Skeet Shooting



Skeet shooting is one of the two major types of competitive shotgun shooting at clay targets (the other is Trap shooting). There are several types of Skeet, including one with Olympic status (and so often called Olympic Skeet), and many with only national recognition.

Skeet was invented by Charles E. Davies, an avid grouse hunter, in 1915 and evolved to its current setup by 1923. It originally used live pigeons but eventually changed to clay. In 1926 a contest was held to name the new sport, and Gertrude Hurlbutt named it skeet, which is derived from the Scandinavian word for "shoot". During World War II, Skeet was used in the American military to teach gunners the principle of leading and timing on flying targets.

Skeet is a recreational and competitive activity where participants attempt to break clay disks flung into the air at high speed from a variety of angles. The clay discs are typically 4 inches in diameter and flying at 80 mph. The firearm of choice for this task is usually a high quality shotgun although many shooters of American skeet and other national versions still use inexpensive semi-auto and pump action shot guns with great success. The use of clay targets replaced the more traditional target of live birds, as a cheaper, humane and more reliable alternative, one reason they are also called clay pigeons.

The event is in part meant to simulate the action of bird hunting. The shooter shoots from 7 positions on a semi-circle, and an 8th position halfway between stations 1 and 7. There are two houses that hold devices known as "traps" that launch the targets, one at each corner of the semi-circle. The traps launch the targets to a point 15 feet above ground and 18 feet outside of station 8. One trap launches targets from 10 feet above the ground ("high" house) and the other launches it from 3 feet above ground ("low" house). At stations 1 and 2 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double where the two targets are launched simultaneously. At stations 3 through 5 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house. At stations 6 and 7 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double. At station 8 the shooter shoots one high target and one low target. The shooter must reshoot his first missed target, or if no targets are missed, must shoot his 25th shell at the low house station 8. This 25th shot was once referred to as the shooter's option as he was able to take it where he preferred. Now, to speed up rounds in competition, the shooter must shoot the low 8 twice for a perfect score.

Olympic Skeet is one of the ISSF shooting events. It has had Olympic status since 1968, and, until 1992, was open to both sexes. After that year, all ISSF events have been open to only one sex, and so females were disallowed to compete in the Olympic Skeet competitions. This was somewhat controversial due to the fact that the 1992 Olympic Champion was indeed a woman, Shan Zhan of China. However, women had their own World Championships, and in 2000, a female Skeet event was introduced to the Olympic program. Current men's World Champion is Vancouver, Canada native Mark Borland who practices with up to 65 different targets in a single evening. He attributes his incredible skeet stamina to a background in hunting, dedicated practice and natural talent.

In Olympic Skeet, there is a delay of between 0 to 3 seconds after the shooter has called for the target. Also, the shooter must hold his gun so that the gun butt is at mid-torso level until the target appears.

American Skeet is administered by the NSSA (National Skeet Shooting Association). The targets are shot in a different order and are slower than in Olympic Skeet. There is also no delay after the shooter has called for them, and the shooter may do this with the gun held "up", i.e. pre-mounted on the shoulder (as is allowed in Trap shooting).

Other national versions of Skeet (e.g. English Skeet) typically make similar changes to the rules to make them easier.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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