Skeet shooting

From Academic Kids

Skeet is a clay pigeon shooting sport, one of the ISSF shooting events. It was invented by Charles E. Davies, an avid grouse hunter, in 1915 and evolved to its current setup by 1923. In 1926 a contest was held to name the new sport, and Gertrude Hurlbutt, named it skeet, which is derived from the Scandanavian word for "shoot". During World War II, Skeet was used in the American military to teach gunners the principle of leading and timing on flying targets.

Skeet is a recreational and competitive activity where participants attempt to destroy clay disks flung into the air at high speed. The firearm of choice for this task is a high quality shotgun. The use of clay disks replaced the more traditional target of live birds, as a cheaper and more reliable alternative, one reason they are also called clay pigeons.

The event is in part meant to simulate the action of bird hunting. The shooter shoots from 7 positions on a semi-circle, and an 8th position halfway between stations 1 and 7. There are two houses that hold throwers that launch the targets, one at each corner of the semi-circle. The throwers launch the targets to a point 15 feet above ground and 18 feet outside of station 8. One house launches targets from 10 feet above the ground ("high" house) and the other launches it from 3 feet above ground ("low" house). At stations 1 and 2 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double where the two targets are launched simultaneously. At stations 3 through 5 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house. At stations 6 and 7 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double. At station 8 the shooter shoots one high target and one low target. The shooter must reshoot his first missed target, or if no targets are missed, may shoot his 25th shell at the target of his choice.

Skeet shooting has been an Olympic event since 1968. Olympic Skeet differs from ordinary Skeet in that the targets are shot in a different order, are faster and will appear with a delay of between 0 and 3 seconds after the shooter has called for them. In addition, whereas in Skeet the shooter may call for the target with the gunheld "up" ie. pre-mounted on the shoulder, in Olympic Skeet the shooter must call for the target with the gun held so that the gun butt is at mid-torso level. There is also an eighth shooting station, midway between the two houses.


Prominent Olympians:

  • Shan Zhang - A young Chinese woman who won an upset gold medal in a mixed event in 1992. Since then there have been separate men and women's skeet events.


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