Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rules for sporting clays

I attend a number of Sporting Clay shoots where no referee is in attendance. Squads pull there own and self referee.

Novice shooters and even some seasoned shooters are not aware of or have forgotten (ignore) some of the basic rules.

I would suggest shoot management ensures all shooters are aware of at least the minimum as listed below before squads go out, this is in addition to all knowing the safety rules.

A shoot I attended in July at Sunset Farms (with pullers provided) gave a nice briefing prior to the start of the shoot.

We all try to use a little common sense with new shooters, especially when it's there first time out, but when a long time shooter can't give a correct ruling on everyday situations...


The first person on every squad shall be allowed to view a
good presentation of targets from within the shoot station.

The referee may allow additional targets to be viewed as
he/she deems necessary. This person is the only person
permitted to mount their unloaded gun and track the targets
being viewed.


In the event of a NO BIRD on a simultaneous (doubles) or
following pair, nothing can be established.

Two good targets must be present to record the score.
This will also apply for gun/ammunition malfunctions
while shooting pairs.


In the event of a NO BIRD on the second target
of a report pair, the first bird will be established
as DEAD or LOST and the shooter will repeat the
pair to establish the result of the second target.

When repeating the pair, the shooter must make a
legitimate attempt at the first target.


In the event of a “shooter malfunction” on the
first bird of a report pair, the first bird will be
established as LOST and the shooter will repeat
the pair to establish the result of the second target.

When repeating the pair the shooter must make a
legitimate attempt at the first target.

The first target has already been established as LOST and the result
of the second target will be recorded.


The shooter shall be allowed a combined total of three (3) malfunctions per day, per event attributed to either the shooter's gun
or ammunition. Targets not attempted on the three (3) allowed
malfunctions shall be treated as NO BIRDS.

Targets not attempted due to the fourth or later malfunctions shall be scored as LOST.

* Malfunctions indicated on score pad.


Targets shall be scored as LOST if the shooter is unable to
fire because of the following examples which include but are
not limited to:
a. Shooter has left the safety on.
b. Shooter has forgotten to load, loaded previously fired
shells or failed to properly cock the gun.
c. Shooter has forgotten to disengage the locking device
from the magazine of a semi-automatic shotgun.
d. Shooter has not sufficiently released the trigger of a
single trigger gun having fired the first shot.
e. Shooter not seeing the target.


  1. So if you have a jam you are given another opprotunity.

  2. Yes, a gun jam is considered a gun malfunction. No score is established (recorded/counted) and the target is reattempted. Each shooter is allowed three gun malfunctions without a penalty being incurred for the entire round of shooting. Gun malfunctions exceeding the three freebies, will not be reattempted and will be scored as lost/miss. The shooter will be allowed to switch out guns at any time due to a gun malfunction.

  3. Help with scoring question. A friend is shooting a report pair first target low he misses lost second target higher is lost but while shooting target two he hit the first target that was established as lost on his first shot. Is this scored lost / lost or lost / dead. It was obvious he was shooting at the second bird when he hit the first bird.

    1. In this event he was shooting at the higher bird and hit the lower bird that was already lost on his first shot

  4. You can shoot twice at one target. Dead bird, second bird lost.

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  6. As long as the first target had not hit the ground, it's still a live target no matter if called lost.

    2) When shooting report or following pairs, the shooter will have the right, if missing the first target, to fire the second cartridge at the same target (the result being scored on the first target and the second target being scored as LOST).

  7. What if you hit the first target and have an ammo malfunction on the second?

    First bird is established as "Dead" and repeat the pair to get the score on the second target? So if you were to miss the first target on the do-over, it would still be scored as dead because it was established on the first pair?