For many years stage set up has been a problem. It winds up being done by the same few people starting Saturday morning and finishing Sunday morning. We have tried many different ways to persuade, entice, reward, guilt and otherwise cajole people into helping out, to no avail. The thing is, USPSA is a volunteer sport. The people who arrive first at the range, who are also the ones putting away gear and cleaning up trash when you leave? They aren’t getting paid, and they aren’t even shooting for free. We’re all in this for the fun, not profit.

A few years ago, NISA began a new procedure to include everyone in the match setup process. Check in opens at 7:30 am day of match. It will close at 8:30 — meaning if you are not in line by 8:30 you will not be able to check in and you will not shoot today! You and your squad will be assigned a stage to build as we will bring the trailer around and drop off the materials necessary for each stage. We will provide detailed diagrams to follow, and several of us will float between stages to help direct and adjust layouts. We’ve found that if we have 50 people doing setup work for an hour, or so, no one is that tired and everyone still has a good time.

The shooter’s meeting will be held at 9:45 and the match will commence as usual at 10:00. Squads will be responsible to tear down the stage they finish on and should help load same onto the trailer. These cooperative efforts will allow us to continue to put on 7 quality stages per match (6 new plus a classifier). We are contractually obliged to be off of the range by 2:00, so if everyone pitches in just a bit, we all win.

This system has also helped spur some people to come up with stage designs of their own, which is always welcome. Even if it’s a variation on a stage you shot at another club, if you had fun everyone else will probably like the stage too. Just send them to and we will adjust the layout and diagrams if necessary.