National Sporting Clays Association
National Sporting Clays Association

Classification System

NSCA members are assigned to one of seven (7) classes in which they will compete. To maintain the integrity of the classification system, all NSCA members shooting on the course where an NSCA Registered Event is taking place must register their targets. All registered events using the NSCA classification system will offer all classes. A classification card will be provided to all shooters, and the card must be shown at registration every time a shooter registers for an event.

A shooter’s classification carries over from one shooting year to the next. All new shooters will be assigned a class. During the current year, a shooter is subject to reclassify UPWARDS ONLY (with the exception of appeals).


Changes in Classification System

Effective January 1, 2013, the following changes took effect:

A shooter who has never shot any registered clay targets will be assigned Class E.

The new punch count required for moving up in class will be as follows:

  • E Class to D Class – 4 punches
  • D Class to C Class – 6 punches
  • C Class to B Class – 8 punches
  • B Class to A Class – 12 punches
  • A Class to AA Class – 14 punches
  • AA Class to Master Class – 20 punches

Other provisions will remain as described below.


Determining Class

There are seven (7) classes a shooter can classify into: Master-AA-A-B-C-D-E.

A shooter who has never shot any registered clay targets will be assigned Class “E”. A first-time NSCA member who has shot registered targets with any clay target organization other than a Sporting Clays association (i.e., NSSA, ATA, NRA, International skeet or trap) and has been classified in “A”, “AA” or “AAA” class will be assigned an NSCA class that is one class lower than his/her highest class attained in that clay target association. If the first-time member has not shot a sufficient number of targets in any other clay target association to be assigned a class, or if their class is “B” or below, they will be placed in NSCA “E” class.

A shooter from another Sporting Clays organization, (i.e., USSCA/SCA, CPSA, F.I.T.A.S.C., Non-Registered Sporting Clay Events) will shoot their earned class or higher.

A person who purchases an International Shooting membership or a regular foreign membership will be placed one class higher than the highest registered class in sporting or parcours de chasse, whichever is higher in their country’s association. If a new International Shooter or regular foreign member does not belong to CPSA, another recognized Sporting Clays organization, or if there is no Sporting Clays organization in that country, the new member will be placed in the following classes:

  • AA Class or higher, if known ability applies, for those who qualify for NSCA concurrents
  • Master Class for all others

A shooter may be classified based on his/her “known ability.”

Moving Up in Class

Shooters earn their way out of class by shooting the high score(s) or tying for the high score (s) in class.

In NSCA Nationals and US Open (main event only)
The top five (5) scores and all ties in each class receive four (4) punches; the sixth and seventh highest
scores and all ties in each class receive three (3) punches; the eighth and ninth highest scores and all ties in each class receive two (2) punches; the tenth highest score and all ties in each class receive one (1) punch.

In all events using the NSCA classification system, except the NSCA Nationals and US Open main events
Shooters will earn punches based on the number of entries in their respective class. Punches are awarded as follows:

  • HOA – The shooter with the highest score and all ties in an event, where there is a minimum of ten (10) total shooters, shall receive a minimum of one (1) punch no matter what class the shooter is in.
  • 0â€2 shooters in class – No punch is awarded
  • 3-9 shooters in class – One (1) punch for high score and all ties
  • 10-14 shooters in class – Two (2) punches for high score and all ties; one (1) punch for the second highest score and all ties
  • 15-29 shooters in class – Four (4) punches for high score and all ties; two (2) punches for second highest score and all ties; one (1) punch for third highest score and all ties
  • 30-44 shooters in class – Four (4) punches for high score and all ties; four (4) punches for second highest score and ties; two (2) punches for third highest score and ties; one (1) punch for fourth highest score and all ties
  • 45+ shooters in class – Four (4) punches to first, second, and third highest scores and all ties; three (3) punches for fourth highest score and all ties; two (2) punches for fifth highest score and all ties; one (1) punch for sixth highest score and all ties.

It is the shooter’s responsibility to determine these punches and move up one class after reaching the following number of punches:

  • E Class to D Class – 4 punches
  • D Class to C Class – 6 punches
  • C Class to B Class – 8 punches
  • B Class to A Class – 12 punches
  • A Class to AA Class – 14 punches
  • AA Class to Master Class – 20 punches

Note: Punches must be earned in the shooter’s current class for them to be used in moving up in class. A
person earning more than the necessary punches to move up in class enters the new class with no punches.

In events of 100+ entries, it is the responsibility of shoot management to notify all shooters of their move up in class or punches received. The shooter is also equally responsible to shoot in his/her proper class and to inquire and inform shoot management of any move up at the next tournament entered.

Upon entering a shoot with multiple events, a person will remain in the class he/she started in for all events held, and any punches he/she earns will be awarded at the conclusion of all of the events at that shoot. A shooter cannot be moved up more than one class at the conclusion of the registered events based on punches; however, a shooter can be moved up more than one class based on KNOWN ABILITY.

For more details on the Classification System, moving up in class, appealing a classification, being classified based on known ability, and more, see the NSCA Rule Book, whose definitions and rules regarding classification are the final authority.