Again we refer to ATA, the North American governing body to sum up the three disciplines of American Trap:
Singles is considered to be the easiest of the three disciplines. In singles, the shooter stands 16 yards away from the center of the "trap house" and shoots at random targets that fly at various angles in front of him/ her. Shooters are grouped into squads, usually made up of up to five people. There are five positions that each shooter shoots from, for a total of five shots, or one round. This gives participants a different view of the target flying through the air. Each position is a constant 16 yards from the trap house each one is spaced three feet apart forming a small arc. Squads rotate between four trap fields called a "bank." When the shooter is finished shooting at targets from those four trap houses, they have completed a round of 100 targets, 25 at each bank. The premier shooting event in singles is the ATA Clay target Championship.
Doubles was added to tournament play in 1911. It is a modified version of Singles, but it is more difficult because shooters must break two targets fired at the trap house simultaneously. One clay pigeon flies to the left while the other flies to the right. The target path remains constant, but the challenge is if the shooter can hit both targets before they hit the ground. Each target is scored individually, not as a pair. There are no partners in doubles. Some shooters tend to use a shotgun with two barrels for doubles and one with one barrel for singles and handicap.
Handicap is considered the most prestigious event in trapshooting. As in other sports, handicapping strives to make the competition equal. This is accomplished by having the more skilled competitors stand further away from the trap house. Based on a shooter's past performances, a shooter is assigned a handicap distance which he/she must shoot. A competitor with a high handicap will shoot no closer than the 19 yard line, while the most skilled shooter is placed at the 27 yard line. It is extremely difficult to win an event from the 27 yard line. Only twice in the last ten years has a Grand American Handicap champion been a 27 yard shooter.
Other trapshooting disciplines include Olympic Trap, Double Trap (which is also an Olympic event) and Down-The-Line.
Olympic Trap is one of the ISSF shooting events, introduced to the Olympic program in 1900; the current version was introduced in 1950. In International competitions the course of fire is 125 shots for men and 75 shots for women. There is also a 25-shot final for the top six competitors. The ISSF website is www.issf-shooting.org for more information.
Double Trap is a relatively new Trap form, Olympic since 1996 (from 2008 it has Olympic status only for men), where two targets are thrown simultaneously but at slightly different angles from the station three bank of machines. The target speed is about 50 mph, very close to that of ATA doubles.
Canadian athletes achieved remarkable results in international competitions including the Olympics. Susan Nattrass, Cynthia Mayer and Paul Shaw, just to name a few, made Canada proud. Many of them shoot ATA trap as well and you will be able to meet them on the range. To find out more about our elite competing internationally please click here