Skeet Basics

The Skeet Field

Today’s skeet field has eight shooting stations and two trap houses. Seven of the stations are arranged in a half moon between the two trap houses, and one station is directly between them. The high house, on the left side of the field, throws its targets from a trap 10 feet above the ground. The target rises to a height of 15 feet by the time it travels to the center of the field. The low house target, on the right side, leaves the trap house just 3-1/2 feet from the ground. It also rises to a height of 15 feet by the time it reaches the center of the field.

A Round of Skeet

A round of skeet consists of 25 targets, with 17 shot as singles and 8 as doubles. The first miss is repeated immediately and is called an option.  If no targets are missed during the round, the last or 25th target is shot at the last station, low house 8. The shooting sequence is as follows:


Stations 1 and 2: High house single; Low house single; High house/Low house pair.

Learn how to Shoot Station 1

Learn how to Shoot Station 2


Stations 3, 4, and 5: High house single; Low house single

Learn how to Shoot Station 3

Learn how to Shoot Station 4

Learn how to Shoot Station 5


Stations 6 and 7: High house single; Low house single; Low house/High house pair

Learn how to Shoot Station 6

Learn how to Shoot Station 7


Station 8: High house single; Low house single

Learn how to Shoot Station 8

Skeet is shot in squads of up to five shooters. They move from station to station around the half moon, ending up in the center, at the end of the round.

Any gauge shotgun may be used, of any type, as long as it can fire at least two shots.  The preferred shot size is #9, but nothing larger than 7-1/2 should ever be used.  All Pioneer Students will only be shooting shot size 8 or 9 depending on availability.  Since strength is not a factor, anyone person is able to compete. 

Shooting a Practice Round of Skeet

Depending where the club will be practicing everyone will need to sign-up and pay for the round and then be assigned to one of the skeet fields.  You will need to take the following equipment to the field with you:

  • Shotgun – any gauge, any type, as long as it fires at least two (2) shells
  • Ammunition – One box of 25 shells, same gauge as your gun
  • A shell holder you wear to carry your ammo as you move around the field
  • Ear Plugs – MANDATORY
  • Eye Protection – MANDATORY

 5 - Stand Basics

NSCA 5-STAND Sporting events consist of targets shot in 25 bird increments from five shooting stands with each shooter rotating from station to station. The game offers several different skill lev­els and utilizes six or eight automatic traps to simulate game birds. Targets are released in a predetermined set sequence marked on a menu card in front of each shooting cage. Targets are registered separately under a special set of rules; however, they utilize the NSCA Classification system and all targets are included for total targets shot for the year. NSCA 5-STAND Sporting rules must be followed at all times while conducting this event.

The shooter is presented with 5 targets at each station, first a single bird followed by two pairs.  Pairs can be either "report pairs," in which the second bird will be launched after the shooter fires at the first;  or "true pairs" when both birds launch at the same time.  After shooting at the 5 birds on the menu at that station, the shooter proceeds to the next stand, where they find a new menu of 5 targets.

Typical five stand targets are a rabbit, chandelle, overhead, standard skeet high house and low house shots, teal (launched straight up into the air), trap (straight ahead from ground level), and an incoming bird.


  • Gun must be open and empty while changing stands.
  • Shooters may not leave their station until instructed to do so by the referee or until the last shooter has fired his/her last shot.
  • May only load gun while in shooting stand in ready position.
  • Shooter’s feet must be behind the front opening of the shoot­ing stand except when changing stands. Shooters will be warned, a NO-BIRD will be called, continued disregard will result in losing a target or being disqualified.
  • No chokes may be changed after the round has begun. Fail­ure to comply will result in loss of all targets attempted (in that round) after choke changed.
  • Target sequence menu cards must be posted.


Trap vs Skeet vs Sporting Clays

Check out this infographic the NRA created with OutdoorHub and learn the basics of trap, skeet, and sporting clays.  

Trap vs Skeet vs Sporting Clays