PLEASANT HILL – Clay target shooting – a sport that started in 2001 as an after-school program in Minnesota – has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing sports. It has attracted 43,000 athletes in 34 states and continues to expand rapidly.
“Roughly 39% of these kids don’t participate in any other activities in school,” USA Clay Targets media director Drew Tri said by phone Friday. “We hear from parents all the time about kids who were close to dropping out who started shooting clay and found a sense of belonging in school.”
Pleasant Hill is the only local school currently fielding a team.
There are 978 student-athletes and 53 high schools participating in the Oregon State High School Clay Target League (ORSHSCTL) this spring.
Weekly competition begins on April 17, with a final ‘fun week’ in mid-May. The season wraps up in June.
The nonprofit USA Clay Target League offers trap, skeet, sporting clays, and 5-stand leagues to secondary and postsecondary schools across the country.
The league is the only 100% school-approved clay target shooting sport program in America and the League’s co-ed and adaptive nature are key attractions to schools nationwide.
The league is fully Title IX compliant with both male and female athletes competing on the same team. Additionally, it’s an ‘adaptive’ sport, which allows students with physical disabilities to take part.
The league’s priorities are safety, fun, and marksmanship – in that order.
The league is the safest sport in school, with not one reported injury since the inception of the League in 2001.
Visit orclaytarget.com for more details and a list of participating schools.