Trapshooting is a specific form of clay target shooting. Trapshooting is a game of movement, action and split-second timing. It requires the accuracy and skill to repeatedly aim, fire and break the 4 1/4 inch disc which are hurled through the air at a speed of 42mph, simulating the flight path of a bird fleeing a hunter.
Trapshooting's continual growth and expanding popularity is due to the fact that people of all ages, incomes and abilities can compete. Nine year old boys shoot alongside 90 year old men. Many 70-year olds have been in the sport 55 years and some began just two years ago. Trapshooting's participants include millionaires and hourly wage earners, inventors and businessmen, former sports figures in other fields, professional men, farmers, truck drivers, musicians, actors, students and housewives.
The shooter is required to shoot at a target after he calls "pull." It does not matter in scoring if the shooter hits only a small piece of the target or whether he shatters the target. The target is considered a "dead" or "lost" bird. If the target is hit it is "dead." It is the shooters responsibility to check his own score.
Registered trapshooting is competition that is regulated by the Amateur Trapshooting Association. Gun clubs hold shoots in accordance with ATA rules, but they must apply and register for each shoot. All participants of these shoots must be ATA members. The shooters scores are recorded in the ATA office where all records are kept and yearly averages computed. The records are used for handicapping and classifying shooters.
In registered trapshooting, the rules specify that targets must be thrown no less than 48 yards no more than 52 yards and should be between 8 and 12 feet high and 10 yards from the trap. Shooters stand a minimum of 16 yards from the trap houses.