Let’s face it - organizing a class is quite an undertaking, and it requires a lot of organization, coordination, and checking-in to make sure everything is going smoothly. We've put together a list of the basics. Many of these things I'm sure you'll have already thought of, but it's always nice to have a handy reference, right?
If we didn't mention something, or you have questions, email us! This helps us improve this guide for others in the future.
Requirements of a Class Organizer
Please read this section carefully. If you have questions, or do not believe you'll be able to fulfill any of the requirements listed below, please contact me immediately.
Class organizers are responsible for:
1. Advertising and marketing the class locally
2. Arranging a class location, and ensuring we have access to the necessary equipment.
3. Handling student registrations, maintaining the class roster and a waiting list if necessary.
4. Collecting deposits and class fees from students, as well as any range or material fees the range requires.
5. Acting as the students’ local liaison for any questions or additional information.
6. Checking in with students frequently to make sure there are no conflicts, and ensuring they have all the information they need (ie: the range location, the weather forecast, any special equipment needed, etc).
WOW - that's a lot of work, right? You bet it is, and I know it is, and I very much understand and appreciate the help you're giving me, here. That's why organizers are rewarded for their time and commitment. I understand that occasionally there will be special circumstances that prevent an organizer from being able to hit every item on this list. If that's the case, contact me, and we'll come up with a solution.
If you are unable, unwilling, or just too busy for all this nonsense, it's better if we figure that out sooner than later.
Okay, so… how does this all work?
Basically, you'll need to pull together a group of people. For a 2-Day Practical Performance class, I like to keep classes at 10-12, so that things run smoothly and everybody gets the individual attention they need. For clinics, and 1-Day Practical Performance Classes, the classes are smaller - this is so that we can cover the same amount of material in a shorter amount of time. A regular 2-day class needs a minimum of 8 students to run, and is capped at 12.
Class organizers (here's the perks!): If you rustle up at least 10 paying students, you will take the class for free. You are NOT included in the 12-student cap (So really, 12+you is the cap).
Getting the word out
If you build it, they will come…
Just kidding - that isn’t true, AT ALL.
Nobody’s gonna come if they don't know about it, so your job is to get the word out there. The best audience for a class you're hosting is your local group of shooters and competitors. Social media is a great way to spread the word, as well as networking at your local matches. I'll put your class on my website calendar, and I can throw a few shout outs in your area if necessary, but the best person to push for a full class really is the guy who personally knows the area and the shooters in it (you. I’m talking about you.).
Who can come to class?
All classes and levels of shooters are welcome. At a minimum, shooters must be competent at gun handling and manipulation, able to clear their own malfunctions, and able to follow range safety rules. These are fast paced, intensive classes – students are expected to be able to participate safely. Organizers can accept students at their own discretion - if you have concerns about a particular student, please don't hesitate to contact me.
For students who may be right on the line, I also offer a “Boost” Clinic – this is a 4-hour clinic that occurs the evening before class begins. This clinic specifically caters to lower level shooters who might feel that they aren’t quite ready for a class, or aren’t confident about their own skills. This clinic is limited to 4 people, and offered at a deeply discounted price to students who are already signed up for class.
The spirit of this clinic is to give less advanced students a boost beforehand, to help them reap the maximum possible benefit from class. I’m relying heavily on the organizers to know which of their students might be good candidates for this additional training block. Please respect that this is NOT an opportunity for higher level shooters to get in a few extra hours of training… this is to help lower-tier shooters get up to speed, which will benefit everybody during class.
**If only one or two class participants are deemed good candidates, you may fill the extra spots with non-participants, who are on a similar shooting level as the "Boost" class participants.
The Range and Required Equipment
A Practical Performance class works best on an outdoor range with two large (25 yd deep), 180 degree bays available for use. One bay should be wide enough for a firing line that can comfortably accommodate 18 side-by-side silhouette targets, about a foot apart. The other should be able to hold a standard 32-round Practical Shooting Stage.
If that's a tall order, don't worry. Tell me what you've got available to you, and we'll figure it out.
Some ranges have sheds full of gear and some crazy mad-max type, eunuch-driven hoopdies to drag it all around... some ranges don't. That's ok.
