English Sporting originated from England & presented the shooter with “pair” (two) targets on each stand which is repeated between 3 or 5 times over (6 or 10 targets per stand). Each “Pair” thrown on a stand is repeated exactly the same, you are not allowed to mix the presentation of the targets on each stand. The targets take into account all forms of quartering targets, crossers, driven, overhead, rabbits, springing teal amongst others the course creator might feel is challenging. This form of shooting is one of the most popular of the clay target disciplines. English Sporting provides a shooting environment that offers different layouts and a constant challenge.
The targets can be launched as report doubles or simultaneous pairs. The pair would consist either of one target, then the second being launched the instant a shot is fired (on report) or both targets fired at the same time (simultaneous).
An average competition may comprise of around five stands used to shoot around of 50 targets (5 doubles off of each stand). Differing variations allow more targets and stands to be used and in a large competition there may be as many as 12 different stands and 100 targets. The more stands used allows for a greater variation of targets.
Unless you are in a squadding situation, you will not be thrown any sighter targets on a particular stand once the competition has started & the stand has been busy while you have been waiting your turn to shoot. All sighter targets are viewed from outside of the actual shooting stand (not within the shooting square itself).
On a normal Sunday Competition in England, the competitor can determine which stand they shoot first. If a stand is busy they move onto another & come back later to shoot the busy stand. Although the Competitor can shoot the stands in a random sequence, they must shoot the course & each stand on the course; you cannot shoot a stand twice & leave out one!!!!
At the larger National or International competitions squadding is usually used & also a pre-determined sequence in order of which the stands are to be shot. This keeps the competition moving.
The gun position when calling for the targets differs from FITASC sporting. The gun position is ‘free’ & can be positioned either in or out of the shoulder when calling for the target to be released from the trap. Although the gun position is free, the gun has to be in the shoulder when the trigger is pulled.
It is simply a matter of how many targets have been broken, 1 for a hit & 0 for a miss. Each stand has its own referee & the scores are marked by them at the stand. It is then the responsibility of the shooter to carry their own scorecard onto the next stand. The scorecard is presented to the referee on the stand before the shooter goes into a stand. You are allowed to double barrel a target if you have missed with the first shot, although two shells are the maximum that can be loaded of shot at each “pair”. The practise of double barrelling a target will have a detrimental effect on your final score.
A suitable gun would normally consist of an over/under 12 Gauge Shotgun in anything from 28″ to a 34″ barrel, with fixed chokes or with multichokes . A fixed choke gun would normally be choked a quarter or a half. It should be noted that a shotgun has to be very adaptable due to the variation of targets normally thrown on an English Sporting course.
The heaviest load is a maximum of 28gr. Anything from shot size 7 to 9 (2mm-2.5mm), depending on the distance of the target being thrown on the course & either Plastic or fibre wad. In England many competitions are carried out over farmland & there may be a rule that fibre wads only are to be used, not plastic wads.
While queuing at a stand make sure to watch other competitors. Study the flight of the targets and order of simultaneous pairs to make a mental image for when you take the stand. This should help you with your timing, although don’t completely rely on this picture as the clays may still surprise you.
Cages are in place to limit your angle of fire, leaning out to pick up targets early or to shoot them late is not allowed. Cages are there for safety & to limit the gun swing
A good beginner’s score would be around 60%.
A more experienced shot would be around 85% and above would see you enter the heights associated with the most talented shooters.
10th October 2015
Technical Rules for English Sporting for Sporting Clays Australia – Domestic Competitions
For establishing Handicaps and Grading for English Sporting Events shooters will use their Australian Sporting Clays Handicap and Grade.
Scores obtained at English Sporting Events will not be entered in Handicap Booklet.
Maximum Shot Load is 28 Grams, Shot size 2mm-2.5mm (Shot size 7-9 Australian) Description allowable shotguns are as per Australian Sporting Clays rules
Change: Means a change in rules for Australian domestic competitions