Trap Shooting official events and rules are governed by the Amateur Trap Shooting Association or ATA. The ATA is generally considered the governing body of American trapshooting. Another governing body is the Pacific International Trap Shooting Association (PITA) which is active mainly in the western US. PITA rules are nearly identical to ATA rules.
The ATA also runs the Grand American World Trap Shooting Championships, which is held every August. After decades in Vandalia, Ohio, the "Grand" moved to the new World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois. The Grand Trapshooting tournament attracts as many as 6,000 shooters for the thirteen day event, which is billed as the world's largest shooting event.
Trapshooting is conducted in rounds of 25 or 50 per Trap Field from 5 different stations. Typical trap shooting events consist of 100 or 200 targets.
Skeet Shooting is in part meant to simulate the action of bird hunting. The shooter shoots from 7 positions on a semi-circle, and an 8th position halfway between stations 1 and 7. There are two houses that hold devices known as "traps" that launch the targets, one at each corner of the semi-circle. The traps launch the targets to a point 15 feet above ground and 18 feet outside of station 8. One trap launches targets from 10 feet above the ground ("high" house) and the other launches it from 3 feet above ground ("low" house). At stations 1 and 2 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double where the two targets are launched simultaneously. At stations 3, 4, and 5 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house. At stations 6 and 7 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double. At station 8 the shooter shoots one high target and one low target. The shooter must re-shoot his first missed target, or if no targets are missed, must shoot his 25th shell at the low house station 8. This 25th shot was once referred to as the shooter's option as he was able to take it where he preferred. Now, to speed up rounds in competition, the shooter must shoot the low 8 twice for a perfect score. Governed by National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA).
Sporting Clays is often described as golf with a shotgun, the sport differs from skeet shooting and trap shooting in that it involves shooting clays at various locations which are launched at different velocities and angles. The original idea behind sporting clays was to create an experience that more closely reflects actual hunting conditions. Whereas top-tier skeetshooting and trapshooting professionals may have hit ratings nearing 100%, the best sporting clay shooters hit their targets only about 85% of the time. Governed by National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA)
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