Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.” While “rules” may be substituted for “laws” in USPSA, here’s a little insight into the process used for the recent rules audit and other rules proposals.
The USPSA Board of Directors met on December 20th to consider proposed rules changes collected over the past year in a rules audit file. Many of these suggested changes were the result of member suggestions about rules that were confusing, outdated, redundant, or just in need of updating in each rule set for consistency between disciplines. (For example, the rules concerning Short, Medium, and Long courses were often misinterpreted by course designers due to not being as well defined as they could be.) NROI set up a file to collect these, with comments enabled, and this file was shared with the Instructor corps as well as the 2022 Rules committee. The rules committee is comprised of myself as DNROI, the Assistant DNROI’s–Jodi Humann and Kevin Imel, the USPSA President, Jake Martens the Director of Media and Events, Lee Cabana (Area 7 Director), and Ted Murphy (Area 8 Director). It’s important to note that NROI doesn’t make rules–we review and make suggestions, and I make rulings from time to time as needed, but all of this must be reviewed and approved by the board.
Now to the process. All of the proposed rule changes as well as suggestions for equipment changes by members were occasionally reviewed and commented on by NROI over the course of the year, and new suggestions added as received. Then, in a final NROI review, the Instructor corps met via Zoom and discussed the proposed changes, making comments and suggested edits as necessary. That file was then shared with the rules committee, who met a week later to comment and do a final markup on the file before presenting it to the entire board for review prior to the 12/20 meeting.
At the 12/20 meeting, the board discussed and made a few final adjustments to the documents, including suggested changes to existing divisions and a proposed provisional division. (Note that changes to existing divisions that affect competitor equipment must follow the timeline established in the USPSA bylaws, bylaw 16.2.)
Those documents were designated to be published with the minutes, and have also been posted to this site. The board also directed that a member survey and comment site be established to allow for 30 days of member comment and input prior to the in-person meeting at the end of January. Division changes affecting competitor equipment will not be approved at the January in-person meeting, but will be discussed and an additional 90 day comment period will be established per the bylaws. These equipment changes cannot be effective until 2024, but an early start never hurt anything.
Please take some time to read the rules audit files and proposed changes to existing divisions, as well as the appendix for the provisional division: they are all available at this link. Please read them carefully and make your voice heard on the comments page.
Finally, I’d like to point out that commenting on these via social media or other forums will not gain much traction if you hope to have some effect on the decision process. If you have comments, use the system, or email your Area Director directly, using email@example.com, where the # is replaced with your area number, e.g., if you are in Area 2, then it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. The survey system or a direct email will ensure that your Area Director sees your comments. Social media will not.
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