Tiger Teams from IDPA HQ

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Ty Hamby's picture
Ty Hamby
Joined: Feb. 23rd, 2011
Tiger Teams from IDPA HQ


A Message to All IDPA Members from Executive Director Joyce Wilson

In 1996, the International Defensive Pistol Association was formed as a grassroots organization to fulfill a need not addressed by other shooting sports. The initial membership was ~30 shooters. In the intervening years, our membership has swelled to 18,000 and continues to grow.  With this growth comes the desire to serve our members while retaining our commitment to the grassroots nature of our sport. After much groundwork, I am excited to announce an initiative to bring in our members to provide input and guidance for our sport.


For the past few months, we have been working on an effort to examine how we can best serve our membership by addressing changing needs in IDPA using the Tiger Team methodology. The term Tiger Team has been described as 'a team of undomesticated and uninhibited specialists, selected for their experience, energy, and imagination, and assigned to track down relentlessly every possible source of opportunity' for success in a project.   We will create Tiger Teams to look at various aspects of the sport, including but not limited to: Classifications, Divisions, Rulebook, Marketing, Safety Officer Education, Equipment, Rule Change Process, and other identified areas.  Team members will represent our rank and file based on a combination of their activity in and passion for the sport; expertise and skills they bring to the group; geographic diversity; class and division diversity; understanding of the rulebook; and willingness to work in partnership with the team and with HQ.


With this goal in mind, I have tasked Terry Burba from Texas and Kitty Richards from New York to facilitate this process and act as liaison for the Tiger Teams and HQ.   I selected Terry and Kitty based on a combination of their world wide experience as Safety Officers/Safety Officers Instructors and their overall passion for IDPA. No one has worked more matches this year than Terry and Kitty. Additionally, their knowledge is compounded through their professional careers, as they both act as facilitators and agents of change for large international organizations, and have years of experience in delivering successful project outcomes within the Fortune 500 world.


Each Tiger Team, focusing on a single area, will include one or both of the Facilitators and a Leader. The Leader and Facilitators will work in conjunction with HQ to select members to examine that area of the sport and deliver their recommendations to me; once vetted, I will present them to the Board for discussion, approval, or future consideration. Not all recommendations can or will be implemented, but ALL information will be considered!


Since almost every principle in IDPA hinges on the rulebook, we have created our initial Tiger Team to look at how we can make our rulebook more straightforward without massive rule changes and without creating a new rulebook. This team will kick-off next week and will investigate methods of streamlining and/or clarifying the rulebook and will present recommendations to me after the first of 2012. As part of this look into the rulebook, we may break the rule book up into multiple Tiger Teams. To ensure consistency, some of the initial Tiger Team members may be asked to act as Leader for subsequent Teams. (See diagram below). 


This is an exciting time in IDPA as we work together to improve our guiding principles. You will be kept abreast of the progress through quarterly communications from me to the membership - these will be posted on the idpa.com website, our Linked-In Group, and our IDPA FaceBook Page. As always, please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns.


It is my honor to serve you, 




 IDPA Tiger Team Process




NVSA Staff's picture
NVSA Staff
Joined: Feb. 8th, 2011
Greetings from the Tiger

Greetings from the Tiger Team.

We just wanted to take a few minutes to give you some insight to how things are progressing.

The group has been working now for a few weeks and we are beginning to get a vision of how big a task this project will be. It's kind of overwhelming, as you can imagine. We have begun the process of laying out the format and flow of how we would like the new rulebook flow. Already, this has caused us to take a look at a number of issues.

We needed some basic guidelines of our goals, objectives and parameters before we could really get into the details of updates. We looked at the basic principles which have made IDPA so successful over the last 15 years. We looked into the basic rules and ideals. And we discovered that the founders really did do a very good job in defining what IDPA is all about. Our core values are strong and are still the differentiator that makes IDPA so special.

We know there are a number of other shooting sports out there, and they all have things that make them unique and successful in their markets. But no one sport can be all things to all people. The founding principle of IDPA has always been based in defensive shooting scenarios using concealed carry types of equipment. As part of this principle, we have always tried to allow "off the shelf" equipment and ammunition and not require any special equipment in order to be competitive. This has set us apart from the other shooting sports and is a premise many of our members and our board feel strongly we should continue.

