Is it possible to make the US Olympic Archery Team and not be part of the US Archery Team?
Maybe. Here are the requirements
- Athlete must be a national of the United States at the beginning of the First Nomination Shoot and hold a valid U.S. passport that will not expire for six months after the conclusion of the Games.
- Any competitor in the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American or Parapan American Games must be a national of the country of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) or National Paralympic Committee (NPC) which is entering such competitor.
- World Archery Championship – Each county’s team who places in the top 8 in the men’s and women’s recurve team rounds at the World Championships will qualify a full team of 3 men and 3 women for the Olympics. However, US Archery may control who goes to the World Championships as a team. If a country does not qualify a team, they can send one archer to the Olympics to participate in the individual sport.
- US Olympic Trials: Part 1 – The first Trials event is open to anyone who officially registers for the event, is a USA Archery member, and who will be a U.S. citizen by the start of the first trials event. The first trials event will consist of a qualification round that will cut the field down to the top 16 men and top 16 women recurve archers. The top 16 archers in each gender category will shoot against each other archer one time (also called “Round Robin match play”) and all archers in the top 16 qualify for the second selection event.
- US Olympic Trials: Part 2 – This even will cut the field from 16 archers in each division to the top 8 archers. The top 8 archers from this event will qualify for the third and final event.
- US Olympics Trials: Part 3 – This trials event has consisted of a ranking round, head to head elimination rounds, and round robin match play. The total points accumulated from each event will determine the final rankings for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
- Nomination for If USA Archery has earned 3 Olympic quota slots in each division, the top 3 archers per division will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. The athlete who is ranked fourth is named the Alternate to the U.S. Olympic Team. If we have only earned 1 quota slot in a division, only the top finisher in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be named to the U.S. Olympic Archery Team.
- World Archery Minimum Qualifying Score – Besides succeeding at the World Archery Championships and the Olympic Trials, the athletes must meet the Minimum Qualification Standards set by World Archery. The standards for a 72 arrow ranking round at 70 meters are 630 for the men and 600 for the women at a sanctioned event. This last requirement seems very strange for the team and is likely meant to make sure individual archers have some quality before heading to the Olympics.
Athletes must be a member in good standing of USA Archery.
It seems unlikely, but it does not seem to be prohibited for an iconoclast to complete these requirements and not be part of of the US Archery Team. Other loopholes: The Medal Contender Clause.
An athlete could meet these requirements
- Top 8 Individual at 2015 World Championships in the Recurve Division
- Top 10 Individual World Rankings at the end of Calendar Year in the Recurve Division
- Qualified Individually for the 2015 World Cup Final in the Recurve Division
The process for skipping the US Olympic Trials
- Submit a written petition to the USA Archery CEO, no later than 24 hours following the conclusion of the first missed Nomination Shoot.
If the petition is for exceptional circumstances, the same petition process will apply except a release and authorization form will not be required. An exceptional circumstance for this purpose is defined as an unpreventable event or situation that prohibits a person from competing. The athlete will be required to provide documentation upon request in order to substantiate the claim of an exceptional circumstance. The Medal Contender must submit a petition for consideration along with written evidence to support their claim.
If the petition is for an illness or injury, the Medal Contender must also provide with the petition a release and authorization form that allows USA Archery, including a qualified physician selected by USA Archery, to review the medical records for purposes of verifying the illness or injury. An illness or injury for this purpose will be defined as any illness/injury requiring emergency medical treatment where the athlete is hospitalized for one or more days that prevents an athlete from traveling or competing at the selection event or an illness/injury requiring emergency medical treatment where the athlete is treated by a physician and not allowed to compete due to doctor’s orders. The Medal Contender will also submit with the petition written evidence and other records from a qualified physician acceptable to USA Archery as evidence.
With these petitions, a US Archery Board will determine their acceptance of the claim and then restructure some of the Trials as a custom shoot off.
US Archery has no option for a discretionary nomination
These rules are signed off by US Archery CEO (Denise Parker), the National Coach (Kisik Lee), and the USOC Athletes Advisory Council for Archery (Nick Kale).