Alabama Skeet origins:

American Skeet started in Massachusetts in 1920 and was introduced to the public in 1926. As its popularity increased the National Skeet Shooting Association came about and the first National Championship was held in 1935 in Cleveland Ohio.  The NSSA has named and recorded All-American Teams starting in 1930.  Alabama Skeet must have had an early start in that Emmett Marshall from Alabama was on the Open First Team in 1931 and Bill Purdue in 1941. A number of Alabama All Americans and World High average leaders are recorded in the 40’s and 50’s[1].

It’s not clear when the first State Skeet shoots were held in Alabama but Emmett Marshall was named as the Alabama State Champion in 1931[2]. ASSA records start with Champions in all four guns in 1954 and include State Champions for most years thereafter.  The earliest shoot record in the ASSA files is for a state shoot held at the Tri-Cities Skeet Club in Sheffield Alabama in 1965, with 58 shooters, where 100 targets were shot in the 12 and 20 Ga…, and 50 shot in 28 GA and .410 bore; typical of that era. The conduct of these early state shoots was organized and held in a somewhat unofficial manner until May 17, 1972 when the Alabama Skeet Shooting Association (ASSA) Constitution and By-laws were officially formulated, recognized by the National Association, and incorporated in Madison Co. Alabama.

The Board of Directors who signed off on this auspicious document were: L. L. McAlaster, Huntsville; Henry Cribbs, Albertville; Wiley C. Bunn, Huntsville; J. H. Clark, Mobile; Robert J. Thomas, Huntsville; John Pinkerton, Gurley; Charles Wolbach, Birmingham; Sidney Gill, Theodore; and John Howard, Mobile. The By-laws have undergone many revisions since then but the Constitution is pretty much the same.  As provided in the By-laws the first Alabama All State Team was announced by President Jim Clark in 1973. It was composed of six members; Henry Cribbs, Don Smith, Wayne Mays, Bob Wiggins, Jim Martin, and J. O. Thompson.

There have been a number of Skeet Clubs that have contributed to the success of the ASSA and competition Skeet in Alabama. A partial list (including current ASSA member clubs) is provided below:
(Clubs in Bold indicate current NSSA/ASSA Clubs)

20/20 Skeet Club, Joppa, early 80’s, 4 fields, State Shoot 1985
Big Oaks, Lacey’s Spring, 3 fields (closed in 2013)

Cullman County Shotgun Club, Cullman, 2 Fields
Dixie Skeet & Trap, Mathews Eastaboga, AL – 2 fields, 60’s & 70’s
Army Aviation Shotgun Club, Fort Novosel,(formerly Fort Rucker Skeet & Trap Club) 6 fields

Headland Skeet and Gun Club, Headland, 2 fields
Jim Beasley Club, Athens, one field, circa 1950-55
Gadsden, 2 lighted fields, 60’s to 80’s, State Shoot about 1970.
Graysville Gun Club, 2 fields, registered shoots 80’s
Madison County Shooting Sports Association, New Market, 3 fields,
Mars Skeet Club, NASA side, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, 2 fields,
Maxwell AFB Skeet & Trap Club, Montgomery, 2 fields
Mobile Skeet & Trap Club, Mobile
Morgan County Gun Club, Priceville, early 50’s-1968, 2 fields, State shoot circa 1966
Muscle Shoals Skeet & Trap Club, Florence. 3 fields
Pine Bluff Skeet Range, Gurley, 3 fields, State Shoot 1972
Red Eagle Gun Club, Childersburg, 6 fields

Redstone Arsenal (US Army) MWR, Huntsville, 2 fields
Southern Skeet & Trap Club, Birmingham, 8 fields
Styx River Gun Club, 2 fields
Tri-Cities Skeet Club, Sheffield, state shoot 1965

Little information has been found on the very early Skeet shooting in Alabama other than what is presented above. Anyone having historical information on Skeet shooting in Alabama or corrections to the above information please provide it to the ASSA President or Secretary for incorporation into our historical files. 

[1] ASSA Skeet Annual, San Antonio TX, March 2005 p4

[2] Skeet Review, NSSA, San Antonio TX, July 2005