Rules For The Shotgun Game
Three shooters take their place on the firing line at a time. From left to right, they are designated Shooter 1, Shooter 2, and Shooter 3.
- Shooter 1 calls for the bird by shouting, "Pull!" Shooter 1 gets first chance at the bird, Shooters 2 and 3 may not shoot until after Shooter 1 fires.
- After Shooter 1 shoots, Shooter 2 may shoot to try to break either the whole bird missed by Shooter 1, or to try to break a chunk of a bird broken by Shooter 1. If Shooter 2 successfully breaks clay after Shooter 1 has fired, Shooter 1 is eliminated from the round of competition.
- Shooter 3 may shoot after Shooter 2 only if both Shooter 1 and Shooter 2 have completely missed the clay, and a whole bird remains. If Shooter 3 successfully breaks a whole bird missed by both Shooters 1 and 2, both Shooters 1 and 2 are eliminated from the round of competition.
- Shooters eliminate themselves from competition by any of the following actions:
- If Shooter 1 fires after the clay has started its descent from the apex of flight, and misses.
- If Shooter 2 fires before Shooter 1 fires.
- If Shooter 3 fires before Shooter 2 fires.
- If Shooter 3 fires at a broken clay.
- An eliminated competitor takes the score of the order in which they were eliminated from competition; for example, the first shooter eliminated from competition receives a score of 1; the second shooter eliminated receives a score of 2, etc.
- Assuming no shooters were eliminated on a particular bird-throw, Shooter 1 rotates off the firing line, Shooter 2 rotates to become Shooter 1, Shooter 3 rotates to become Shooter 2, and a new competitor takes the place of Shooter 3. Non-eliminated shooters who rotate off the firing line will eventually rotate back onto the firing line as shooter 3. Eliminated competitors are removed from the rotation.
- This process continues until only two competitors remain in the rotation, and one is eliminated.
- All judgements are made by a consensus of the competitors.
- Because scores are influenced by the order in which a competitor first takes to the firing line (early shooters are more likely to get a lower score), it is customary to run at least two stages of competition to neutralize shoot-order-bias. The second stage may simply be in the reverse order from the first, or in finishing order of the first stage.