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Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA).

The ATA sanctions three forms of competition: singles, handicap, and doubles:

Singles: Shot from the 16 yard line, the front line on a trap field. Most ATA singles are

100 target events, with "championship" events at larger shoots running 200 targets. Shooters are assigned to a 5-person squad, which rotates through each of the five posts on each trap field – five shots each post, for each round of 25.

Handicap: Shot like singles, but at varying yardage distances. Most starting shooters start at the 20 yard line, in hopes of working their way back to the 27 yard line (based on performance in prior events). Ladies and sub-juniors start at the 19 yard line. Most registered shoots feature "yardage groups" for purposes of trophies and other awards. Also, shooters should always shoot in squads of similar yardage, typically allowing no more than two yards between shooters in a squad. This enhances safety and avoids unnecessary distractions.

Handicap yardage is "earned" based on raw scores and placement in earlier events. When a shooter "earns" yardage, a "punch" is made on the shooter's paper card. This is called "earning a punch."

Doubles: Features two targets thrown simultaneously at the same angle each time. Like singles, doubles are shot from the 16 yard line. Most registered double events throw 100 targets (50 pairs).


Down The Line (DTL).

The traditional DTL shooting layout is set up with 5 stands in a crescent shape 16 yards from a traphouse, which throws a random target from an oscillating trap between 0 and 22.5 degrees to either side of a center post, set 50-55 yards from the traphouse. The clay should always be on a common trajectory for height, even though it is variable in horizontal angle. The average speed for a down the line clay target leaving the traphouse is usually 42mph.

A normal competition would have the competitor shooting at 100 targets in total in a day. This would be built up of 25 targets at 4 different layouts (traps) with 5 targets shot on each stand rotating on a 1 > 2 >>> 5 basis, hence 100 targets total.

The scoring of points is 3 points for first barrel kill, 2 points for a second barrel kill, 0 points for a lost target. A perfect score is therefore 100 targets each 'killed' with the first barrel, total 300 points. The 100/300 is a real achievement of the trap shooter.

Scores are expressed with number of kills followed by number of points e.g. 98/292 would mean 2 birds missed completely and a total of 8 points dropped due to having second barreled 2 including missing 2. Competitions are decided only by points, so this score would beat a 100/291.

The competition is shot in 'squads' of a maximum of 5 shooters occupying the 5 stands which are also called pegs. These squads are not usually teams as such, but groups of individual shooters shooting in turn i.e. Competitor 1 on peg 1 shoots 1 target; then competitor 2 on peg 2; etc. until each has shot 5 targets from each peg. They then move one peg to the right before shooting a further 5 shots in turn from that peg and so on until 5 shots have been taken from all 5 pegs, the 25 targets on that layout (aka trap).

DTL is perhaps the 'easier' single shot to make of any clay shooting discipline, but the result is an incredibly high standard of competition. Even a small club shoot will see almost perfect scores posted by the better shots, so concentration and mental strength are the real talents displayed by competitors.

Source: Wikipedia


Included in this group are Olympic Trap, Universal Trench and Olympic Double-Trap.Olympic Trap uses 15 trap machines that are located in a trench in front of the shooters.Six shooters form a squad and shoot a single target in turn.The shooters stand in a line behind the trench.Targets are set in different 'patterns'.Universal Trench uses the same shooting range as Olympic Trap, but only uses the middle 5 machines.Shooters shoot targets in rotation as per Olympic Trap.Patterns of targets are different.Olympic Double-Trap uses the same shooting range again and only uses the middle 3 traps.Two targets are launched simultaneously.The shooter must shoot one shot at each target.


Included in this group are ATA Trap, DTL Trap, Double-Rise and ATA Trap Doubles.A single trap is located 16 yards in front of the line of shooters.There are 5 shooters in a squad and each shoot a single target in turn for both ATA Trap and DTL Trap.The main difference between the two is that only one cartridge may be loaded for ATA but both barrels can be used for DTL.The widest angle for the target also varies between the two disciplines.Maximum cartridge load for ATA is 32g and 28g for DTL.ATA Trap Doubles and Double-Rise are where two targets are launched off the same machine and the shooter must fire one shot at each target.All disciplines are shot over the same shooting range.In 2017 FITASC introduced a new discipline called TRAP1, which is similar to DTL Trap but shot over a Trench range. There are 6 shooters to a squad, maximum load is 28g.


