Aiming for Greatness

By Josie Nelson


The USA Clay Target League recently hosted more than 8,000 student athletes from grades 6–12 in Alexandria, Minnesota, for the 2019 Trap Shooting Championship, and Touchpoint had the opportunity to get an inside look.

Started in 2008 with only 30 students from three schools in Minnesota, the League has since developed into the fastest-growing sport in America with more than 26,000 student athletes throughout 25 states.

The League offers shooting sports to students across the nation, regardless of their gender, athleticism and disabilities—allowing students to have equal opportunities. With zero injuries in the history of the League, it also makes it the safest sport in America.

“This League provides an opportunity for all students to participate in a fun, challenging and safe sport for the rest of their lives,” said John Nelson, president of the USA Clay Target League.

Touchpoint is a proud partner of the League and publisher of PullUSA magazine, which is direct-mailed and digitally delivered to more than 30,000 student athletes, coaches, gun clubs, volunteers and administrators.

Since producing the inaugural issue in 2016, we’ve encountered a lot of curiosity about the League and the fast-growing sport of clay target shooting. Here are 10 interesting facts: 

1. The USA Clay Target League is the largest youth clay target organization in the world.

2. 2,830 student athletes registered to participate at the 2019 National Championship in Michigan.

3. 38 percent of student athletes say trap shooting is the only school-sponsored sport they participate in, and 57 percent of new student athletes did not participate in clay target shooting sports before they joined the team.

4. 20 percent of participating student athletes are females (it was 4 percent in 2015).

5. The average team size is 25 student athletes.

6. 1,064 teams participated in the 2019 spring season, and more than 9,000 new student athletes joined the League in 2019.

7. More than 8,000 coaches and team staff members help teams nationwide.

8. More than 50 million shots have been fired and more than 72,000 student athletes have participated since 2008, and there have been no reported injuries.

9. Student athletes shot at more than 15 million targets in the 2019 spring season.

10. The top five leisure activities in rank for student athletes include hunting, fishing, recreational vehicles, camping and video games.