The South Dakota State High School Clay Target League nearly doubled in size this year, as 949 students from 36 high-school teams are participating in the spring season, which began April 1.
Last year there were 515 students on 21 teams.
The league is an independent provider of shooting sports as an extracurricular activity for students in grades six through 12. The organization’s priorities are safety, fun and marksmanship, and each student is required to pass a comprehensive firearm safety course prior to participation.
The league’s co-ed format and adaptive nature are unique features. All student athletes are invited to participate in individual and team competitions at the 2018 state tournament, which will be June 9 at the Aberdeen Gun Club.
Teams compete against one another through a “virtual” competition at no cost to the schools. Travel costs are also minimal because practice and matches are conducted at a shooting range near the school’s location. The league is also extremely safe, with no reported injuries since the league’s inception in 2001, according to a news release about the league.
Conferences are determined by team size rather than geographic location for fair competition. Shooters score points based on their performance and ranking against all athlete scores within their team’s conference. The team score and overall standings are calculated and posted on the league’s website. Athletes and their families may track their individual and team performance on their computer online or through a mobile app.
The state league is an affiliate of the USA High School Clay Target League. Nationwide, nearly 22,000 students representing over 800 school-approved teams participate in the league, according to the release. For more information, go to sdclaytarget.com.