Chairman’s Cup (Inter-Provincial) : An Overview


If you are serious about Clay Target Shooting then the annual Chairman’s Cup is THE event not to miss!

But you cannot just enter the event – you first have to QUALIFY for it.

The Chairman’s Cup is our biggest domestic event of the year and it is where our nine provinces each field a team of 12 shooters who are split into four individual discipline teams.

Our 9 provinces are:

  1. Central Gauteng
  2. Eastern Cape
  3. Free State
  4. Gauteng North
  5. KwaZulu Natal
  6. Limpopo
  7. Mpumalanga
  8. Northern Cape
  9. Western Cape

Each team of 3 shooters will shoot one Clay Target discipline each:

  1. ATA Trap
  2. NSSA Skeet
  3. FITASC Universal Trench
  4. FITASC Sporting

Throughout the year, each province will hold trials to select their best shooters and in many of the provinces, it’s a tough battle to qualify for this inter-provincial competition!

The date is generally the last weekend in November.

History of the Chairman’s Cup

The first inter-provincial competition was sponsored by Datsun in 1978.  There were just six provinces and two disciplines – Olympic Skeet and Olympic Trap.  However, this sponsorship ceased in 1983.  Here is an extract from the history of the CTSASA on our web site :

“The 80’s were difficult years for the country as a general financial squeeze was being applied by the International community thus sponsorship for shooting was even more difficult to obtain. However, with the loss of the Datsun sponsorship for the Inter-Provincial competition the CPSA (now the CTSASA) decided that this exciting competition should continue. An overall High Gun Trophy and trophies for each individual discipline were presented by Dr. Alec Kalell, Chairman of the CPSA. The competition was now called “The Chairman’s Cup”. Targets and medals were sponsored by the CPSA and ammunition by Swartklip Products. Initially it remained as the two Olympic disciplines, but in 1984 ATA Trap and Sporting were added. Teams were reduced to three per event per province and the targets to 150 per shooter. As some of the provinces were unable to field 4 teams of three individuals, shooters were allowed to compete in more than one discipline. Later this was amended to the present format [competitors may only shoot in one discipline]. This event has now become the most prestigious on our calendar and is hotly contested by all provinces in all disciplines. It’s timing in November ends the shooting calendar of the CTSASA.”

Annual Awards Ceremony

Before the Chairman’s Cup competition begins, it is a time-honoured tradition that the Annual Awards Ceremony is held the night before.  This highly prestigious evening commences with the taking of the official photographs of all the provincial teams, followed by the presentation of CTSASA Merit Colours, National Protea Colours, Shooter of the Year, Annual Gold Medals, certificates for newly qualified Umpires, Special Awards and other presentations suitable for this evening.  This is then followed by a full three course dinner for all the team members, managers, hosting club committee, sponsors and additional guests.


Sponsorship, Funding and Organisation

The CTSASA sponsors the cost of the clays, umpires, range labour, medals, competition administration and the Award Ceremony dinner for the teams, managers and hosting club committee.  The CTSASA Executive Officer liaises with the hosting club and is responsible for the squadding, shooting timetable, juries, range score sheets, scoring, results, trophies, medals, order for clays, commemorative brochure, publication of information, organising the photographer and the Award Ceremony venue.  The hosting club is responsible for setting the ranges, range menus (Sporting), organising the club catering, organising the range umpires and running the ranges.  The hosting club arranges the practice day and receives a hosting club fee for the event.

It all begins at 9am on Saturday

The ranges will be checked by the jury, the clays will have been loaded into the traps (the machine that launches the clays) and the umpires will be ready with the score sheets.  The first squads of competitors are dressed in team shooting jackets and shirts and the nerves are showing.

Now the competitors are no longer fighting for their own score – this is for their team!  It puts a completely different level of pressure on the shooter.  Team members are there for support and nobody wants to let their team down.  This is serious stuff!

The Mental Game

Clay Target Shooting is not a strenuous sport and requires no specific physical prowess beyond being strong enough to hold a shotgun.  If the recoil from an over-and-under 12 gauge shotgun is too much, a Clay Target Shooter can always choose a semi-automatic shotgun, where the recoil is minimised due to the mechanism involved.  But like all sports, it is the MENTAL game that will ultimately determine the success or otherwise of a competitor.  Focus is key to achieving the high scores that are needed to win the Overall Trophy.

The Scores

All four disciplines usually start at the same time.  Each competitor will shoot four rounds of 25 targets on Saturday and two rounds of 25 targets on Sunday, making a total of 150 targets.  The shooting ranges are buzzing with broken targets and watched by nervous managers and team members.  Every single target counts.

The Wailing Wall

The main score board in the clubhouse is watched with the utmost focus.  The slang term for the score board is the “Wailing Wall”!!  Many a good score has come crashing down because the shooter has looked at the Wailing Wall and put themselves under too much pressure.  One cannot control what the other shooters score so rather just leave it alone and check the scores at the end of the competition.  Very few people can watch the scores and get motivated to shooter better so the best advice is to not waste energy analysing the scores during the competition.

The Disciplines

If you are not familiar with Clay Target Shooting, then it may come as a surprise to know that there are four distinct groups of disciplines – Trap, Skeet, Trench and Sporting.  Within these groups there are variations on a theme where we have 12 different disciplines.  Each major group uses a specific type of shooting range.  For example, Trap uses a range with a single trap machine situated 16 yards in front of a curved line of 5 shooters.  Skeet is shot over a semi-circle where the shooters move around the semi-circle to create a different angle of target.  Trench is where we have 15 machines in front of a straight line of 5 shooting stands and where a squad of shooters can number up to 6.  Trench can either use 3, 5 or all 15 machines, depending upon the discipline being shot.

And then we come to Sporting…………

Apart from safety, and a bit of distance limitations, sporting targets have very few boundaries.  This discipline mimics live field shooting and so the trajectories are allowed to be more ‘wild’ and carefree!   And more difficult.

No-one likes to lose

The Chairman’s Cup inter-provincial is a true test of mental strength, as well as Clay Target Shooting skill, and of course, no-one likes to lose.  But losing also keeps us coming back for more.  True sportspeople come back fighting and learn lessons from their experiences.  That’s why the Chairman’s Cup has been hugely successful and will continue to be so for a long time to come.

How to qualify for the Chairman’s Cup

Your provincial CTSA will have its own system of team selection.  Please contact your provincial delegate (click here for details).

Full results can be seen here :