New Shooter?

  • Are you new to IPSC?
  • Never competed in IPSC before?
  • Never successfully completed the Black Badge Course?
  • Are you interested in getting started and becoming a member?
  • Want to compete?


Here are 6 simple steps on how to get started:........


STEP 1: Obtain the Restricted PAL

Obtain a Restricted Possession and Acquisition License (RPAL)


The first, mandatory step that should be accomplished in the process towards becoming an IPSC shooter and competitor is to be a holder of a valid, Canadian Restricted Possession and Acquisition License (RPAL).

The handguns used in IPSC divisions are deemed as “restricted” firearms by Canadian law.

You must be in possession of a valid Canadian RPAL in order to purchase (acquire), own (possess), travel with, shoot and compete with your restricted firearm in IPSC matches. For all information pertaining to completing the restricted Firearms Safety Course and obtaining the RPAL, please contact the RCMP Chief Firearms Officer (CFO).

That said, it is possible to attend and participate in the IPSC Black Badge Course (and IPSC matches for that matter) without an RPAL.  However, the Law with not allow you to "own" that firearm and arrangements must be made with someone else to possess the restricted firearm and bring it to and from the range for your use, while supervised during the course or match. This process, while possible, is impractical so we do recommend that you begin by obtaining you own RPAL.

If you are a parent and you're investigating participation in this sport for your child who is a minor, please pay particular attention to the RCMP CFO regulations surrounding the use of restricted firearms by a minor.  If you reside in the "south zone" near Lethbridge, the Southern Alberta Firearms Education Society (SAFE Society) offers opportunities for firearms education directed towards minors with active parental interaction, with a focus on safety in firearms recreation.  Junior members of SAFE Society compete actively in IPSC Alberta qualifier matches.


STEP 2: Determine your IPSC Alberta Zone

Determine which IPSC Alberta “Zone” you reside in


If you hold a valid RPAL your next step should be to determine the IPSC Alberta Zone that you reside in.
Check from these four lists below to find the zone your community is listed in.

North Zone
Fort McMurray ValleyView
Grande Prairie Athabasca
Lac La Biche Swan Hills
Slave Lake FairView
Peace River Fox Creek

North Central Zone
Edmonton St. Paul
Leduc Spruce Grove
Sherwood Park Edson
Winfield Breton
Whitecourt Bonnyville
St. Albert Wetaskiwin
Vegreville Lacombe
Vermillion Stettler
Redwater Grande Cache
Wainwright Jasper

South Central Zone
Calgary Ponoka
Red Deer Innisfail
High River Rocky Mtn. House
Acme Banff
Hanna Drumheller
Cochrane Oyen
Airdrie Okotoks
Didsbury Viking

South Zone
Lethbridge Blackmore
Coleman Coaldale
Taber Medicine Hat
Claresholm Pincher Creek





Once you have determined which zone you reside in, contact the respective Zone Director on the Contact US page of this website. If you are still unsure as to which zone you live in, simply contact the IPSC Alberta Section Coordinator (at the top of the Contact US webpage) and enquire further.

Your Zone Director will be able to provide you with more information than can be passed via this website alone, and he will also be able to guide you through the process and “next steps” of becoming a qualified and active member of IPSC Alberta.


STEP 3: Watch an IPSC Match

Come out and watch an IPSC match

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While we are fairly quiet in the winter, the spring and summer season (May through to October) reveals an active IPSC match calendar. Typically Alberta clubs and ranges will run two IPSC match-weekends per month. Invariably there will be a match going on sometime soon near you during the spring and summer (May through to October).

If you find your interest is piqued in the quiet winter months and you want more information immediately, try contacting some of the organizers of the various IPSC league nights that may be operating in your zone.  These informal training and practical shooting sessions can be found on the website's IPSC League page.

You may have already watched the various online videos that highlight and demonstrate the exciting sport of IPSC, however try to endeavor to come out and physically check out a local IPSC match in your area in order to get a “real feel” for the sport. It will be a great way to meet some people in person: your Zone Director, a couple of shooters and check out the equipment at some of the vendor trailers/tables at the match.

Details regarding the next match can be found on the website calendar.

All of this new information can be a bit overwhelming, so having the opportunity to talk to people, face-to-face about equipment, firearms and divisions will surely help. Shooters are always more than willing to pass on valuable advice learned from their own experiences and lessons.

All you need is a pair of safety glasses (eye protection approved for the shooting sports) and some hearing protection. We'll then be able to get you up close to the action when you come out and watch a match.


STEP 4: Determine your division and necessary equipment

Determine the division, firearm and associated equipment and gear that you will need


Decide which division you wish to shoot/compete in and this will help steer you in the direction in which to better determine the required, associated firearm and equipment that you will need.

If you already possess a handgun that you wish to use in IPSC, be sure that the firearm conforms to the rules of the division you wish to shoot/compete in. The rules governing equipment and firearms for your chosen division are highlighted in the DIVISIONS section of this website and are laid out in detail in the IPSC Handgun Rulebook (in various chapters and appendices). Of note, if your chosen firearm does not conform to the rules, then you cannot use it in your chosen division. If you wish to compete in Production Division, be certain that your firearm is approved and published on the IPSC Production Division List.

If you have not yet purchased a handgun for use in IPSC competition, be sure to consult with your Zone Director or any IPSC member for advice on what you would like to use. The vendors at our local matches can also be a valuable source of information, as is the Provincial Training Officer.


STEP 5: Attend a Black Badge Course

Attend and successfully complete the 2-day Black Badge Course


Your zone director, and/or the Provincial Training Officer will be able to advise you on the location, date and timings of the next Black Badge Course.

The course outline, expectations, required equipment and other details regarding the Black Badge Course are available on this website in the Black Badge Course section.


STEP 6: Shoot in and successfully complete a match

Successfully complete your first IPSC Match in Alberta

Once you have successfully completed the 2-day Black Badge Course you will become an IPSC Alberta member. You can choose your IPSC Alberta “alias” (this will also be your website and forum user name) and gain full access to all features and areas of the website.

Using your new “alias” you will be able to register for an upcoming match using the registration system on this website. 

Welcome to IPSC Alberta and to the exciting sport of IPSC Handgun!



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