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February 20, 2012

Getting Ready for National Indoor and JOAD Indoor Championships

USAA Championships, "Take Two" 

Last season, just before National Indoor and JOAD National Indoor Championships, we posted a blog regarding rules and procedures. It can be found at:

Much of this information still applies, but two topics deserve more discussion.  They are:

USA Archery Sportsmanship, Conduct and Ethics Codes and Tournament Rules.

Tournament rules:

The key concept for archers and event officials is that the goal of tournaments is to conduct a fair event with an outcome that is meaningful.  When all is going as planned, the result is happy competitors and a satisfying outcome.  

Mishaps are when problems arise. The key is for the archers and tournament officials to recognize that purpose of the tournament is fairness for the individual archer as well as the entire field of competitors.  When mishaps take place, the rule should be applied with common sense fairness in mind.  It is best if archers, coaches, club leaders and event officials know the rules before competing.  Tournaments are not the time to stop everything to research a rule.  Instead all should be familiar with the rules, recognize the "intent" and know what to do when a mishap takes place. 

"But Bob, I don't have time to study the rule book cover to cover.  I just want to come out and have fun!" 

That's absolute fine and a reality for the recreational archer.  Know that mishaps happen and the key is to keep smiling. 

When archers expect more from their competition, familiarity with the rules provides the opportunity for the archers to perform their best. The USAA Officials and Rules committee is a great place to seek help and advice as are USAA judges in general:

USA Archery Sportsmanship, Conduct, Ethics codes and Pledges:

USAA Archery codes and pledges include;

·         Code of Conduct (Harassment and Sexual Abuse, Conflict of Interest, Drug and Alcohol, Sportsmanlike Conduct and Whistleblower policy)

·         Code of Ethics

·         Athlete and Non Athlete pledges

They are required reading, required signature documents for membership in USA Archery, and are to be acknowledged by the USA Archery community as a whole.  Together they reinforce that USA Archery is serious business.  The goal is to achieve "the highest level of ethics, integrity, compliance and sportsmanlike conduct."  Archers and supporters pledge to uphold the spirit of the codes, policies and pledges by taking part in USA Archery.

Code of conduct excerpts:

Sportsmanlike Conduct Policy

·         "It is a violation…to exhibit unsportsmanlike conduct at any USAA Event."

·         Unsportsmanlike Conduct is..."a lack of respect for such person's teammates, competitors, officials, spectators or the sport of archery, that intends to detract from the ability of a teammate or competitor to attain peak performance…"

·         Examples of Unsportsmanlike Conduct may include but are not limited to the following:

o   Openly disputing or arguing with any decision by a judge or other official

o   Using obscene or vulgar language that detracts from the ability of a teammate or competitor to attain peak performance, even if it is not directed at a particular person

o   Intentionally disrupting or distracting a competitor in the course of competition

o   Intentionally inaccurate scoring of any round of shooting

o   Taunting of competitors, coaches, officials or others by means of baiting, ridiculing, threatening physical violence or physical violence

Drug and Alcohol Policy

·         "It is a violation…to consume alcohol or any controlled substances, or to have any alcohol or controlled substance in their system, during the hours in which any competitor is actively competing or shooting at any USAA Event."

Harassment and Sexual Abuse Policy

·         "It is a violation…to engage in any form of physical or verbal sexual harassment, or harassment of any kind based on age, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, religion, race, disability or national or ethnic origin."

·         "It is a violation…to sexually harass or sexually abuse any person…" 

·         "Harassment is defined as…communications or physical conduct that denigrates, criticizes, belittles or embarrasses, or is intended to denigrate, criticize, belittle or embarrass, any person on the basis of such person's age, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, religion, race, disability or national or ethnic origins."

·         "Example of Harassment include…Teasing or jokes, slurs, demeaning statements about an individual's such person's sexual orientation, citizenship, religion, race, disability or national or ethnic origins."  

"But Bob, wont this take away from good old fashion fun?" 

I think we can benefit from a reminder that what is funny to one person is offensive or just plain wrong to many others.  Consequences can be very serious.  USA Archery spans across neighborhoods, communities, states and regions and is a part of a bigger World Archery community.   I believe that we will have better fun and take pride knowing that our events have integrity! 



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