Below you will see two lists: a list of preferred range equipment, and a list of minimum range equipment. If you look at the "preferred equipment list" and give birth to a litter of kittens, because it looks like I'm asking you to outfit a 16-stage regional match, don’t panic. We can do this class with a whole lot less, if necessary, it just requires a bit of shuffling. So take a deep breath, and read on:
Preferred Range Equipment:
34 target stands and sticks
10-12 walls (window/port option if possible)
5 steel poppers/reactive targets, one must be capable of activating a target (cable, rope, etc)
Activated target (swinger, drop turner, max trap, etc)
50 USPSA targets
3 rolls pasters or target repair tape
Minimum Range Equipment:
20 target stands and sticks
1 steel popper with means of activating a target (cable, rope, etc)
Activated target recommended (swinger, drop turner, max trap, etc)
50 USPSA targets
3 rolls pasters or target repair tape
***if you don’t happen to have boxes of USPSA targets or pasters sitting around, contact me, and I can get them to you.
Required equipment for students
For a competition oriented class, students should arrive with the gear they intend to use in a match. Students must bring a firearm, and enough magazines and pouches to complete a standard 32-round long course. A backup is not required, but isn't a bad idea, either. Students must bring eye protection, ear protection, ammunition, a notebook, and a writing utensil for note taking. Non-competition holsters are allowed, as long as they are determined to be of good quality, safe to use, and fitted properly to the students firearm. If you have questions about a holster a student plans to bring, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Roster and Waiting Lists
The class is limited to 12 students plus yourself. At a minimum, collect a name, phone number, and valid e-mail address for every student. This is both for you to communicate with them, and for me to follow up with students after class, so please make sure the e-mail addresses are correct.
I recommend keeping a waiting list, and keeping your waiting list members apprised of any updates you may have for them (for example: “Max and Frank [got sick of ‘MURICA/won the lottery/are running from the law] and moved to Monaco, so everybody is two spots closer to getting in!”). It’s especially helpful to fill last minute spot openings. Additionally, if there’s enough interest, we may be able to arrange a clinic, private training, or a 1-Day Practical Performance Class in conjunction with the primary class. This is entirely at the discretion of the class organizer, of course.
Fees listed on this website are per student. If necessary, organizers can add range fees and material costs at their own discretion. If additional fees must be passed on to the student, please communicate this to them clearly, and as early as possible. Nobody likes to be surprised at 8am on Saturday when they're 12 miles from the nearest ATM.
Taking deposits is entirely your decision, although I highly recommend it. After establishing enough interest, you should take deposits from students 2-3 months prior to the class (to hold their place). This encourages students to check and double-check their schedule for conflicts before committing. It also helps prevent last minute cancellations. Collect the balance 2-3 weeks before.
I recommend setting a deadline for withdrawals. After that date, students can only get their deposit back if the organizer is able to fill their position with another student.
Organizing the Moolah
Deposits and payments will be tracked and retained by the class organizer until the day of class, when the full balance is due for each student.
If there is any reason that this may be an issue for you, there are alternatives available to us. Organizing payments from my end, however, comes with an inevitable fee that unfortunately, has to passed on to the student. I prefer to keep the student’s cost as low as possible, and coordinating your own payments is one way to do that. If this is a route you’d like to take, be sure and contact me as soon as possible in the process, so that we can provide correct amounts to the students from the get-go, instead of tacking them on or changing the price later.
Communicating with your students
Schedule, Lunch, and Logistics
We'll be shooting for full days - plan on class beginning each day at 8, and we'll shoot until approximately 5pm. Please have students bring their lunch, and any water/gatorade/survival gear they'll need for long days on the range. We will take periodic water, reloading, and discussion breaks. There will always be students who forget things like water and sunscreen, planning for that in advance can save a lot of heartache on range day, and will probably score you major cool points. Wrangling up some shade also may not be a bad idea, for sunny days.
Seriously, have students bring their lunch. If students do not, and have to leave to eat, one of two things will happen: Either class will go on without them - which is a shame, because they will miss material, OR... class will wait... until they get back... which will earn them lots of (not so) silent judgment from 11 other students who would prefer to be learning.
Checking in with your students (important)
I recommend checking in with participants frequently, for any sort of schedule conflicts or questions about the class, and to remind them that class dates are inching closer. Send reminders about equipment lists and provide any additional information (directions to the range, weather updates, reminders to bring your lunch, etc) in writing. The sooner you find out about issues, the sooner we can get them worked out.
Become a Class Organizer
To discuss scheduling hosting you can either use our contact form, message me on Instagram or Facebook, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'll look forward to training with you!