CACTUS MATCH OFFICIAL RULES
CCML rules overwhelmingly follow the rulebook of the United States Pistol Shooting Association (USPSA). This rulebook can downloaded for free here.
First Sunday USPSA matches follow the USPSA rule book in it's entirety without exception.
Third Sunday Steel Challenge matches follow the Steel Challenge Rule book in it's entirety without exception. This rulebook can be downloaded for free here.
4th Sunday 3Gun Nation Matches follow the 3Gun rule book in it's entirety. This rulebook can be downloaded for free here. The additional division of fun gun is to allow shooters wanting to just use 1 type of gun in the match to shoot. See the match description for additional information.
Thursday Night Practice Matches for the most part follow the USPSA rulebook, however, for ease of scoring and for safety reasons the following rules (and only these rules) apply that differ from the USPSA rulebook:
- Your score is your time, minus one second for every "A" hit up to the maximum allowed or steel down, plus time for any penalties.
- Penalties are assessed in 5 second increments as opposed to 10 points per USPSA scoring, however the reason and number of penalties assessed is the same as the USPSA rule book.
- A miss is a 5 second penalty, hitting a no-shoot is a 5 second penalty, and doing both equals a 10 second penalty. Leaving steel standing is a 5 second penalty. Shooting a target with part of your body out of bounds is a 5 second penalty per shot.
- If high winds make falling poppers unserviceable, only the Match Director may declare that steel may be struck but not fall.
- As shooters and ROs on Thursday night are not likely to carry overlays, the bullet diameter is determined by the outside diameter of the bullet’s grease ring on the target.
RULES PERTAINING TO SAFE CONDUCT AT MATCHES
1. There will be no loaded firearms in the spectator area. The spectator area extends from the parking lot boundary to the safety line. A loaded firearm is defined as a firearm with a cartridge in the chamber or cylinder; or, in the case of a semi-automatic, a magazine in the firearm. If you arrive at the match with a loaded firearm, you must report to the match director who will appoint a safety officer to escort you to the SAFETY AREA and have you “UNLOAD AND SHOW CLEAR”
2. All transfer of firearms will take place in designated safety areas. No transfer of firearms shall take place from gun case or bag to holster, holster-to-holster, or vice-versa outside of a safety area. (USPSA 2.4 & 10.5.1) All maintenance, repair, and handling of firearms, except as required while firing a stage under the direct supervision and command of a Range Officer, shall be performed in the safety areas. (USPSA 2.4 & 10.5.1)
3. While in the designated safety areas, all firearms shall be pointed directly at the backstops at all times. (USPSA 2.4)
4. For general safety, firearms will be pointed downrange at all times except when holstered or cased. Under no circumstances will a firearm be pointed greater than ninety degrees from perpendicular to the firing line. (USPSA 10.5.2)
5. Any round discharged in a safety area, over a safety berm, or a round that strikes the ground within ten feet of a competitor, except when shooting at a paper target closer than ten feet, will be considered an “accidental discharge”. Any such discharge will be considered unsafe gun handling. (USPSA 10.4)
6. The pointing of a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, at any person is considered unsafe gun handling. This includes any shooter’s body while drawing, holstering, or sweeping himself during a course of fire. (USPSA 10.5.5)
7. The dropping, throwing, or loss of control of a firearm is considered unsafe gun handling. If a competitor drops an UNLOADED firearm, the competitor must have a match official retrieve the firearm to avoid disqualification.(USPSA 10.5.3 & 10.5.14). A dropped firearm during the course if fire, unloaded or not, is a match disqualification.
8. Rifles and shotguns will be cased at all times except when firing a stage under the direct supervision and command of a Range Officer. Upon completion of the stage, all ammunition and magazines will be removed and the bolt locked back for inspection by the range officer.
