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October 24, 2016

USA Archery Shares Updates to Event Rules for 2017

NOTE (5/17/18): This is a news item from 2016. As USA Archery continually works to improve our event offerings and to reflect the interests of our membership, not all updates from 2016 are still applicable in 2018, or going forward. Click here for more information on National Events. 

After the 2016 U.S. National Target Championships we sent a survey to all participants. Additionally, we had multiple calls with our Athlete's Advisory Committee, JOAD Committee and USAT Organizers to collectively address our members' feedback. With those suggestions in mind, we have made changes to the 2017 event format. Let's go through some of them and give you an idea of what to expect in 2017.


We want international guest shooters at our events, but we don't want guests to affect the rankings of our U.S. shooters. Having guests at our event raises the level of competition and makes for a fun atmosphere. However, because our events are part of the ranking process for international events and financial support, challenges are presented when international archers participate in the elimination rounds. Therefore, for all 2017 National Championships and USAT events, only those archers who are eligible to compete for USA in World Cup and World Championship events will be allowed to shoot in the elimination rounds. Eligibility for these events follows World Archery Rules 2.4.1-4, found in Book 1 - Constitution and Procedures. Guests will be welcome at all events, however, they will shoot in a Guest division, which will encompass only a qualification round.


Because of this change, we will no longer brand the elimination round at our Outdoor National Championship event the U.S. Open. The entire event (qualification and eliminations) will be branded the U.S. National Target Championships. Medals will be awarded for the qualification round and the elimination round with the overall winner and "National Champion" title going to the winner of the elimination round.


A similar change will occur for the JOAD Nationals. Medals will still be provided for the qualification round, elimination round and team round. However, the "National Champion" title will be given to the winner of the elimination round as international guests will no longer compete in the elimination rounds. Additionally, the team round at JOAD Nationals will no longer be mandatory to attain the National Champion title. The team round will be optional for those who want to participate. Additionally, the team round will no longer be chosen through a random selection process. Teams will be assigned by their ranking from the qualification rounds, in an effort to create teams that are as equally matched as possible for those who express interest in shooting the event. Archers will have until the close of the practice day session to indicate whether they would like to be included in the team round. Guests will be allowed to compete in the team round and will be assigned based on their ranking.


We received a lot of feedback from parents, coaches and athletes regarding their frustration with the coach credential process. Abuse was experienced and many were purchasing the credentials simply to access seating in the archers' area. In response, USA Archery will provide a premium seating area directly behind the archers that will be shaded. This area will be provided to coaches as well as family and spectators. The cost will be $50 for the entire event. Archers who are registered for the event, but not actively competing and wish to watch the competition will be allowed in this seating area free of charge. For those coaches who want to access the waiting area to coach their athletes, the cost for the credential will be $70 per event and will include seating in the premium seating area. The athlete area will be reserved for actively competing archers only. Additional space will still be provided behind the tents for those who wish to bring their own tents and chairs at no cost. We believe this new, premium area will be a great resource for those families who wish to be close to their athletes and have shade and a seat provided.  Access will be available for purchase within the registration materials.


The USA Archery Board of Directors put in place a process and policy by which divisions can be added or eliminated at the National Outdoor and Indoor Target Championships and JOAD National Indoor and Outdoor events a few years ago. Divisions must have at least eight participants in either the men or women's categories over the preceding three years to ensure future inclusion. Para divisions are an exception to this rule. If divisions do not meet the minimum requirement, they are eligible for removal. At the U.S. National Outdoor Target Championship the 70+ Compound and Recurve Men's and Women's divisions have all had less then the minimum participation levels and therefore will not be offered in the 2017 Outdoor National Championship Event. Attendees will be able to register in the 60+ divisions. The 70+ divisions did meet the minimum requirement in the Indoor National Target Championship tournament and therefore will continue to be offered there.  The Traditional Longbow division also did not meet the minimum participation level and therefore will not be offered for the 2017 Indoor National Target Championships. This division can still register in the Modern Longbow division for 2017.

National Outdoor Target Championships and JOAD Nationals divisions that are in jeopardy of being removed in 2018 or 2019 if participation does not pick up include Junior, Cadet, Cub and Bowman Barebow divisions and the 60+ Masters division. The recurve men's category is the only Masters 60+ division that currently has had over 8 participants the past three years. For Indoor Nationals, Modern Longbow, Traditional Recurve, Masters Compound Fingers and Junior, Cadet, Cub and Bowman Barebow divisions are all on the watch list for possible future elimination if participation does not increase.


In addition to the current rule, which states that shorts, skorts and skirts must not be shorter than fingertip length while standing normally, we are updating the policy to include that leggings (tight-fitting /yoga-type stretch pant) may be worn with compliant shorts, skorts or skirts. 

We greatly appreciate your feedback and are excited to continue working together to create better events for our members. 2016 was our biggest event participation year yet, and 2017 promises to be filled with excitement. We look forward to seeing you at our events. The 2017 National Events schedule was recently released here. Stay tuned here for registration for all USA Archery sanctioned events.


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