What is the Youth Target Foundation (YTF)?
The Youth Target Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that promotes and protects the traditions of target sports. We train parents, coaches, mentors, volunteers and our youth to respect, conserve and love outdoor sports, while facilitating family bonds in a safe and educational environment. YTF compiles and centralizes virtual access to calendars, educational elements, data and organizations pertaining to target sports revolutionizing the educational process for all levels. YTF provides scholarships, programs and funding while integrating these sports into communities and schools.
How do I join?
YTF has teams all across Texas. First, make sure your school doesn’t already have a team. Each of these teams is a charter of YTF- much like Boy Scout “troops” are still a part of the larger Boy Scouts of America program. If your school doesn’t already have a team, we can help your school get one set up. We also have club teams for those who do not yet have a school team; it can be comprised of members from all across your area. Go to our Contact Us page and send us an email!
Do you have any introductory classes?
Yes, Breaking Basics is our “Intro to Shotgun” class designed specifically to introduce youth (and their parents) to shotgun sports. Check our Clay Calendar for dates and sign up on our Event Registration Page!
Do I need to know anything about shooting to join a team?
No. In fact, our instructors love working with new competitors. We recommend that you take the Breaking Basics clinic first to make sure that you really enjoy it before joining a team.
How do I start a team?
First, you will need to find at least 5 friends at your school that would like to be on a team. Next, a teacher at your school needs to be willing to “sponsor” the team, or in other words the teacher will be the liaison between the school and the team. You can get the Teacher Sponsor letter from YTF to give to them that explains their role in more detail. Once you have 5 friends, and a Teacher Sponsor you will contact YTF and we will help you to get a meeting set up with your school administration! YTF will help every step of the way to make sure a team gets started and is sustained at your school for years to come!
How long is the season?
YTF offers a fall season which is 12 weeks and a spring season which normally runs about 16 weeks. Each team determines participation differently. The details of this can be discussed at team meetings at the beginning of the season.
How much does it cost?
Each Team has the ability to set up its own pricing structure. YTF gives teams multiple resources and samples in order to do so. The athlete fee for joining the Youth Target Foundation is $50 annually! Visit our Athlete Benefits page under the Team Central tab for more information!
Do I have to compete?
No, many athletes take a leadership position and practice weekly. In a high school program, competition is required to receive your varsity letterman.
What do I need for competitions?
For YTF competitions, you will provide your own sporting equipment, ammunition, ear & eye protection. The team may have equipment for athletes to borrow, this depends on the team however.
The YTF schedule and events can be found on our Clay Calendar, you can view this by clicking the link at the top of the page! In order to register for events, you will click on our Event Registration page, find the event you wish to attend, and click the registration link on the right hand side.
How do I letter?
The YTF Varsity letterman requirements are listed in our YTF Handbook. You can download the handbook by visiting the Policies and Procedures page under the About Us tab.
Which shotgun should I purchase?
We recommend that you demo several brands and try “team shotguns”. Talk to your coaches and other team members and see what they like (or don’t like) about their shotguns.
If you want to purchase a shotgun, make sure to try a variety of them first to test weight and fit. Kids are still growing at this age and typically need to be fitted by a YTF affiliated stock fitter. YTF offers great discounts on many sporting shotguns through our sponsors. Contact us for more information!
Where do we practice?
There are many training facilities near you, please see our Range Locations page to find a range near you. This can be found on the left hand side of the page under Quick Links.
Where can I get extra training or one-on-one coaching?
The Youth Target Foundation offers our members training from the YTF Pro Staff. The team book our instructors for team clinics, coaching coaches clinics, or one on one instruction. Check out our Instructor Page for more information.
How do I as a parent become involved?
Parents are a very important part of the Youth Target Foundation. Without them we could not function. Parents are coaches, volunteers, fundraisers, and board members. You can sign up for a volunteer membership! The cost is $35 dollars annually, you will receive insurance coverage and a background check for 1 year. All parents that are participating with their teams must complete a background check.
Parent Board positions and descriptions:
The parent board acts as a fundraising booster club and seasonal planning committee for competitions, matching team apparel, ammunition, travel, letter programs, and scholarship planning. The parents that sit on this board are elected by majority and the Roberts Rules of Order are to be followed.
I want to be a coach-what do I have to do?
Coaches are required to register with the YTF (covers the background check and insurance coverage) .They are required to take the YTF Level 1 Coaches Training, which is designed to teach parents how to coach clay target sports.
