What Is IDPA

What Is IDPA?

The first question people ask is. “What is IDPA“? IDPA stands for “International Defensive Pistol Association”. As stated on the official IDPA website: “IDPA as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated “real world” self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in IDPA events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No “competition only” equipment is permitted in IDPA matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his equipment or gamesmanship”.

Who Can Compete?

IDPA membership and matches are open to all people who can legally own a handgun, regardless of occupation, race, gender or religion. Members come from all walks of life and represent all skill levels within the shooting sports.

Look… If you want to improve your skills with your everyday carry firearm then IDPA is for you. You DO NOT need to go buy a bunch of expensive equipment in order to compete. The skills you practice are meant to simulate everyday life scenarios so that you are better prepared if the day ever comes you are forced to draw your firearm to protect yourself or your family.

Is there more to it? Yes. There are several divisions; which division you compete in is determined by the type of firearm you carry. Then there are “classifications”; your classifiacation is determined by your skill level in a particular division. This helps to ensure that you compete only against other competitors who are using a similar firearm and are at your classified skill level. Learn more about “Divisions” and “Classifications” by clicking a button below.




IDPA Competition is regulated by a set of rules just like any other sport. The rules are first and foremost meant to help ensure that all matches are run safely and in the same manner know matter where you may go to compete. IDPA does allow Match Directors the ability to alter certain things based on local guidelines. Lake County IDPA does have certain additional rules you MUST FOLLOW as they pertain to rules overened by the club we shoot our matches. Before every match LCIDPA holds a new shooter orientation. This orientation is mandatory for all new shooters attending one of our matches.

We highly recommend that you download and review the Rule Book prior to attending your first match. Pay close attention to all safety rules and “Range Commands” you will hear during the match.

Official IDPA Rule Book

You Can Download The Current Version Here