SportTrap is a variation on English Sporting and, in general, follows the rules of English Sporting in terms of the type of targets thrown, how no birds are dealt with and the safe conduct of shooters within and around the shooting stands etc. However, the manner in which a round Sportrap is shot is quite different from that of English Sporting.
A round of SportTrap is shot in a squad of up to 5 shooters and each shooter shoots at 5 targets from each of 5 shooting stands to make the round total 25 targets for each shooter.
The 5 shooting stands on a SportTrap layout (numbered 1 to 5 when viewed from behind) are spaced at 3m centres side by side in a line, and 5 or more traps (lettered A, B, C, D, E etc.) are set to throw English Sporting targets so that they can be safely shot from the 5 shooting stands.
In front of each shooting stand is a menu board listing the sequence of targets to be shot from that particular stand; the sequence of targets shot from each stand is different but they do all follow the pattern of:
- a single target with full use of the gun allowed (two shots); a broken target is scored as a kill irrespective of which shot it is broken with
- a pair of targets released on report
- a pair of targets released together (simultaneous) to make a total of 5 targets at each stand.
At the beginning of each round (assuming a full squad of 5) the 5 shooters all enter the shooting stands that they are allocated to start in with their guns open and unloaded.
If members of the squad have not previously had the opportunity to view the targets the referee will show the squad one target from each trap at this point.
When the squad is ready the referee calls ‘Line ready’ and this is the signal for the shooter in stand one to load their gun and call for their first target. After the shooter in stand one has shot at their first target then the shooter in stand two does likewise, followed by the shooters in stands three, four and five; only one shooter shoots at any one time and guns should only be closed immediately prior to a shooter taking their turn.
After the shooter in stand 5 has shot at their first target it is then the turn of the shooter in stand one to shoot their on-report pair, followed again by the shooters in stands two, three, four and five.
And again, after the shooter in stand 5 has shot at their on-report pair of targets it is the turn of the shooter in stand one to shoot their pair together, followed again by the shooters in stands two, three, four and five.
At this point each shooter will have shot at five targets and the referee will call ‘Unload and change please’, at which point guns should be checked to ensure that they are unloaded and each shooter moves to the stand to their right, except the shooter in stand 5 who walks round the back of the stand to occupy stand 1.
When the squad is ready the referee again calls ‘Line ready’ and this is the signal for shooting to recommence in the same manner. The first shooter, who is now in stand two, is still the first to shoot and throughout the round remains the first to shoot after each change.
Once every shooter has shot at 25 targets following the manner described above, the referee calls ‘Unload and check your scores please’, at which point guns should be checked to ensure that they are open and unloaded before the shooters leave their shooting stands.
We will endeavour to call all kills and losses – this isn’t meant to intimidate but is done because it is not always easy for the referee to fully observe the outcome of a shot (especially the pairs together) and if we call the outcome as we see it, then any possible scoring errors can be corrected at the time.
Don’t rush (but please don’t dawdle either)! Buttoning and scoring the SportTrap requires a lot of concentration and if shooters rush they are only more likely to get no-birds; a good steady flow is the aim.
Spend your time between shots working out the next combination of targets you will get: Where will they come from? Are they together or on report? What are the hold positions? Which one to shoot first in the case of a pair together? Enjoy it!