In business today, a company can grow moderately if it continues to market and sell itself to its existing customer base. Or it can grow more rapidly by marketing and selling itself to "the white space"; new customers who have never purchased from the company before. The potential to grow the business is much larger if the target market is the white space. With that idea in mind, going forward, IDPA is not looking to attract new shooters from any of the other shooting sports. Many of us are cross-over shooters, and folks from the other sports are most welcome to shoot with us and we would never think of excluding them in any way; however, they are not our target audience.

To reach our full potential, we must continue to market and sell ourselves to new shooters who may have never participated in any shooting sport at all. Wisconsin is the latest state to pass concealed carry laws for its citizens. This illustrates how many new gun owners there are in this world who need a place where they can practice their concealed carry skills. This is the growth opportunity for IDPA.

The Tiger Teams will focus on maintaining the core principles of IDPA that have made it successful. We will update the guidelines we have in the rulebook to adapt to the changes in the firearms industry so newer concealed carry options can be incorporated into our sport.

There is part of the challenge. It is a sport. And we have to be able to measure and record how the sport competes from the Novice level through the Distinguished Master. Some rules will have to be used in order for us to maintain a uniform playing field for all competitors. It's going to be a difficult balancing act.

Kitty and I have heard from many of you. We want to thank you for all the messages of support many of you have sent. You have no idea how much those messages have meant to us. We have also heard from a number of people with concerns over this process and if we have the right people to help. We appreciate those thoughts as well.

As we mentioned in the announcement letter, we will not be revealing the names of the members. We really want to let them focus on the tasks they have in front of them. But I so want to give you some insight into the expertise we have pulled together.

After talking with the team, Kitty and I totaled over 100 years of experience shooting IDPA across the team. Most of the team started shooting IDPA prior to 2000. We have Area Coordinators & Multiple SOIs. We have shooters representing all 5 divisions. And we have shooting skills from Marksman to Distinguished Master. Most of the team shoots at Expert class and above. We have pulled this team together from the west coast, central, New England and the South. We have input from our international community. We have contacts across South & Central America, Europe, Asia and certainly Canada. This team really does represent a cross section of IDPA shooters of all skill levels across the world. We also have several technical writers and a published author/columnist. We have the skill set in place to really work on the verbiage of the rule book to make it as clear as possible.

And this is just for the first team! We will be building additional teams in the near future to help us work on multiple sections of this effort in parallel. For those who might have felt left out of the process so far, rest assured, we will be leveraging many more experienced IDPA members in these additional teams.

We now have a pretty good idea of how we want to structure the rule book. We want to make it clear and concise. We want to make it easy for anyone to look and find definitive answers to their questions. We want to clear up a lot of ambiguity and rules that seem to contradict each other. We want to add updates to incorporate newer equipment and yet keep the playing field level for all. We want to ease the administration of matches and how we run the sport as a whole. We will be looking to develop a very robust SO & SOI training and certification program. We will leverage a number of technologies to insure we get as uniform application of the rules as possible across every club and match.

That said, there are some things in which we are limited. This is an international sport. We have restrictions in many parts of the world on the types of equipment which can be owned by our members. We can not restrict any of our members from participating in any of our divisions because of local legal issues.

I was asked on the IDPAForumhow long we think this process could take. This was one of the first things Kitty and I discussed with Joyce. We all agreed. it will take as long as it takes to get the job done right the first time. None of us want to repeat this process every 3 or 4 years. We want to make the rule book stand alone without really needing to be changed. Yet we want to provide a structure and process that will allow easy amendments and updates as things change over time. We want to utilize more modern technology to distribute these updates in a timely and wide spread manner.

So we are not going to put a set time line on the process at this point. And none of this will become official without review by the membership.

I hope this message helps relieve some of the concern that many of you have voiced to us. The IDPA that most of us have come to know and love is not going to change to be like any other shooting sport. We will stay true to our defensive shooting roots. We will make things easier to understand. And we will try to develop systems and processes that will allow us to communicate and train people to apply the rules in a uniform way all over the world.

Give us some time and support. We've got a lot of work to do to reach all these goals. We are building the teams from across the membership to make this happen.

Shoot fast. With all Zeros.?

Terry "Bubba" Burba
For a list summarizing all of the member suggestions so far, please see the Match Chat forum on IDPAForum.com.


"If you plan to leave early, please arrive early to help set up. If you arrive late, please stay late to help take down. If you plan to arrive late and leave early, please do your shooting someplace else."

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