Included in this group are English Skeet, NSSA Skeet, Olympic Skeet and Olympic Skeet Doubles.The same range is used for all disciplines.The differences between them are variations of shooting sequences and speeds/distances of targets.Two trap 'houses' are located at opposite ends of a semi circle.Single targets are launched at which the shooter has only one shot.On some stands, two targets will be launched simultaneously (one target from each traphouse).


Included in this group are English Sporting (Doubles), 5-Stand Sporting and FITASC Sporting.The main theme is the simulation of live field shooting.Targets must comply with strict range setting rules for safety and fairness.English Sporting is mainly set using combinations of 'doubles' – in other words, two targets (one shot at each target) where the shooter has one shot at each target.FITASC Sporting is more difficult in that there is a far greater variation of targets using both singles and doubles.5-Stand Sporting uses Sporting targets but the group/squad of shooters stand in a line and shoot a target one after the other (unlike in the other two disciplines where only one shooter is on the shooting stand).

Source: CTSA

Universal Trench
(often referred to as Universal Trap, Five Trap or UT)

Courtesy of http://majuraparkgunclub.com.au

It is an international shooting discipline governed by FITASC.

Each round of Universal Trench consists of 25 single targets with two shots allowed at each one. Scoring is based on a single point being awarded for each hit, regardless of whether it was the first or second shot. Most domestic competitions are shot over four rounds making a total score out of 100. Selection shoots for the GB Team and most international competitions are shot over 200 targets.

When a shooter calls for a target it will be released immediately from one of a group of five traps (see adjacent). The shooters do not know which trap will be triggered, and therefore which target they will receive, which gives the feeling of a random selection of targets. In reality however, each Universal Trench layout is based on a 'scheme' which is controlled by a computer. This means that, although the sequence of the targets will be different for each competitor, they will all receive the same targets by the end of the round.

Universal Trench is shot in squads of six over five stands using a 'shoot and move' method where the shooter moves to the next stand to their right after taking each shot (stand five moves round to wait behind stand one).

Universal Trench requires five traps set approximately 1m apart in a trench 15m in front of the shooters.

Each trap is set to send targets 60m-75m at various elevations (1.5m-3.5m high at 10m from the trap) and various horizontal angles (0 to 45 degrees).

Sources: http://majuraparkgunclub.com.au/shooting/universal-trench/


By Lester L. Greevy, Jr.

There are two trap games shot in the Olympics. First is Trap in which a single target is thrown. At the Atlanta 1996 Olimpics, Double Trap, using 2 simultaneous targets was introduced. Both games differ significantly from their American counterparts.

The first difference is the target. The International or Olympic target is larger in diameter (110 mm vs. 108 mm) than the American target. It also has a lower profile and is constructed more substantially and as a result is harder to break. The International target has to be more substantially constructed because it is thrown 76 meters or 83 yards, which is 66% further than the American target's 50 yard flight.

The target's flight angles are wider too. The ATA target corresponding to the old #2 hole setting flies within 17.14 degrees each side of the center. The International target extends the angles to 45 degrees each side of center.

And not only are the angles wider, but the height varies. The ATA specifies a target shall be between 8 feet (2.4 m) and 12 feet (3.7m) high, 10 yards out from the trap. Nine feet is recommended and the targets are expected to be consistent and regular, the Olympic settings are controlled by 9 tables sometimes called schemes, which set forth explicit elevations and angles for each of the 15 traps.

Their elevations took 10 meters (11 yards) from the front of the trap house or bunker can in any scheme vary from a low of 1.5m (5 ft.) to a high of 3.3m (11 ft.).

Imagine a 45 degree right hand target only 5 feet high traveling 83 yards and your next target being a 45 degrees left and climbing to over 50 feet high or anywhere in between and you will start to understand what Olympic trap is all about.

International Trap is frequently called Bunker or Olympic Trench. That is because the trap house is over 60 feet long, 8 feet wide, and about 6'6" high inside. It is dug into the ground so that its roof is flush with the ground level, on the same level as the shooting station. It is typically made of concrete, with a concrete roof and looks for all the world, like in military fortification, hence the name Bunker or Trench.

Inside the Bunker are 15 traps, set in groups of 3, one group for each of the 5 shooting stations. The traps are stationary and are set each morning to correspond to 1 of the 9 schemes from the rule book. Height, distance, and angle are then verified by a jury, made up of shooters, officials, and organizers.

Because the height is set first and then distance and because each trap is set to a different height, but the same distance, all the targets are leaving the trap at different speeds. That adds greatly to the difficulty.

