Stage Design Recommendations
Stage Design Resources
For those who would like to design their own
stages, the following links provide MS Word
templates and stage prop graphics that can be
used to layout your own stage design. Some
familiarity with MS Word is required.
- Google has developed a free 3D modeling
program called Sketchup that can be used for 3D
stage design. The program can be downloaded via
the first link below (make sure you download the
FREE version and not the version for sale).
Also listed below are three additional files:
brief instructions for using Sketchup to design
stages, a blank stage template containing a
wide array of standard props, and lastly a
sample stage. The program takes a little effort
to get the feel for it but it is very powerful,
e.g. allows the user to do a virtual
walkthrough, spot potential shoot-throughs,
etc. The only thing missing is Joe Touchton
shouting directions. Have a look.
Online Stage Resources
Stage Exchange is a free site offering
over 1000 IPSC/USPSA-style stages, indexed
by round count, discipline, etc. It is a
great site to browse for ideas or stages can
be downloaded for use in local matches.
Use wire cables only as activator lines. Never use nylon or
guy wires. Nylon stretches and delays `reaction time'
specially during in the early afternoon. Guy wires get bent
and get you easily agitated. Always, have the cable lines
run in a straight line as much as possible from the
activator to the releasing device.
Grease up all the line area in the wire cable that will pass
thru a pulley or corner, make sure the pulley is on a proper
angle. Putting connections on the ground is better having
them on top of the activating door but make sure you cover
the lines with PVC pipes and don't tangle the shooter.
Don't put a low stiff barrier like a piece of wood anything
lower than the hip as a fault/charge line behind a door
wherein the shooter would still have forward momentum while
opening it. This causes shooters to fall forward because of
the forward momentum yet they can't make a step to brake
themselves because of the barrier. Just put a big prop
behind the door to visually remind them. Fault lines on
doors are not needed unless for safety reasons.
Doors are better off and safer being opened towards the
shooter rather than being pushed thru. I have seen a shooter
that smashed to the door because it didn't open and
subsequently broke 180.
Only have a maximum of 2 activator lines attaches to an
activator be it a popper, door, window, etc. More than 2
creates big-time problems and unwanted delays, not to
mention big-time irritation towards the stage range officers
If you want a shooter to shoot thru a window make sure it is
wide enough for Rosey to take a peep, tall enough so that a
6.2 footer shooter won't have a backache, and low enough for
Chepit to hang his arm over it. This also avoids brushed
elbows and shoulders.
Never put targets close enough wherein a shooter can almost
kick them. This creates powder and wax blast that can
sometimes blast the entire alpha zone away not to mention
all the blasted taped hits.
If you have a prop partially covering a target make sure you
have a hardcover maker on the area of the target that is
covered by the prop. This clearly delineates the scoring
against the non-scoring specific portion.
Steps and ladders must be covered so that the foot can never
go thru the steps thus breaking his leg. Likewise, the steps
must also be wide enough to allow some traction.
Don't use see thru materials such as screens as hard cover
when you have a swinging target behind it. A hit on the wall
in front of the swinging target must be very visible so that
it may not be counted as a hit.
Wooden platforms and planks must have very rough surfaces so
that even if it rains it doesn't get slippery. You can
either put upside down nailed bottle caps for ultra
traction, nailed down small pieces of wood, serrate the
Have wide doors for Rosy, don't skim on its width just to
save wood. Have at least another 10 inches of space between
shoulders. Remember these shooters are running 127 mph while
opening it. Some 180s have been caused by narrow doorways.
Avoid have vertical or horizontal slots too close to one
another wherein it already hampers the shooting performance
of a good shooter, if he can shoot it at least 2 feet away
from the prop. You don't want a stuck frontsight in your
prop nor having to change slots per shooter because the
slide can't even pass thru.
Make sure the boundaries of the secondary safety area is
very defined and small in parameter. Have festive crowd
control lines, not the yellow ones with the `police' marking
on it, unless its for real. Make sure you put charge lines
wherein you don't want shooters to pass thru a `wall' as its
intended design, remember Ormoc?
Make sure you have the big clear plastic wrappers for the
targets in case of rain. Once you have the targets place
ready for the first shooter, cover all targets including
no-shoots so that the next day you'll be more relax and have
more time to make last minute debugging if needed.
Whenever possible, have moving targets rather than
disappearing. Modify disappearing targets in such way, that
at least the head part still appears when it settles down or
stops moving. You eliminate big-time problems with it.
Always have 2 more targets that can be engaged while the
activator is still activating the swinging target. This will
cater to the better shooters and not have to wait.
On swinging and running targets, attached a plywood shaped
into an IPSC target behind the target. This will make it
more stable with less breakage and not folding the
Don't put boxes on windows, doors, or on ports. They are
going to shoot thru there anyway. Boxes are only to be seen
in a starting position or if not at all.
Angle targets with a hardcover/prop wherein if the shooter
did break 180 while engaging the target, the prop will be
hit then, you have a stronger evidence on your call.
Position the prop and target so that the shooter will not be
able to see the target while breaking 180. *The lip of tire
rims and drum have been notoriously report to have spun a
bullet back up range with some considerable deadly velocity.
Try to deform it halfway so that it will break the
Put a popper ahead of an IPSC target if they are to be
placed close to one another. This will eliminate splatters
piercing the target board.
Use a lot of sponsor streamers, banners, billboards, etc.
They make the range festive in ambiance and your sponsors
happy. Drink sponsors usually have a bunch of them readily
available if you ask.
Always have 2 carpenters ready in case there is anything to
be done like a broken door, window, detached wire
connections, etc. You don't want any unnecessary delays in
Make sure that all the `cut' targets, hard-covers, and
no-shoots have already been done with enough supply at least
3 days before the RO match. *A reasonably large portion of
the alpha in each targets must at least be exposed to the
shooter if it covered by a prop, hardcover, or no shoot. The
shooter must be given that opportunity to score the maximum
To the RMs, when you give the stage supplies to the CRO,
make sure you give him everything he needs so that you don't
want to see his face for supplies till he closes his stage
in the afternoon. You'd like to see and ask him if he needs
anything or making sure the stage is running fine. That way
you keep everybody smiling and happy.