earned more than one calendar year back from where you are.

    Having climbed up that system from E (the bottom) to A (3rd highest classification) I think the system is pretty fair and does what it's supposed to do: group shooters of similar ability. It's not perfect, and there are variations on that theme, but I think a similar system would better reflect overall competitive ability in USPSA compared to what we have now.
    I have very few complaints about the USPSA classification system. I don't want to see it be purely based on match performance, because I think one of the best aspects of it is being able to compare yourself to the top shooters without having to commit your life to traveling around to major matches all the time. Also in my experience, shooters who shoot the way the classification system is designed tend to have their classification match their actual match performance. The examples that don't hold true to that are shooters who intentionally sandbag, or shooters who pay to reshoot classifiers over and over until they get a decent score.

    I think USPSA can take some steps to ensure the classification system is as robust as possible though and minimize the outliers by taking a few proactive steps:
    1. Only allow single attempts on a classifier per match. Allowing reshoots at all is bullshit, regardless of the reason.
    2. Bump sandbanging shooters immediately for high performance at a level 2+ match up to any classification except GM. As the system works right now, there are too many rules for match bumps, and only the most populated divisions tend to have enough shooters to consider match bumps or classifying scores. I would exclude the GM classification from this except at nationals. GM's should need to shoot classifiers at a GM level in order to make GM. IDPA classification is broken because they give out match bumps to master left and right, and you have the majority of master class IDPA shooters who can't shoot a master score on the classifier.
    3. Constantly re-evaluate the high hit factor on classifiers. They should have an algorithm built to do this on a continual basis as scores come in, with a way to throw out extreme outliers. As it stands now, we are lucky to get a HHF update once every 10 years, which results in broken "easy" and "hard" classifiers allowing shooters to cherry pick which ones they shoot or do well on.
    4. Separate PCC classification from pistol classifications. A PCC GM should not automatically be a M in other divisions. They are completely different skills and I see a lot of pistol M's at matches with a ~60% classification score in that pistol division because they made PCC GM.

    I actually think IDPA has a better classifier stage with their longer course. It's long enough it can't be hero'd/zero'd and it has a good balance of close range and distance shooting. Of course they screwed it up/watered it down by adding the 5x5, which is no where near as challenging to make master, and they give you a match bump at a level 2 match with no competition.

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