Mentor Day – Younger Edition

The mentor program in our club rolls on.  Here’s the younger shooter with her mentor.  The mentor has been generous with her time and patience.  They have produced their year end project which is a Z-fold book covering the life of an Olympic archer.


Minimum Qualifying Scores

USA Archery has only the recurve discipline recognized as an Olympic sport.  There are plenty of tournaments (regional, national, and international) that recognize barebow as well as compound too.  For this post on Minimum Qualifying Scores, only the recurve discipline is being documented.  The MQS is one large part of varying classification schemes used to qualify for Regional Dream Team, Junior Dream Team, and the Resident Athlete programs.  As an archer, you must shoot the MQS.

USA Archery sits somewhere in the mid technology zone.  They seem to have a lot of paper and as such, PDF continues to bridge the gap well for their needs.  The qualifications are published in PDFs, but you may sometimes find an outdated PDF and it’s hard to know if you have the right ones.

This handy chart simplifies the MQS for recurve with four different age classifications.

Current as of February 2018

Links to USA Archery


Mentor Day for the older one with her fantastic mentor – K. It’s been a sluggish and snowy day and K made it all the way down from Fort Collins to help her with 1:1 time. It was a tough national shoot in Albuquerque last weekend and K injected Her with renewed confidence in her self and what she is capable of doing. The mentor program for No Limits Sharp Shooters may not always work out, but this pairing has really made a difference for the older one.

First Indoor 18M

The younger one is no longer a yeomen, she’s now a bowmen. More info here. She shot her first full distance indoor tournament. It was a predictable struggle for the little one, but she survived and completed the event.

Indoor Nationals – 2018: Albuquerque Edition

The older one headed to Albuquerque for Indoor Nationals. Indoor Nationals is combined with JOAD Nationals at many venues. More background information is here.

Albuquerque has its own unique attractions, but it doesn’t feel as elite as being in SLC at the Easton Archery Center with the home of Hoyt right around the corner.

The tournament is held inside the Albuquerque convention center.

Brady Ellison was also at this event, but shot his two sessions back to back and then disappeared.

It was a difficult shoot for her. She may have even suffered a bout of target panic. She persevered and completed all three sessions. For this event, most of her team and her coaches had selected SLC as their venue and date. As such, she was shooting alone.

December Rotational

The December rotational is in the books.  This rotational was slightly more agitated – it’s hard to schedule anything in December, the shooting times were not released until very late, and this tournament overlapped with Junior Dream Team.

For the little one, it was her last shoot as a yeoman.  She also got the 8:00 AM start, 7:00 AM check-in.  She has become pretty good friends with other yeoman recurve and barebow shooters.  Nearly all of them will be ending their yeoman (or “yo-women” as it is called in our house) status.



Her shooting was a bit erratic, but she was still doing pretty well.  She ended up with a slightly lower score compared to the November shoot and ended up with a second place medal.


The older one got the 4:00 PM start with of course the transitionary check in at 3:00 while the other session is nearly finished.  She shot well, getting past her scores in November, but not quite to her combined 450 goal.


Crowded place for bows.  Recurves take up a lot of space.

It was a day when her normal coaches were not around so she wore her favorite combo – galaxy skater skirt, Wonder Woman quiver belt, and Star Wars “vans”.

Her second half was not as good as her first, but she kept her form nearly throughout.


Shooting face to face with her teammate

Second Indoor Shoot – Younger Edition

She has returned to the sport.  She couldn’t make the first indoor shoot because of another sport conflict.  For this tournament, scheduling was a bit strange.  The older one shot at 08:00 and she shot at 16:00.  All in all, I was at the range from 07:00 to 20:30.  A long day of being any type of archery parent.

Both sisters are on the same team which is focused on slightly older kids – Cadet and Juniors for the most part.  I would say that her team is also aligning around recurve with only a small number of kids shooting compound or barebow.  Other teams in our area have different niches and demographics.  She is the only Yeoman on her team and although it doesn’t bother her much at practice or on team night, it is sort of odd to show up at a tournament and not know anyone.  Thankfully, another club (from the hosting archery range) had plenty of Yeoman.  You can see them in the green shirts while the younger one is waiting for her line to shoot.  Yeoman tend to start in barebow too, so a lot of kids on the yeoman side are shooting barebow.  This archer is of course shooting recurve with her hand-me-down kit including a riser, ILF limbs, stabilizer, and sight; all not normally seen for the Yeoman class which is dominated by wooden risers and knock down limbs.  She is sporting her new archery Puma shoes (not officially archery shoes, but good for archery according to KiSik Lee).  She also likes her family to wear Puma shoes in support.

She made friends quickly with two girls from the green team – one a barebow shooter and the other a recurve shooter.  They became good enough pals that she has a holiday party invite waiting and a new FaceTime friend.  (This tournament is just about an hour travel distance and both girls are probably further away than the range).

Her scores seem to be a natural extension of where she left off last indoor season.   In the first 30, she shot 228.  In the last 30, she shot 200.  I could see that the event was beginning to grind on her – a lot of arrows, new friends, and shooting when she is normally getting ready for bed.  She persisted and came home with a first place finish and two new friends.  I don’t know which she is more excited about.  She’s already asked about next month’s tournament.

Finger Tabs With Too Many Options

From what I can tell, the FIVICS “Saker” has become one of the most popular and imitated finger tabs.  Originally released as the Soma, the Saker comes in at least three models (Saker 1, Saker 2, and Saker3) and at least three materials (Aluminum, Brass, Carbon Fiber).


The Saker 1 is on top (blue), the Saker 2 is on the bottom left (green), and the Saker 3 is on the bottom right (red).  Which one is right for you?  This is especially important in the age of online shopping and limited selection in retail.  Importantly, it’s not just the color (more on that later).

They are not named by “quality” either, the Saker 1 isn’t better than the Saker 2 or the Saker 3.  It’s more about the design.  The Saker 1 has more metal and sits back into your hand.  That triangle on the end may not be very comfortable for many shooters. There also appears to be some other accessory that can be added to the back triangle. The Saker 2 has less metal and the Saker 3 has even less metal.  It comes down to how much you like the extra metal and this other fact (that isn’t published on many retailer sites but is available on the FIVICS site ) — what is your preferred positioning of your fingers on the string regarding the load of drawing?


Model Index Finger Middle Finger Ring Finger
Saker 1 30 50 20
Saker 2 30 55 15
Saker 3 40 50 10

Besides the fit in your hand, this other bit of data may be an important decision making point. Kisik Lee in his book says the right distribution is 40, 50, and 10. That would make a good choice the Saker 3, particularly if the Saker 1 is uncomfortable.

Now, what color? Surprise, you don’t pick a color. You pick a size. But most of you are shopping online. What size do you need? FIVICS has put out this guide (PDF), but again, it’s not easy to find. My copy surfaced on a Slovakian site.


You’ll note Dark Blue is XL and at the other end, Green is XXS. The guide may not be flawless, so I found this extra information.


(From Online Archery Equipment in the UK)

Finally, there are three materials. The aluminum model is by far the most prevalent. It’s also the only one with color selections. The brass model is three times heavier than the aluminum model and that may be important for some shooters. The carbon fiber model is lighter and probably stiff than the aluminum model with less chance of deforming.

We ordered the Saker 3 and soon, she’ll be able to tell me how it is to shoot with it.