The Iowa Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) is a team-based youth development program that uses the clay target sports of trap, skeet, and sporting clays to instill life skills such as discipline, safety, teamwork, ethics, mental focus, self-discipline, and self-confidence in Iowa's youth. The program uses these shooting disciplines to teach hunting skills through the safe use of hunting equipment including firearms and their relationship to hunting situations. Athletes from grade school through college may participate in any or all of these clay target sports. The International games of International Skeet and International Trap are also available in Iowa.
In Iowa, the Department of Natural Resources serves as the State Advisor for the SCTP program, and is responsible for providing assistance to new teams, training coaches, overseeing competition leagues, and the state championships. In 2015, nearly 3,200 athletes across Iowa participated in the Scholastic Clay Target Program.
Participants may choose not to compete in the clay target sports, but most of the athletes compete in head to head competitions throughout the season, as well as attend the State Championship events in May and June.
The SCTP season is from September 1 - August 31 each year. In Iowa, most teams begin practice in March, with competitions in April and May. The State Championships are during the last half of May and all of June. National Championships are held in Sparta, IL and are held each July.
The Iowa SCTP teaches youth the importance of the safe use of hunting equipment while instilling values they will use throughout their lives. The program provides team leadeers and team members with the opportunity to participate in an activity that promotes the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior. Parents and participants are enthusiastic about the program.
After graduating high school, there are opportunities across Iowa for graduates to shoot at the collegiate level. In 2015, there are more than 12 collegiate teams in Iowa.
How to Join
In 2015, there were 113 SCTP teams in Iowa that are organized and managed by local volunteers. Each club sets their own practice times and locations as well as team fees. To find a team in your area, you may contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Shooting Sports Coordinator at 515-313-8048, or review the list of Iowa teams online at http://sssfonline.org/ . You can also contact your local shooting range or gun cllub to see if they host a local team.
Volunteer coaches must be at least 18 years of age, and complete any of the trainings approved by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation. These include USAS/NRA Coach Certification, NSCA or NSSA Level 1 Instructor Certification, NRA Shotgun Instructor Certification, 4-H Shooting Sports Shotgun Certification, or the DNR provided Basic Shotgun Course. To see a list of currently available coach training please visit the Iowa SCTP, Inc. website. Upon Completion of coach training, all adult volunteers and coaches must register with the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation.
Starting a Team
If you are interested in starting a SCTP team in your area, please contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Shooting Sports Coordinator at 515-313-8048 or speak with a coach from a nearby team.