As spring begins gradually transitioning into summer, the archery world is abuzz with the latest industry news, sanction competition results, and a wealth of unceasing technical development. This, of course, is a staple of the archery world as a whole, which seems to move at Mach speed.
The archery landscape is a constant work in motion, growing extensively in scope on a monthly basis.
The month of May was no exception to this rule, as a number of noteworthy events took place within the archery world. During this period of time, competition as formal competition has continued to skyrocket, a new conservation agency has ramped up its support of archery-related causes, and archery trials for the U.S. Olympic Team are drawing to a close.
NASP Nationals Draw Record-Setting Participation
Despite the cancellation of regularly scheduled events due to ongoing COVID-related concerns, the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) experienced record participation at its yearly Nationals. This year’s events were held virtually, in a single event, rather than at two separate events as was standard in the past.
This year’s event drew the participation of 15,683 archers, from 1,053 different schools. These participants ranged notably in age and hailed from a total of 42 states. Additionally, NASP’s newest competition, the 3D IBO Challenge, also received excellent participation, drawing a total of 4,015 young archers.
On the heels of this success, NASP appears to be considering the implementation of virtual competition on a permanent basis, at least to some degree. This point has been openly discussed by many of the organization’s directors over the past several weeks.
Speaking on this issue, NASP Board Member Ken Watkins said, “Looking toward the future, and in response to the global pandemic, NASP has been looking for ways to engage students, wherever they may be.
The virtual tournament structure has been long discussed, and we believe that now is the perfect time for implementation. This first foray to test our virtual waters is merely a prelude to the exciting things to come.”
These thoughts were further echoed by NASP President Tommy Floyd:
“In spite of the many negative impacts that students across the country have faced with the pandemic, we are thrilled that so many coaches took the opportunity to compete in a NASP national event. We are so glad that so many students could once again, join together on behalf of their school and do what they love to do best….shoot their bow! It is our hope that all that we learn in this initial attempt at a huge virtual offering will become a tradition with NASP.”
U.S. Olympic Trials Drawing To A Close
Selection for the U.S. Olympic Archery Team has resumed, following a lengthy COVID-related delay. This selection process was halted in its tracks during the summer of 2020, after social distancing mandates were put in place, in response to the growing pandemic.
Stage 1 of these trials took place in Dublin, Ohio, while Stage 2 was held in College Station, Texas.
Now, as the world begins its return to normalcy, Stage 3 of formal trials got underway in Salt Lake City, Utah. This stage is set to run from May 27th through June 1st. At the conclusion of Stage 3, the field of potential team members will be cut to a total of eight archers, in both male and female classes.
Each competitor will then join an additional trial, to be held in the months to come. This fourth stage of trials will consist of a 72-arrow round, elimination rounds, team round simulations, and round robins. Together, these competitions will provide participants with the opportunity to earn 91 additional qualifying points.
Michael Waddell To Serve As Keynote Speaker For 60th Pope & Young Convention
The Pope and Young Club has recently announced their selection of Michael Waddell as the keynote speaker for their 60th Anniversary Convention.
This convention is set to take place on July 14-17, in Reno, Nevada, and will celebrate bowhunting’s past, present, and future. Many of the archery industry’s most recognizable faces are to be in attendance.
Michael Waddel is known for his hosting duties of such popular hunting television shows as Realtree Roadtrips and Bone Collector. Additionally, Waddell has become a leading advocate for conservation and the preservation of hunting heritage.
A significantly accomplished hunter in his own right, Waddell is known for his impassioned speeches and all-inclusive view on the sport.
Outside of his support of the Pope and Young Club, Michael Waddell has also served as a key member of several additional conservation organizations. His past endeavors include time spent as the Spokesman of the NWTF and as an Advisory Member of the Hunter Nation.
Bowhunters United Takes Aim At Educating New Archers
Until recently, archers have not had an organization at their disposal, solely aimed at educating and empowering the growing ranks of new bowhunters.
This all changed with the launch of Bowhunters United, a conservation organization intent upon fostering a new generation of bowhunters, while simultaneously supporting seasoned bowhunters.
Recently, Bowhunters United outlined a plan to assist those who have taken up archery during the pandemic, yet have received no formal education regarding bowhunting as a whole.
This plan involves increasing the organization’s visibility by becoming mainstays of hunting expos, such as the Open Season Expo, and by providing free memberships to one of several bowhunting publications.
Bowhunters United also provides members with a weekly newsletter, as well as access to an unlimited catalog of informative hunting-related content, via numerous websites.
Those at the head of this program also hope to be able to offer archery range and program grants in the near future, as a form of extended community outreach.
Archers can become a member of Bowhunters United for a reasonable fee of only $25, gaining mentorship in their bowhunting endeavors along the way. Those wishing to join Bowhunters United can do so at www.bowhuntersunited.com.