Rocky Mountain State Games – 2017

We returned to the Rocky Mountain State Games. This year, we are one year wiser with a few more outdoor tournaments under our belt: less confusion about the tournament format, our canopy, the event duration, and generally what to expect during the shoot. For July, the weather was exceptionally accommodating. Lots of clouds and a cooling breeze.

Memorial Park is a great facility – real grass and a lot of open space. The organizers ran out of bales and registration was capped. You can see more than 35 bales here and a new bubble roof over the velodrome. With the mountain backdrop, the venue offers up fantastic cloudscapes. The format was the same as last year: thirty arrows at thirty yards, thirty arrows at twenty yards, and thirty arrows at ten yards. This is the distance for her age band which is determined by her age the day of the shoot. This will change next year with longer distances for her age band.

As a tween, she’s starting to take responsibility for her gear; however, this is a decent road trip from our house and the early morning start had us both running around. She forgot her ball cap so she borrowed mine. A good lesson in getting ready the night before. Because there are so many shooting categories, the foursome on this bale included the recurve young ladies and some compound young men. Of course, as the distances got closer, the groupings around yellow got crowded.

Without being able to check the scorecards for all the nearby shooters, it’s hard to know the specific category of each participant on the line.  I wasn’t really sure who she was shooting against.  She found her own cadence and for the most part ran by her self for the whole shoot.  For reasons I don’t understand, there is mixed support for the State Games from the JOAD coaches.  Maybe it’s a conflict with other shooting events, maybe it’s not focused on the youth as much.  As such, I can only provide a little commentary on her shot sequence and mostly encourage her to slow down, mimicking her real coach.

There’s no practice ends for when the targets move closer.  As such, it was good we had cataloged her site settings during our last long session at the practice range.  It’s also great that the event speeds up as the distances shrink.  I think the longest distance clocked nearly two hours for thirty arrows.

At the end of the day, compared to last year:

  • Distance 30: slightly better (218 compared to 210)
  • Distance 20: better (267 compared to 250)
  • Distance 10: same score as last year (282 compared to 282)

She won her second gold medal at the Rocky Mountain State Games

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to the Range

A month ago, the younger one had withdrawn from the shoot.  We returned to practice this weekend at our outdoor range.  She proclaimed she was so excited to be able to shoot again.  And overall it went really well.  She was appropriately distracted by various bugs and a fearless little bird she named “Tinee”, but she completed more ends than I expected.  We were out there for almost four hours because the older one was getting ready for her second state games.

We worked on form, as every archer does during every practice, or at least that is what every practice has been for these kiddos.  Maybe Mackenzie Brown gets to do something else with her practice time at this point.

Understandably, her form was a little rough.  I decided to use Hudl Technique with her.  I was hoping to slow things down so I could see it.  I’ve used Hudl with the older one and I also wanted to make sure the younger one knew she was special too.

It was easy to see at 1/4 speed even if it is hard to see your iDevice with full sun.  I shared it with her and she felt like she could keep her bow arm extended and work on her draw arm elbow.

Meanwhile the older one was getting her site ready for 30-20-10 distances that the next tournament uses.  She was doing her sport and I didn’t have to pay too much attention other than recording her site positions.

Having a camera helps, but we also record them in her archery journal so that when we get to a tournament, we have backups.

She really likes this Shibuya site.  There are more expensive models, but this one works for her.  Since she started using it, we are both seeing more of them around, probably some sort of cognitive bias.   At Salt Lake, Steve Anderson spoke to the archers at breakfast.  Later, we saw he was shooting a Shibuya too.

archeryworldcup2016stage2medellin958vtdackx6x

There summer is winding down.  School starts again in a few weeks.  That means the outdoor season is winding down and the indoor season will be ramping up (with a lot of overlap).  I think the Byrds sing a song about this.

Outdoor 30 er 15, Younger Edition

IMG_1291

The younger one wanted to sign up for the outdoor shoot.  The USAT style shoot has no category younger than Bowman.  As a Yeoman, there’s not really a division for her.  The Director of the Shoot decided to create a loophole.  Younger shooters could shoot a 15M target, but they would be doing it outside of the normal competition.  We had practiced 20M at our practice range and I thought it would work out.

It didn’t work out.

She didn’t want to be there and her head down photo above is only a snapshot of her attitude.  After the warm up practice rounds, she withdrew.  Archery and other things may be on hold for this one.  It was a frustrating day.