The good news is that you are allowed to fire 2 shots at each target and a visible chip from either shot counts as a "hit" target, except in a final round using "flash" target in which "dust" will count as a

Hit. Flash targets are made with a chalk similar to carpenter's chalk sealed into the concave portion of the target's dome. The chalk leaves a cloud of orange dust in the air when hit solidly and is more easily photographed by the television cameras, which is why they are used in the finals.

In Bunker, there are 5 shooting stations, but they are in a straight line as opposed to an arc, as in ATA. They are each 15 meters back from the front edge of the Bunker and 3 meters apart from each other, centered on the middle trap of the 3 traps set to serve that station.

Although there are 5 shooting stations, there are 6 shooters. #6 stands behind station 1. The shooters rotate to the right after every shot instead of after every 5 in a strictly choreographed dance in which #1 shoots, removes his empties, waits for #2 to shoot, then reloads and moves to stand at #2's left side, while #6 moves to station 1. When #3 shoots, #2 moves to his side and #1 assumes station 2 and awaits his turn to shoot. After #5 shots, he unloads his gun and rotates, walking behind the referee to station 6. This continues until each shooter has fired at 25 targets.

A computer controls the selection of targets and each shooter will see the same number of each target which will typically be 2 rights, 2 lefts and 1 straight away from each station. Each station is servedby 3 traps set in a group. The center trap, directly in front of the station, and the other traps being each 1 meter to the left and right of the center. The center trap throws its target within 15 degrees of each side of the centerline. The right trap throws up to 45 degrees left and the left trap throws up to 45 degrees right.

The guns used in Bunker can be no larger than 12 gauge and are typically over and unders. Semi-autos and pumps are rarely seen. There are 3 primary reasons for this: First, because 2 shots are allowed, 2 different chokes are a definite advantage. A second reason has to do with the superior reliability of the O/U. If only one shot is fired, it is mandatory to clear the action of the semi-auto before you move, but one needs only break open the O/U. Clearing the action of the semi-auto every shot can consume a lot of energy as well as be a distraction to the next shooter who you have just distracted once by bouncing an empty hull off his legacy. (Remember, the shooters are standing on the straight line, rather than an arc.) Further, the closing of the semi's bolt tends to set off the voice release microphones required by International Rules. Bunker shooters have developed a unique method of mounting and closing the O/U's just to avoid this problem.

There is nothing like ATA squad rhythm in bunker. Each shooter is given 10 seconds from the time the prior shooter completes his shot to call for the target, most take between 6 and 8. They shoot very deliberately with a ritualized setup routine.

Matches are shorter. In International competition generally 75 targets are shot the first day and 50 the second. A final of 25 targets is shot by the top 6 scorers and added to their score to determine winner and places. There is a rule proposal in place for the Olympics in which what we now call the final would merely be a semi-final to select the top 4 shooters and in the medal final #3 and #4 would shoot off for bronze then #1 and #2 would shoot off for gold and silver. The reason for this change has to do with television.

In Bunker, ammunition is restricted to 24 grams of shot (7/8 oz.). Because of the harder, faster target, 7- 1/2's are favored and velocity is generally between 1300 and 1400 feet/second. In American, USAS sanctioned matches, unless you are Master Class or competing for a National Team spot, normal American 1-1/8 oz. loads may be used.

In Double Trap, the same guns, targets, shells, field, bunker and shooting sequence are used, but targets are thrown only from the middle 3 traps. The center target is a straight away 3.5 meters high measured at 10 meters and the left and right targets are set 5 degrees out from the centerline and 3 meters high. All targets fly 55 meters (60.5 yards) as opposed to the 44-48 yards for US Doubles.

There are 3 different schemes for setting the traps; left and center (A), right and center (B), and left and right (C). A match would be 50 targets from each setting and a final for the top 6 scores on the C setting. In American doubles, 40% of your first shots (stations 2 and 4) are straight aways. Target heights and speeds are the same and your angles are consistent because you are shooting from an arc. Each station being the same distance from the center of the trap. In double trap, only 6 to 13% of your first shots are straight and because the traps are set one meter apart and the shooting stations are on a straight line and there are three schemes, all the angles are different. As a result 50 straights are rare.

In Double Trap, you only really need 3 traps and a 12 foot, rather than 60 foot long bunker, so it's less expensive to set up. It is a new game and seems to favor young shooters. Kim Rhode won the Ladies Gold Medal in the '96 Atlanta Olympics at age 17 and Richard Foulds, a 21-year-old Brett, won the Mens Gold at Sydney in 2000. I believe that in the United States, Double Trap is the best area for growth in International Clay Target games and the quick ladder to success, especially for young shooters and especially girls with the desire for Olympic shooting.