The USA Clay Target League is having a great Spring Season this year and is smashing participation records. 

The students’ 9-week season began in late March with two practice weeks to knock the dust off before competition begins on April 17. The USACTL-- which has 1,466 high school, college, and homeschool teams nationwide-- announced this week the new season has 31,688 student athletes this season, a figure that surpasses past numbers at all levels. 

"We are excited to have broken our records for high school, college, and homeschool participation this season," John Nelson, USACTL president, told in an email. "There is such a high demand for outdoor activities that are an alternative to traditional sports, kudos to the coaches and parents that make these teams possible."

The League’s priorities are safety, fun, and marksmanship – in that order – and participants have fired more than 75 million shells since its inception with a spotless safety record. Each student-athlete must pass a safety certification before becoming active in the sport and safety equipment was mandatory. The League – which bills itself as the safest sport in high school – has not logged a reported injury since its founding in 2001.

USA Clay Target League is both co-ed and adaptive-- fully Title IX compliant-- with male and female athletes as students with physical disabilities on the same team. 

"Athletes of all types are able to participate in clay target shooting,” said Nelson, “The League has a ‘no benchwarmers’ philosophy, and the League’s True Team scoring system is designed so that everyone’s score matters, not just the top athletes on a team."

The current Spring season is set to culminate with tournaments held in June, and high school athletes with top season averages invited to register for the USA High School Clay Target League’s annual National Championship held in Michigan the following month.

We went to the USACTL-associated Minnesota Trap Shooting Championship last summer – which for the record is the world’s largest clay target shooting sport event – with over 6,500 student-athletes in 300 high school teams taking the field over the course of nine full days of competition. Check out that in the video below.