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November 12, 2009

USAA EVENTS - A changing landscape

I do not recall a year with as many competition format changes that was passed and adopted as during the September FITA Congress. Certainly there were many high profile changes such as the Cadet and Junior age divisions, the new set system and the introduction of the hit and miss target at 50m for the Compound division.  However, there were also some other changes that were not discussed as much.  All of these items presented USA Archery an opportunity to evaluate the future of national events, our current structure and define a path for where we want to take our events.  Because of these changes by FITA, we had many changes that were recently passed at the November Board of Directors meeting that will go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2010.  Below is a summary of these changes. 


FITA changes that were approved at the Board Meeting: 

MASTERS AGE GROUPS - All Masters will shoot the same distances as the Cadets.

  • Masters Men will shoot from: 70m, 60m, 50m and 30m
  • Masters Women: 60m, 50m, 40m and 30m.
  • If individuals wish to shoot the longer distances, or in the case of theNational Target Championships, want to shoot in the elimination round, they must register as a senior archer.

JUNIOR AND CADET AGE GROUPS - The Board of Directors decided to follow the FITA age classifications for Junior and Cadet athletes. Please note how these age groups are determined based upon date of birth.

  • Junior - Up to and including the year they reach the age of 20, archers are eligible to shoot in the Junior division.
  • Cadet - Up to and including the year of their 17th birthday, archers are eligible to shoot in the Cadet division.
  • Archers are eligible to compete in JOAD and earn JOAD achievement awards up to and including the year they reach of the age of 20.

SET SYSTEM - COMPOUND AND RECURVE - For all USAT and National events, both the recurve and compound divisions will shoot the set system during the elimination rounds. Both compound and recurve divisions will shoot from 70m. For additional information on the set system, click here.

TOP 8 BYES - The top 8 archers will have two byes in a match-play chart with 128 archers. All other match-play charts will remain the same.

NEW COMPOUND ROUND - The new hit and miss 50m Compound round will NOT be shot during the 2010 U.S. Target Championships or any USAT event. However, tournament organizers will be asked to have targets available to try and test.

SHOOTING TIME - The time to get to the line will be reduced to 10 seconds for all rounds and the time for alternate shooting will be reduced to 20 seconds. 

Additional rule changes approved during the Board meeting: 


  • Archers are responsible for the arrow value, the total sum, the 10s and the Xs.
  • Archers will have a maximum of one hour from the end of shooting to turn in their completed scorecard.
  • Archers will receive a zero if ANY part of the scorecard is found to be inaccurate.
  • Results are deemed official upon the presentation of the awards.
  • In the case of the Indoor Nationals, regional results ARE OFFICIAL upon the announcement of the regional results. No changes will be made to the results once they are submitted to the National Office to be combined for the National Indoor Championships.


USAA has increased the number of USAT events for 2010 from three to seven. The strategy in selecting locations was to have at least two events in each region while trying to balance an already heavy spring event schedule with the addition of some fall events to encourage tournament participation late in the year. The USAT selection criteria should be coming out within the next few weeks.

With the boost in the number of USAT qualifying events this will increase the overall participation level with hopes of developing a larger athlete pool. We are trying to mirror the competition environment at major international events to provide our athletes with that feeling so they can take this national experience and be ready to compete at the highest level anywhere in the world. The natural effect will be that the U.S. Target Championships will be a very important event for the USAT team selection process. 

Each USAT event will have divisions for Juniors and Cadets and they will be able to earn points toward the Jr. USAT team. 

2010 National Tournament Schedule


A renewed effort was put forth to update our events to match international standards and the topic of the format for the U.S. Target Championships certainly plays to this end. The desire to have the U.S. Target Championships become more of an international event, as in the past, combined with the increasing cost for participants to attend a six day event, lead the Board to approve a revamped tournament format and schedule that is listed below for 2010.

Tentative Event Schedule- July 21-25, 2010

Wednesday (7/21)                          Official Practice, Adults, Juniors

                                                     Opening Ceremony, Social and Community and Fan Day

Thursday (7/22)                              FITA-Nationals Long Half, Adults, Juniors

                                                     Official Practice, Youth

Friday (7/23)                                  FITA-Nationals Short Half, Adults, Juniors

                                                     FITA-Nationals Long Half, Youth

Saturday (7/24)                              OPEN-Elimination Rounds to 1/4 Finals, Adults

                                                      FITA-Nationals Short Half, Youth

                                                      Team Rounds

                                                      AWARD Ceremony

Sunday A.M. (7/25)                         OPEN-FINALS Adults

*All times and dates are subject to change.


Awards will be distributed at national events based on the number of paid participants in the division as of the deadline for entry date, using the following awards structure:

Less than 5 participants:  1st place only.

5-8 participants: 1st and 2nd place only.

9 or more:  1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

With the addition of more events to the USAT program, it is essential to adopt policies and procedures that will help to ensure consistency from event to event.  This policy will assist tournament organizers to better manage their events and finances.


One of the major initiatives in the 2010 High Performance Plan is to increase the quality and professionalism of national events.  It is critical that our athletes be exposed to quality events that are run consistently and to international standards.  Currently USA Archery is heavily reliant on clubs to run all of the national events.  Very few clubs have the resources to invest in quality equipment or the training of staff to ensure top-level event presentation. 

USA Archery was awarded a grant from the Easton Sports Development Foundation to provide for a three-person staff to attend all of the USAT events, the JOAD Nationals and U.S. Target Championships to run the Danage scoring system which manages the scoring and results process. In addition, the Easton Foundation has agreed to allow USAA to use the Danage hand-held scoring system throughout the year.  This system was used in 2009 at the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas, Nev. and at the Arizona Cup in Phoenix. This system will allow USAA to be more consistent with its results generation and online presence.  The Danage system will provide live scoring as the archers update their scores into a hand-held device that remains at the targets during the competition.


We have implemented many positive changes over the past year, which we will continue to refine between now and the first event in April. Please continue to visit the USA Archery website for future updates. The next blog to come will be an update from Robby Beyer, USA Archery High Performance Manager, which will address the 2010 High Performance Plan. His update will also cover the Rolling Ranking, USAT, Jr. USAT, World Cup team funding, COPARCO team funding and other issues related to the 2010 High Performance plan, international team participation and funding.

We are excited about 2010 and hope that the membership gets out and supports our new USAT tournaments.




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