FITASC Sporting, is a shooting discipline which forms part of the ‘Federation Internationale de Tir Aux Sportives de Chasse’ based in Paris. FITASC as it is more commonly known, is an international form of Sporting Clays and enjoys a following the world over. Many would argue that it is the ultimate challenge in clay target shooting.
The competitions are mainly shot over 100 targets made up of four layouts of 25 targets, or "Parcours". GB selection shoots will have 150 – 200 targets, shot over 2 days, whilst the European and World Events have 200 targets, shot over 4 days.
There are two variations in the format, known as "old system" and "new system". The new system accommodates more shooters but requires considerably more traps, whilst the old system is still more favoured as the purest form of the sport.
The old system comprises five traps on a layout with three different shooting positions. The positions are marked by a 1 metre diameter hop placed on the ground. A squad of six shooters shoots the sequence of targets from Peg 1 and then moves on to Peg 2, then Peg 3. The downside of this system is that only one squad can be 'in action' on a particular layout at one time.
The new system will have three or four shooting positions on each layout,(it has been known for five shooting positions at European or World Championships),but each position will have its own set of traps. This means that a squad can be shooting from each position at the same time. This system allows more shooters to compete in a day but costs are increased considerably. World and European Championships will always be set on the new system with up to 8 parcours being used.
On arriving at the stand, the squad is shown the targets they will shoot. The first shooter will shoot all their singles from that stand and will then step off to allow the next shooter to move forward. The doubles is then shot with shooter number 2 starting, number 1 having dropped to the last person to shoot. On the next layout, number 3 shooter will lead off and so on. This means that a different shooter starts each time. Double targets can be simultaneous, on report or following, "raffael" in FITASC terminology.
On single targets, full use of the gun is allowed and a kill is recorded whether the first or second shot breaks the target. For the doubles, there is no requirement to fire one shot at each target and a competitor may fire both barrels at one of the targets if they wish. There is no penalty for doing so and the target will be scored if broken with either shot.
Gun position until the target appears, is strictly monitored. The heel of the stock must be touching the body below a horizontal line, 25cm down from the top of the shoulder. This line is always marked on the shooters vest to aid the referee. If the shooter moves his gun before the target is visible they will be warned immediately by the referee. Repeated instances will result in targets being deducted.
Shooting takes place in a 1m hoop, the shooter has great freedom of movement and is not restricted in any way. Safe gun handling is of the highest importance.
FITASC targets are not limited to standard clays and you will see all types, battues, rockets, rabbits, midis and minis, in use. The variety adds considerable interest and makes accurate reading of the target more difficult.
Cartridge load is now restricted to 28 gram, but this reduction has not noticeably affected scores. FITASC can be shot with a regular Sporting Clay gun but many will opt for the longer barrel lengths.
If you have never shot FITASC then do make the effort to try it. There are four GB selection shoots throughout the year which are open to all shooters who are members of one of the UK National governing bodies. The atmosphere at the World and European Championships is amazing and you should plan to attend one of these great shoots at least once.