Indoor Nationals is an inspiring event and perfect for bringing the family.  Members of the Amherst Archery Junior Olympic Development (JOAD) program and Adult Archery Achievement Program (AAAP) shoot at this event!  Archery tournaments are unique and seeing hundreds of archers from all around New England converge for this event is inspiring.  No reservations needed for spectating.


Archers receive 2 minutes of practice time.  After the practice time, archers are given 2 minutes to shoot 3 arrows before retrieving.  Digital timers are visible so that each archer knows how much time they have left to shoot their arrows.  Judges are present to assist with scoring when needed.  Archers score each other in a process called double scoring.  Double scoring requires two people score one archer’s arrows on two different score cards; their judgements must agree or a judge is called in to determine how the arrow landed and how many points should be awarded.  You will hear buzzers indicating when archers may approach the shooting line, when they can shoot and when they can retrieve.  2 = step up to the line and nock and arrow; 1 = shoot; 3 = retrieve; 5 or more = stop shooting, safety hazard.



Indoor tournaments are shot at 18 meters.  60cm 10-ring target faces are used for most JOAD archers while other JOAD archers (older teens) and adults shoot at a 40 cm 10-ring target faces.  Each ring on the target face is worth one point, with 10 being the highest point.  Each color has two different rings per target except yellow which has three rings.  The outer yelllow ring is worth 9 points and the other two inner yellow rings are worth 10.  However, if the very inner yellow ring is hit, an “X” is written down on the score card.  Xs are mathematically dealt with as a 10 and used in the event of a tie breaker; the archer with the most number of X marks in a tie, is the winner.  Colors from outside to inside are: white (1, 2), black (3, 4), blue (5, 6), red (7, 8), yellow (9, 10).  Target faces is the term used to describe the disposable paper 10-ring square that is attached to the target mat.  A target mat is the actual foam block that stops the arrows.


A “round” is a group of “ends”.  An end consists of 3 or 6 arrows depending on the tournament format (in this case, 3).  For this tournament, JOAD archers shoot two rounds of 30 arrows for total of 60 arrows over the period of about 2.5 hours. Adult archers shoot on two different days, shooting 60 arrows each day (120 total over two days).   Multiple shooting lines: sometimes archers are divided up into multiple shooting lines.  That is, a group of 60 people will step up to the line and each archer will shot their 3 arrows.  A buzzer sounds and the clock resets, no one retrieves.  A second line of 60 archers steps up to the shooting line and now these archers shoot at their target faces.  A buzzer sounds when the time is up and everyone (all 120 archers) retrieve their arrows.  If this is the case, you will see up to four target faces pinned to one target mat.  The target faces on the top (left to right) are for archers A and B (first line archers) and the target faces on the bottom are for archers C and D (second line archers).  The timing clocks conveniently also have AB and CD highlighted on them to let people know which line is shooting when.  When multiple shooting lines are used, archers sometimes shoot in this order: AB, CD, CD, AB, AB, CD, CD, AB, AB, CD, and so on…not AB, CD, AB, CD, AB, CD as one might assume.


Although this is a National tournament, only archers from New England will likely be at the Fiskdale location.  Each region in the United States hosts an indoor tournament at this time of year.  All archers in that region turnout to the “local” tournament venue and therefore do not have to pay for major travel expenses.  All archers are ranked nationally after their scores are gathered locally.


Archers can register to shoot in a variety of different categories, so you will see a wide variety of equipment being used.  Classifications are as follows: Compound bows; Olympic Recurve; Traditional/Barebow.  Compound bows are easy to spot because of the wheels or cams at either end of the limbs.  Compound bows can be shot with our without mechanical release aids.  Olympic style recurve bows look like what you see in the Olympics with sights, stabilizers, cushion plunger ans clickers.  Traditional or barebows are bows shot without any sights  or fancy gadgets….just the archer, the bow,and lots of time practicing.  Arrows are most likely aluminum, carbon or a hybrid of those two materials.  The fletching are either feathers or solid plastic vanes and the points are special target points — not like what people use for hunting.  Nonetheless, these are far from toys.


Tips for spectators: There are bleachers to sit in.  Bring food and water.  Bring a camera (no flash) and binoculars.  It is not a high energy sport so do not expect a hockey or lacrosse game – you will be very disappointed.  Watch the interactions between archers, observe the gear, look at how the arrows are landing (need binoculars for this), observe the form — these are the things to do.  It is important to remain as quiet as possible while people are shooting, though whispering and talking very softly is acceptable.  No running around or screaming if you get excited, though.  Although archers do have a dress code (polo type shirts and khaki style pants with closed-toe shoes) spectators may wear what they wish.

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