The National Championship is a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone!
In order of importance, the three priorities of the USA High School Clay Target League are safety, fun and marksmanship. All participants and spectators are required to adhere to all event rules and requirements included in the League’s policies and procedures. Any participant or attendee who does not adhere to these rules will be disqualified and/or asked to leave the event. The event committee reserves the right to make alterations in or amendments to these rules at any time without notice.
All qualified student athletes, teams, and spectators are invited to the National Championship. For more information about eligibility and registration, click here.
In addition to the League/Championship rules below, attendees should familiarize themselves with the Club Rules found here. This includes information on ammunition, golf carts, camping, parking, and more at the MTA Homegrounds in Mason, MI.
Learn more about how shooting and scoring work!
Qualifying Round: Up to 1,800 student athletes will be assigned to shoot two 50-target sessions (100 total) for Saturday’s Qualifying Round. The top 400 student athlete scores will qualify to compete in Sunday’s Championship Round.
Championship Round: Qualifying athletes will be assigned to shoot two 50-target sessions (100 total) for Championship round. Championship awards are based on Championship Round targets only, NOT cumulative scores. Awards for ‘National Champion’, along with 1st-10th place in Male and Female categories.
Up to 240 teams consisting of five student athletes with up to two alternate student athletes. Team coaches will squad their teams prior to their scheduled shooting time.
Qualifying Round: Teams of five student athletes each will be assigned to shoot two 50-target sessions (100 total) for Friday’s Qualifying Round. The top 80 team scores will qualify to compete in Sunday’s Championship Round.
Championship Round: Teams of five student athletes each will be assigned to shoot two 50-target sessions (100 total) for Sunday’s Championship Round. Championship awards are based on Championship Round targets only, NOT cumulative scores. Awards for 1st-5th place.
For teams that registered two squads, the squads will be named “High School Team Name Squad 1” and “High School Team Name Squad 2”. Squad members cannot be interchanged between the two squads after competition begins. Alternates may replace a squad member prior to the start of a new Session. Teams with two squads are only eligible to win one team award.
- Squads are expected to shoot at their scheduled flight time, not before.
- Individual Competition: Athletes that miss their flights may NOT rejoin their assigned squad and must report to event staff for instructions.
- Team Competition: Teams may substitute alternate athletes at the start of the session for the entire session. Primary athletes may return to competition at the start of the next session. If a team member misses the start of the session and the team does not have an alternate, the athlete will receive a zero (0) for the session.
- Flight/Field/Post assignments are final. Trades, swaps, etc are not allowed.
- Control ejected shells so they do not disturb other athletes at their shooting station. All athletes are required to mount a shell catcher to any shotgun dispensing spent hulls outside of their occupied post. Spent hulls may land directly next to or behind the athlete by way of gravity. Any spent hull ejected from the shotgun by force towards another athlete will require a shell catcher to be applied immediately. In the case of a shell catcher malfunction the athlete must produce an apply a new shell catcher immediately.
- Athletes will shoot two consecutive rounds of 25 targets in each session.
- During each session, student athletes should place the second box of shells on the table behind the scorer for easy accessibility after the first round has been completed.
- Squads cannot take a break between rounds during each session except to retrieve the second box of ammunition and re-hydrate as necessary.
- Alternates may be used to replace a student athlete prior to the start of a session. The athlete name label supplied by the League for the scoresheet should be used.
- Squads must be prepared to shoot immediately after the previous squad completes their round, but are not to start before their scheduled flight time.
- Scoring disputes must be initiated by the student athlete only, and must be immediately after a scorer announces a lost target. Athletes should verify their score with the scorekeeper prior to leaving the field after a completed session. Refer to the League’s Policies & Procedures of “Challenging a Lost Target”.
- Coaching is not allowed while athletes are competing.
- Coaches may stand no more than three feet in front of the spectator sidewalk to monitor field competition for their team.
- Coaches may not communicate with scorers during competition.
- Coaches may aid special-needs student athletes that require assistance while competing.
- All shoot off qualifying individuals and teams will be required to report to the designated shoot off area in front of the clubhouse at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the shoot off.
- Each student athlete is responsible to pickup their own shells after the Session is complete.
Individual Competition Tiebreaking
Qualifying Round tiebreaker: The longest reverse run of hit targets by the athletes will be used to qualify for the Championship Round. The longest reverse run score will start from the last target of the final round and count backwards until a missed target is reached to determine the tiebreaker score. If there is a tie after the longest run is totaled, then a tie for the final qualifier(s) is declared and the student athletes will move on to the Championship Round.
