Clay shooting requires excellent reaction time and nerves of steel. It is the art of shooting at special flying targets made of clay, released by a device called "trap" and flying at a speed of 100 - 130 km/h.
Clay shooting is performed with a smooth barrel shotgun, spreading out the pellets into a pattern reaching an average diameter of about 70 cm,
given the shooting distance.
Events are heldover a minimum of 25 targets, or multiples.
Clay shooting consists of various disciplines, three of which are part of the Olympic program:
Olympic Trap, Skeet, and Double Trap.
In the Olympic Trap, or simply Trap, shooters on the shooting stand (there are five of them) are allowed two shots to hit the target, which is thrown upon the shooter's call by one of the three traps set in a trench 15 metres from the shooting stands. The targets are released in an unpredictable randomised order and their direction may vary of 90 degrees on the horizontal plane, while their elevation may change from 1.5m to 3.5m.
As in Trap shooting, Double trap shooters are allowed two shots, but they must hit one pair of targets released simultaneously from two traps placed at a distance of 15m from the shooting stands. The targets follow set paths, at slightly different angles.
In Olympic Skeet shooting there are two traps that launch the targets, one at each corner of the semicircle. The one on the left is referred to as "high house" or "pull", while the one on the right is the "low hose" or "mark". The targets have always the same elevation and direction, while the shooter changes position along the semicircular firing line. Also in this discipline shooters are allowed two shots to hit both single and double targets. They know the trajectories of the target but not its exit time as there is a random delay of between 0 to 3 seconds after the shooter has called for the target.
(modificato il 13/03/2015)