On Saturday 26th August the IPSC general Assembly will meet at 09:00 in Chateauroux, France - item 7 on their agenda is the election of a new President following the announcement earlier this year that Nick Alexakos will be standing down, the candidates are: Vitaly Kryuchin, Lubor Novak & Vince Pinto.

Regional Directors from all around the world will vote to elect the next IPSC President so we decided to ask the candidates some questions posed by practical-shotgun.com readers and contributors. All three candidates received the same questions a week ago, here are the responses we have received so far:

1. What is your top priority if you become the next IPSC President?

Vince Pinto – IPSC becoming a member of Sport Accord/GAISF.

Vitaly Kryuchin – My top priority is to make IPSC a full member of SportAccord/GAISF, so that our sport be globally recognized and every RD become the respectable Leader of National IPSC Federation, recognized by its Government! And generally we’d like to raise the organization to a level where membership of SportAccord is a natural thing to happen.

2. What leadership experience will you bring to the role and what will that experience help you to resolve that others have not so far?

Vitaly Kryuchin – I think my history says it all. I started IPSC Russia in 1998 with 4-5 members. Russia was very difficult region at those time. Strict gun law, 9mm forbidden for sports, no ranges where we can practice. I have been the Regional Director for almost 20 years. During this period, membership in Russia has increased to over 30,000 members. We managed to change our gun laws to allow this growth, certified 9mm guns and ammo for civilian use, build lots of open and indoor ranges, organized National IPSC Instructor Institute and effected more changes. I would like to use my experience with a big sports organization and my ability to succeed in pursuing the development of IPSC. To say it in simple words: my profession is “IPSC developer in difficult regions” But I am a team player and plan to work with a strong team consisting of new names as well as previous Administration members. And I have decided to involve active RDs in IPSC matters as representatives from all Zones.
I can tell you that we will first listen RDs and members, then make decision what to preserve and what to modernize in IPSC. Big role in this process will have professionals from Executive and other Administration members. But, any way, final decision will have all RDs personally by voting in GA.

Vince Pinto – I’m the only candidate with over 20 years of hands-on experience dealing with every aspect of IPSC global management. I currently hold numerous management positions in IPSC, so I am intimately familiar with our internal operations.

3. Recent attempts by the European Parliament to restrict firearm ownership among sport shooters has sent a stark message to IPSC competitors about their rights as individual firearm owners. If elected, what would you do to strengthen ties with other shooting sports organisations in order to galvanise resistance to this legislation and what resources would you make available to affected Regions to aid their efforts in this most important fight?

Vince Pinto – IPSC must form as many alliances as possible, in every political sphere in which we operate. It’s essential that IPSC has a seat at every table where the future of firearms ownership for the purposes of sports shooting may be affected. In most regions, there is no “right” to own and use firearms, so we must ensure that our “privilege” is based upon sound and workable principles.

Vitaly Kryuchin – We will seek to create strong bonds with all relevant stakeholders (shooting organizations, hunters, collectors, industry) that is affected by this policy, to create a common front that our magnitude alone will be enough to put pressure on the politicians acting against law abiding citizens, all in the name of the fight against illegal firearms trafficking. Everybody with common sense can realize that no legislation can stop criminals, because they don’t care, and legislation only affects law-abiding citizens, whose firearms are registered.

4. What are your views on IPSC becoming a member of Sport Accord and, if you think this is an important goal for IPSC, what do you intend to do in terms of making it happen if you become President?

Vitaly Kryuchin – I think my answer to the first question covers the subject completely. As I have stressed earlier, I consider the membership in SportAccord a top priority and I will do whatever necessary to reform, with the consent of course and the vote of the General Assembly, the IPSC Constitution and Administration to become compatible with the current standards for a modern International Sports Federation.

Vince Pinto – I’ve been actively involved with our application process to be accepted by Sport Accord/GAISF, since we first embarked upon this journey in 2003. In 2015, I handled our most recent application, a task that consumed 3 months of my life, and which entailed the collection and submission of over 400 pages of supporting documentation. I also single-handedly raised US$560,000 through the IPSC Patron Program that I conceived, so that would have sufficient funds to pursue this critical goal.

5. The IPSC President chooses his own team under the current IPSC Constitution. If you are elected would you try to keep this system in place or press for a change to make all senior management positions subject to election at the General Assembly? Please expand a little on the reasoning behind your answer.

Vince Pinto – I support maintaining the current system, which is based on the US Presidential system. It’s essential that the Executive Council be comprised of people who can work together coherently and effectively as a team, so the President needs the authority to “hire and fire” members should the need arise. If each member was elected separately, the President would be powerless to replace someone who was failing to fulfill his duties and obligations and/or who clashes with other members of the team.

