International Skeet Shotgun Championships kick off the 2013 ACUI Clay Target title hunt
San Antonio, Texas - Clouds hang low over the National Shooting Complex while light sprinkles of rain mist upon the darken fields. Shooters at the ACUI Clay Target Championships are not exempt from the drizzle. It is not the ideal sunny and warm late-March Texas weather everyone expected, but it's far from intrusive enough to cause any delays. These kids are ready to shoot.
The first match of the competition is International Skeet. This version, as opposed to American Skeet, has official Olympic status and is known as (cleverly enough) Olympic Skeet. While the international and American versions are quite similar, they do differ in one big way.
The concepts are identical. Everyone rotates between seven stations in a semicircle until reaching an eighth position halfway between stations one and seven. Two houses sit at the corners of the semicircle where they launch the skeet from varying heights; the high house at ten feet and the low house at three. Despite the different starting positions, both houses are calibrated to throw their targets to a point fifteen feet above ground and eighteen feet away.
At stations one, two, six and seven, a single target is launched from followed by a "double" (where every house launches targets simultaneously). Stations three, four and five only see single targets launched from their houses. Once arriving at station eight, shooters fire at one high target and one low target.
The circuit complete, competitors receive a re-shoot for their first missed target or, if none were missed, shoot two singles from the low house.
Now to the difference between International and American.
The big difference between International and American skeet is that International features a random 0 to 3 second delay after the shooter calls for the target. International also mandates that the shooter hold his/her gun so that the buttstock is at mid-torso level until the target appears.
If you have Twitter, follow the hashtag #ACUIClays to see what some of the shooters are saying and updates on the action.