guide to olympic trap

ClayPal Guide to Olympic Trap

what is olympic trap?

As the name suggests, Olympic Trap is an Olympic shooting discipline governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) along with Double Trap and Olympic Skeet.

Each round of Olympic Trap consists of 25 single targets with two shots allowed at each one. A simple points system is used for scoring with a single point awarded for each hit, regardless of whether it was the first or second shot (except for semi-finals and 'Medal Matches', where only one shot is permitted at each target).

Most domestic competitions are shot over four rounds making a total score out of 100.

In major and international competitions, men's events are shot over five rounds (125 targets) and ladies events over three rounds (75 targets). The top six shooters also progress into a semi-final where they shoot 15 targets from stands two, three and four, with only a single shot allowed at each target. Scores from the qualification rounds are NOT carried forward so competitors start from a zero score. The competitors who shoot the third and fourth highest scores in the semi-final shoot another 15 targets in a 'Medal Match' to determine who wins the bronze medal. The top two scorers in the semi-final shoot another 'Medal Match' to determine who wins the gold and silver medals. Any ties are decided by a shoot-off on stands two, three and four until the tie is broken.

When a shooter calls for a target it will be released immediately from one of a group of three traps directly in front of the shooter's stand (see below). The shooters do not know which trap will be triggered, and therefore which target they will receive, which gives the feeling of a random selection of targets. In reality however, each Olympic Trap layout is based on a 'scheme' that is controlled by a computer. This means that, although the sequence of the targets will be different for each competitor, they will all receive the same targets by the end of the round.

Olympic Trap is shot in squads of six over five stands using a 'shoot and move' method where the shooter moves to the next stand to their right after taking each shot (stand five moves round to wait behind stand one).

Olympic Trap Layout

how is olympic trap set up?

Olympic Trap requires 15 fixed traps set in a trench 15m in front of the shooters. The traps are arranged in five groups of three, with each group being directly in front of the five shooting stands.

Each trap is set to send targets 76m (+/- 1m) at various elevations (1.5m-3.0m high at 10m from the trap) and various horizontal angles (0° to 45°).

The left trap in each group of three can send targets at an angle between straight ahead and 45° to the right. The centre trap can throw them up to 15° either side of straight ahead. The right hand trap can throw targets at an angle between straight ahead and 45° to the left.

The angles of the traps are specified in a number of 'schemes' that are set by the ISSF.

which cartridges can be used?

As with all Olympic disciplines, Olympic Trap must be shot with cartridges that have a maximum load of 24g and shot size no greater than 2.6mm.

olympic trap facts

  • Ian Peel won a Silver medal at the 2000 Olympics
  • Aaron Heading won a Gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
  • Anita North won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games

current world records

Record Country Name Date Event
125/125 Italy ITA Giovanni Pellielo 01/04/1994 WC Nicosia (CYP)
125/125 USA USA Ray Ycong 09/06/1995 WC Lahti (FIN)
125/125 Italy ITA Marcello Tittarelli 11/06/1996 WC Suhl (GER)
125/125 USA USA Lance Bade 23/07/1998 WCH Barcelona (ESP)
125/125 Russia RUS Pavel Gurkin 10/08/2005 WC Americana (BRA)
125/125 Czech Republic CZE David Kostelecky 05/10/2006 WCF Granada (ESP)
125/125 Italy ITA Massimo Fabbrizi 15/05/2009 WC Munich (GER)
125/125 Italy ITA Massimo Fabbrizi 06/09/2011 WC Belgrade (SBR)
125/125 Australia AUS Michael Diamond 06/08/2012 OG London (GBR)
125/125 Italy ITA Giovanni Pellielo 18/04/2013 WC Al Ain (UAE)
74/75 Italy ITA Jessica Rossi 04/08/2012 OG London (GBR)
74/75 USA USA Corey Cogdell 05/07/2013 WC Granada (ESP)
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