From March 29th, outdoor shooting can resume in line with government advice, including practice and registered clay shoots

From March 29th 2021, lockdown restrictions ease and you will be allowed to meet outdoors, either as a group of six individuals, or as two households. Outdoor sports are allowed to resume on the same day, which includes clay pigeon shooting. It is, however, absolutely vital that you maintain social distancing, even while outdoors.

When do clay shooting grounds re-open?

Shooting grounds across England are opening from March 29th for practice and registered competitions. So, you will be able to shoot and compete at clay grounds and ranges once again, as long as you adhere to the restrictions on group sizes and maintain social distancing at all times. A pre-booking only system is expected, so call ahead and book before travelling.

The CPSA issued the following statement: “Squads/groups of up to six shooters will be allowed to shoot together, so long as the Referee can safely distance from the squad. Further guidance will be issued within the next week.”

How far can I travel to shoot?

This is a grey area. The advice from Government is to continue to “stay local”, though it has not been clarified what this means in practice. The wisest move is to minimise travel where possible. So, don’t go driving three hours to your favourite ground for a treat if your local ground is half an hour away!

Will we have a proper competition season?

The CPSA is hopeful of a decent 2021 events calendar, providing restrictions continue to ease. They said: “Considering the roadmap and restrictions, we are looking forward to a full calendar of events this year including The Game Fair and our CPSA Championships, starting with the English Open English Sporting on 19-23 May at Barbury Shooting School and the English Open English Skeet at Eriswell Lodge on the 4-6 June.

“We are working closely with our fellow associations regarding the Home Internationals schedule. We are reviewing the dates of the England selection shoots in light of the delay in hotels being able to open and will make announcements regarding this in the coming days. We are committed to running a full England Team selection and Home International calendar this year.”

Will simulated game days be allowed to continue?

BASC has offered specific guidance on this. The organisation stated: “The easing of lockdown also allows for the return of organised sport outdoors. It is worth noting that this is exempt from gathering limits where the organiser follows sector specific guidance. We have produced a document on Covid-compliant simulated game shooting, which organisers must follow to allow shoots to take place from 29 March.”

You can access the document here towards the bottom of the page