9. Any holster used by a competitor must retain the handgun during any and all activities within a course of fire. If a retaining strap is present, it must be used by the competitor for the entire match. Match directors may disallow the use of holsters that they consider unsafe for a course of fire. (USPSA 5.2)
10. In the event that a firearm breaks or malfunctions during a course of fire in such a way that the competitor cannot safely continue, the Range Officer or Match Director will stop the competitor or match and take such action as he deems best and safest. In no case will a competitor leave the course of fire and go behind the safety line with a loaded firearm, unless instructed to do so and accompanied by the Match Director. (USPSA 5.7.5 & 10.5.13, modified by CCML)
11. The ready condition of handguns in competition shall be as follows: a) Single action revolvers must have the hammer fully down on an empty chamber. Double action revolvers must have the hammer fully down. Single action semi automatic pistols must have the hammer fully down on an empty chamber or be fully cocked with the thumb safety on “safe”. Double action semi automatic pistols may not be fully cocked if their safety mechanism drops the hammer when actuated. (USPSA 8.1)
12. On courses of fire requiring the competitor to move between firing positions, firearms will be carried in a safe manner with the muzzle downrange and no part of the competitor’s hand inside the trigger guard. (USPSA 8.5 & 10.5.10)
13. For the purposes of safety when engaging courses of fire that require strong hand or weak hand only firing, the competitor may reload or clear any malfunctions freestyle without penalty to score. (USPSA 10.2.8)
14. A competitor disqualified from any course of fire at any CCML match shall be disqualified from the entire match and not merely the sub-match or course of fire in which the violation occurred. (USPSA 10.3.1)
15. Aerial shooting is not permitted in connection with or in the vicinity of any practical pistol or practical rifle course of fire or match. This shall not be construed as to limit the use of courses of fire requiring aerial shooting for practical shotgun matches.
16. Consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs by competitors or spectators will not be allowed at any match. No competitor will be allowed to compete in a match if under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. (USPSA 10.7)
17. The Match Director may, at his discretion, disqualify and / or eject from the range any person whose presence constitutes a safety hazard
18. The penalty for violating ANY of the above safety rules shall be disqualification from the match in which the safety violation occurred. In the event of a grievous violation, the competitor may be fined and/ or required to attend the New Shooters Meeting before competing at any future CCML matches.
19. Standard Safety Rules will be strictly enforced. Additionally, special safety rules may be issued to cover unusual situations or courses of fire. Any safety rule devised for a particular match or course of fire shall be clearly explained to all competitors, along with any penalty, before the match begins.
20. The Match Director has the sole responsibility for disqualifications. It is not necessary that the Match Director personally observe a violation, but he may also act upon events as reported to him by his officials. A Match Director may determine that an act or omission not listed constitutes a violation, but he is responsible to the CCML Board of Directors for his decision.
RULES PERTAINING TO EQUIPMENT USED IN MATCHES
2.1. All firearms used in any CCML competition shall be safe and serviceable. If any firearm is determined to be unsafe or unserviceable by the Match Director, then it shall be withdrawn from use. (USPSA 5.1.6)
2.2. CCML recognizes handgun divisions as determined by the USPSA, specifically: Single Stack, Production, Limited 10, Limited, Open, and Revolver. For the requirements and regulations of each division, please see the USPSA rule book 5.1.1 & Appendix D. The CCML Board of Directors may authorize other divisions for the Thursday Night Practice Match. Current additional divisions include Snubby, Pistol Caliber Carbine, and Submachine Gun.
2.3. In any single match, a competitor must use the same pistol and ammunition for the entire match. In the event that a competitor’s starting pistol becomes unserviceable during a match, the competitor may replace his starting pistol with another of the same type, action and caliber with which he began the contest, or another pistol approved by the Match Director that does not give the competitor any advantage during the remainder of the match. (USPSA 5.1.7)
2.4. All types of handguns will compete together. No match will be restricted to any one type of handgun, and the same conditions of time, distance, and scoring shall apply to all handguns equally, with the exception of special matches or classes approved by the CCML Board of Directors.
