Engaging targets for multiple cover positions from one spot

At the May 2024 match there were questions on a stage where the shooter had to move up range engaging targets at four different positions of cover. It was possible to continue up range without shooting to get to a point where the targets at some or all of the positions were visible and then engage them in the order that they became visible while moving up range. This reduced the number of times the shooter had to stop and start. This could have been addressed in stage design but that fix would have added trip hazards to the already awkward up range movement. (Images of the As-Built version and of the unused option are shown below). Another option would have been to terminate each fault line but nailing down a bunch of additional short little sticks is a PITA.

I can’t find rules specifically addressing this situation but after looking into it I believe that it is most likely not legal and we will not be allow it in the future. The revisionist 2022 Down Zero blog post on cover fault line effective lengths stated that shooters “…are free to engage targets at any distance provided they do not enter a new opening and expose themselves to a second array of unengaged targets.” I don’t see that this is directly covered in the rule book but they later use rules and on the use of cover as their justification.

The rules are: “ Shooting from behind cover is a basic premise of IDPA. Competitors must use available cover in a CoF”. and “ “Cover” refers to a position where a shooter can engage targets with a portion of their upper and lower body behind an object such as a wall.” And rule 6.3.1 says “Fault Lines must be used by match directors to delineate cover at a cover position to reduce disputed penalties.” which indicates that cover position fault lines are intended to remove subjectivity from cover calls but do not totally define the use of cover.

So moving to shoot multiple positions of cover at one spot (or even just moving far enough to be exposed to any targets at another position of cover) is probably against the intent of the cover concept and by implication is illegal under the current rule book. We will try to avoid these situations in the future and if we can’t we will put a note on the stage description to remind you how we want it called.

Brad Perkinson




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