I arrived early as the three stages for the match were still being set up. Once shooting began I hung back for a bit to watch and refresh my memory on the IDPA rules. After shooting mostly USPSA events, and only a few IDPA matches, it would be easy to mess up. In fact, a friend I've shot with at USPA matches saw me on the last stage and expressed surprise I was there, and then promptly asked "How many procedurals have you earned so far?" (I had none.)
All stages required 18 rounds, three hits each on six targets. The first stage began with the shooter with hands on the front of an open-hood jeep. The first two targets were engaged in tactical sequence while moving backwards. The final four targets were taken from behind cover at various points around the vehicle. I ended up just two points down on the stage.
Stage 2 required at least one of the three shots on each target be a head shot. All the shooting was done around or between stacked barrels. Two of the targets were low to the ground and had only the head area visible. I shot the stage clean for zero points down.
On the final stage, the shooting began by engaging two targets from behind cover, then three targets that were to be engaged while on the move across the bay. Given the 10 round per mag limit, that meant a reload before the three open targets were fully engaged. In IDPA no reloads can be initiated except from behind cover. This meant moving to a second set of barrels, reloading, and finishing up from behind cover. This is where a USPSA shooter might mess up and do a reload in the move, while in the open. In fact, it was right before this stage that the USPSA friend all but predicted I'd earn a procedural. But, no procedurals and just two points down on the stage.
I enjoyed this match very much. I was also pleased with my finish of 8th out of 21 in my division, and with just 4 points down total. The folks I met at Cavalier were extremely friendly and helpful. I overhead many new shooters being offered detailed and constructive comments for improvement, and I tried to make a point to listen in! I think I'll add this monthly match to my calendar and try to get down as often as possible. It's actually a fairly easy drive from Fredericksburg, and, once you get off I-95, you find yourself cruising down some winding country roads; not an unpleasant Sunday drive.
On the way home I stopped at a convenience store and picked up a 32 ounce sugary drink for the drive home. Hey Mayor Bloomberg, I spent the morning with people shooting guns AND I had a large size cola. So there, you pompous nanny-state twit!