2.5 Handguns with shoulder stocks and / or fore grips of any kind are prohibited. (USPSA 5.1.10)
2.6. No competitor shall wear or use more than one handgun at a time. (USPSA 5.1.9 & 10.5.7)
2.7. The general lower limit of pistols used in competition is the 9mm Parabellum cartridge. (USPSA 5.1.2)
2.8. In cases where metal targets are used which may be damaged by excessive penetration, CCML may prohibit the use of cartridges that may damage the targets. Metal piercing, tracer, and incendiary ammunition is prohibited. (USPSA 5.1.7)
2.9. All ammunition is subject chronograph testing for classification as to “Major” or “Minor” power factor. Major power factor is at least 165, and the floor for Minor is 125. If a competitor’s ammunition is factored and does not make 165 but is over 125, the ammunition is rated as Minor. Any ammunition that factors under 125 cannot be scored. Power factor is defined as: bullet weight (in grains) multiplied by velocity (feet per second) divided by 1000. (USPSA 5.6.1)
2.10 Spare ammunition must be carried in a manner suitable for continuous wear. (USPSA 5.5.1)
2.11. The competitor’s holster must hold the handgun safely and securely. If a holster is equipped with a retention strap or other safety device, it must be used for the entire match. (CCML 1.10 & USPSA 5.2)
2.12. No match shall require the use of a particular type of holster, nor shall any holster type which is permitted in any match be barred from any other match. However, in matches requiring a draw from a concealed position, the degree of concealment may be specified and ruled on by the Match Director. (USPSA 5.2.6, 5.2.7 & 5.2.8)
2.13. Holsters must be worn in a manner that does not violate safety rules or pose a safety hazard. Match Directors are required to prohibit the unsafe use of any holster by any competitor. In particular, holsters which require the muzzle of a handgun to be pointed uprange during the draw or during reholstering present a safety problem. CCML has determined any cross draw or shoulder holster poses safety hazards and will not be allowed in any competition. (USPSA 5.2.6 & 5.2.7)
RULES PERTAINING TO SCORING AND AWARDS
3.1. The official target of the CCML is the USPSA Metric Target. (USPSA 4.2 & Appendix B)
3.2. Approved targets for CCML competition also include metal silhouette targets, stop plates and falling targets, as well as the official target. Other targets may used provided their use is approved by the CCML Course of Fire committee prior to their use in competition. (USPSA 4.3) Scoring hits on authorized targets will be scored in accordance with the values assigned such targets. (USPSA 9.4.1 & Appendix B)
Zone on Target Major Power Factor Minor Power Factor
A 5 5
B 4 3
C 4 3
D 2 1
Miss -10 -10
No Shoot -10 -10
3.3. Thursday Night Practice Matches for the most part follow the USPSA rule book, however, for ease of scoring and for safety reasons the following rules (and only these rules) apply that differ from the USPSA rule book:
1. Your score is your time, minus one second for every "A" hit or steel down, plus time for any penalties.
2. Penalties are assessed in 5 second increments as opposed to 10 points per USPSA scoring, however the reason and number of penalties assessed is the same as the USPSA rule book.
3-1. A miss is a 5 second penalty, hitting a no shoot is a 5 second penalty, and doing both equals a 10 second penalty. Leaving steel standing is a 5 second penalty. Shooting a target with part of your body out of bounds is a 5 second penalty per shot.
3-2 If high winds make falling poppers unserviceable, only the Match Director may declare that steel may be struck but not fall.
3-3 As shooters and ROs on Thursday night are not likely to carry overlays, the bullet diameter is determined by the outside diameter of the bullet’s grease ring on the target.
3-4. If the bullet diameter of a hit on a scoring target touches the scoring line between two scoring areas, or the line between the non-scoring border and a scoring area, or if it crosses multiple scoring areas, it will be scored the higher value. (USPSA 9.5.2)
3-5. If a bullet diameter touches the scoring area of both a scoring target and a no-shoot, it will earn the score and incur the penalty. (USPSA 9.5.3)
3-6. Radial tears will not count for score or penalty. (USPSA 9.5.4)
3-7. All metal falling silhouette targets must fall to be scored. If such a target does not fall, then the shooter has the option to have the target calibrated, or accept the penalty. The only exception to this rule will be on high wind nights when the Match Director makes a determination that these targets will not readily fall and announces as such to all competitors. In this case, an audible hit heard by the RO will suffice for a hit. (USPSA 9.5.1)
3-8. A competitor may not score or gauge his own shots. A competitor may not touch any of his targets until his score has been tabulated and agreed upon. A competitor may challenge his score on any particular target, and, in the event of such a challenge, the target in question will not be patched over until the dispute is resolved. If a competitor is observed touching his targets prior to or while being scored, and in the Range Officer’s opinion may have affected the proper scoring of the target, the target will be scored as a totally missed target with all penalties for such applied. (USPSA 9.5)
3-9. Range Officers may not override the reading of an electronic timing device. If such a device becomes manifestly unreliable in the opinion of the Match Director, its use shall cease immediately. If this occurs, the match shall be continued using a back-up device, but the scores or times obtained prior to the withdrawal of the timer shall stand.
3-10. At any time should match equipment fail, not giving the competitor a fair opportunity to obtain his due score, the competitor shall be given the opportunity to re-fire the course of fire or string of fire in which the equipment failed.
3-11. Competitors at sanctioned USPSA, SCSA, or 3Gun Nation matches will be classified by their appropriate USPSA, SCSA, or 3Gun Nation classification. All unclassified competitors will shoot in a “unclassified” class.
3-12. Thursday Night Practice Match uses a three wins and move up strategy. All new competitors to CCML TNPM will start in “D” class, or their current class if they have a USPSA classification, after their first TNMP. After three wins in any division, the competitor will move up to “C”, followed by “B”, “A”, and Master. Only competitors recognized as Grand Master by the USPSA may sign up as such, and will be required to do so.
