10/27/2011: ""Cover, I was using Cover""
You may have noticed we are placing added emphasis on the proper use of cover. The following is from the IDPA rulebook. It tells us how we are to use cover while shooting IDPA matches addresses the issue of reloading while using cover.
From Appendix Three - COVER of the current IDPA rulebook.
More than 50% of the shooter’s upper torso must be behind cover while engaging threat targets and/or reloading. For low cover, one knee must be on the ground and for vertical cover such as a wall/barricade, 100% of the shooter’s legs and feet must be behind cover.
A general rule of thumb is that the shooter will have to lean out of cover more for each target he engages (slicing the pie). The distance between the threat targets will determine how much more the shooter must poke out in order to engage the targets. A shooter who engages more than one target from the same position has not been using cover properly.
When possible, having the scorekeeper stand directly behind the competitor (after the gun is drawn) will assist the SO in determining if 50% exposure was maintained. However, in most instances, the safety officer can position himself so both the shooter’s gun and relationship to the targets can both be observed. Safety Officers who observe a shooter not using cover properly should shout the command “COVER”. The shooter should immediately correct his use of cover. IDPA understands many shooters are often too fast in engaging targets for the SO to be able to warn the shooter in time. Therefore, if the Safety Officer did not have the time or opportunity to yell “COVER” before the shooter engaged targets without using cover properly, the shooter still earns a procedural error.
All reloads must be executed from cover (if cover is available) and must be completed before leaving cover. A shooter is deemed loaded and may move from a position of cover ONLY when the fresh magazine is FULLY SEATED and the slide is fully forward or revolver cylinder is closed. Shooters may not move from one position of cover to another with an empty gun. Reloads must be completed from cover, however this does not mean that a shooter must duck back completely behind cover to reload before reengaging targets from a stationary firing point. The contestant may keep his eyes on his next “opponent” as long as he follows the definition of cover and does not expose too much of his body to the next threat target.