A safe and popular sport that everyone can enjoy for a lifetime!
Trapshooting is one of the three major sports of competitive clay target shooting sports with a shotgun. The other primary shooting sports are skeet shooting and sporting clays. They are distinguished roughly as follows:
• In trapshooting, the targets are launched from a single “house” or machine, generally away from the shooter.
• In skeet shooting, targets are launched from two “houses” in somewhat “sideways” paths that intersect in front of the shooter.
• Sporting clays includes a more complex course, with many launch points.
The layout of trapshooting field differs from that of a skeet field and/or a sporting clays course. There are variations of events within each shooting sport group.
History Of Trapshooting
Trapshooting is enjoyed throughout the world’s countries and has been a sport since the late 18th century when real birds were used. Birds were placed in traps which were then released. Artificial “birds” (clay targets) were introduced in the late 1800s.
Olympic trap was introduced to the Olympics in 1900. In the 2013 Summer Olympics, Kim Rhode became the first American ever to win Olympic medals in five consecutive Olympic Games in an individual sport.
All League events occur at a shooting range (often referred to as a “gun club”) that provides the proper trapshooting field that includes shooting stations and a trap house.
Equipment & Gear
All student athletes are required to supply their own shotgun and must use factory ammunition. All types of smooth-bore shotguns, including semi-automatics, may be used provided their caliber does not exceed 12-gauge. Guns of smaller than 12 gauge may be used. About 80% of participants use 12-gauge shotguns. Most other athletes use a 20-gauge shotgun. Athletes are also required to wear proper eye and ear protection while on any part of the shooting range. Each athlete will also promote a positive image by wearing appropriate attire during all shooting events.
A practice or competition event will consist of shooting two 25 target rounds for a total of 50 targets from the 16-yard station. Up to 5 shooters (squad) will occupy the stations on a trap field. Events (practice or competition) can be scheduled up to twice a week for the team as long as a coach and Range Safety Officer are present.
The trap field refers to the entire layout of the trap house and shooting positions on the station. The station is the concrete walkway that contains multiple shooting positions (16 to 27 yards from the trap house) where the shooter stands. The trap house is the structure in front of the stations from which the clay targets are released. The trap machine that is filled with clay targets is located in the trap house and oscillates left to right within a 54 degree arc (up to 27 degrees right and left of center), and at least a 34 degree arc (up to 17 degrees right and left of center). The competitor does not know where in that arc the target will emerge when they call for a target via a voice-activated microphone or by a puller – a person who uses an electric switch to release the target.
Each shooter will have all the equipment and ammunition necessary to complete the round each time they occupy a shooting station. All guns must be carried open and unloaded when moving to the athlete’s assigned starting station. Test firing of a shotgun is not allowed.
At the moment the shooter calls and until the target appears, the shooter must stand in the “READY” position including:
• Both feet entirely within the 16-yard shooting station area.
• Holding the gun with both hands.
• The “squad leader” (Station 1 occupant) calls for a single target to be launched as an example of flight.
Upon a “START” command from the scorekeeper, each shooter, in turn, will:
• Take proper shooting position.
• Load one shell.
• Close the action on the gun.
• Clearly call “PULL” or some other command for the target.
• Shoot at the target.
• Scorekeeper does not comment when a target is “HIT”
• Scorekeeper will say “LOST” out loud when a target is missed.
• Discharge empty shell.
• Wait for next turn.
A shooter may close the action on the gun only after the previous shooter has completed his/her turn. No shooter will turn from the shooting station before the shooter’s gun is open and empty. Each shooter should begin his/her turn within a few seconds after the last shooter has fired at a target and the result has been recorded. At the end of each round, the scorekeeper announces the scores for that round in firing order.
Moving From Station To Station
After the first 5 shots are completed by the entire squad, each shooter will move to a new station by:
• Verifying the gun is unloaded.
• With the chamber open and the gun pointed in a safe direction, rotate in a clockwise manner to the next station.
• Station 1 will move to station 2, 2 to 3, 4 to 5, and 5 to 1.
• Station 5 will rotate to their right moving away from the station 4 shooter who is moving to station 5 and continue to move behind the other shooters to station 1.
• Await the “START” command from the scorekeeper.
• Repeat process until all shooters have each shot 25 targets.
• No shooter will move until the last target in a round is completed.
Completion Of The Round
Upon the completion of a round, the scorekeeper will declare “OUT”. Shooters will be notified of their scores, make their shotguns safe, and carry the gun in the approved manner and exit the station.
After the event is completed, the coach submits all athlete scores to the League. On Saturday at 9 p.m., all scores are calculated and published on the website.