Vitaly Kryuchin – The standards set by the compatible constitutions of other members of SportAccord will be our guide to the way we will go. We need a more open and independent governance with members being elected for administration and in many cases it also requires athletes’ commissions.

6. If you are elected will you pursue any Shotgun specific development plans?

Vitaly Kryuchin – I cannot say that any child in a family is more or less important than the other. So, I cannot think that it is suitable to favor any discipline over the others. However, IPSC Russia has done a lot to develop IPSC Shotgun. I like shotgun, I was European Shotgun modified Division Champion in 2006, and I intend to use this experience in assisting the Shotgun discipline to develop further. There are many members in IPSC internationally that carry a lot of experience, and we intend to create committees for every discipline, using those experienced members who are willing to help in this.

Vince Pinto – I think IPSC Shotgun has a bright future, primarily because it can be developed using existing handgun ranges, in addition to open fields, where the range of the projectiles is limited. IPSC Shotgun has a strong base in Europe, so I would actively promote shotgun in regions in other IPSC zones where it is currently weak.

7. IPSC Shotgun is growing in popularity both in terms of competitor volume at L5 and the number of Regions where it takes place, despite this growth L4 events seem elusive on the calendar. If you are elected what will you be doing to stimulate the emergence of L4 SG matches?

Vince Pinto – I would like to reintroduce the Pan-American Shotgun Championship, which sadly fell by the wayside some years ago. Additionally, I’d like to introduce an Australasian Shotgun Championship. Finally, I would like to investigate the viability of IPSC adopting a form of Multi-Gun competition, as that would indirectly boost interest for shotgun too.

Vitaly Kryuchin – My plan, not only for Shotgun but for every discipline, is to create a set of L-IV matches that will be used as qualifier matches for participation in the L-V World Shoots, something that might change to a 4-year cycle, as all major events like the Olympics, and it is a standard norm for SportAccord. I believe, that by doing so, your wish for more L-IV Shotgun matches will be covered.

8. Local custom and practice as well as variations in national legislation mean that not all IPSC Regions have members who compete in IPSC Shotgun. This could present difficulties for a Regional Director faced with making an informed decision on technical matters pertaining to Shotgun if it does not take place in his or her Region. Do you support the idea that Regions should not vote on discipline specific rule amendments unless they have shown they have members active in this discipline by sending competitors to the previous WS and/or running at least one L3 SG match in their Region in the 12 months prior to the vote?

Vitaly Kryuchin – This is really hard to organize and it might be against the equality of vote within the General Assembly. However, to overcome this lack of communication which sometimes leads RDs who are less experienced in the matter to vote for something they don’t really know about, I intend to put any Rule changes very organized and strictly under the IROA umbrella. Our Range Officers are the ones who should come forward with suggestions for Rule changes and these suggestions will be circulated way ahead of time to any General Assembly with plenty of time for the Rules Committee to listen to the suggestions of the most experienced regions in the specific discipline we are proposing Rule changes for. By doing so, I believe, that in the General Assembly the voting on Rules will be just a formality, accepting a pre-agreed text that meets the general consent and especially the consent of the most active members in the specific discipline.

Vince Pinto – No. Having attended the IPSC General Assembly for 21 consecutive years since 1996, it’s been my experience that regions which do not actively participate in shotgun are always supportive of changes proposed by the experts on the Shotgun Rules Committee. I have yet to see any shotgun proposal voted down by regions that do not actively engage in shotgun events

9. Finally to make things a little more interactive this last question is intended to facilitate a short debate where candidates have an opportunity to question each other on key policy issues. You can ask the other two candidates to answer just one question each – what is your question to each candidate? If you choose to ask a question we will add any replies if/when they are received.

Vince Pinto’s Question (to both candidates) – If elected, what exactly will you do to encourage more Juniors to take up IPSC?

Vitaly Kryuchin’s reply – In EHC2016 in Hungary there were totally 14 Juniors. 8 of them were Russian. We are not promising gold mountains, not organising vague “Junior funds” with private accounts. We developing IPSC future every day without extra noise. We have a program for developing Junior Category and fact that more then 50% juniors in international matches are Russian juniors says that we are in a right way! We will offer this program for IPSC future!

Vitaly Kryuchin’s questions – I have a good relationship with the other candidates for many years, but I am shocked by the letter of the IPSC General Secretary Alan Joly about unknown activity of Mr. Vince Pinto. I have no comments! And I would like to ask Mr. Lubor Novak what he means by saying “let’s make IPSC great again”. Because, in my opinion, IPSC is greater than ever today and has never stopped going onwards and upwards.


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