Clay target league features nearly 22,000 spring shooters, with 20 states now on board

Nearly 22,000 student-athletes (21,917) representing 804 high school teams are taking part in high school clay target leagues affiliated with the USA High School Clay Target League (USAHSCTL) this spring.

The league is the largest high school clay target shooting sports program in the nation, with almost 26,000 students participating in league programs during the 2017-18 school year.

High Schools in Colorado, Utah, South Carolina, Missouri, and Washington joined the league this spring, bringing the total number of league-affiliated state programs to 20. Participating students are guided by more than 6,200 volunteers who serve as coaches, range safety officers, and additional support.

“Clay target shooting as an activity for high school athletes continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” said Jim Sable, league president, “The record-setting growth we’ve seen shows the demand for alternative high school activities related to America’s longstanding outdoor traditions.”

The league’s co-ed and adaptive nature are key attractions to high schools nationwide, the league said in a news release Wednesday, April 4. The league is fully Title IX compliant with both male and female athletes competing on the same teams. Additionally, it’s an "adaptive" sport, which allows students with physical disabilities to take part.

“We take pride in that athletes of all types are able to participate in clay target shooting,” said John Nelson, league Vice President. “The league’s True Team scoring system is designed so that everyone’s score matters, not just the top shooters on a team.”

According to the release, the league involves the safest sport in high school, with no reported injuries since the inception of the league in 2001. To participate in the league, each team must have the approval of their school’s administration. The league is the only 100-percent school-approved clay target shooting sport program in America.

Also according to the release, the league attracts student athletes to participate in shooting sports while creating a "virtual" competition among high school teams throughout each state. Family travel is minimal because practice and competition are conducted at a shooting range near the school’s location. Conferences are determined by team size rather than geographic location for fair competition.

Athletes earn True Team scoring points as determined by their performance and ranking against all athlete scores within their team’s conference. The team score and overall standing are calculated by adding the earned points from qualifying athletes and are posted on the league's website. Athletes and their families track their individual and team performance on their phone, tablet or computer via the Shooter Performance Tracker.

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