Sporting clays is a form of clay pigeon shooting, often described as “golf with a shotgun” because a typical course includes from 10 to 15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain. For safety, the course size is often no smaller than 35 acres (14 ha).
Unlike trap and skeet, which are games of repeatable target presentations, sporting clays simulates the unpredictability of live-quarry shooting, offering a great variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations, distances, and target sizes.
Because the sport is popular with a wide variety of shotgun enthusiasts, the shotguns used do not fit an exact standard; however, every shotgun used for sporting clays must be capable of shooting two cartridges of 12 gauge or smaller. Popular shotgun configurations include over-and-under, semiautomatic, and pump-action.