Curious about Sporting Clays?
Sporting Clays can be considered fairly new compared to Trap and Skeet, but has grown in popularity over the last 20 years, especially in West Texas.
What makes the sport so interesting is that every course is different and they can be set up easy or hard depending on the target setter. The game is played on a course made up of shooting fields, usually 10 but there can be more. Each field has two or more trap machines that are placed to simulate shots a hunter would take in the field. The targets can be thrown as singles, report pairs, following pairs, or doubles, however the target setter wishes to set them up. The targets on each field will differ and they can either be standard, midi’s, mini’s, battue’s, rabbits or any combination thereof and they can also be different colors. The trap machines are set differently on each field so the shooter will get a variety of different shots in a 100 target round.
In competitive shooting, shooters are classified according to their ability. The seven classes go from M (Master) down thru E Class, and a new shooter who has never shot any registered targets will start in D class. Any shooter that has shot registered targets with the ATA, NSSA, or NRA will start one class lower than the highest class they attained in that association. Shooters only compete against shooters in their own class.
Shooting squads normally consist of 4 to 5 shooters with each shooter rotating as the squad moves from field to field since it is somewhat of a disadvantage to shoot first each time. For more complete rules and regulations you may want to check out http://www.mynsca.com (National Sporting Clays Association). The annual membership cost to belong to the NSCA is $40.00.
Sporting Clays, even to a seasoned competitor, is a very challenging sport and very seldom is there a perfect score shot. So if you are just getting in the game don’t expect to hit every target and remember that no matter how hard you try you’re going to miss some of them. A little frustrating, but look at the bright side - this sport will probably also teach you a new vocabulary.
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