During my 24 years in the military, most of that spent in Special Forces, I had the privilege of performing events we nicknamed; Stress Evals, Stress Tests, Troopathons, and other names. The Tactical Games were born out of these experiences and are being designed to replicate the testing of physical fitness whether endurance or explosive power, and a person’s tactical abilities, whether shooting short and long distance or moving tactically through a series of obstacles or mazes. The idea is to test the person throughout a full-spectrum of metrics. Each event will tax a person mentally and physically.
The Tactical Games differ from other shooting sports in that it is as close to replicating combat as we can make it without shooting at you. Every skill set tested is designed around something we saw or experienced in a combat environment. While a 3-Gun competition test a shooters ability to shoot quickly in a variety of situations, this sort of competition does not test the full spectrum of the persons abilities, nor does it replicate a real-world ballistic exchange. A 3-Gun heat may last 90 seconds for a longer iteration. An IPSC heat may last just a few seconds. In the Tactical Athlete Games, a heat may last 45 minutes or two hours! We will have our “sprint style” events, but we will also have longer events based on endurance and a competitor’s ability to think through ambiguous situations.
Imagine standing there in your tactical clothing, pistol belt weighted down with your pistol and four or five extra magazines. On your torso you have body armor with extra rifle magazines. Your eyewear is already fogging a little bit because you are sweating with a hungry and aggressive attitude, and anxiously awaiting the “beep” to sound, indicating your heat has started. With rifle in hand, pistol tucked away safely in it’s holster, you hear the beep release you from your starting position and you begin to run. You don’t notice the extra weight of the kit hanging on your body because you are laser-focused on tackling the upcoming obstacles. You climb a 20’ rope net, pause at top and shoot a 100-meter target with your rifle, stow your rifle and climb down the other side. You sprint to a tunnel, climb through it, and then run to an automobile. You climb into the automobile and begin to select a number of targets from among “innocent civilians” and lay waste to 5 terrorists. You continue to move through rope climbs, low crawls, vaults, monkey bars, climb through windows, carry weighted items simulating a casualty, apply a pressure dressing and a tourniquet on a simulated casualty, all the while shooting targets as they present themselves throughout the course of fire. You are required to think on your feet, make decisions in the moment, and do it all while remaining tactical, safe, fast and accurate with your weapons. You will run out of ammunition in your rifle, forcing you to transition to your pistol, engage targets with your pistol until you can reach cover and concealment. While safe behind cover and concealment, you change the magazine in your pistol and holster it. You then get your rifle back in action and continue to move through obstacles. You engage targets at 5 meters, 10 meters, 25 meters, 100 meters, 250 meters, throughout the continuum of distances….just like it happens in combat.
Eventually, you arrive at the finish line. You are exhausted, sweating, breathing hard, and out of ammunition. But you feel exhilarated! You conquered a course of fire you never thought you could accomplish. You followed all of the tactical requirements and performed your reloads behind cover, and engaged targets in a sensible priority. You did it! You are a true tactical athlete.
We will require every tactical games competitor to compete with identical equipment. Every shooter will wear a pistol and pistol belt containing the same equipment (pistol and holster are the decision of the shooter) no optics on pistols, only stock or upgraded standard sights. (Tru-Glo, fiber optic sights, no red dots or electric optics on pistols) Every competitor will carry a 5.56 (.223) rifle. No other calibers will be allowed to participate in the games. These rifles will be outfitted with an optic such as an EOTech, Aimpoint, or the like. Some ergonomic furniture will be allowed such as a forward handguard grip or the like. The idea is to level the playing field and make sure that we don’t have one competitor shooting a $10k rifle, and another competitor shooting a $1500 rifle. Same rifle, same caliber and class of pistol, and the same weight of body armor. This provides everyone with the same metric to measure. No claims of lighter equipment, better guns, or advantage of any sort, other than one person performed better than the other. They moved faster, and they shot more accurately. That is the test!
So, if you like total-all-out-adventure with a tactical-combat feel, The Tactical Games will be your next venue. It will surely be the next big thing in the Shooting Sports world. The question is; Have you put the time and effort into your training to make you the best? Can you perform at the highest levels of combat and win the title of, “The Most Dangerous Man/Woman in the world!”