By Danielle Sturgis | March 19 2009 12:45

Edie Fleeman is the Youth Development Director at the Amateur Trapshooting Association, which serves as the governing body for the sport of American Trapshooting. The Amateur Trapshooting Association, or ATA, aims to promote and govern the sport throughout the world.

Today’s competition features only International Trap, and nearly 300 student athletes are scheduled to compete. Fleeman, an NRA Board Member, took a few moments to explain the differences between International and American Trap.

A big difference in the two styles is a rule that might seem small, but can make a world of difference. “A competitor can shoot twice at a target when competing in International, and only once in American Trap,” offered Fleeman. Also known as Olympic or Bunker Trap, International Trap is considered to be more challenging than American Trap, thus the need for two shots per target rather than just one.

The load of shot in International Trap is reduced to 7/8 oz as opposed to 1 1/8 oz in American Trap. This means that fewer pellets are being shot at the target, making it harder to hit.

“You can tell the events apart, because International Trap will have six people on the field, whereas American Trap only has five,” Fleeman said. “Also, the targets are thrown differently in International Trap than American Trap.”

American Trapshooting features a single trap that moves back and forth, throwing targets at varying angles. Fifteen traps are used in International Trap, with three traps per station, set to throw one right angle, one left angle, and one straightaway.

Adding to the difficulty is the speed in which the targets are thrown is also about twice as fast in International Trap. American Trap targets are thrown at a fixed height, anywhere in a 45° angle from the middle of the traphouse. In International Trap, targets are thrown at varying heights, anywhere in a 90° angle from the middle of the traphouse. Targets in International Trap are also thrown a greater distance, at 70, 72, or 75 meters.

For more on the Amateur Trapshooting Association, visit the organization’s website, www.shootata.com.

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