3-11. The CCML will present class awards as follows:
a) When there are less than three entrants, they will be combined up to a higher class.
b) When there are three or more entrants, only one award will be given.
c) Other awards may be give as decided by the CCML Board of Directors. Entrance into the “tyro” class is restricted to a competitor’s first match only.
Common errors in scoring: Unawareness of what constitutes a hit, miss, or penalty.
1. The outside bullet diameter must touch the perforation line of the target or zone to score the hit or higher scoring region. Radial tears do not count. The term "breaking the perf" has no legitimate meaning and does not appear in the USPSA rule book.
2. A bullet that strikes both a no shoot and a designated target gets credit/penalty for both.
3. Shoot through targets do not count on the further target. If a piece of steel is knocked over by a shoot though it is determined to be a range equipment failure and a reshoot must be reissued.
4. If a fragment perforates a target or no-shoot but does not display any of the bullet diameter, it does not count as a hit or penalty.
5. A headshot is not an Alpha, only a hit touching the A-zone within the head is an Alpha.
6. Failing to assess a 10 second (Thursday Night) penalty for a combination miss/no-shoot.
7. Failing to assess a penalty or call for calibration of a popper that does not fall.
8. Failing to assess procedural penalties.
9. Failing to assess a 5 second (Thursday Night) penalty for a "perfect double" which must be scored as a miss.
10. Any items crossed off or changed on the score sheet must have the initials of the person doing so written next to the change.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF COMPETITORS AND MATCH OFFICIALS
Duties of the stage RO’s:
1. Keep all shooters outside the shooting box until the range is declared hot by the Range Master.
2. Use proper range commands at the start of a run: (Make Ready, Are you ready, Stand-by, (push start button with a 1-4 second pause) Do not use improper phrases like "Nod when you are ready" etc. .
3. Use proper range commands at the finish of a run: (If you are finished unload and show clear, If clear hammer down and holster, Range is clear) Do not use improper phrases like (Slide, Striker, Holster).
4. Fully observe and control the shooter at the completion of a stage to ensure the gun is properly cleared and holstered, prior to communicating the shooter’s time to the scorekeeper.
5. The approved RO holding the clock must score the targets, the person holding the clipboard must also check targets and concur on the score; RO and Scorekeeper must work together. If a shooter disagrees with the assessment, the Match Director will have the final say, either by directly observing the target on the stage or having the target pulled and brought to him.
6. Any ROs or scorekeepers who are also competitors and knowingly fail to follow proper procedures may be reported by any individual on the range to the match director, and will be disqualified from the match for unsportsmanlike conduct and, at the MD’s discretion RO, Scorekeeper and/or shooter may have to re-attend the RO or New Shooter’s meeting before they are allowed to compete again.
7. Any RO or scorekeeper must be newly briefed on the rules at the RO meeting, sign that they are familiar with the rules and be cleared to run stages and score targets by the Match Director in writing. Anyone scoring a stage without proper approval will be disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. Common errors in running a stage as RO:
8. Allowing the shooter to holster his weapon without taking the time to visually inspect the chamber to be sure it is clear. At "Unload and Show clear", the RO should ensure the shooter allows time to see an empty chamber and magazine well before saying "If clear hammer down and holster." If shooter holsters before giving adequate time to inspect his gun, have him draw and show clear again.
9. Properly score the targets, including any penalities for misses, no-shoot hits, and failures to engage.
10. Issue disqualifications for unsafe gun handling rule infractions.
11. If the proper time cannot be determined because of the timer failing to pick up the last shot, or the timer picking up shots from another stage where the true time is unknown, a reshoot must be reissued else the stage is scored a DNF.
12. In case of a malfunction a shooter may not leave the line with a loaded firearm without being personally accompanied by the Match Director, an acting Range Master is not allowed to supervise this action.
Duties as Scorekeeper / Running the Clipboard:
1. The person running the clipboard has the obligation to see that the stage is reset quickly and, as needed, must call off not only the shooter, the person on deck and the person in the hole but the next in line shooters to brass, tape and reset steel. Any shooter with cards on the clipboard who fails to comply with requests for stage help will have his card placed at the bottom of the stack, thus giving him another chance to help out.
2. As the RO and Scorekeeper come "in the hole", the Scorekeeper should look thru the stack to find the last in line qualified shooter to take over. If there are not enough shooters on a stage to share all the roles, the RO, Scorekeeper and any remaining shooters must help to reset the stage.
