The Role of Aural Protection within Clay Pigeon Shooting
The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA) is England’s clay target shooting national governing body. Clay shooting is the sport of shooting clay targets or “pigeons” with a shot gun and is a much loved sport in the UK. With over 24 000 members across 360 clubs, the clay target shooting community is large and requires support in various ways. The CPSA provides opportunities for members who want to enjoy an afternoon with their friends through tho those who want to shoot in registered competitions (regionally and nationally), apply to be selected for the England Team Shooting evening and Great Britain team events, and obtain shooting classifications (handicaps), to name a few. The CPSA promote the highest standards of excellence for the sport as they share their passion and dedication, and enhance the sport of clay pigeon shooting in England.
We reached out to their head office to ask about the role of aural protection within clay pigeon shooting. We were lucky enough to receive information from Senior CPSA coach, Mr Mike Williams (FICSI), who was kind enough to discuss how important aural protection is for the sport, both physically and as a performance strategy. Mr Williams comments:
“The damage to your hearing through the percussive effects of firing a cartridge without any protection on or in your ears is not only additive it is irreversible. What happens is the fine hairs in your inner ear become detached and once lost, can never be replaced. Initially, you may notice a horrible ringing in your ears 24/7, you then lose high frequency sounds, with the lower frequencies following swiftly after, the net result is that you end up deaf! It is therefore imperative that you wear either plugs or defenders (muffs). Whichever you decide upon, check the SNR rating (Single Number Rating)- the higher the rating, the more beneficial the effect. For shot gun shooting (having a noise level of 150db at the shoulder), you should aim (forgive the pun) for something about 30 SNR or higher.
Mr Williams continues to discuss hearing protection within the CPSA and competitions,
“Propriety hearing protection is mandatory whilst participating in CPSA registered competitions, not only for the shooter but for spectators, ground staff and referees – anyone in fact, that is within 40 metres of the shooting stand. It should be a “no-brainer” for anyone involved in any form of shot gun shooting to make sure they’re wearing some form of hearing protection. There are a lot of the older generation of game shooters who are now deaf and regretting the fact that they never wore anything in the past.”
With regards to cutting out external sounds during shooting sessions, Mr Williams adds:
“Concentration and focus are the keys to success in competitive clay target shooting and propriety hearing protection devices go a long way to assisting in this direction. Anything that distracts the competitor during the preparation or in the actual act of firing at a target must be eradicated to ensure a positive outcome. Unsolicited “helpful” or “well-meaning” advice from spectators or other competitors can be extremely distracting and even destructive to a podium winning score but can be successfully “tuned-out” with the correct hearing protection.”
Thank you to the CPSA for sharing their knowledge about clay pigeon shooting and how to protect one’s hearing when participating in the sport. For further updates, join the CPSA Facebook page.