There will be the sounds of clay targets being shot with rifles, but the Northern Tier Trap League will have a different format this season.
This year’s league will not be like the traditional seasons as was decided at a meeting earlier June 9.
The 12 teams spread out through Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties will still shoot every Thursday starting on July 2, but the teams won’t be competing against each other like in years past because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 12 teams would normally have six matches where one team would travel to another club in head-to-head competition. However, this year’s format has been altered and teams will shoot at their respective clubs in a virtual competition.
League secretary Cathy Sherman said the changes were made to keep members safe.
“We have a lot older shooters and some with underlying conditions, and we wanted to look out for their safety,” said Sherman, who is also secretary at her Adams Center home club.
The 12 team captains met to make sure there was limited contact between the membership. Sherman said it was a close vote, but they decided on this year’s format.
“At least the members are going to get out and do something,” Sherman said.
The league wanted to make sure it prevented any spikes in COVID-19 infection because involved travel. This also includes shooters, who come up from the Southern Tier to compete each week,
“One person could be sick and they’ll go shoot at another club and then at home the next week,” Sherman said. “Over a two-week cycle, a lot of people could come into contact with each other and it could spread.”
Sherman added that the league has been proactive in trying minimize contact. Many clubs won’t open restrooms or serve food during events. Shooters are encouraged to stand six feet apart, which is the appropriate distance for social distancing. Only one person will be allowed to load the targets and there will be no handling of change. Any extra money will go toward other rounds.
The league will also won’t count any scores this season toward the 2021 totals. All scoring totals will stay frozen at the 2019 mark for the next year. The league also won’t hand out awards as well.
Sherman said that some shooters may decide to stay home, but some new shooters could have incentive to try out the sport and be able to learn.
“We don’t know how well these events will be attended, but we might get some new shooters that may be want to give it a try,” Sherman said.
The NTTL has existed since 1970 when the four teams of Climax (now Beaver River), Carthage, Brownville and Henderson formed the circuit. This year was supposed to welcome Gouverneur to the league to make it encompass all three counties for the first time.
The league’s revised schedule can be found on their website at http://www.northerntiertrapleague.com.