ST. PAUL-The USA High School Clay Target League is adding the clay target discipline of skeet shooting to its program, league officials announced Tuesday.

The inclusion of skeet shooting as an option to the hundreds of schools that participate in the league will expand clay target shooting opportunities for tens of thousands of students nationwide.

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Nearly 26,000 student athletes participated in the league during the 2017-2018 school year.

"With the huge popularity and growth of our trap shooting program, it made sense to expand our clay target offering to include skeet shooting across the nation," John Nelson, vice president of the USA High School Clay Target League, said in a statement. "Our first skeet shooting program was started in Minnesota four years ago, and it continues to grow in popularity. Our Skeet Shooting Championship in Minnesota is already the largest skeet shooting event in the state."

In skeet shooting, the shooter shoots from eight positions on a semicircular field. There are two houses that hold target throwers that launch the targets, one at each corner of the semicircle. One trap launches targets from 10 feet above the ground ("high" house) and the other launches it from 3 feet above ground ("low" house). Each athlete shoots two 25-target rounds during competition.

To participate in the USA High School Clay Target League, each team must have the approval of their school's administration. The league is the only 100 percent school-approved clay target shooting sport program in America and is a preferred vendor of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

More info: " target="_blank">usaclaytarget.com.