As the 2016 spring trap shooting season begins, 46 high school teams including four from the area, will take aim at a state trapshooting championship as part of the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League.
Sauk Prairie, Mineral Point, Dodgeville, and Rio are among the area teams participating in the league this year.
The Minnesota-based league, founded in 2001 by firearms safety instructor Jim Sable, will field more than 1,000 students from 47 Wisconsin high schools this season, showing a nine-fold increase since 2014.
During regular-season competition, which begins April 24, the high school teams will be broken up into conferences based on team size rather than location in an effort to promote equal competition. Following five weeks of matches, student shooters will compete individually and as teams in the state tournament on June 11 in Nekoosa.
According to the league’s website, the general inclusiveness of trapshooting can explain the sport’s ever-increasing popularity across the state.
Within the league, male and female students are allowed to compete together on the same team, and due to the adaptive nature of trapshooting, students with disabilities are able to take part in the sport as well.
The transportation cost and school expenses are kept to a minimum due to the league’s policy of “virtual competition,” in which high school teams compete against one another from their local shooting ranges. Results for each team are then calculated and posted on the league website.
Safety remains the primary focus for the league, which has boasted an injury-free slate since its inception 15 years ago. The league requires all participants to obtain a state Hunter Education Certificate, and every athlete must take a firearm safety course before participating in the sport.
More information and future match results can be found at http://www.wiclaytarget.com.