IPSC – Shotgunning with an International Flavor

When one’s linguistic skills are as limited as mine (average English and about 12 words of Spanish) there’s something both discerning and fascinating about attending an international event.

I’m in Park City, Ky., for the 2010 IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) Pan American Shotgun Championship; an event with a decidedly international flavor.

This is the first Level IV international shotgun event that has been held in the U. S. and it’s being hosted by Rockcastle Shooting Center www.parkmammothresort.us/rockcastle.htm, which is part of the Park Mammoth Resort www.parkmammothresort.us, a Kentucky landmark that’s enjoying resurgence under a new management team headed by Nick Noble.

There are about 135 shooters here representing 14 countries (United States, Thailand, Philippines, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Germany, United Kingdom, Finland, Estonia, Canada, Brazil and Argentia). Event organizers had originally planned on about 250 shooters from 30 countries but events of this size are long in the planning the shooting sports were not unaffected by the recent global economic near meltdown. Finances apparently kept some shooters and teams at home.

The ones who came, however, are ready to go. Competition opens Thursday.

IPSC judging is calculated from a combination of accuracy and speed based on what co-match director Linda Chino explained as the “hit factor” at each of 30 shooting stages. Basically, the gunner who scores the most hits in the least time will win.

The competition is open to men and women, the youngest of whom is a 15-year-old girl from Georgia. There are three divisions: Open, Standard, and Standard Manual. The open division allows any shotgun that’s legal. Standard division shoots semiautomatic and standard manual shoot pump guns.

Competition continues through Sunday. Spectators are welcome. The resort is located off exit 48 on I-65 about 90 miles south of Louisville, Ky.

Need more info? Go to www.IPSC.org.