indicate updates as of 5/15/13.
There are three Divisions: Non-Pro, Semi-Pro, and Pro. These
Divisions will be split by gender.
Divisions shall be determined in one of the following ways:
Current HIGHEST standing in CSA, SASS, or CMSA mounted
shooting organizations, when joining MSA for the first time.
Any competitor in
the non pro or semi pro divisions who finishes in the top
three of their division at a minimum of two MSA majors and
who's final times including penalties are equal to or less
than any of the top three finishing times in the higher
division, will automatically be moved to the higher
classifications may be changed at the discretion of MSA, or
an appropriate appointed committee, when evidence is shown
to justify such a change.
contestant may petition MSA or an appropriate appointed
committee to move up or down a division. The procedure for
submitting a petition is to submit, in writing, to MSA the
reasons for such a change. Written petition must be
submitted to the MSA prior to an event.
Any MSA member, male or female may join the Platinum Division if
they are 45 or older on the 1st day of the competition season. The
member must notify MSA of their intention on or before the 1st
day of the competition season. Members do not have to
join the Platinum division. It is optional. If a Member chooses
to ride in the Platinum Division they shall remain a Platinum
member for the entire year.
Platinum + Division:
Any MSA member, male or female may join the Platinum + Division if
they are 60 or older on the 1st day of the competition season.
The Platinum + Division is Non Divisional and is gender split.
The novice class is for any competitor that is new to the sport
or a level one in other associations. The novice class is half
the entry fee and will not be eligible for jackpot or added
money. You can move from the novice class to the non-pro
division at any time by notifying MSA, however, once you move up
you will no longer be eligible to move back. Novice class earns
points towards year-end awards.
Move ups in Division are determined as follows:
Non Pro needs 5 wins to move to Semi Pro
Semi Pro needs 7 wins to move
A qualified division requires
at a minimum 5 competitors for a win to count towards a move
If a competitor moves up a division at a CSA, CMSA or a SASS
sanctioned match, that member must notify MSA, in writing of
that move-up. However, if you move up in MSA, you are not
required to notify CMSA or SASS of that move-up.
A contestant may enter a match for the jackpot no more than two
times. A contestant may NOT enter twice on the same horse and
may not use the same horse in different entries. Example:
contestants may not switch horses for different courses. Running
horses out of match go order will result in a 60 penalty.
(The only time a contestant may change horses is if the horse is
no longer able to compete due to injury or illness). Once
a horse is “scratched” due to illness or injury it is no longer
eligible for any competition for the entire match.
OUTLAWS & LI”L BANDITS:
Outlaws are contestants ages 10, 11, and 12.
Bandits are contestants ages 9 & under.
Outlaws & Li”l Bandits will move up based on their age on
the 1st of day of the competition season.
Outlaws will have the option of Novice or Non-Pro.
Bandits must wear helmets.
competitors may either ride the course by themselves or a
parent may lead their child through the pattern. The parent
is on foot and keeps the horse at a walk or a jog. Parents
may lead horse on horseback provided they can demonstrate
they can do so safely to the match official prior to the
Outlaws must engage the targets.
Outlaws will be required to shoot 5 targets from the
ground. Each missed target will be a 5 second penalty.
Director or designated official should hold a competitor
meeting before the match with all competitors and parents
attending. The meeting will address course set-up, dress
code, safety, gun handling and the possibility of having an
adult rider pre-ride course for clarity.
Parents will sign a release form and will be responsible
that their child is prepared to participate in a safe and
Parents are responsible to have their child ready, prepared
and in time for their division.
Competitors, who have demonstrated the ability to safely
control their mount, will ride the course using play guns
and holster setup resembling the firearms specified in the
MSA rulebook. Real firearms with empty loads will be allowed
but will be checked by the Match Official before every
Outlaws will aim and shoot at their first five targets, then
make their gun change and finish their next five targets
with their second gun. Outlaws are reminded to ride at the
speed compatible to their ability and take note that safety
will always come first.
should be appropriate for the use and safety of the rider
Horses used for the match should fit the ability of the
penalties shall be as stated in the MSA rules. In addition
“failure to follow course of fire” will include the use of
predetermined placement of cones as explained in the
courses. The competitor will stay within those additional
Director and Outlaw Director for each match may alter these
rules based on their judgment and for the safety of the
contestant’s ability to ride.
Outlaw shall have a real firearm outside the stage and
loading area. Firearms shall be handed over to the
responsible adult or left in safekeeping with the armorer.
The purpose of our dress code is to promote a professional
equestrian sport with modern and period attire.
