Trapshooting Etiquette & Procedures

Trapshooting UniversityA round of trap consists of 25 shots and up to 5 shooters per squad.

Start of the Round

Each shooter will take a place behind the yardage marker for the game. This is referred to the “station” or “post” Shooters at this time gather themselves and get ready for the round. Some may practice their mount of an unloaded gun, practice a swing, and adjust hats, glasses, and vests. The shooter on post 1 (furthest to the left) will be known as the “Squad Leader” or “lead off” shooter.

The squad leader will look down the line and once everyone has returned their guns to a neutral position, will ask “Squad Ready?”. Once all participants have acknowledge readiness the squad leader will turn to the score keeper if present and ask “Score keeper ready?”. The squad leader than will ask to see one, upon which the score keeper will release 1 target for all competitors to watch and check the target flight.

The Game Begins

The squad leader then mounts and takes aim out to the field and calls for their target. Normally a call of “Pull” is issued but other calls are allowed such as grunts, and sharp noises. After the shooter fires their shell, the shooter un-mounts their gun and unloads the spent shell. Spent shell hulls are either placed in buckets, or retained by the shooter for reloading.

The next shooter to the squad leaders immediate right will now take their turn, followed by the next shooter. Each shooter takes a target in turn until have taken 5 shots.


After the last shooter has taken their 5th shot the score keeper will call “Change” followed by a quick rundown of the each shooter score for that round. It will sound something like a string of numbers but it always starts with the squad leader’s score followed by the shooters in order. Hopefully you will hear 5-all but it normally is 5 separate numbers. ” 5-4-4-5-3″

Each shooter now move to the position to their right. The shooter on station 5 will turn outwards and back towards station 1 making a 270 degree rotation and preventing a barrel sweep of the fellow athletes and walk behind the other shooters to station 1. The squad leader will now wait for the moving shooter to get set at station 1 looking for an acknowledgement from the shooter that they are ready. The squad leader will now start the round from the new position and the squad will rotate in order for another 5 shots.

Other Etiquette

  • Guns will not be loaded until the shooters are on their stations
  • Guns will not be closed until it is the shooters turn to call for a target
  • Only one round will be loaded at a time (unless playing the game of doubles)
  • Shooters will not hold their gun in any way that is distracting to other shooters
  • Shooters should not close their gun until the shooter 2 positions ahead of them their target
  • Guns resting on the rubber pad must be open
  • Talking between shooters while on the line is looked down upon


We all want to dust or obliterate the target for a definitive point yet the score keeper only needs to see a visible chip fall from the target. A target that is broken by the shot of the competitor is considered “dead”. The score keeper may not make a audible call on targets that are easily identified as broken.

Birds missed, or hit without a visible chip (side dust or that change direction without breaking) are “lost” and the scorekeeper will call “lost” to indicate to the shooter and squad as so.