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.
The mission of USA Archery shall be to enable United States athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Pan American or Paralympic and World Championship competition and to promote and grow the sport of archery in the United States.
Additionally, US Archery recognizes para-athletes as their own division (without age groups). Combining all of this, there are 30 different combinations for US Archery Teams (although I suspect that discipline (barebow, compound, recurve) is not distinct for the para-athlete.
Male Recurve Senior
Male Recurve Junior
Male Recurve Cadet
Male Recurve Masters (new)
Male Recurve Para
Female Recurve Senior
Female Recurve Junior
Female Recurve Cadet
Female Recurve Masters (new)
Female Recurve Para
Male Compound Senior
Male Compound Junior
Male Compound Cadet
Male Compound Masters (new)
Male Compound Para
Female Compound Senior
Female Compound Junior
Female Compound Cadet
Female Compound Masters (new)
Female Compound Para
Male Barebow Senior (new)
Male Barebow Junior (new)
Male Barebow Cadet (new)
Male Barebow Masters (new)
Male Barebow Para (new)
Female Barebow Senior (new)
Female Barebow Junior (new)
Female Barebow Cadet (new)
Female Barebow Masters (new)
Female Barebow Para (new)
Currently, only two of these teams (bold) above compete in the Olympics or Pan-Am games.
For USA Archery that runs JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) and USAT (United States Archery Team), the classes are fewer than NFAA.
All archers are allowed to use:
Arm guard – plastic, cloth, leather material – to protect their arm from the bowstring and prevent string/arrow deflection during release
Finger protector – plastic, metal, leather material – protects the fingers that draw the bowstring back to shoot the bow
Finger Sling or Wrist Sling – if the hand holding the bow grips the bow tightly, the arrow will not fly true because tension in the hand affects the bow. If the archer correctly holds the bow with a relaxed hand, the bow actually will leap forward out of the hand. To prevent it from falling to the ground the archer will use a length of string or cloth or leather to encircle the bow grip loosely. This catches the bow after the arrow has left and before the bow hits the ground.
Chest protector – cloth or plastic material – this resembles the front panel of one side of a vest, with straps to hold it in place on the side of the chest closest to the bow. It provides a smooth, low-friction surface so that as the bowstring moves forward on arrow release, it does not snag painfully in the archer’s shirt or chest.
Weights – different weights can be attached to the bow to assist in release or compensate for a bow with a different center
Kisser button – is a plastic button that mounts on the bowstring above the nocking point, and is adjusted to touch the upper lip when the bow is drawn. This helps in forming a stable anchor point. It is a reference point used to provide an additional touch point for the anchor, like the hand on the jaw bone, or the string on the end of the nose.
Sight or scope – an adjustable plastic, metal, or carbon device that provides better accuracy without the use of magnifying optics or electronic enhancements (most commonly “sight” as “scope” implies some sort of optics)
Aperture – the opening on the sight through which the archer aims at the target. (no magnification or electronics allowed)
Clicker – a metal tab that makes a clicking noise when the arrow is drawn to a precise point. Advanced archers have trained themselves into a reflexive release of the arrow when the click is heard.
Stabilizer – plastic, metal, rubber, or carbon rods that attach to various points on the bow to help the bow remain still (stable) on arrow release. Vibrations are absorbed by stabilizer components as well. Can have several stabilizers
Doinkers/silencers – rubber, metal devices that attach to the bow and absorb vibrations and reduce shock on arrow release
Plunger/button – a metal and plastic device that mounts through the riser of the bow to touch the arrow while it is on the bow that helps tune the bow.
Release Aid – Attaches to the bow string and mechanically releases the string when the archer is ready to shoot generally through the use of a button but sometimes through specific body movement like back tension
Levels – Bubble levels are found on some bows to assist in shooting straighter
sights, scopes, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers, electronics, levels, release aid
* In general, barebows do not provide a level of accuracy sufficient to be competitive at the 70 meter distance (which is the Olympic distance for recurve archery). As such, barebow is not an official class of USAT (said differently, it may be erratically recognized). That may change in 2018 according to these guidelines.
There are five age groups for JOAD. More information can be found here.
18, 19, 20
15, 16, 17
10, 11, 12
* In outdoor USAT events, there are no divisions for Cub, Bowman, or Yeoman while at JOAD outdoor events, all divisions may be present.
There are four age groups for USAT. Additionally, another division exists which does not follow an age for Paralympics called Para
The National Field Archery Association (NFAA) has different definitions than USA Archery (USAT and JOAD) for age groups and classes.
Freestyle (coded FS) is virtually an unlimited class. You can shoot any bow with a movable sight, any length stabilizer, and use a release aid. The sight can have certain magnifications.
Freestyle Limited (coded FSL) is basically the same as FS with the exception that you cannot use a release aid. “Limited” means you shoot without a release aid.
Freestyle Limited Recurve (coded FSLR) are standard Olympic bows. You are allowed to use a recurve with sights, stabilizers, and clickers.
Barebow (coded BB) can use any bow including a compound. In addition you can use any length stabilizer, any rest, a level and you can “walk the string.” (“Walking the string” means your fingers can change position on the bow string during the tournament.) You cannot use a sight.
Competitive Bowhunter also called Bowhunter (coded BH) can use any bow including a compound. Your string finger must stay against the arrow nock and it must stay in one position below or above the arrow nock. You may not use a sight, clicker or level. You may use a stabilizer up to 12″ in length.
Bowhunter Freestyle (coded BHFS) bows can have up to 5 fixed sight pins (you cannot adjust your sight after you start shooting an official round), a stabilizer up to 12″ in length, and you can use a release aid. These are usually compound bows.
Bowhunter Freestyle Limited (coded BHFSL) is basically the same as BHFS with the exception that you cannot use a release aid. “Limited” means you shoot without a release aid.
Traditional (coded TRAD) bows are all bows without wheels or pulleys (no compounds). All longbows and recurve fit into this division until the longbow class was formed. Your string finger must stay against the arrow nock and it must stay in one position below or above the arrow nock. You may not use a sight or level on your bow. You can use a rest, front stabilizer up to 12 inches and a button. All of the arrows must be identical.
Longbows (coded LB) is determined by string not touching the bow limb. A recurve bow string lays on the limb in a limb grove. Not all longbows meet NFAA rules. Modern longbows that have a reflex are considered traditional bows not a longbow. In addition you must use wooden arrows that are all the same.
Crossbow (coded CB) is just that, a crossbow. Crossbows are a new class for NFAA and at present is only shot at indoor tournaments capable of handling the additional needs of such equipment. Ranges need fortified bales and may not be able to handle crossbows.
Up to 11
Additionally, there is a “Pro” and “Pro Senior” classification which presumably has to do with becoming a professional (sponsors?) vs. amateur