• Department

Ikes in Action: A Successful Trap League in Lincoln, Nebraska

Dave Tunink
Outdoor America 2021 Issue 1
Sampson Construction taking their turn - credit Dave Tunink

Nebraska >> Since the mid-1960s, the League’s Lincoln Chapter has run trap leagues on the chapter’s 147 acres. Some existing teams have competed in the Ike’s league for more than 20 years. Normally, there is a weekly summer league that starts in early May following the completion of the high school season and runs until the middle of August, and a fall league that follows and runs until the middle of October. Due to health guidelines surrounding COVID-19, which did not allow sporting events to occur, the start of the trap shooting season was delayed until late June 2020. Teams compete with a different team in their class with a point awarded for the highest 16-yard, handicap and total team score for a maximum of three points per week.

This year was also different because COVID-19 guidelines required everyone who entered the clubhouse to wear a mask. The league office manager, Kay Johns, was isolated in an office with a plexiglass shield to separate her from the contestants. Participants were asked to keep a distance from the scorers who were provided PPE and hand sanitizers. The clubhouse kitchen served food and drink while following state health guidelines. Tables and chairs were arranged to provide social distancing between teams. Hand sanitizers were place throughout the clubhouse. Teams generally kept together, and some brought lawn chairs and sat outside the clubhouse to enjoy the evening after competing.

A total of 24 teams signed up with rosters of eight to 10 participants per team. The 24 teams were divided into four classes (AA through C).

The top team winners in 2020 were as follows: Class AA-Rock Busters; Class A-Hard Rock; Class B-KZ Valve; and Class C-Engineers with Guns. Awards, a wooden bar with the team’s name and year, were given to the top three teams per class. These awards, created by a local business for nearly 20 years, display the team name and year, and can be attached by screws to the plaque each year. The plaque with the Ike’s building engraved on it is provided to all first-time winners. In the summer league, the top overall competitor and top competitor per class also receive awards. Due to COVID-19, the awards banquet (a cook-your-own steak get-together) that is typically held after awards are presented did not happen.

Many positive comments were received from participants who were happy to have this opportunity to shoot trap and to see others they only see during the trap league. Most of the attendees said it was great to get out and compete with the coronavirus keeping people indoors.

Key to our success, the Lincoln Chapter was able to continue a long tradition of trap shooting by proactively adjusting for COVID-19 with everyone staying healthy and enjoying an activity they love.

Dave Tunink is secretary of the League's Lincoln Chapter.