Sporting Clays

Sporting Clays is designed to simulate field shooting of such game as partridges, pheasant, ducks, rabbits, quail and other small game.

The layout at Coffs Harbour consists of 8 stations with a total of 25 targets per round. The targets are set up around a course, which the competitor walks, halting at each station where the shooter will be presented with a series of targets. All shooters get the same targets from each station with the target sequence entered on a ‘menu board’.

Sporting clays are thrown in a great variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations and distances. They can be singles or doubles, from in front or from behind, low or high,  crossing, incoming, rolling along the ground, in the open or partly hidden by trees, bushes or other obstacles.

Many targets must be hit in a small zone of fire, perhaps between the trunks of a couple of trees, or perhaps in the case of a low target, before hitting the ground. Combinations of targets can be thrown from the same trap and a number of different targets can be thrown while a shooter remains on the one station.

Down the Line (DTL/Trap)

Down The Line targets are thrown from a single above ground trap, with the targets moving away from the shooter. The layout is made from five paths that start at 15 metres and finish at 25 metres. The lanes themselves radiate in an arc from the trap.

Targets are thrown at a constant height and distance, but may oscillate from 22.5o left of centre to 22.5o right of centre. The event is shot in the gun up position with the shooter calling for the target.

A round of DTL consists of 25 targets and there are usually 5 or 6 shooters in a squad. During each round, one target is shot in each lane on a rotational basis, providing the shooter with changing angles to the trap house. There are a number of different events shot including common mark (15 metres), handicap, double rise and continental to name a few.


Both American and ISSF Skeet are shot at the club, however it is the ISSF Skeet that is the Olympic discipline. There are a number of differences between the two disciplines, but suffice to say, the ISSF Skeet is faster and more difficult to shoot.

In both forms, rounds are shot in brackets of 25 targets with targets being released from two opposing towers – a high tower and a low tower. Targets have a fixed flight path.

There are seven shooting positions laid out in a semicircle and an eighth positioned between the two towers. This presents the shooter with constantly changing angles to targets and the shooters ability to learn and maintain a smooth swing is what makes this discipline challenging and exciting.

5 Stand

5-Stand is named for its five shooting stations (stands or cages) that are placed in a straight line near each other. It is a Sporting Clays layout in a much smaller area. The five shooting stations are surrounded by up to eight traps that present a variety of clays that converge in front of the competitors.

Clays can be going away, incoming, crossing, overhead from behind, running rabbits, curling battues or any other variety of target available. Targets can be presented as singles or as a variety of pairs. 5-Stand layouts are often established using the Down the Line and Skeet trap houses at gun clubs to which additional traps are added. Each trap location is numbered. As competitors move to each station they get a different target angle from the fixed traps.

A round of 5-Stand is 25 targets with the same targets presented at each station. In front of each stand is a ‘menu board’ on which is listed the numbers of the traps that will present targets at that station. However, with the SSAA version of 5-Stand, these targets are presented in an unknown, random order giving the competitor more of an element of field shooting conditions.

The target sequence is often controlled by a computer controller or the traps can be manually released by an operator following a printed program. 5-Stand is a visually appealing spectator sport as all layouts are different.

Double Rise

Double rise consists of two clay targets released simultaneously on two separate flight paths. One target is set to fly at 22o to the left of centre and the second target is set to fly 22o to the right of centre.

The game is shot in squads of 5 shooters from five shooting stations radiating in an arc behind the trap. Shooters take turns at shooting, with 5 pairs being shot from each station. Typically thirteen pairs are presented on the first walk through. This is followed by a short break, then twelve pairs are presented on the next walk through -50 targets being delivered to each shooter.

Ball Trap

Ball Trap is a single trap which oscilates both horizontally and vertically with targets going away from the shooter. It is shot in a gun up postion and single targets are thrown. Single barrel and double events are held.

Ball Trap is shot is squads of up to 6 shooters from stands radiating in an arc 15 metres behind the trap. The targets are thrown faster than down the line targets and are correspondingly more difficult to shoot.

One Comment

  1. Hi, I’m Brad Baker from kempsey. I’m just getting back into the clay target shooting & I’ve only shot dtl, but I’ve been keen to shoot sporting clays. Watched this heaps on you tube & it looks like fun. Hope to come up & have a shot with you all soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *