Clay Target Shooting

Clay Target Shooting

Clay Target Shooting
Clay Target Shooting (hereafter CTS) is a niche sport at Auckland Grammar School that caters for boys who want to try something different, and for those already competitive enough to enter into the New Zealand Secondary Schools competition.

There are three main clay target shooting disciplines: down the line (also known as trap), skeet and sporting. The Grammar squad will initially start with DTL shooting.

Down The Line (DTL) Trap Shooting
DTL shooting is the most popular type of shotgun shooting. It is also the easiest to understand how the sport is played.

In DTL, the shooter will have 25 shots. A gun with a longer barrel is typically used because the shots are farther away, and the longer barrel helps to keep the shot pattern together longer. The object is to break as many of the 25 clay pigeons as possible. There may be up to five shooters at a time, but everyone shoots once at a time.

There are five stations on a trap field. Each person stands at their own spot for five shots. The closer to the trap house the shooter is, the easier it becomes. The shooter will yell "pull" and the trap thrower will release a clay pigeon in a random direction going away from the shooter. After five shots, everyone will rotate to the next spot until all five stations are completed.
DTL shooting
Down The Line shooting

Skeet Shooting
Skeet shooting is a lot of fun because the shots are closer, there are a variety of angles the clay pigeons travel on and, unlike trap, skeet shooting has two houses where the clay pigeons are thrown from.

The shooter still only has 25 shots and the objective is to still break as many targets as possible. There may be up to five shooters again, but everyone shoots from the stations in order. Unlike trap, when a shooter misses a target they have to re-shoot it, however, they only reshoot the first target they miss. The clay pigeons will be thrown simultaneously. Targets emerge from the high and low houses.

The shooter will first break the high house and then the low house. Targets must be shot at within the first 44 yards of flight (indicated by the shooting boundary marker) but may break beyond this mark before they land at the target distance marker. Only one shot is fired at each target.
Skeet shooting
Skeet shooting


Training is at the Waitemata Clay Target Club on Wednesdays after School throughout the year. This usually means a 3:30pm departure and an approximate 5:30pm return to Grammar.

The opportunity to shoot each week will depend on the total number of students involved, transport availability and the weather conditions. Boys also have the opportunity to be instructed on location by retired Grammar master and current NZ CTS representative, Mr Ben Mason (subject to his availability).

Note: at the conclusion of daylight saving, the club must close an hour earlier and adverse weather can impact on light in the late afternoon, making regular shooting on a weekly basis more difficult to confirm.


Clay Target Shooting does involve some cost for participants including:

  • NZ CTS affiliation fee (annual - TBC)
  • Waitemata Gun Club social membership fee (annual - TBC)
  • $25 per 25 shots: Ammunition and Targets (per shoot)
  • Pre-payment per term via the Parent Portal is arranged as required by the School's Finance Department Policy
  • Payment is deducted for each shoot and can carry over between terms. Additional pre-payment is required when the balance is used up
  • Guns are available for members to use, however, students who own a gun may be able to make the appropriate arrangements to use them


CTS is a sanctioned secondary school sport. To qualify for entry into NZ Secondary School Championships, Grammar shooters must first demonstrate a competitive level of competency and consistency.


Clay Target Shooting is a statistically very safe sport. However, there is risk potential. Safety is paramount when shooting, so those who join the squad are advised to review the Firearms Safety Code before proceeding to the trap field for the first time.

There is a Range Officer on site, and all students are strictly educated in gun safety, as well as closely monitored at all times when on the range.

The Master in Charge of Clay Target Shooting is Mr Wilson. Students are able to speak to him in either the Economics department or in A6 during the School day or contact him via email.