Championship Round tiebreaker: The longest reverse run score will start from the last target of the final round and count backwards until a missed target is reached to determine the tiebreaker score. If the reverse run(s) are tied, a shoot off will occur.
Score and reverse run tiebreaker: Ties for award places after a reverse run tie has been determined will participate in a shoot-off where the student athletes will compete in a multi-target event.
The shootoff will begin with a round of 25 targets from the 16-yard line. All ties will be broken using the reverse run tiebreaker. If tied scores remain, then the shootoff will be conducted in the following manner:
The second shoot-off round will consist of up to 10 targets thrown (2 per station).
Once each athlete has successfully completed the 2 attempts at a given station, the squad will rotate in a clockwise manner to the next station. An athlete is removed from competition on their first target declared “Lost” as long as 2 or more athletes remain. The shoot off ends when one of the final 2 athletes suffers a “Lost” target and the remaining athlete breaks the final target in a given round. Once a round has been completed, remaining competitors will move on to the following rounds.
Round 1: 2 targets at each station from the 20-yard line
Round 2: 2 targets at each station from the 24-yard line
Round 3: 2 targets at each station from the 27-yard line
*In the event of competitors remaining after the 3rd round, target speed will be increased and competition will remain on the 27-yard line until competition concludes.
Additional tiebreaking rounds will be conducted if previous round scores are tied.
The following station starting assignments will be drawn from a hat to determine the rotation of shooters for the shoot-off.
2 shooters – stations 2 and 4
3 shooters – stations 2, 3, and 4
4 shooters – stations 2, 3, 4, and 5
5 shooters – stations 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
If more than 5 shooters are involved in the tie, they will be divided as equally as possible into two or more squads as needed.
Team Competition Tiebreaking
Qualifying Round tiebreaker: If a tiebreaker is required for the last Championship Round qualifying team, the team member with the highest round score from each team will be used to break the tie. Subsequent score comparisons will be used if the highest score is tied. In the event of a continued tie the reverse run tie breaker criteria will be used starting with the member from each team with the highest round score and continue to the other scores if tied.
Championship Round tiebreaker: If a tiebreaker is required for the Championship, the highest round score from each team will be used to break the tie. Subsequent score comparisons will be used if the highest score is tied up to the 10th score. In the event of a continued tie the reverse run tie breaker criteria will be used starting with the the highest round score.
Any remaining ties for award places will participate in a shoot off where the team will compete in a multi-target event for the team high score. Teams will be drawn from a hat for field assignments. Additional round(s) will be conducted after the first round if the score is tied. ONLY athletes that competed on the team squad the day of the championship may participate in the shoot off.
Team Shoot Off
Each athlete will be presented up to 2 targets per station. Once each athlete has successfully completed the 2 attempts at a given station, the squad will rotate in a clockwise manner to the next station. Highest scoring team wins the shoot off, team ties are broken via team qualifying criteria starting with highest round score through subsequent athletes followed by reverse run tie breaker criteria.
Round 1: 2 targets at each station from the 16-yard line
Round 2: 2 targets at each station from the 20-yard line
Round 3: 2 targets at each station from the 24-yard line
Round 4: 2 targets at each station from the 27-yard line
*In the event of competitors remaining after the 4th round, target speed will be increased and competition will remain on the 27-yard line until competition concludes.
Event Rules and Important Information
Targets and Ammunition
Competition targets are included with the participation fee. Qualifying athletes will shoot 100 targets for each event – weather permitting. All athletes are responsible for providing their own ammunition, which must adhere to shooting range specifications.
Reloaded ammunition is not allowed for use at any League event.
Voice-released targets will be used on all fields. Targets may be released manually in instances of equipment malfunctions.
Airline And Shipping Transportation Of Targets and Ammunition
If flight travel is being used it’s important for travelers to understand firearm and ammunition regulations from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Each airline also has special regulations for firearm and ammunition transportation and travelers should understand these requirements prior to booking their flight. The below airline examples will direct you to the special luggage requirements.
Shipping firearms or ammunition can be difficult due to detailed regulations and restrictions so it’s important that you understand the shipping company regulations. Below are a few examples.
Many practice fields will be available on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the tournament. Practice is available after competition Sessions are completed. Due to expected high participation levels, practice rounds may be limited to a reduced number of targets at any time.
