Trap Shooting Booming as a High School, Community Sport

Lindsay Martin, a 17-year-old senio at Glen Allen High School in Virginia in honing her shooting skill in the hopes of making the Olympic team. Photo from washingtontimes.com.

We've reported in the past on the boom trap shooting has been experiencing in high schools and among teens across the nation, and that rapid growth is continuing.

This story from the Washington Times profiles Lindsay Martin, a rising senior at Glen Allen High School in Virginia, who is establishing herself as a competitive shooter with Olympic aspirations. Her school doesn't have a team, so she did what many others are doing: she joined a community trapshooting team at nearby Fort Lee.

Tom Wondrash, national director of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (a branch of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation) says part of the sport's rapid growth is due to its inclusive nature.

"What separates shooting sports from stick-and-ball sports is that when it's time for our kids to go to a tournament, all the kids can compete—heavy, thin, tall, short, fast, slow, boy or girl—it doesn't make them any different," Wondrash said in the story. "That's what really lends itself to our sport."

The SSSF currently has programs in 42 states and has seen participation grow from about 6,000 students to 13,000 in four years, Wondrash said.

Some schools are even awarding varsity letters for trapshooting. Groups like the SSSF help students organize teams and train coaches to teach shooters how to safely operate a gun.

Lindsay's team, the Dusters, was established through the SSSF and is comprised of 10 students, with Lindsay representing the only female. She says she's an advocate of women learning to shoot and that she teaches women how to shoot shotguns at her local gun range, according to the story. She shoots a Krieghoff K-80 O/U shotgun for trap, skeet, and sporting clays. Lindsay switches out the barrels to fit the gauge to the event.

The USA State High School Clay Target League is another trapshooting youth organization in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota that has seen its membership jump from 30 kids to almost 10,000 in recent years. Some teams have as few as five athletes, others have more than 80—but teams only compete against other teams of similar size. The teams are all coed, and students with physical disabilities are welcome.

Trapshooting can also boast something football, basketball, even softball can't claim—kids don't get hurt when competing.

"It's the safest high school sport," said John Nelson, vice president of the League. "In 14 years, we've never had an injury. None whatsoever. We've put more than 24,000 students through the program, pulled the trigger more than 12 million times, and never had an injury."

The League expands to expand to three more states next year.