The South African Practical Shooting Association (SAPSA) is the governing body of practical shooting in South Africa and was founded in 1976. We are affiliated to the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) which has approximately 100 member countries. There are active clubs situated all over South Africa and matches are held throughout the year. SAPSA is an accredited shooting organisation and also regularly selects National Teams to compete internationally, for which National Colours are awarded. Practical shooting can be defined as a shooting sport where the three elements of Accuracy, Speed and Power are balanced. A match will require a competitor to complete various different stages by shooting against the clock while scoring as many points as possible during the shortest amount of time. Each individual stage typically requires between 7 and 32 rounds to complete and the competitor will be required to engage targets from 3-50 meters. Movement is usually required and the shooting challenge may include moving targets, steel plates, barricades, partial targets and disappearing targets. The courses of fire are always different and require a shooter to be prepared for any eventuality and to be able to think on their feet. Practical Shooting is the greatest shooting sport in the world, bar none and has driven firearms innovation for many years. No, we are not biased at all!
The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) is the world's second largest shooting sport association and the largest and oldest within practical shooting. Founded in 1976, the IPSC nowadays affiliates over 100 regions from Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Competitions are held with pistol, revolver, rifle and shotgun, and competitors are divided into different divisions based on firearm and equipment features. While everyone in a division competes in the Overall category, there are also own separate awards for the categories Lady (female competitors), Super Junior (under 16 years), Junior (under 21 years), Senior (over 50 years) and Super Senior (over 60 years). IPSC's activities include international regulation of the sport by approving firearms and equipment for various divisions, administering competition rules and education of range officials (referees) through the International Range Officers Association who are responsible for conducting matches safely, fair and according to the rules. IPSC organizes the World Championships called the Handgun World Shoot, Rifle World Shoot and Shotgun World Shoot with three year intervals for each discipline.
The sport of practical shooting originated from competitions in California in the 1950s with the goal of developing handgun skills for defensive use, but quickly evolved into a pure sport with little grounding in the original purpose. The sport soon expanded to Europe, Australia, South America, and Africa. IPSC was founded in May 1976 when practical shooting enthusiasts from around the world participated at a conference held in Columbia, Missouri, creating a constitution and establishing the rules governing the sport. Jeff Cooper served as the first IPSC President. Today there are over 100 active IPSC regions, making practical shooting a major international sport which emphasizes firearms safety highly. Through international rules concerning firearms, equipment and organizing of matches one tries to unite the three elements precision, power and speed, which is also the motto of IPSC that is Diligentia, Vis, Celeritous (DVC), Latin for "precision, power, speed". Only full caliber firearms are used, i.e. for handguns 9×19 mm is the smallest caliber, and the competitors try to achieve most points in the shortest time possible.
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