Suspension of Competition Due to Hazardous Weather Conditions
In the event of inclement weather before or during the Championship, the League will make safety the first priority. When lightning is observed or thunder is heard, the event must be suspended. The occurrence of lightning or thunder is not subject to interpretation or discussion. Lightning is lightning; thunder is thunder.
Everyone will be asked to take shelter either inside of a building, shelter or vehicle. If, after lightning is seen, and it does not reoccur for 30 minutes, the event committee will review weather reports and the committee will decide if/or when the competition will resume.
If severe weather is forecast, and time permits, all participants will shoot a lesser number of targets as determined by the event committee. If time permits, all participants will shoot more targets until the prescribed number of targets has been shot. If weather does not permit completion of the shooting, the team with the highest score of the round(s) every shooter was able to complete, will be deemed the winner of that competition.
If a competition cannot be held due to severe/inclement weather, the competition and all future events will occur one day following the scheduled day.
IMPORTANT: Check the event’s website and Facebook page for important updates and re-start times.
Coaches should bring emergency contact information for all their athletes for reference if needed
See schedule for check-in times
Team competition head coaches must register at the check-in headquarters located inside the clubhouse. Student athletes participating in the team competition will report directly to their team’s assigned field.
Student athletes competing in the individual competition must register at the check-in headquarters located inside the clubhouse. Check-in MUST occur at least one hour prior to a student athlete’s scheduled shooting time.
Final qualifying teams need to have their coach check in to receive name labels and score sheets at least one hour prior to their scheduled start time. Final qualifying individuals are not required to check-in and will report to their assigned field at least 30 minutes prior to their scheduled time.
Shotgun Name Labels
To avoid lost or misplaced shotguns, student athletes should affix a label that includes their name, school team, and contact information to their shotgun.
Scheduled shooting times and field assignments
Specific time and field assignments for all participants are posted on the tournament’s website and clubhouse during the event. Athletes and teams will only be able to compete during their scheduled time on their designated field(s). Athletes and teams should arrive at least one hour before their scheduled time to allow check-in, squadding, and setup.
After the starting time for each day, all starting and completion times are estimated. It is important to be prepared to shoot immediately after the previous squad completes their round.
For team competition, coaches will be provided Session 1 and Session 2 scoresheets (two scoring sheets) and two sets of pre-printed name labels (Session 1 and Session 2). Coaches must:
1. Determine their team’s competition squad.
2. Apply Session 1 student athlete name labels on the Session 1 scoresheets in the preferred squadding order.
3. Pre-squad Session 2 using the same squad order as Session 1.
4. Discard the labels of any remaining squad/alternate members.
For individual competition, pre-squadding will be randomly selected and published on the schedule.
Range Safety Officials (RSO)
Range-supplied RSOs will be responsible for ensuring that athletes and teams safely follow all policies and procedures. The Chief Range Safety Officer will oversee all RSO’s and will ensure that athletes and teams shoot at their scheduled time and field in a timely manner. Everyone is expected to comply to all instructions of all RSOs.
In the event of a safety issue, RSOs are to take action to correct any safety concerns and notify the Chief RSO. The Chief RSOs will make all final decisions in all safety matters per the League’s Policies & Procedures.
Scorekeepers are provided by the host shooting range
Scores are recorded on the pre-squadded scoring sheet and tallied in the clubhouse. Scores will be posted on monitors if available and on the Clay Target Leaderboard available to digital mobile devices.
The only time a round score may be disputed is on the field immediately after a scorer has announced a lost target. Refer to the League’s Policies & Procedures of “Challenging a Lost Target”.
Scores are recounted by event officials to ensure accuracy. Mismarked or illegible scoring sheets are considered a ‘lost target’ by official scorers. All scores are considered final after final results are posted.
Patches will be awarded to those student athletes that achieve 25,50,75,or 100 straight during competition. Practice rounds are not eligible. See event staff for patch distribution.
One patch is awarded to the student for the highest-numbered straight.
Separate award ceremonies to be held at the conclusion of each competition.
If teams and/or student athletes cannot attend the event award ceremony, awards will be mailed out within two weeks.
The following awards will be awarded for event competition:
- Team: 1-5 places
- Female Individual: 1-10 places
- Male Individual: 1-10 places
- Overall Individual: 1 place
Spectator Area, Tents, and Chairs
All spectators are welcomed to attend the event. Team setups including tents and chairs are allowed BEHIND the field sidewalk.
If permitted by the host club, vehicles are temporary allowed to drive to the spectator and assigned field area prior to competition to unload gear. The area in front of the spectator sidewalk must remain clear always for event officials and maintenance vehicles. There is no cost for spectators and parking is free.
