An introduction to Olympic Skeet Shooting

Peli cases are used by shooting sport athletes all over the world to carry their firearms and other equipment. Last year, we covered the Olympic event known as Biathlon, in which Peli Pro Julia Simon competed for France. This sport involved an unorthodox combination of skiing and rifle target shooting.

With that said, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Shotgun is due to take place in January 2023 in Morocco. Thus, we thought it would be interesting to cover skeet shooting, a popular shotgun sport and event at the ISSF WC as well as the Olympics.

What is the ISSF?

The ISSF is the governing body of the Olympic shooting events in rifle, pistol, and shotgun disciplines, as well as several non-Olympic shooting sport events. As governing body, the activities that are central to the ISSF include regulation of the sports, Olympic qualifications and organization of international competitions such as the aforementioned ISSF World Cup Series, as well as other events such as the ISSF World Cup Finals, the ISSF Separate World Championship in Shotgun events and the ISSF World Championship in all events.

What is skeet shooting?

Skeet shooting involves using a shotgun to shoot clay targets that are launched into the air. However, it is a bit more involved than that. There are variations in the United States as well as the international variation, which is the basis for the Olympics event. The international variation is known as “Olympic skeet” or simply “international skeet”.

International skeet shooting, the Olympic game variation and governed by the ISSF, involves two towers at opposite sides of a shooting field. The tower on the left is referred to as the “high house.” And the one on the right is, as you might guess, known as the “low house”. The targets are mechanically flung into the air by these two towers at various angles, from left to right and from right to left.

The skeet field has eight stations that are arranged in a semicircle. Each squad or individual starts at the one closest to the high house. From there the participants work their way around the stations. The object is of course to shoot a given sequence of targets at each station and try not to miss any. The participants go around all eight stations for a round of twenty-five total targets.

In the international game there are specific shooting sequences at each station. The targets can be launched across the field as singles or doubles. In other words, a single target may be launched or two targets depending on the sequence at each specific station.

Skeet shooting rules

There is an incredibly extensive list of rules to Olympic skeet, possibly more than any other Olympic discipline. Thus, if you really wanted to know, we would recommend studying the rule book; however, for a quick overview, you can just read the following.

A participant must signal or “call” the skeet for it to be flung into the air. The targets are released with a random timer, meaning the clay can be released at any time from immediately to three seconds after the shooter has called. There are extremely strict rules that govern the “ready” position. At the “ready” position, a shooter must have the toe of the shotgun stock touching the body at a line affixed to the skeet vest level with the natural drop of the elbow. No shooter is allowed to move to mount the gun until the target has been released. If there is an infraction, the referee will call a “no bird” and issue a warning known as a yellow card. If the offence is repeated, a target will be lost.

There are other infringements that can lead to lost targets such as faults related to footing and time. There are also regulations related to weapons and ammunition. But we will not get into these. Just know there are a lot of rules. If you are interested, you can find all the rules and regulations here.


Peli Products manufactures a wide range of protective cases that are not only impact-resistant but also watertight, dust-proof and crushproof. Among the many case sizes that Peli produces is a range of long cases, which are ideal for the protection of firearms.

If you are interested in seeing Peli’s entire line of protective cases, click on the button below to see them all.

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Cover image by Michael Satterfield.

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