New to clayshooting? This is what English Sporting, English Skeet and Trap shooting involve

These are the main different types of clayshooting disciplines you are likely to come across.

George Digweed shooting

The mighty George Digweed shooting English Sporting

English Sporting

This clayshooting discipline is probably the nearest to gameshooting as it aims to simulate the different targets a shooter comes across in the field. The shooting ground will be set up to replicate the field physically as much as possible, with hills, trees and open grassland all part of the terrain. The different types of clays will all travel at different speeds too, so there is almost endless variation.

A typical 100-target competition may be shot over as many as 10 or more stands, each offering a different type of target – going away, incoming, crossing, rising or falling.

Sometimes the targets are presented as simultaneous pairs (two targets in the air together), or ‘pairs on report’, when the trapper releases the second target the moment he hears your first shot.

The international version of the English Sporting clayshooting discipline is called FITASC Sporting.

trap shooting

Trap shooting is derived from live pigeon shooting

Trap shooting

Trap shooting has several different disciplines. You will probably come across Down the Line (DTL), Ball Trap, and Double Trap.  The Olympic discipline is Olympic Trap, which requires complex layouts not often encountered on UK shooting grounds.

The different clayshooting disciplines for trap all have slightly different forms of target presentation and different rules. However they do have one thing in common.  All the targets are going away from the firing position, originating from a trap house about 16 yards in front of the shooter.


Skeet range

A Skeet range features a high house, a low house and seven stands from where shots are taken

English Skeet

This is a game of relatively close-range crossing targets, presented from a high tower on the left of the range and a low tower on the right. English Skeet shooters take it in turns to shoot from eight different positions (or pegs) set in a semi-circle. There is a set sequence of targets which includes doubles – simultaneous birds in the air from both towers, crossing in the air in front of the shooter.

The Olympic discipline, Olympic Skeet, is broadly similar, but the targets are faster and the rules are slightly different. The US version, American Skeet, is also available on a few UK grounds.

Where to start?

Most clay shooters start by on a ground that offers English Sporting.

However, and slightly more unusually, some start on a skeet range. That is because some instructors favour targets from peg two on a skeet layout.