Do you know what DVC is? Have you noticed those letters on the bottom corner of the USPSA logo? Do you understand what they mean in relation to our sport?
When I starting participating in USPSA in 2008, I saw a lot more shirts and USPSA related logos that featured DVC than I do now. These three letters are a big part of our sport and how we design stages and matches so it’s important to know what they stand for. Check out rule 1.1.3: “Balance – Accuracy, Power and Speed are equivalent elements of USPSA shooting, and are expressed in the Latin words “Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas” (“DVC”). A properly balanced course of fire will depend largely upon the nature of the challenges presented therein, however, courses must be designed, and USPSA matches must be conducted in such a way, as to evaluate these elements equally.” So, how do we test DVC in USPSA matches?
Accuracy (Diligentia): This is measured with the scoring zones on the cardboard targets. Competitors get the most points for hitting the A zone (5 points) and reduced points for the C and D zones (see below). Accuracy is also challenged when hard cover and no shoots are used to block some of the scoring zones on targets which results in tighter shots to get the maximum points.
Power (Vis): Power is measured using a chronograph, but also with poppers during a course of fire. And we also have major and minor power factors where the points for the C and D zones differ. For major, it’s 4 points for a C and 2 points for a D. For minor it is 3 points and 1 point for C and D, respectively. In the divisions where there is both major and minor power factor (Limited, Limited-10, Open, Single Stack, and Revolver), competitors shooting major get more points for C and D hits, but usually have reduced capacity compared to minor power factor competitors. It is a choice the competitor has to make.
Speed (Celeritas): Attempts at courses of fire are timed. After the stage is scored, the points earned, minus the penalties, are divided by the time to give a hit factor. If there are two competitors with the same number of points, the competitor who shot the stage in the fastest time will have a higher hit factor and place higher.
Now that we have defined these, you can see that it really isn’t that hard to design a stage or whole match that tests these principles. Does every stage need to test all three principles? No. But constructing a series of stages that test all of these is key. A good match has a mix of standard courses (short, medium or long) and special courses (speed shoots and standard exercises) to test these principles. The speed and accuracy it takes to complete a long course is different than the speed and accuracy needed for a speed shoot. And a stage of all poppers is all about time and not scoring zones which sometimes changes the stage strategy for some competitors. If you keep these principles in mind when designing a match, your match will be well rounded and well received by the competitors.