The National Field Archery Society, National championships are this coming weekend and whether its the 3D Championships or the Nationals the NFAS have some extra rules where it comes to championship competitions.
Here I will discuss some of the rules while also providing some tips and advice on things to remember. I hope it’s of use to experienced archers as a reminder and newbies. It’s probably not as extensive as it could be, hopefully I’ve not got anything wrong either.
Most of all though, remember to have a great time.
Long before you get there, there are a few things you can do to make life easier.
- It may be a long day so plan for this carry snacks and an extra layer if cold or expecting rain.
- Chances are you will walk several miles so keep hydrated.
- Wear sensible cloths and comfortable shoes, you’ll be on your feet for hours. I’ve walked over 8 miles at past championships each day.
- Bug repellent and suntan lotion are a couple of things to consider.
- Check your bow and double check it. (have you got spare shot in string, spare arrow rest, shooting tab or glove, etc
- Check your arrows, to make sure they are straight and marked up correctly. They need your name and shooting order on.
- Ensure you have spare arrows for the two days
- WALKERS must be listed as such on the entry form.
- Family groups are usually broken up so one parent and one child per group. (This is beginning to occur on normal shoots too). This is partly for safety i.e. keeping track of more than one child could be difficult in the heat of competition and partly etiquette as other archers may not want to have the distraction of more than one child in a group.
- Juniors/Cubs MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT/SHOOT GUARDIAN. Please make this clear on the entry form.
- Only one Junior/Cub per parent/shoot guardian.
- A Junior/Cub who has a birthday on the Saturday will be classed as being in the higher age group for the duration of the competition. A Junior/ Cub who has a birthday on the Sunday will remain in the lower age group.
On the day
Arrive early as registration is a lot earlier than normal shoots, 8 am to 9 am Saturday and 7 am to 8 am on Sunday is not unusual. Miss this and no shooting.
You can only collect your score card, no-one else can for you and you have to go through arrow checks first.
You shoot under the club on your NFAS membership card.
Arrow checks – These takes place both days, so allow time for this. Remember there maybe several hundred archers and only a few people doing arrow checks, so queues can form.
- Arrows don’t have to have clubs listed.
- All arrows that you might use must have your name and shooting order clearly marked. 15) All arrows must bear the archer’s name. This identification should be a minimum of the archer’s initial and surname.
Bow Checks – keep an ear out for announcements as you might be called for bow checks. This is nothing to worry about. It’s simply there are random selection of archers called for bow checks each day.
Give yourself time to have a few warm up shots and to get something to eat.
If you end up on the wrong peg you are no longer competing and shooting Non-comp so make sure you get this right.
During the day
Double scoring is conducted as at other shoots but, there are a few subtle differences Double scoring is when there are 2 score cards an 2 separate people rite the scores, calculating the totals etc
- Take your time and have regular checks on the scores, a good tip is to check at tea or food stops.
- Once you’ve scored the target, try not to spend time discussing the shot after scoring as you may come across as a slow group. Remember someone in your group might be feeling down after the shot and not want it analysed.
You will probably shoot targets at further distances than normal and probably more arrows, so don’t let that get to you.
You might only pass catering once so check with marshals if you can drop your bag and when you are likely to pass the tea stop again.
It’s not unusual to be held up, while waiting for group in front. Use this time to hydrate, check the maths on score cards, etc.
Here are a few general thoughts.
Some people will go to great lengths to win so if you are in with a chance my advice is being whiter than white, especially when calling scoring arrows or scoring.
I have known others to forcibly encourage a shooting order in the groups. It is worth remembering there are no rules associated with shooting order in the NFAS.
Carry a rule book with you as some archers will love to quote rules they have heard.
After the shoot ends
Make sure cards are handed in at end of the day promptly, you would be surprised how many people forget.
A good tip is at the end of each day, take a photograph of your score card so you have a record of it. It also means you can review it later if you wish.
Most important thing to remember is to have a good time. The championships are a great experience and be very rewarding even if you don’t get placed.
Final point, say thanks
There are times when I have really struggled at championships, either with my own form, group dynamics or the course being shot, but I always try to recognise the work that has gone in to the preparation, running and clear up afterwards. So if you have the opportunity say thank you to the marshalling crew. Believe me it goes a long way.
Thanks for reading.