A trap field consists of a single trap machine located in a house partially buried in the ground. There are 5 shooting positions located behind the house on an arc 16 yards behind the house and spaced 3 yards apart from each other. The most common game of trap, singles, is played from these positions.
From each of these positions, a lane or sidewalk marked in increments to 27 yards extends back away from the center of the trap house. The game of handicap is played from these yardage markers.
Inside the trap house is a machine that will launch the clay targets at a set speed and vertical angle of flight. The machine oscillates from left to right inside the house to offer a random angle of flight for the target. This angle is anywhere from 0 to 22 degree from center left or right. The machine has an interrupter that delays movement of the trap to truly give a random angle and prevents shooters from reading the traps oscillations. While the target direction is unknown, the angle or zone in which the target will be in is consistent.
Target speed is set by the rules of the Mature Trapshooting Association. A target is to travel at about 42 – 43 mph out of the trap house on an angle that puts the target anywhere from 8 to 10 feet in the air when measured 10′ in front of the trap. The bird needs to fly no less than 49 yards and no more than 51 yards from the house.
Target speed can be measured by a radar gun and/or chronograph. The correct speed for a singles or handicap target is 67 ft/sec minimum, maximum of 69 ft/sec.
Wind and Targets
Wind will effect the climb of the targets and clubs will make adjustments to the machines to combat wind changes. A wind blowing towards the trap house will cause a target to rise rapidly. A tail wind will push the target down. Side winds can cause a slight flutter in the target height giving the shooter an extra challenge.