A western style hat is required of all contestants wearing
cowboy attire when in the arena. Hats of felt, straw and
palm are acceptable. Safety helmets are also acceptable.
wearing open skirt outfits (not split skirts) are exempt
from the hat rule. Ladies dresses are not required to have
Boots are required when in the arena, boots should be
western in style, ropers and packers are also acceptable.
Chaps or Chinks are optional at MSA
matches with the EXCEPTION for all contestants who qualify
and participate in Super Star Finals at all MSA Championship
Shirts: All Contestants are required to wear a long sleeve
button down or snapped shirt, with a conventional and or
banded collar while in the arena. Shirts must be worn with
sleeves to the wrist.
encourage all contestants to pursue western and patriotic
themes in their dress. Match directors may get permission
for special “costume” matches for special events. Match
director will forward a written request to MSA detailing
specifics of the event.
Promotional logos may be worn on a
contestant's long-sleeved shirt during any MSA event if it
includes a MSA logo patch. Contestants must
include a MSA logo patch on the their shirt and
may obtain a MSA logo patch by contacting the home office
to have MSA logo patches mailed to them. At all MSA
Championship Series Events you may obtain a MSA logo
patch in the show office.
contestant that enters a stage not complying with the above
dress code will be assessed a 10 second penalty.
Contestants should not enter a stage with any objects that
could cause injury to horses, contestants, or spectators
(i.e Straight bladed knifes, live ammo, etc.). Contestants
who are determined by the Match Director to have posed any
type of safety risk will be disqualified from the event.
fixed sight, single action revolvers of .45 caliber, will be
allowed in MSA competitions. Examples: Colt Single Action
Army or Bisley Model, Smith & Wesson Schofield, or their
reproductions and Ruger Vaqueros.
holster is defined as a pouch formed in the shape of a gun.
A feedbag or saddlebag does not qualify and is considered by
MSA to be unsafe. Pommel holsters are permitted as long as
they are form fitted to the pistol. Any contestant that
enters a stage with a feedbag or saddlebag will be given a
warning for the first infraction and assessed a 60 second
penalty for each stage thereafter.
firearms shall be maintained in the same external condition
as originally manufactured from the factory. Allowed
modifications will be limited to engraving, hammer knurling
or turned down hammers as long as there is no lateral
movement or welded add-ons. Custom grips are allowed
including Birds head grips. The original external profile
shall be maintained. All external parts shall be of the type
manufactured for that particular model of firearm. Stock
parts may be swapped from gun to gun. Site modifications
will be limited to the filing of the front site. Triggers
shall be operational; “slip hammer” revolvers are unsafe.
No internal barrel modifications may be made.
“Bird’s Head” type grip frames on single action revolvers
are legal for MSA matches. Included are standard factory
production Bird’s Head Grip Frame guns and guns equipped
with aftermarket Bird’s Head Grip Frames. This includes
Standard, Factory Bird’s Head and guns equipped with
aftermarket Bird’s Head Grip Frames.
“Bisley Style Hammers” are legal on single action revolvers
for MSA matches. A Bisley Style Hammer may replace a
standard hammer so long as it is of the same manufacturer.
Example: It is legal to replace a standard Ruger Vaquero
hammer with a Ruger Bisley Hammer.
The only exception to these rules shall be special modifications
for medical/disability reasons; the match Director will make the
final call. Any contestant found to not comply with the above
stated rules shall be disqualified from the event.
Contestants must use a saddle and bridle constructed of
leather and in safe condition.
Contestants may use any bit or hackamore to reasonably
control their mount as long as it is not overly severe in
Mounted Shooters of America Inc. competitions are open to all
breeds of horses and mules, registered and unregistered.
Contestants are expected to compete with mounts that are healthy
and in good physical condition. Horses should be introduced and
conditioned to the sound of gunfire prior to competing in an MSA
match. New contestants and/or mounts shall demonstrate that they
can safely control or be controlled during the completion of a
course of fire prior to entering a competition. No abuse of
animals will be allowed. This is a Match Director call, done with a
warning first. If disregarded, expulsion from the match will
PATTERN SAFETY AND GUN CHANGE GUIDELINES:
“course of fire” or pattern of riding is commonly referred
to as a “course” and should be designed for maximum
enjoyment of competitors and spectators, while testing
horsemanship and shooting skills. The safety of contestants,
spectators and horses is a principle concern. It is MSA’s
intention to standardize all courses. Standardization of
size will provide contestants with the opportunity to create
true time records for specific venues and events.
mounted shooting pattern is to have 10 balloon targets. A
Contestant is to engage the pattern with two single action
revolvers loaded with not more than 5 approved cartridges,
per revolver. Revolvers are used one at a time. With the
first revolver, a contestant must engage and shoot the
balloon targets in the first half of the pattern. After
completing the first half of the course, the contestant
shall holster the now empty revolver and draw the second
revolver and ride to and engage and shoot the balloon
targets in the second half of the stage. A 5 second penalty
will be assessed for any contestant that does not holster
the first revolver.
