This spring, 27,577 student-athletes representing 1,308 high school and college teams will be participating in USA Clay Target League (USACTL) programs. In addition, more than 7,800 local volunteers will serve as coaches, range safety officers and team staff.
Governing virtual competitions between teams from 34 states, the USACTL offers trap, skeet, sporting clays and 5-stand leagues to secondary and post-secondary schools across the country. The virtual format cuts down on travel time and expense for families because practice and competitions are conducted at shooting ranges located near each school’s location. To keep things fair, conferences are determined by team size instead of location.
Over the course of each season, student-athletes earn points determined by their performances and rankings against all individual scores within their team’s conference. Team scores and overall standings are calculated by adding earned points from qualifying shooters. Student-athletes and their families can track individual and team performances online.
Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, the USACTL says more than 38,000 high school and college students are participating in its programs. The co-ed and adaptive nature of the shooting sports are key attractions. A Title IX-compliant sport, male and female student-athletes in the USACTL compete on joint teams. Additionally, student-athletes must complete firearm safety certification before they can participate in an USACTL team event.
Says John Nelson, president of the USACTL:
“After a tremendously difficult 2020 for schools and student athletes, we are pleased to surpass our pre-COVID spring participation numbers. The record-setting participation this spring is the result of the incredible efforts of coaches and families to overcome ongoing issues with the pandemic and ammunition shortages.”