Youth | Collegiate

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Are you interested in being part of a team? Want to grow as an athlete, leader, and competitor? Are you curious about a sport where you can participate and compete at the elementary, high school, college, national and Olympic level? Sporting clays and the other clay target disciplines are a great path towards these goals.

Clay target sports, including trap, skeet, and sporting clays are great ways for young people to meet, practice and compete with other kids. Kids of every shape and size can excel in these sports. It is far less expensive to get into and participate in than some of the major team sports like football and hockey. You can excel as an individual as well as be part of a team, and you can set your sights on regional, state, national, international, and even Olympic medals! It is also a sport where you can participate for life.

Clay target programs for young people universally focus on helping them to develop as responsible firearm users, resilient teammates, effective leaders, and productive citizens.

Colorado provides students and families with numerous opportunities to find teams and coaches to support their journey in the clay target disciplines. Here are some resources to help you get involved…


Open to all youth between 8 – 18, 4-H teaches shooting sports to hundreds of  boys and girls in Colorado annually. Managed through the Extension Program at Colorado State University, the 4-H shooting sports program aligns with their national goals of positive youth development, leadership, civic engagement, STEM learning, inclusion of underserved audiences, healthy living, and positive experiences through experiential learning.

Volunteer opportunities exist for adults interested in event coordination, coaching, and youth development.

Visit the 4-H Shooting Sports website to explore further.

The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP)

For elementary and high school students, SCTP provides a rich source of support, connections, and access to develop as an individual, team member, and competitor. Colorado boasts seven SCTP affiliated teams, which connect certified coaches with students, and which offer opportunities to practice, compete, travel, and develop as a teammate, leader, and person. SCTP’s vision parallel those of the Colorado Sporting Clays Association’s “where shooting sports serve as catalysts for teaching life lessons and skills that emphasize positive character traits and citizenship values”.

Visit the SCTP website to explore further.

The Association of College Unions International (ACUI)

ACUI supports clay target programs at the college and university level through sponsored events, fund raising support, student development and more. There are even resources to help get a new team started if one doesn’t already exist! There are clay target programs at both major Colorado university systems, as well as our military academy and state schools. Most importantly, students can learn how to start and run their own organization as club sport leaders.

Visit the ACUI Clay Target Program website to explore further.

Find a Coach or Team

Numerous organizations in Colorado provide coaching, instruction and structured teams and organizations. Here are some places you can explore to learn more.

SCTP Coaches

Coach Judson Knowles, 970-232-4308

Coach Mike Gutirrez, 720-490-6905

Coach Tim Wolfe, 303-956-4251

Coach Barry Brant, 720-556-3589

Coach John Teevens, 719-291-1355

Coach Dan Mersman, 719-661-2590

Coach Bruce Knuztzen, 979-554-1067

Coach Kristina Teal, 970-210-5351

More Resources to Support You or Your Youth Shooter

  • CSCA Youth Fund
  • New Member Welcome
    • When you become a member of the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA), if you live in Colorado you automatically become a member of the CSCA. New CSCA members receive a special welcome packet with items we hope will make your connections to the sporting clays community easy and fun, such as discounts on clay targets and lessons and CSCA swag. Visit the NSCA website to explore membership options.
  • National Sporting Clays Association, the governing body for sporting clays.
  • NSCA Instructors in Colorado.
  • USAYESS, a non-profit organization and only all-inclusive youth program which introduces, grows, supports, and educates youth, and their families to firearm safety, shooting sports and wildlife conservation and habitat.
  • $5,000 NSCA Scholarship  


Not right away. If you are brand new to the sport, we recommend you wait to purchase anything until you work with a coach. Many youth programs will have loaner shotguns for you to try and to get some experience with. For young people still growing, gun fit is a consideration, as is durability, recoil, expense, etc. Talk to a certified coach or instructor for guidance in these areas.

What kind of expense am I looking at to get involved?

A: Expenses to participate (excluding the purchase of a shotgun – see “Do I need to buy a shotgun” FAQ) include shells, targets at a shooting range, team dues (if applicable), safety equipment such as ear and eye protection (if not included in team dues), attire such as a shooting vest, team T-shirt or polo, etc. (if not covered in team dues), registration cost for tournaments (if competing), and travel (if applicable). Here is a breakdown of these typical costs:

  • Shells: approximately $10 per box of 25. Some teams negotiate discounts on shells with national organizations. Ask a coach or team representative if you need to buy your own shells or if the team provides them and under what circumstances (sometimes teams only provide shells for competitions, not practice). A typical practice session can require 50 – 150 shells.
  • Targets: clay target sports are conducted at professional shooting ranges which charge a fee based on how many targets you use. Prices generally range from 30 – 50 cents per target. Often teams will have negotiated a discount on target prices or include them in the team dues.


  • Safety equipment: ear protection and eye protection are mandatory for all clay target sports. Pricing varies by brand and quality. Feel free to ask a coach or range representative for recommendations.


  • Vest: many teams have a branded vest for practice and competitions. These can range from $75 to as high as hundreds of dollars. While you don’t have to use a shooting vest to shoot clay targets, they provide many nice features including lots of storage capacity, specific pockets for various equipment, number tag clips, and clips for things like gloves or towels. Check with a coach if you will need to buy a vest to participate with the team or whether this cost is included.


  • Tournaments: if you decide you want to compete, most tournaments have a registration cost. This can range from $30 to hundreds of dollars for multi-day events. Sometimes the team will cover this. Again, checking with the coach on how the team handles competitions will provide clarity in this area.

Tournaments can be fun and increase skills, but they are not mandatory.