Outdoor 30, El Dos

The second round of the five part buckle shoot was scheduled over the Fourth of July weekend.  I would guess about half the number of participants as the Father’s Day buckle shoot.  It was a strange distribution of shooters.  Her mentor (pictured above) was the only Junior Female Recurve, meanwhile the Barebow division was full of all ages of shooters.  In her own division, there were the same number of kids as last time.

The other two photos are taken from a former teammate, Sara Martin.  In a time when everyone has a great 10 yard camera on their phone, Sara brings another perspective with a long lens SLR.

Conditions were the same, hot and windy.  She decided to wear her dress from Furry Feline Creatives.  I’m fairly confident she’ll never encounter another archer with the same outfit.

She stayed strong throughout the shoot and had enough energy during the elimination rounds.  She came up short against her principal rival and captured a second place podium finish.

Outdoor 30

First outdoor tournament of the year for the older one.  She is a “bowmen” class and that means she really can’t compete in the big national tournaments that have Cadet and Junior programs only.  Technically, she can shoot in those older age divisions, but the shooting distance starts at 60 and you have to pull a pretty big bow to shoot that distance.  Locally, one (or maybe two) of the JOAD clubs has set up an outdoor series.  This includes shorter distances for the younger divisions, including 30 for bowmen.

Like all archery events we have attended outdoors, you have to deal with the sun and the wind.  This was no different.  Our car thermometer said it was 101.  She had ramped down lessons over the last month, so this was her first event in at least a month.  She shot outside at the park and she got reps in on the side yard.  She used her new Easton outdoor arrows.  She ended up in third place.

Outdoor Arrows for Shooting 30+

Her coach suggested some outdoor arrows. That means breaking free from our standard aluminum arrow.  Indoor arrows can have a wider tube (“shaft”) and for recurve use feather fletchings vs plastic vanes.  This could mean soliciting lots of opinions and getting advice from different range staffers or messaging with Lancaster Archery.  Instead I took a recommendation from the excellent Easton Archery Podcast and decided to focus on the Carbon One. Her coach agreed, but now more questions. Arrows aren’t like picking a soccer ball, you could select the Adidas Tango and then the next choice is color and size.  With arrows, the dimensions of choice include size, shaft weight, spine @28″ span, length, fletchings, and point weight.  She is not ready for a clicker (which assists in the shot sequence and will alter the arrow length), so we don’t know how long the arrows should be nor the shaft weight.  These will be the first two questions a tech will ask you.  Her coach let her try some different sizes Of Carbon Ones, but they were mostly cut to work with clickers. When she shot these short arrows, her coach said they were “porpoising”, which means wavering up and down. That means longer arrows are required.

It is hard to avoid the complexity of the Easton Arrow Selection Chart.  Despite a lot of work to make the chart user friendly, you have to know a lot about you, your bow, and your setup.  This is a moving target for a young archer.

The Easton Selection Chart

Her coach suggested getting a couple of weights and testing them out.  We have three each of 1000 and 1150 with the recommended tip.  The Easton tip is 70, 80, or 90 points, which is a unit of measure for weight.  The tip breaks off at various places to change the weight.

carbon-one-tip

They are attached with hot melt which is a glue that is applied with heat versus a cement glue.  The plastic vanes are attached with a slight offset.


The only thing in common with the aluminum arrow is the Easton G Nock (no pin).

These thinner arrows shoot faster (they stick into the bale further) and shoot farther (her misses were further down the range).  This sounds complicated, and we are at the novice stage.  I suspect this is why there is a lot of “follow the leader” in arrow selection or “buying from the top of the list” – if you notice that Brady Ellison uses the Easton X10 (their high price arrow), and you purchase it, you don’t leave room for too many excuses with your equipment.

 

Hot Enough for Outdoor Shooting in March

We returned to Bear Creek Lake park for our outdoor range.  She began by shooting at 30m.

IMG_4779.JPG

It was hot and dry out there.  Because the USAT Qualifiers are beginning soon, we needed to get a handle on how well she could shoot at 60m.  The USATs only have the Cadet and Junior divisions.  Cadets shoot at 60m and Juniors shoot at 70m.

We moved up to the 40m target and had to adjust her sight, but even with the sight at it’s limits, she wasn’t able to use it to aim at the target, she had to use it to aim at the trees way behind the target.

IMG_4783IMG_4784IMG_4785IMG_4786

The angle of her bow means she is shooting in an arc to reach 40m.  The sight is also practically useless for this distance.  I think she would have to increase the draw weight of her limbs to shoot 40m with less arc and that would probably be another increase to get to 60m.  With this information, it doesn’t look like we would be getting much out of the USAT Qualifiers this year and will consider Outdoor Nationals where she can shoot at 30m.