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July 21, 2014

CEO Denise Parker Shares Information Regarding Barebow Division

Yes, USA Archery eliminated the Barebow division for the 2014 U.S. National Target Championships (NTC), but there is more to the story and some clarification that needs to occur. The division was eliminated in this one specific event due to low participation numbers, but the Barebow division as a whole is alive and well, and encouraged, in many parts of the organization.

As you can see from the chart below, participation in this division has been very low at the National Target Championships:





Barebow Women


Barebow Master Women 50+




Barebow Master Women 60+

Barebow Men


Barebow Master Men 50+

Barebow Master Men 60+



We feel strongly that if a national title is given to someone, there should be some level of competition. The current decision to eliminate the Barebow from NTC would affect 4 total people in the last three years and only one division in which there was more than one individual. There are other divisions in our national events that are looking at very low participation numbers as well and USA Archery is currently drafting a policy that the Board of Directors will review later this fall, to determine what levels of participation are acceptable for recognition of a National Title.

After talking with some Barebow archers, the general consensus is that the outdoor round just isn't fun for them to shoot. The distance is too far, the target too small and it results in a less than satisfying experience for them. Because of this, USA Archery is reviewing the format. USA Archery is now in the process of identifying a task force to evaluate if there is potential to increase Barebow participation and if there is potential, what format would offer us the best opportunity to attract shooters to our national event.

A point of clarification: USA Archery is very supportive of the Barebow division and HAS NOT eliminated Barebow as a division in all events and programs. The Barebow division is still included in the U.S. National Indoor Championships and the U.S. National Field Championships, as Barebow participation is stronger in these events and the event formats seem better suited to Barebow archers.

Barebow archery is still very much included, and USA Archery supports, its inclusion as a competitive division at club and state tournaments.  USA Archery clubs - which sanction local and state tournaments - may offer Barebow as a division at any tournament they organize.

USA Archery has also worked with members of the Barebow community to add this division to the Achievement Awards for Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) and the Adult Archery Program.

In closing, USA Archery continues to support the Barebow division as a whole, and I think we have proven that by adding this to our awards programs for JOAD and Adult clubs.  I encourage all clubs to support Barebow at their events and to continue to work on growing this division. Nothing related to this decision affects what clubs can do at their tournaments or what state level competition can support.

In the meantime, USA Archery will regroup with the Barebow task force and see what we can come up with regarding format, and evaluate the inclusion again for 2015 U.S. National Target Championships if we feel that we can find an acceptable format that will encourage Barebow participation.

Home page photo credit: Ron Carmichael

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