3. The approved RO holding the clock must score the targets, the person holding the clipboard must also check targets and concur on the score; RO and Scorekeeper must work together. If a shooter disagrees with the assessment, the Match Director will have the final say, either by directly observing the target on the stage or having the target pulled and brought to him. (CCML 4.5.)
Disqualifications must be issued for:
3-1. Accidental discharge of firearm.
3-2. Breaking the 180.
3.3. Unsafe gun handling
4. Sweeping any part of your body with the muzzle of the gun.
5. Dropping a loaded firearm or failing to have an RO retrieve a dropped, unloaded firearm.
6. Handling a firearm at any time other than when directed to do so, on stage, by the acting RO, or in the designated safe areas.
7. Handling any loaded magazines or ammunition in the safe area.
8. Knowingly violating match scoring rules as an RO, scorer, or shooter.
9. All firearms must be safe and serviceable. If a RO thinks that a particular firearm is unsafe or unserviceable, then the RO will refer the shooter of said firearm to the Match Director for evaluation. If the MD finds that the particular firearm is unsafe or unserviceable, then the MD will DQ the shooter and disallow the future use of said firearm until the MD determines the firearm to be safe and serviceable.
10. Any unsportsmanlike conduct.
Duties of Competitors:
1. It is expected that all competitors will conduct themselves in a manner reflecting the values and sportsmanship principles of the CCML and USPSA. The CCML wants all of its participants to have an enjoyable experience.
2. It is expected that all competitors will perform in a safe manner, and follow all instructions of the Range Officers and the Match Director.
3. It is expected that the veteran members of the CCML will help newer members/shooters develop safe shooting skills and learn the rules of the CCML and USPSA.
4. It is expected that all competitors will help with match/course of fire duties including but not limited to: Range Officer, Scorekeeper, retrieving brass, taping targets, and resetting metal targets
5. Safety concerns and disqualifications for such must be issued by any witnessing shooter, not just an acting RO. Any witness who fails to issue a disqualification for a clear safety violation shall be in danger of their own disqualification for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Common Errors Of Competitors:
1. Entering a shooting box before the range is declared hot by the Match Director and/or Range Officer.
2. Rushing through the “unload and show clear” process. It is to everyone’s benefit that our sport be conducted as safely as possible. Give the Range Officer time to confirm that your gun is unloaded and safe. Do not holster or case until commanded to do so.
3. Remaining in the shooting box after completing the stage and being cleared by the Range Officer.
4. Failure to take penalties with integrity. New shooters look at and emulate the actions of the veterans of the CCML, and it is expected that our veterans set the proper example. If new shooters see veterans trying to argue their way out of every unfavorable call, they will do the same. Arguing a call when you are in the wrong is poor form. Temper tantrums at the end of a bad run are also poor form. Any input regarding changing any rules is appreciated, and must be brought up and voted on at a board meeting. Any approved changes will become effective only after the changes have been put on the cactusmatch.com website and emailed to members.
APPENDIX A. SAMPLE SCORING TARGET
Welcome to the Cactus Combat Match League Thursday Night Match. Please familiarize yourself with the following rules before shooting this match:
Our scoring system is different than that of USPSA; CCML uses raw time minus bonuses (-1 second for each “A” hit or steel down), plus any penalties.
Our method for scoring strictly follows USPSA procedures as outlined in rule 9.5.
Please see accompanying diagram.
If the bullet diameter of a hit on a scoring target touches the scoring line between two scoring areas, or the line between the non-scoring border and a scoring area, or if it crosses multiple scoring areas, it will be scored the higher value.
If a bullet diameter touches the scoring area of both a scoring target and a no-shoot, it will earn the score and incur the penalty.
Radial tears will not count for score or penalty
All steel must fall to be scored. If a steel does not fall, then the shooter has the option to have the steel calibrated, or accept the penalty. The only exception to this rule will be on high wind nights when the Match Director makes a determination that steel will not readily fall and announces as such to all competitors. In this case, an audible hit heard by the RO will suffice for a hit.
All competitors are expected to help with match tasks, including RO, scorer, helping to retrieve brass, taping, and resetting steel. The scorer, running the board, will call out the shooter, the person “on deck”, “in the hole”, and brass policing, tapers, and steel setup. Anyone not performing their duties will have their card moved to the bottom. When a stage has only a few shooters, it is expected that all shooters available will help reset the stage regardless of their position in line or other duties. Any safety violations or unsportsmanlike conduct will be grounds for immediate DQ by the Match Director.
Please refer to USPSA rules 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7. NO EXCEPTIONS! Please have fun and enjoy the match, safely and responsibly. We want to see all our shooters return and enjoy themselves.