Trap shooting is a specific form of clay target shooting. Trap shooting is a game of movement, action, and split-second timing. It requires the accuracy and skill to aim repeatedly, fire, and break a 4 1/4 inch disc, which is hurled through the air at a speed of 42mph, simulating the flight path of a bird fleeing a hunter. Trap shooting's continual growth and expanding popularity is due to the fact that people of all ages, incomes, and abilities can compete. Nine-year-old boys shoot alongside 90-year-old men. Many 70-year olds have been in the sport 55 years, and some began just two years ago. Trapshooting's participants include millionaires, hourly-wage earners, inventors, business people, former sports figures in other fields, professional men, farmers, truck drivers, musicians, actors, students, and homemakers. The shooter is required to shoot at a target after he calls pull. It does not matter in scoring if the shooter hits only a small piece of the target or whether he shatters the target. The target is considered a dead or lost bird.
If the target is hit, it is dead. It is the shooter's responsibility to check his own score. Registered trapshooting is a competition that is regulated by the Amateur Trap Shooting Association (ATA). Gun clubs hold shoots in accordance with ATA rules, but they must apply and register for each shoot. All participants of these shoots must be ATA members. The shooter's scores are recorded in the ATA office, where all records are kept and yearly averages computed. The records are used for handicapping and classifying shooters. In registered trapshooting, the rules specify that targets must be thrown no less than 48 yards, no more than 52 yards, should be between 8 and 12 feet high, and 10 yards from the trap. Shooters stand a minimum of 16 yards from the trap houses.