Match Director will have the responsibility of making final
inspections of the course before the contestant gets their
go. All Contestants may ask questions regarding the course
of fire prior to crossing the starting line.
will not be closer than 25 feet to the side rails of the
arena and 25 feet to the end rail and balloons shall be a
safe distance from the spectators.
completing the course all contestants report to the
armorer’s table to unload.
Electronic beam “barrel racing” timers, such as the Pegasus
Timer or FarmTek Timers, are preferred for larger championship
events. The contestant and horse shall start the course of fire
from behind a predetermined start/finish line.
Xtreme Qualifier is an eliminator style Jackpot shoot. All
contestants will be separated into 6 divisions. It will be
gender split with the Non-Pro division, Semi-Pro division,
and Pro division. Platinum division will shoot in one of
these divisions and will not be separated into an additional
division. Match Directors may alter these stages at their
Qualification is determined by the fastest times combined in
the qualifying stages and the top half in a division will
return (maximum of ten) for the final stage.
stage is the only score that will determine placement of
Xtreme Handicap is an eliminator style Jackpot
non-division, non-gender, non-Platinum split.
Qualification is determined by the fastest times combined in
the 2 qualifying stages with the handicap applied with the
top half (maximum of ten) returning for the final stage. The
following handicap will be applied per stage:
Non-Pro – Minus 2 seconds per stage
Semi-Pro – Minus 1 seconds per stage
Pro – Even
cumulative score of the 3 stages determines the winner with
the handicap applied.
Match Competitions are generally 4 to 6 stage matches. The
number of courses should be determined prior to the start of
needs to have 10 competitors to have an event qualify.
affiliate club should have at least one Buckle Match per
Matches can run in conjunction with Xtreme Qualifier
Match competitions are generally run over the course of two
days, however, 4 stage matches may be held in a single day.
Mounted Shooting matches are scored according to elapsed
time plus the total of any applicable penalties. The total
sum of all of the courses determines the match winners. See
“Penalties” for more information.
Discretionary penalties have no place in timed events and
penalties shall be restricted to the following:
target: 5 seconds
Knocked over barrel: 5 seconds
Failure to follow course of fire: 10 seconds
Dropped gun: 5 seconds plus all missed targets.
a gate cone: 5 Seconds
Any hat that comes off before the timer results in a five second
penalty, unless it comes off of its own volition. The range
master will make the call as to whether the competitor aided
the hat coming off or not.
holster 1st revolver: 5 Seconds
cycle the rifle: 10 seconds
hold stock of rifle against the should or under the arm
while firing : 10 Seconds
out of the Match go order: 60 Seconds
comply with dress code: 10 seconds
Engaging the course without the consent of the Range Master
shall be assessed a penalty of 60 seconds.
Crossing the timing beam prior to completion of course: 60
rider dismounted during a course of fire shall receive a 60
second time, which is the maximum time for any run.
shall be a limit of one procedural per stage.
firearm that is dropped once the course has been engaged is
a dead firearm. No consequences will be received for a
firearm dropped after crossing the finish line.
penalty is to be given if a contestant knocks over a target
pole, with the exception of a pattern that has a designated
gate. The targets shall be burst by direct gunfire.
All targets whether standing or lying down shall be burst by
gunfire to be considered a hit. Where controversy occurs as
to how a target was broken, the Match Director’s call is final.
A Match Director may rely on video replay to determine his call
and it is encouraged that he does so.
rider must engage all targets whether standing, broken or
missing or will be assessed a 5 second penalty.
contestant hits two balloons IN THE SAME HALF OF THE STAGE
with one shot they may use the remaining round to pick up a
target they may have missed in that half of the stage. If a
contestant misses a balloon on the first half of a stage and
is able to engage the second half of the stage and breaks
the missed target in the course of fire without missing the
sequence of the second half, this will count and no
procedural will be given. The essence of this rule is to
reward the contestant for proper conduct and to recognize
excellence in accuracy.
contestant will have been determined to engage the course
once he has crossed the start line or is on the clock.
Thereafter any mechanical malfunction(s) of your firearm or
gear, including your horse, will not constitute a re-ride.
contestant is notified during or after the completion of a
stage that a timekeeper error or timing malfunction occurs
the contestant will be granted a re-ride. The timekeeper
and the Match Director will determine if a re-ride is granted.
run is interrupted, the Match Director makes the call for a
contestant accepts a course that is set up incorrectly
(wrong color balloon on the wrong pole), the contestant will
not be offered a re-ride. The competitor will be required
to engage the correct pattern of balloon regardless of
placement. The Match Director is encouraged to insure this
does not happen and competitors are encouraged to make sure
their course of fire is correctly set up but on occasion,
errors do occur and are missed.
