2014 State Indoor Target Archery Championships
I participated in my first official archery competition this weekend in Tulare, CA at the 2014 State Indoor Target Archery Championships. The competition consisted of four 300 rounds (120 arrows), and I was shooting for 920/1200 for an average of 230/300. I ended up scoring 917, which is close enough for me. I even ended up matching my own personal best in practice of a 238, so at least I can’t blame any bad shooting on nervousness.
But enough about me, the main reason I’m writing this is in the hopes of informing any other first-time competitors out there. Going into this event I had no idea what to expect, so let me see if I can put any other archers at ease.
My friend and I signed up for the afternoon group, which started practice at 1:30 pm. The morning group started at 8:00 am. We arrived at the venue around 11:00 am and the morning group was still shooting. All the afternoon archers had to wait outside until the morning people cleared out so that we could head in.
Roughly around 12:45 the morning group began to leave and they let the afternoon crowd in. The lane assignments were posted up on various spots at the gate and entryways, so we found our names and the lane number and headed over. We’d heard that parents and friends had trouble finding chairs during the JOAD shoot, so one of the benefits in shooting with the adult groups was we had more than enough chairs available.
Each lane/target bale had four archers. Two targets on top, and two on the bottom. We were luckily paired with two more experienced and very friendly archers who explained the shooting situation to us. The targets on the bales were “numbered” (A) Top Left, (B) Top Right, (C) Bottom Left, and (D) Bottom Right. It is up to the archers on the bale to determine who shoots which target.
Before practice could begin though, we needed to have our equipment inspected. Inspection was behind the tarps to the left of all of the targets. Bows, arrows, arm guards, and finger tabs were all checked. We’d been told that we needed to show NFAA or USAA membership as well, but nobody asked to look at that during our inspection.
Practice consisted of two minute ends, during which time we were allowed to shoot as many arrows as we could fit in.
When the competition begins, two horns will sound for the archers for (A) and (B), who fifteen seconds to grab their bows and get on the shooting line. After fifteen seconds, one horn sounds to commence shooting, where we were given 120 seconds to fire off our three arrows. After the 120 seconds or once all the archers have cleared the line, two horns sound again and this time the archers for (C) and (D) have their fifteen seconds to approach the line and then shoot their arrows.
For the next end, (C) and (D) go first, then (A) and (B). This continues alternating until all ten ends have been shot. Then you’ll hear the three horns to sound an all clear and archers are to score and fetch their arrows.
There was a short break of about fifteen minutes after the first 300 round, then they began the next 300 round. The parents who seemed to have done this before had the right idea and went out and bought food to eat during the break – it looked like a lot of them had fried rice. Otherwise the snack area had candy and hot dogs and pizza for sale.
Overall, expect to be there for around four hours. The afternoon group finished around 6pm on both days. My friend and I both said that we were more exhausted from just being there than from the actual archery itself.
Oh, and yes, I was told beforehand by several different sources to dress warmly because of how the venue is heated. This was very true – I was warm the first day and cold the second day. Be prepared for this.
Otherwise, the event itself was fairly laid back. During the first day I was kind of always watching the other archers shoot and making sure I was prepared when it came time for me to shoot. On the second day I actually forgot it was my turn to shoot a couple of times and generally felt a lot more relaxed.
As I heard someone else say, “Smile, you’re having fun.”