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Handgun safety through education and training

Program’s Purpose:

The Youth Action Pistol League, or YAPL for short, was created to promote safe gun-handling and shooting skills to youth between 12 and 18 years of age. Physically handling handguns in a safe manner is only part of the equation; a keen sense of responsibility is equally important. YAPL coaches and staff will work to instill a strong code of ethics in addition to teaching our kids how to shoot safely and efficiently.

Program Goals:

  • Promote safe gun-handling and shooting skills;
  • Help youth develop a sense of responsibility, a code of ethics, regarding firearm ownership and usage;
  • Provide a fun and exciting atmosphere in which to achieve these goals.

Organizational Structure:

Teams for Initial Basic Instruction

YAPL could be described as “little league comes to the shooting sports.” The coach/team concept is used to educate, train and mentor our kids so they can learn how to safely and efficiently use handguns. Unlike little league, our kids are not required to attend every practice session or risk being dropped from the team. We realize many of our kids have other commitments and we work with them to the maximum extent possible. That said, every participant must maintain safe gun-handling skills in order to participate in more advanced training and monthly matches. While we will make every effort to work with a kid’s schedule, YAPL is not a program for someone who can attend only on an occasional basis.

Coaches, Assist. Coaches & Staff

YAPL coaches are all experienced pistol shooters who are competitive shooters. Assistant coaches are also experienced pistol shooters who may or may not have competitive shooting experience. Coaches and their Assistants work hard to help your son or daughter develop their skills and have a great time doing so. Staff focuses on the logistics of practice sessions and matches by making sure all equipment, targets and other necessary supplies are available to all of our teams. Parents are encouraged to participate by serving as staff, but this is not a requirement for kids to be YAPL team members.

Training, practice and matches

Semi-Monthly Optional Practices

There will be two monthly practice session that kids are encouraged to attend, but 100% attendance is not required.   Kids will be required to maintain sufficient gun-handling and proficiency standards as to be able to train and compete safely. Their individual skill level will determine how many Weekly Team Practices they must attend in order to remain in the program.  Between April and October, these Optional Practice Days (OPDs) are on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of ech month from 6:00pm until 7:30pm.  OPDs will be scheduled periodically on Saturdays or Sundays from November through March.

YAPL Matches

Four YAPL matches are held annually on  the fifth Saturday of a month at the PSC Shooting Club These matches are not mandatory for YAPL Members, but they are strongly encouraged. These IMG 4412matches are for YAPL kids only. This is to ensure that all match participants have the requisite gun-handling skills to participate safely.

Divisions, Classifications, Awards & Trophies

Although teams are the operational unit for YAPL activities, shooters are competing on an individual basis during monthly matches. Kids will compete against others of their relative skill level (Classification) and those using similar handguns (Divisions).


The handgun used in matches will determine the Division in which a person will compete during monthly matches. The Divisions will be virtually identical to those used in IDPA competition. (Note, .22 rimfire handguns are allowed for all training and practice sessions, but not in monthly matches.)


Classifications are based upon the skill level determined by shooting a special Classifier match. Scores for YAPL matches will be much like those used in IDPA matches. As in golf, the low score wins and one’s score is based upon the raw time it takes to shoot a scenario plus time added for penalties, points down, misses, etc.

A major difference between YAPL Classifications and IDPA Classifications is that YAPL uses the Novice Classification for kids who have not yet reached a skill level that will allow them to draw from a holster, engage targets, then reholster. All Novice Class shooters will work from the “low ready” position.


Monthly matches will award top shooters in various Divisions and Classifications. Team awards are not anticipated. We want a cooperative atmosphere between Coaches and teams, not a competitive one.


An annual end of the shooting season banquet will be held during which various trophies will be awarded.

Guns, Equipment & Ammo

PSC Shooting Club, Inc. owns several Smith & Wesson M&P .22 Rimfire handguns, with matching holsters. These guns and .22 ammo is available to kids who want to see if YAPL is a program for them, without parents having to invest in equipment. However, the Club does not have enough guns and equipment to furnish on a regular or routine basis. Therefore, parents need to purchase all required guns, equipment and ammo for their son or daughter to participate in YAPL activities.

Register your son or daughter

If your son or daughter are interested in joining the YAPL Program, then a parent or guardian must complete the online YAPL Registration form and submit the authorization form attached to the confirmation email. CLICK HERE to register.