Tag: handbook

Highlights of 2016 Program Changes for SPP

The Scholastic Pistol Program will have several updates to its handbook for 2016, with changes in athlete divisions, several procedures, range commands, and other areas. Here is a preview of the highlights:


To level the playing field even more, novice athletes compete in a separate competitive grouping or category from the more experienced athletes. COACHES, please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that your athletes are classified correctly. Please verify all squadding rosters at each event you attend. Incorrectly classified athletes will result in re-classification of that squad to the Open Division, if applicable, or if there is no Open Division, the disqualification of that squad.

Category Classification Rules
First-year athletes in the Intermediate Division will have one year to be classified in the Entry Level category. After one year in the Entry Level category, Intermediate Division athletes will be classified in the Advanced Category.

First-year athletes in the Senior Division will have one year to be classified in the Junior Varsity category. After one year in the Junior Varsity category, Senior Division athletes will be classified in the Varsity category.

We have adjusted our age divisions so they fall in line with the divisions that SCTP uses. All athletes will fall into the following divisions and categories. We have added some categories within the divisions as well that will give more opportunities for the athletes.

    Intermediate Division (Grades 6-8) – previously Junior Division – ages 12-16

      Entry Level – 1st year of participation in the intermediate division
      Advanced Level – After 1 year of participation in the intermediate division

    Senior Division (Grades 9-12) – previously ages 17-20

      Junior Varsity – 1st year of participation in the senior division
      Varsity – After 1 year of participation in the senior division

    College – There are no separate categories for the Collegiate division

    Open – Competitive squad of athletes from a single team with multiple classifications

As of January 1, 2015, once an athlete competes in the Centerfire Division at a State, Regional, National, or Virtual match, he or she cannot compete in the Rimfire Division.

There is now no maximum limit on the number of years an athlete can compete in Rimfire. However, once an athlete has competed in Centerfire, they cannot go back to Rimfire.

The purpose of the Open class is to allow coaches to bring athletes to a match and compete as a group of athletes that normally would not be allowed to.


Ghost Competitors
Teams may now include 2 Ghost shooters to a squad if they have the need to fill a squad. Each Ghost shooter would have match score of 120 seconds.


Pistol Caliber and Action Type, Allowable Condition
At regional or national SPP matches, equipment checks will be done to ensure all athletes are following the IDPA Stock Service Pistol (SSP) Division requirements for handguns that are permitted. This is also recommended for state matches as well.

Range Commands have been updated to include:

“Range is hot, eyes and ears”
This is the first command given to the shooter starting the action of shooting a stage. This command signifies the start of the course of fire. The shooter will make sure that his or her eye and hearing protection is in place. It is also notification to others in the shooting bay to check their own eye and hearing protection.

“Load and make ready”
Before issuing this command, the Safety Officer should visually confirm that the competitor and all others on the range have eye and ear protection in place, that he/she is facing downrange, and that he/she is in all other respects prepared to handle the firearm.

The competitor may then pick up the firearm and magazine from the table, load the firearm, and point at the low-ready flag down range. Once the “Load and make ready” command has been given, the competitor must not move away from the start location prior to issuance of the “Start” signal without the prior approval, and under the direct supervision, of the Safety Officer.

“Are you ready?”
The lack of any response from the competitor indicates that he fully understands the requirements of the course of fire and is ready to proceed. If the competitor is not ready at the “Are you ready?” command, he must state “Not ready.”

This command should be followed by the audible start signal within 1 to 2 seconds.

“Start signal”
The signal for the competitor to begin the attempt at the course of fire. If a competitor fails to react to a start signal, for any reason, the Safety Officer will confirm that the competitor is ready to attempt the course of fire, and will resume the range commands from “Are you ready?”

“Reload if required and …
This command may be used following the 1st through 4th strings.

… Make ready for your next string”
(Experienced shooters may not need this command).

Any Safety Officer assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time during the course of fire. The competitor must immediately cease firing and wait for further instructions from the Safety Officer.

“Unload and show clear”
This command is used following the final string. If the competitor has finished shooting, he must lower his firearm, remove the magazine, then clear the chamber and lock the slide to the rear for inspection by both himself and the Safety Officer.

“Case or bench”
The competitor then must place the firearm on the table (or gun bag/case) before the Safety Officer can call the range safe and clear to go down range to score/paint targets.

“Range is clear”
This command indicates to the shooter and anyone within the stage boundaries that the range is clear. This command begins the scoring and resetting of the stage.

Eye and ear protection for all shooters AND ALL SPECTATORS are required. Individuals observed without eye or ear wear will be required to leave the shooting area.


Shorts must be no higher than halfway between the knee and hip.


Special Circumstances Rule: “Bump up”

In exceptional circumstances where a valid competitive squad cannot be constituted, athletes may be elevated or “bumped up” to a higher category within a division or to a higher division to fill a short squad. All bump-up requests must first be submitted to the State Advisor for a recommendation. State Advisors will communicate their recommendation to the SPP national staff for a final decision. If there is no State Advisor in the state, the request must be submitted directly to the SPP National Staff.

Once a lower category or division athlete has been bumped up in a discipline, he or she must compete at the higher level in that discipline for the remainder of the SPP Season. In no case will a bumped-up athlete be allowed to return to a lower category or division in the discipline during that SPP season.

An Open class division has been created so that coaches do not have to bump up athletes if they do not wish to.

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