August of 2021 marked the return of the ATA to Sparta, Illinois, to contest both the AIM and the Grand American World Championships. Shooters faced many challenges during the competition. While the Preliminary events were contested in bright sunshine, calm winds and moderate temperatures, Grand Week brought heat indexes around 105-110 degrees with several storms and even one tornado warning, where people who were working in the Events Center were advised to take cover.
The 2020 “Covid” Grand American is in the books. As many of you are aware, the pandemic crisis caused the state of Illinois to close the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta this year. In early June, the ATA opted to relocate the 2020 Grand American to the MTA home grounds in Linn Creek, Missouri.
For all shooters, and especially new or youth shooters, American trap doubles can be the most entertaining of all the trapshooting events. You can see this in the faces of the youth team shooters as they compete in this event. It can also be the most frustrating for new shooters who don’t understand the basic fundamentals of the game.
Highlights of the 2019 Grand American Trapshooting Championships
This month’s article is dedicated to the very first thing you are required to do when attending a major ATA-registered tournament: classification. While this may not seem like the most interesting topic for discussion, I assure you it is one of the most important. As a 26-year member of the ATA Central Handicap Committee and a six-year member of the ATA Rules Committee, the past few years I have witnessed a disturbing trend in the increase of handicap score disqualifications.
I’ve often been asked how I deal with pressure when shooting a good score. There is no easy answer to this question, and I can tell you my experience has been that handling the pressure of a good score is one of the toughest things to do. The reward, though, is a great feeling of accomplishment when you are able to put a good score to bed, despite the pressure. What follows are some of my thoughts on dealing with pressure situations and some techniques I have found successful in overcoming the negative effects pressure can have on your score.
Trap guns have evolved rapidly over the past few decades. When I started competitive shooting almost 50 years ago, an adjustable stock was dependent on how much moleskin you could affix to the comb. Adjusting the impact of the barrel usually involved a fork in a large tree or giving the barrel a few strong “whacks” over several bags of shot on the tailgate of a pickup truck. Fortunately, most trap guns today come with an adjustable comb and some come with adjustable ribs to change the point of impact (without bending the barrel!).