USA High School Clay Target League to debut national championship in 2018

Action during the 2017 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Championships. (Minnesota State High School Clay Target League photo)

The USA High School Clay Target League, the nation’s largest high school clay target shooting sports program, announced Wednesday, Oct. 25 that the inaugural USAHSCTL National Championship will be held in 2018.

The event, scheduled July 12-15 in Mason, Mich., will feature a trap-shooting competition for the highest-qualifying student athletes and teams throughout all affiliated state high school clay target leagues in the nation. More than 2,000 student athletes will represent their schools in the event, and more than 5,000 spectators, along with dozens of exhibitors, are also expected to attended, according to a USAHSCTL news release.

The MTA Homegrounds in Mason, the host site, is also the home of the Michigan State High School Clay Target League’s State Tournament in June. The facility features 44 trap fields along with a large clubhouse and RV and camping areas.

“We have been working on a national championship ever since we started expanding to other states beyond Minnesota in 2014,” said Jim Sable, the founder and president of the USA High School Clay Target League. “Now that we are the largest youth clay target shooting program in the nation, it makes sense to host a national championship where the best student athletes in the League can qualify to participate.

Registration for the event will be open in late May based upon season averages. Individuals and teams with higher season averages will earn priority registration privileges, with additional registration opportunities opening for lower averages until the maximum number of competitors is reached, the release said.

The sport is regarded as the safest in high school, with not one reported injury since the inception of the league in 2001. The league also is the only 100-percent school-approved clay target shooting sports program in America. More than 25,000 student athletes are expected to participate on more than 700 teams nationwide during the 2017-2018 school year, according to the release.

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