Food and Beverages
Food and non-alcoholic beverages can be brought to the event or purchased on event grounds and consumed in spectator or camping areas. Grills are only allowed to be used in designated parking or camping areas so the smoke is not disruptive to spectators and participants.
Friendly, obedient, and socialized pets are permitted at the event. Pet owners who bring their pet is at their own risk and agree to accept full responsibility for any physical damage or personal injury caused by the owner’s pet or to the pet while on event property. Pets brought to the event must be current on all vaccines and must be able to provide proof of a current rabies vaccination upon request. Flexi-leads are not permitted. At all times, pets must be kept on a 6′ or shorter leash while on event property. As a responsible pet owner, please clean up after your pet.
For safety reasons, the owner of any pet showing aggression or disruptive behavior may be asked at any time to remove the animal from the event.
No Alcohol or Tobacco Use Allowed
Please refrain from the use of tobacco on event property during event hours.
Alcohol consumption is not allowed by any athlete, coach, parent, or spectator at any time during the event or awards ceremony.
Official Event T-Shirt
All participating athletes will receive an official event t-shirt as part of their paid registration fee. A limited supply of t-shirts will be available for purchase at the event.
Ample on-site free parking is available to all participants.
Working credentials for League events are issued by the USA High School Clay Target League (USAHSCTL) to media/organizations for the sole purpose of providing sporting event access to an individual who has a legitimate working function on behalf of said media/organization, subject to the following conditions:
- Credentials are for use solely about news and editorial coverage of the event.
- Any non-editorial, commercial, or other unauthorized use of transmission, film, picture, videotape, audiotape, writing, drawing or other depiction or description of any participant, event, event information, standings, or other activity, is prohibited without prior specific written approval of the USAHSCTL.
- The USAHSCTL is the sole arbiter in determining the nature of, and legitimacy, of an individual/organization’s use of USAHSCTL-related content, including transmissions, film, picture, videotape, audiotape, writing, drawing or other depiction or description of any participant, event, event information, standings, or other activity.
- Any non-editorial or commercial use of any team school name or logo is prohibited without prior specific written approval of the USAHSCTL and the School Administration.
Working credentials are not transferable, and may be revoked at any time at the sole discretion of the USAHSCTL, and will automatically terminate if any term hereof is breached. Organizations should contact the League at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange credentials for League events.
The USA High School Clay Target League and its state affiliates (henceforth referred as the ‘League’) prohibits third-party solicitation without express written permission at our events nationwide.
To provide a distraction-free competitive environment for our athletes, team, coaches, and spectators, the League prohibits solicitation and petitioning by any non-registered entity, representative, or individual at League events, regardless of the cause being represented.
The League values its relationship with all sponsors, vendors, and exhibitors.
The League takes steps to maintain a quality exhibition area with ease of access to booths and displays for all guests. Out of fairness to all, and to provide a distraction-free competitive environment for athletes and spectators, sponsors, vendors, and exhibitors are not allowed to solicit customers, spectators, or competitors outside the confines of their registered booths/areas.
All organizations that wish to solicit – regardless of cause, product, or service – must be pre-approved by the League. Existing approved sponsors, vendors, or exhibitors may not provide non-registered organizations, or their representatives thereof, space and/or access to event services without the express written permission of the League.
To ensure a distraction-free competitive experience at our event, the League takes the following steps:
- The League asks non-registered solicitors and petitioners to respect the League’s policy by ceasing their activities and leaving the League’s event premises. If compliance is refused,
- The League will partner with local law enforcement agencies to assist the League in having unwanted solicitors and petitioners removed from event premises. In addition, the League may prosecute trespassers.
- Previously approved sponsors, vendors, and/or exhibitors that violate the League’s solicitation policies, or act in a manner that assists others to circumvent or violate the League’s solicitation policies, may have their own access revoked, all fees forfeited, and be asked to leave the event premises.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone) Use
Drone use is not allowed on event property without prior written approval from event officials. Approved use of a drone must fully comply with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements and guidelines as well as any other applicable laws.
Check the department of transportation’s website for current construction projects that may affect your travel.
This event is possible because of the dedication of coaches, assistants, schools, parents, student athletes and spectators that make it a competitive, enjoyable and safe experience.
The event committee reserves the right to make alterations in, or amendments to these rules at any time without notice. The event committee consists of the League representative, gun club manager, and club-designated RSO.