Trap shooting is one of the three major disciplines of clay shooting. The other disciplines are skeet shooting and sporting clays. In trap shooting, the targets are launched from a single “house” or machine, generally away from the shooter. Trap shooting is practiced all over the world but is most popular in the United States Canada and Europe.
Trap shooting variants include, but are not limited to, international varieties Olympic trap, also known as “International Trap”, “Bunker”, ISSF Trap, and “Trench”; Double trap also an Olympic event. Non-Olympic shooting variants include Down-The-Line, also known as “DTL”, and Nordic Trap. American Trap is the predominant version in the United States and Canada.
Trap shooting was originally developed, in part, to augment bird hunting and to provide a method of practice for bird hunters. Use of targets was introduced as a replacement for live pigeon-shooting. Indeed, one of the names for the targets used in shooting games is clay pigeons. The layout of a modern trap shooting field differs from that of a skeet field and/or a sporting clays course.
Trap shooting has been a sport since the late 18th century when real birds were used; usually the passenger pigeon, which was extremely abundant at the time. Birds were placed under hats or in traps which were then released. Artificial birds were introduced around the time of the American Civil War. Glass balls (Bogardus) and subsequently “clay” targets were introduced in the later 1800s, gaining wide acceptance.