The main reason of starting the IDPA club in Israel was to allow the average legal Israeli owners of defensive guns (and it is important to remember – the average Israeli is permitted to own exactly one defensive pistol, if at all) to train with what they got and to adequately evaluate and eventually improve their defensive shooting skills through participating in the classifiers and other local matches and training events. Nonetheless, as has been extensively discussed lately in multiple forums – from Facebook to HASLIK – many "purely Israeli" service and defensive pistols appear to be non-IDPA-legal, including Glocks C, Police Jericho, etc., for all kinds of reasons – ported barrels, full-length dust covers etc. As a result, the owners or operators of these found themselves excluded from the IDPA fun and this somewhat contradicted the key point that motivated us into IDPA in the first place.
Not only are these pistols very popular in Israel, they are also totally "stock" and 100% "service", serving as an official issue weapon in the Israeli Police, Shabak etc, and dozens of thousands of folks in Israel carry them. So, let's see: they are stock, they are service, they are carried for self defense, so one would expect that as soon as they are also pistols, they should be Stock Service Pistol which is exactly what SSP stands for. But wait – no, they are not recognized as such by IDPA on the ground of being "not defensive pistols". Well…
On the other hand, if you wish to play the game you have to accept its rules. And those guns are not IDPA legal. By the Rules. Period…
Of course, we can (and most definitely will) appeal to IDPA Headquarters with the suggestion to reconsider the criteria, at least locally in Israel. Moreover, we have even launched a trial balloon on IDPA Facebook Page to see the reaction. The reaction was not exactly supportive and the main argument against reconsidering the IDPA Rule Book was – quite predictably: you decided to play the game, play it by the rules – or change the rules, but then it is another game.
Besides, even if (and it is a big IF) we succeeded to convince the IDPA officials to adopt our reasoning, the process might take way too long and the chances are slim.
All this time since we launched IDPA Israel we've strictly adhered to the rules and have not let non-IDPA gun owners participate in the classifiers, even at the expense of their utter frustration. But they are many and yes – they are bitterly disappointed! And having our folks utterly frustrated and bitterly disappointed was not among the intentions we had when we introduced IDPA in Israel.
So, here comes a reasonable compromise: to "resolve" the situation we – IDPA Israel – decided to introduce a new strictly local division ISP (standing for Israeli Service Pistol). We will allow those stuck with Glock "C" (both 17 and 19, or any other factory ported barrel pistol for that matter) or Jericho to be shooting the classifier unofficially and locally: the result will not be recognized by IDPA, the shooter will not be able to compete in this division in any IDPA match besides IDPA Israel Club local matches where the NFC (Not For Competition) division is allowed. But – they will know where they stand and see how they progress. Basically, instead of being NFC they will be listed in a local unofficial table under ISP, thus the shooters will be able to estimate their shooting skills with their own defensive gun without being forced to shoot the classifier with someone else's pistol, showing results that do not necessarily reflect their level.
In terms of the classification timings, based on our estimates and experience it's been decided to equate ISP with IDPA's ESP.
However, important to note: the results for ISP will not qualify for ESP and vice versa, they will remain 2 independent divisions – one official and one unofficial. For example, the shooter shows 110 sec with Glock 17C (ISP) and 140 sec with CZ Shadow (ESP) – he or she will be classified locally and unofficially as an ISP-SS and officially and internationally as an ESP-MM. Also, the equity promotion rule (Section 9.5 of the IDPA Official Rule Book) will not apply to them, e.g. if a shooter qualifies for MA in ISP but has never classified in ESP, he/she will still be MA (locally!) in ISP and UN in ESP. Well, we all understand that once someone masters a gun, he masters The Gun, and if he performs MA in ISP we would expect him to be at least EX in ESP, but – common sense aside – there are Rules and by the Rules officially the ISP results do not promote or otherwise affect any IDPA official standings.
This new division criteria will read the same as the IDPA official ESP (Section 8.2.2 Enhanced Service Pistol Division (ESP) of the IDPA Official Rule Book) except it will permit stock pistols with factory ported (but not otherwise compensated) barrels (188.8.131.52.5) and full-length dust cover (184.108.40.206.1). All other modification allowed or prohibited for ESP will be allowed or prohibited for ISP too, respectively. For example, optic sights, non-IDPA calibers, bore comps, disabling slide stops etc are still forbidden. The rule of thumb here is: whatever is allowed and used as an issue pistol by the Israeli official military or paramilitary units, shoot IDPA caliber and yet is non-IDPA, can be included in ISP. In ambiguous cases, the IDPA Israel SO Council will issue a final verdict as to whether to include a gun in ISP division.
All other IDPA rules and restrictions (including but not limited to: division capacity, concealment, etc) apply for ISP, too.
We are planning to introduce this local division in our September Classifier and will evaluate its feasibility.
For avoidance of doubt, classifying or shooting a local club match in ISP is not official for IDPA, the score will not be uploaded to the IDPA site, shooting the classifier or a match in ISP will not be counted as IDPA official match, will not score for SO candidate qualification, etc.; it will only be included in the unofficial local table.