A discussion with Mark Zauhar, president of the Minnesota Trapshooting Association, about the upcoming Minnesota State High School Trapshooting Tournament, planned for the Minneapolis Gun Club on Sunday, June 14.

Question: How many teams will compete?

Answer: Eight. Prior lake. Armstrong. Minnetonka. Hopkins. St. Francis. White Bear. Worthington. Wayzata.

Q: Is this the first such tournament, in which high school teams sanctioned by their schools compete against one another?

A: As far as I know, although some people say years ago in Minnesota there was a similar tournament.

Q: In the competing schools, trapshooting is a sanctioned sport, right? And competitors can win letters?

A: Yes, the schools have to agree that trapshooting is a part of their athletic program. The kids can earn letters.

Q: Is the sport catching on in Minnesota at the high school level?

A: Yes. And we expect it will expand. It's a spring sport that usually is ended by now. But this year it will end with the state tournament.

Q: How many kids are on a team?

A: We're expecting 150 kids for the Sunday tournament. The number of shooters each school has varies from about eight to 30. On Sunday, everyone can shoot. But each school's best five-person team will compete against the best scores put up by the best teams from the other school. In this format, the assumption is the coaches will put the team's five best shooters on one team.

Q: The Minnesota Trapshooting Association is sponsoring the event, at a cost to it of about $10,000. What do you hope to get from it?

A: We want to grow our sport. And we want to give kids a chance to pursue trapshooting.

Q: How much does it cost a kid?

A: It's a 100-target event. So about $25. The rest of the costs, including lunch for everyone, MTA will pick up.

Q: How much room is there for growth for the sport at the high school level in Minnesota?

A: I think it will grow rapidly. Nebraska has 2,000 kids in their program. The fact that we went from five to eight teams this year is positive. I expect next year instead of 150 kids we'll have 300 to 400.

Q: Are some schools reluctant to recognize the sport because of the "gun'' aspect?

A: Some are. But we expect to overcome that, largely. All of the rules have to be followed. No guns or shells on school grounds. Practice is away from the school. And of course we stress safety.

Q: What time does the shoot begin on Sunday?

A: Ten a.m. We'll shoot 50 targets, break for lunch, and shoot the remaining 50.

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