What does the YTF Coaches Clinic involve/include?
The Coaches Clinic is an 8 hour course that takes place in one day. Classroom time includes the information that will be taught to the youth in the first 4 weeks- Safety, firearms, ammunition, gauges, clay targets and the different games, etc. Two hours of practical experience where the coaches shoot a variety of targets, coach other coaches, and are trained by an experienced instructor. The course costs $80 and includes the instruction, safety powerpoint(to be used during the athlete training), 1 round of targets, 1 box of ammunition, eye protection, ear protection, and gun rental (if needed).
What are the YTF Volunteer ratios?
The YTF has a strict volunteer to athlete ratio of 1 volunteer for every 5 athletes. This ratio exists to ensure the safety of all of the athletes on the team in addition to the safety of others on the range. Each volunteer must sign up on the website to receive a background check and insurance coverage.
How do I become a Parent Volunteer?
Parent volunteers are also required to register with the YTF (covers the background check and also covers you under their insurance). Parent volunteers are required with each squad or group of athletes in order to satisfy the YTF 1 volunteer : 5 athlete ratio. They are to assure that the youth are behaving properly and are following all safety rules.
Does YTF offer Hunter’s Education courses?
YTF lists Hunter’s Education courses on our website and are taught by a YTF-affiliated instructor. Please check our calendar for dates.
What is the difference between trap, skeet, sporting clays, etc…?
These are clay target games; each one has its own set of rules and a governing body. The best way to understand the games is to see them in person and participate. You can find descriptions of these games in the YTF Handbook.
Will we shoot the same games as they do in the Olympics?
Yes! While they are not common in the area, we do offer opportunities for athletes to experience both International Skeet and Bunker (International) Trap.
What is endowment money and what does it do for us?
All Youth Target Foundation teams have a Midway Foundation endowment account. This is a perpetual endowment fund that allows the team to draw 5% from the account each year for operating costs. Obviously the more money in the fund, the more money you have to use each year.
How do we earn endowment money?
Teams earn endowment money through participation and making the podium at competitions. Donations through fundraising can be directly deposited into your fund and the money is matched by Midway 1:1.
Does YTF offer college scholarships?
Yes, YTF offers many opportunities to receive scholarships. You must be an active member of YTF and must meet all requirements listed on the scholarship description. The team parent board will have access to yearly scholarship applications, although not all scholarships are awarded by application. Some may be awarded as a prize for winning an event or even a random drawing at a YTF event. The YTF Senior Booklet is designed to help athletes receive scholarships and to help bridge the gap between high school and collegiate competitive clay target sports. Ask the YTF Staff or a member of your team administration about the Senior Booklet.
What colleges have shooting programs?
The listing of all colleges in the USA that have shooting programs can be found in the YTF Senior Booklet.
I want to sponsor my child’s team. How do I do that?
Thank you so much for offering! There are a variety of ways to sponsor a team. You can donate equipment, or you can sponsor the team’s vests, practice shirts, hats, shooting pouches, etc… You can also donate directly to an endowment fund. If you have questions, contact your team’s fundraising chairperson, or your head coach.
I want to purchase ammunition- does YTF offer discounts?
Yes, YTF is able to purchase ammo at a discounted rate from several manufacturers. Please see the list of discounts under the member benefits tab. If you are planning on participating in other competitions, including regionals, state, etc…, or plan on taking lessons and participating in clinics, we highly recommend purchasing through YTF.
What can I do during the off-season to keep my skills up?
There are a variety of opportunities to be involved in shooting during the off season.
First, keep practicing- go to the range and shoot for fun!
Second: Participate in registered shoots. There are trap, skeet and sporting clay shoots almost every weekend (just be prepared to travel).
Third: Take one on one instruction and clinics with a YTF Pro-Staffer. These Team USA athletes will help take you to the next level.
Fourth: Join a league! Most ranges offer them, but you can also join the YTF youth-only leagues that will be offered during the fall and spring through your team.
Fifth: Look out for clinics and educational opportunities. You may not be able to participate in them, but volunteers are always needed. Teaching is an excellent way to keep your skills sharp, too!
My child has never/rarely fired a shotgun. Can he/she still participate?
Yes. YTF has excellent coaches and training programs to help your child. If your child is new/fairly new to this sport, we strongly recommend that he/she attend a YTF Breaking Basics clinic. Dates for these clinics are listed on the Clay Calendar page.