SPORTING CLAYS is a challenging clay target game designed to simulate field shooting. On a Sporting Clays field, shooters are presented with a variety of targets that duplicate the flight path of gamebirds, such as flushing, crossing, incoming and other angling shots.

The field includes five shooting stations with shooters moving from one station to the next to complete the game. Each station presents shooters with a different type of shot. At a "decoying duck" station, incoming targets may float in toward the shooter. At each station, the first target is thrown as a single, followed by two (2) pairs. There are even special "rabbit" targets that are thrown on end and skitter across the ground. A full round of Sporting Clays consists of 25 targets.


Since no two Sporting Clay fields are alike and target angles and speed at individual stations may be changed from time to time, it is difficult for shooters to "groove in" as they might in trap or skeet. As a result, Sporting clays scores are generally not as high as the scores in traditional clay target games such as trap and skeet.

Sporting Clays is by no means an exclusively competitive game. Indeed, more shooters participate just for the fun of it and to get in some excellent practice for hunting seasons.


Firearms: Sporting Clays is essentially a field game and an upland gun is well suited to this shooting sport. The most popular guns for this game, especially on the competition side, are 12 gauge autoloaders and over/unders. Hunters who prefer the 20 gauge may certainly use their smaller gauge guns on the Sporting Clays field. Skeet, improved cylinder and modified, are the chokes most often used in this game.

Ammunition: Trap and skeet shotshells (shot sizes #9, #8, and #7-1/2 ) are the appropriate loads for Sporting Clays.


Sporting Clays had its origins in the United Kingdom more than 60 years ago where it was first developed as a teaching and practice layout for developing wingshooting skills. Introduced to the United States in the early 1980's Sporting Clays is the fastest growing of all the shotgun sports. More than several hundred courses have been established throughout the country and there are many more informal courses at smaller gun clubs and shooting preserves.

Article provided by NSSF web site: