North Dakota High School Clay Target League Continues To Grow

North Dakota’s High School Clay Target League continues to grow, with more than 1,400 students competing in the spring season, compared with 908 students last year. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald)

Interest in the North Dakota High School Clay Target League program continues to grow, with 1,403 students from 49 North Dakota high school teams and 21,917 student athletes representing 804 high school teams across the country participating this spring.

Last year, there were 908 North Dakota students from 38 teams competing in the North Dakota High School Clay Target League.

Teams are affiliated with the USA High School Clay Target League, the largest high school clay target shooting sport program in the nation. This year’s spring season in North Dakota began April 1.

“Clay target shooting as an activity for North Dakota high school athletes continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” Jim Sable, league president, said in a news release. “The record-setting growth we’ve seen shows the demand for alternative high school activities related to North Dakota’s longstanding outdoor traditions.”

Upon completion of the spring league, all student athletes are invited to participate in individual and team competitions at the 2018 North Dakota state tournament. The event is scheduled for June 16-17 at The Shooting Park in Horace, N.D.

The league is fully Title IX compliant, with both male and female athletes competing on the same team. The nature of clay target shooting also allows students with physical disabilities to take part.

“We take pride in that athletes of all types are able to participate in clay target shooting,” John Nelson, vice president of the North Dakota High School Clay Target League, said.

Besides the opportunities the league provides to all students, travel costs are minimal because practices and competitions are conducted at a shooting range near the school’s location. The result is a “virtual” competition among high school teams throughout North Dakota at no cost to the schools.

Conferences are determined by team size rather than geographic location for fair competition, and team scores and overall standings are calculated and posted on the League’s website.