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Is it Cheating?

Just a not-so-hypothetical question about cheating at IDPA matches…

If someone is given advanced knowledge of the stages for a match, or is able to shoot the exact stages before the actual match, is that cheating?

I’m not talking about the Match Director shooting the stage to get the angles setup correctly, I’m talking about someone being allowed to practice the stages days or even weeks before the actual match. In IDPA, individual walkthroughs are not allowed, so if someone is given advanced knowledge, and is allowed to shoot the stages beforehand, isn’t that an individual walkthrough?

The IDPA rule book is mostly silent on the matter, other than one line under the “Competition” rules where it states the following:

C 4. Individual rehearsals of a CoF are not permitted

Would being allowed to shoot the stages several times over, before the match not be an individual rehearsal?

Isn’t IDPA supposed to be about defensive scenarios, where people shoot stages that are supposed to simulate things that could happen in real life? If this is the case, then someone being allowed to shoot stages beforehand for practice certainly goes against the spirit of the game.

  • IDPA Rule Book

What do you think?

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. Shooting the COF would definately be cheating in my opinion. However, if you follow the IDPA blog, you will see that they published the stages for the national match last weekend.

    Is this considered cheating since the sanctioning body itself released the information?

  2. As someone who was once "jokingly" warned by the MD at a local range (this was at their previous major this year, but they also had one this past weekend) about pacing out my movement on a stage while people were pasting, the only IDPA rule concerning this is the one you quoted.

    To me an "individual rehearsal" is shooting the stage on your own. I can't find where the Nationals stages are posted, but building one of those stages and rehear… I mean practicing it is very much against the rules I would say.

    Let me put it this way: if walking through the stage with your hands at your sides is an "individual rehearsal", running the stage live-fire multiple time sure as hell is.

  3. Well, since I am a IDPA SO and a USPSA RO, as well as a RO for ZSA, a Individual walk through has been defined as planning out your stage. Since IDPA is supposed to be “real life” based you are supposed to listen to the brief and you can look at the targets, but that’s about it. you can not lean around a wall and air gun to find the sweet spot for your shot. This is one of the issue I have had with IDPA in general is that the rules are all up for interpretation and depending on the SO you have that stage or that day depends on the call you get.

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