PROTESTS OF RANGE MASTERS DECISIONS
contestant receives one point for entering and one point for
each contestant he or she places above in the overall
will be counted toward saddles for overall points winners in
their divisions and those saddles will be awarded at the MSA
will be awarded for Main Match and Rifle (which will be
tracked separately). No points will be awarded Xtreme
Qualifier, Xtreme Handicap, “Fun shoot”, Teams or any other
type of match other than those mentioned above.
Saddle winners must compete at MSA World Finals to win a saddle
remain with a contestant as they move up or down
Contestants must attend a minimum of 3 MSA matches to attend
the MSA World Finals. One of those matches must have been a
national, regional or state competition.
Contestants at MSA functions are responsible for having
their revolvers loaded with issued ammunition by the shoot
producer. Once a contestant accepts the ammo taken from the
loading area, it is his/her ammo for that course.
contestant should accidentally or otherwise fire a round
prior to entering the arena they may not obtain additional
ammo for that round. A 60 second penalty will be given on
the stage. Potential disqualification from the entire match
may be awarded depending on the circumstances and will be
reviewed by the match director and officials.
is no "bad ammo".
contestants must bring ammo back to the loading area and
return/dispose of all brass after each course.
contestants must remain in the designated armory area, if
there is room, once their guns are loaded.
standard targets used in Mounted Shooting competitions are
helium quality balloons.
inflated, a target should measure 6 to 9 inches in diameter.
Care should be taken to make sure that targets are of
uniform size for all competitors. Balloons shall be of two
distinctly different colors; it makes it easier for a
contestant to define the first half from the second half of
a course. Some courses will use the same color for all
safety reasons target stands should be made of a flexible
material like PVC or polyethylene pipe no larger than ¾ inch
in diameter, except when using an automated target system.
Standard target poles should be 48 inches high, but can be
varied to ground level to increase the variety possible
within each mounted shooting course. Traffic cones make
excellent, safe bases for target poles. Once the contestant
starts the course they have accepted their course.
contestants are responsible for their own personal safety
and that of their horse. They should also remain alert for
other unsafe conditions and/or unsafe conduct by others. All
contestants are considered safety officers and should take
immediate action to remedy an unsafe condition by reporting
anyone whose conduct is unsafe to the Match Director.
Safety Rules and Guidelines:
Firearms will be treated as if they are loaded.
loading and unloading of firearms should be done under the
supervision of the designated armorer.
firearms shall remain unloaded until the contestant is
called to the loading area.
contestants shall use the “match supplied” blank ammunition.
More than one ammo product may be supplied to allow the
competitors a choice. No personal ammunition of any type is
to be allowed at MSA competitions under penalty of
disqualification. No blank shall have an effective range
longer than 20 feet for contestant and spectator safety
firearm shall be cocked until immediately prior to engaging
firearms shall be left unattended at any time during a match.
Contestants are expected to compete safely within their
individual capabilities at all times. Control your firearm's
muzzle direction at all times.
Contestants will NOT ride into the course while balloon
setters are inside. Contestants will not enter the arena
during stage changes. When the announcement is made to clear
the arena all contestants will precede immediately to the
closest out gate.
Spectators shall not be allowed in horse staging areas and
contestants shall be knowledgeable and proficient in the
safe use of firearms.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the arena, staging and
shooting areas. This includes all persons, contestants,
match Directors, anyone else in these areas.
Contestants shall not consume any alcoholic beverage until
they have completed all of their shooting for the day and
have unloaded, inspected, and stored all of their firearms.
Violators will be disqualified immediately from the match
and entry fees will be forfeited. Repeat offenders will be
banned from MSA competitions. This rule applies to any
medication that may alter a contestants’ level of
Contestants shall have no live ammunition on their person or
in their cartridge belts or saddlebags.
Contestants have final responsibility to make sure their
firearms are loaded, check for missing or dented primers,
cylinders rotate freely and to be certain they are properly
indexed prior to stage engagement. The armorer is not
responsible. There will be no re-rides for ammo or firearm
Abusive language or conduct shall not be tolerated and at
discretion of Match Director, shall be given a warning or
abusive behavior to animals either in or out of the arena.
*Copyright: Property of Mounted Shooters of America, Inc., no
reprints or reproductions without permission.
All contents © 2013 Mounted Shooters of America, Inc.
All rights reserved.