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.

JOAD and USAT Divisions and Classes

For USA Archery that runs JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) and USAT (United States Archery Team), the classes are fewer than NFAA.

JOAD Classes

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

Other equipment

  • 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
Barebow*
permitted weights, plunger
not permitted sights, scopes, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers, electronics, levels, release aid
Recurve
permitted weights, plunger, sights, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers
not permitted scopes, release aids, levels, electronics
Compound
permitted weights, plunger, sights, stabilizers, clickers, doinkers, scopes, release aids, levels, electronics
not permitted

*  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.

JOAD Divisions

There are five age groups for JOAD.  More information can be found here.

Division Age
Junior 18, 19, 20
Cadet 15, 16, 17
Cub* 13, 14
Bowman* 10, 11, 12
Yeoman* 8, 9

* In outdoor USAT events, there are no divisions for Cub, Bowman, or Yeoman while at JOAD outdoor events, all divisions may be present.

USAT Divisions

There are four age groups for USAT. Additionally, another division exists which does not follow an age for Paralympics called Para

Division Age
Senior Any age
Master 50+ 50 or older
Junior 18, 19, 20
Cadet 15, 16, 17

JOAD and USAT Gender

  • Male
  • Female

Fifth Rotational – Similar and Different

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She was able to shoot with nearly all of the girls in barebow at the same time.  That was interesting since they sometimes intermix them with compound shooters which can be distracting.  However, she wants to be friends or friendly with all of the girls.  She seemed distracted and her scores showed that.  She was down quite a lot from the fourth rotational; yet, she still scored another second place.  The first place shooter is doing so well, it would take a convergence of luck and circumstance to beat her.  She had a good time and that was fun to see.

Fourth Rotational and a New Personal Best

With activities spilling over from work, Dad was unable to attend the fourth tournament of the indoor season.  That turned out to work out great for her.

We’ll need to confirm once her scoring card is returned, but a few highlights of the day:

  • Every arrow was a scoring arrow (a first)
  • Every arrow was 2+ (a first)
  • She improved over her previous personal best by 1.1 point on average per arrow
  • She finished much stronger in the second half (a first)
  • She finished with tens in 3 of the last 5 ends (a first)
  • She overtook a competitor that was ahead through 3/4 of the event (a first)
  • Her second round qualifies for a blue JOAD pin
  • She secured a second place finish

What JOAD Age Division Do I Shoot In?

USA Archery and probably others have devised these groupings: Junior, Cadet, Cub, Bowman, Yeoman.  What group is your child shooting in?  Use this guide to find out.

Division Age
Junior 18, 19, 20
Cadet 15, 16, 17
Cub 13, 14
Bowman 10, 11, 12
Yeoman 8, 9

Why does this matter? The groups correspond to distances and target sizes. As far as I know, the only group that shoots at 9m/10yd for indoor is the Yeoman category. All other groups shoot at 18m/20yd for indoor. The targets get smaller too as you get older. You will need to know what category when you sign up for a shoot.

More information:

Below, the term “last day” is 31 December. The term “first day” is 1 January

Juniors:

If you turn 18, 19, or 20 during the current calendar year, you are a junior until the last day of the current calendar year.

Example: Your 18th birthday is 1-January of this year, you would be considered a Junior.

Example: Your 20th birthday is the 30-December of this year, you would be considered a Junior.

Cadets:

If you turn 15, 16, or 17 during the current calendar year, you are a cadet until the last day of the current calendar year.

If you are 17, then you become a junior on the first day of the next calendar year.

Example: Your 15th birthday is 1-January of this year, you would be considered a Cadet.

Example: Your 17th birthday is the 30-December of this year, you would be considered a Cadet.

Cubs:

If you turn 13 or 14 during the current calendar year, you are a cub until the last day of the current calendar year.

If you are 14, then you become a cadet on the first day of the next calendar year.

Example: Your 13th birthday is 1-January of this year, you would be considered a Cub.

Example: Your 14th birthday is the 30-December of this year, you would be considered a Cub.

Bowman:

If you turn 10, 11, or 12 during the current calendar year, you are a bowman until the last day of the current calendar year.

If you are 12, then you become a cub on the first day of the next calendar year.

Example: Your 10th birthday is 1-January of this year, you would be considered a Bowmen.

Example: Your 12th birthday is the 30-December of this year, you would be considered a Bowmen.

Yeoman:

If you turn 8 or 9 during the current calendar year, you are a yeoman until the last day of the current calendar year.

If you are 9, then you become a bowman on the first day of the next calendar year.

Example: Your 9th birthday is the 30-December of this year, you would be considered a Yeoman.

Note, you can always shoot in a category above you, but you cannot shoot in competition for a category below your age. This information is believed to be accurate as of 2015.