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PHOENIX - The AAE Arizona Cup, in its 25th anniversary year, is yet more proof that archery is emerging as one of the world's hottest sports. Registrations are coming in at record pace for the World Ranking Event, which is also USA Archery's first USAT Qualifier Series Event of 2014.
Currently, over 400 archers from 13 different countries are scheduled to compete, and registration was reportedly over 50% full in the first ten days it was open. The Arizona Cup is typically a bellwether of archery event participation for the outdoor tournament season, and "Hunger Games" mania, which has spurred the growth of this sport, should continue to encourage event participation as archers begin looking toward Rio 2016.
The AAE Arizona Cup, like all USAT Qualifier Series Events, attracts both emerging talent and the sport's heaviest hitters. Archers in all age categories have the opportunity to gain valuable competition experience as they shoot on the same field with Olympic and Paralympic medalists and World Champions.
Archers in Senior, Junior and Cadet classes will compete in the AAE Arizona Cup beginning April 3; the event will run through April 6, and features individual qualification and elimination rounds, as well as Open, Mixed and National team rounds.
The AAE Arizona Cup is also a Para World Ranking Event, and will host a Para Classification Hub April 1-2. All Para athletes must be re-classified starting in 2014. Classification is also available for any athlete who just wants to be classified. There is a small fee for this service.
Para athletes will shoot in the AAE Arizona Cup qualification and elimination rounds in appropriate classes per the event schedule; there is a Para World Ranking Event Elimination Round scheduled for Monday, April 7.
One of the other key events at the AAE Arizona Cup will be a Judges' Seminar, offered by USA Archery, World Archery and World Archery Americas. The seminar, geared towards tournament officials, will take place April 1-3.
Online registration is currently open - until the event reaches capacity - at http://www.arizonacup.com/2014. More information, including preliminary schedule and a list of registered archers, may be found at that link.
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