National Skeet Shooting Association
Founded in 1928 and headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, the National Skeet Shooting Association is a non-profit organization owned and operated by its members. With approximately 15,000 members and 700 affiliated member clubs, it is the largest organization in the world dedicated solely to the sport of skeet shooting. Membership is represented by a Board of Directors and an Executive Committee which employs an Executive Director to manage NSSA affairs.
The NSSA is dedicated to the development of the sport at all levels of participation and vows to create an atmosphere of healthy competition and meaningful fellowship within its membership. Shooters who want to compete can enter fun shoots and skeet shooting tournaments. The NSSA also offers the hunter a recreational target shooting sport that will strengthen hunting and gun safety skills and extend “hunting” seasons.
The NSSA is a Texas non-profit membership corporation, chartered March 26, 1984. Full information on the governance, management, meeting requirements, major events, and other corporate practices can be found in the NSSA Bylaws.
Activities – The NSSA hosts the World Skeet Shooting Championship, World Vintage Skeet Championship, Junior World Skeet Championship and an International World Skeet Championship annually. NSSA clubs host numerous fun shoots for the serious competitor or the casual shooter. All the fun activities let you enjoy shooting while meeting new people and winning prizes!
The People Who Shoot Skeet – Men, women and children of all walks of life who believe in safe gun handling, take pride in shooting well and enjoy skeet shooting with friends and family. Many shooters enjoy competing with themselves and others for prizes, self-satisfaction and self-achievement. At most skeet clubs, you’ll find a wide cross section of wives, husbands, single parents, children and grandparents. Tournaments are divided into many different classes, so shooters will be competing against others of equal ability.
Is Skeet an Expensive Sport? Not necessarily; it depends on your personal objectives. You can have a lifetime of fun and fellowship at a local skeet club in return for a small investment in the shotgun of your choice, safety gear and modest ammunition costs. On the other hand, if shooting in state, regional, national and international tournaments is what you prefer, then, like any sport, the costs can go as high as your ambition and budget will allow.
What If I’ve Never Shot a Gun Before? Membership in a skeet club affiliated with the NSSA offers you the finest and safest means of learning to shoot from scratch. Rigid safety regulations are enforced and certified instructors are available to you.
History of Skeet and NSSA
Skeet differs from all other shooting sports, because it was originally developed to improve hunting in the field, and only later, because of its growing popularity, developed into a competitive sport.
Its development was actually brought about, because of the industrial revolution sweeping the country during the early 1900s. Rural areas began growing at incredible speed, into large, sprawling, industrial cities.
Hunters were now finding it necessary to travel longer distances in order to find areas in which to hunt. When they finally arrived, they discovered the game was no longer as plentiful as it once was. Not only were hunters having a harder time finding game, but certain species had already been hunted into extinction. One example is the carrier pigeon.
The American sportsman soon began to realize, some form of game conservation would have to be enacted. Eventually, it was, with game seasons, and bag limits, imposed on all hunters. Because of the shortened hunting season, hunters were now finding it harder and harder to get enough practice to become a decent shot.
Some hunters turned to trap shooting to fine tune their hunting abilities. However, this was no help because of the lack of incoming and crossing shots.
In 1920, this problem was finally addressed by Charles Davis of Andover Mass. He was the owner of a dog kennel and an avid hunter. He spent many hours trying to devise a way to improve his field shooting. After trying and discarding many different types of plans he finally settled on an idea based on a field, laid out in a 50 yard circle. He called it “Shooting Around the Clock.”
Around the circle, he placed 12 shooting stations, with a single trap, located at station 12. Shooters would fire two shots from each station, and one from the center, equaling a box of shells, or 25 shots. This layout provided almost every type of shot a hunter would encounter in the field.
All went well, until the owner of the adjoining property complained of falling shot on his land. To avoid any future problems, Davis cut his shooting circle in half, and put a second trap at the opposite end of his shooting field. This became the birth of the modern day skeet field.
This hunting practice field became so popular; it soon developed into a popular shooting game. Eventually, it was renamed Skeet, which is the Scandinavian word for Shoot. In 1926, the first National Skeet Championships were held, and shortly after, the National Skeet Shooting Association was formed.
By Barry Greenberg