Hit factor is the measure of a competitor's performance and how well they can manage the balance of speed and accuracy. Hit factor is exclusively used in USPSA competition and, the number represents how many points you score per second on a given stage. The higher the number, the better your stage score.
How do you calculate Hit Factor?
You can calculate your hit factor (HF) by adding your scored hits to get a total number of scored points (SP). You then subtract any penalties (P), and this number gives you your total points (TP) for a stage. You divide your total points (TP) by your stage time (T) to get your hit factor (HF). The calculation looks like this:
[ Scored Points (SP) – Penalties (P) ] / Time (T) = Hit Factor (HF)
Here are three examples, these hit factors are very close, but it's the balance of speed and accuracy that delivers the highest overall Hit Factor.
1. Most Penalties/Fastest Time
100 Scored Points (SP) with 30 Penalties (P) / 10 Seconds = 7.0 HF
2. Highest Score/Slowest Time
110 Scored Points (SP) with 0 Penalties (P) / 15 Seconds = 7.3 HF
3. Balance Speed and Accuracy Delivers the Highest HF
90 Scored Points (SP) with 0 Penalties (P) / 12 Seconds = 7.5 HF
What is the difference between stages with High vs. Low Hit Factors?
High hit factor (HF) stages are driven by higher points collected in a shorter period of time. Stages with fast transitions and low movement tend to run faster than larger stages with longer transitions.
Low hit factor (HF) stages collect fewer points over a longer period of time. Stages with longer transition times, high movement, and more challenging targets will take longer to collect the highest scoring points.
How do I improve my Hit Factor?
When you look at a stage, you should assess your ability to move efficiently through the course of fire in order to achieve the best score in the shortest amount of time. For example, evaluate the way you enter a shooting position with your gun up, ready to engage—or how fast you can exit a position to get to the next one. The top competitors make the movements look effortless as they collect the highest points.
In summary, use the highest power factor for your division, get better scoring hits, watch your penalties, and operate quickly to achieve the highest hit factor. It takes the right balance to win.