By Crispin Duenas
With all our recent articles on shooting indoors, you might want to follow some of your favorite professional archers as they compete this season. The pros shoot in several big tournaments each year, so let’s discuss which ones to watch.
The Indoor World Archery Series is often called the “Indoor World Cup.” It consists of several stages all over the world, and the archers collect points based on where they finish. The qualification format is familiar to many archers, consisting of a 60-arrow World Archery round on a vertical three-spot face. No full-sized single-spot faces are allowed.
After the qualification round, the top 32 archers advance to the elimination rounds, which features a head-to-head format. The No. 1 seed shoots against the No. 32 seed, the second seed faces the No. 31 seed, and so on. The archer who wins every match wins the tournament`. The top 16 archers with the most points after all stages of the Series advance to the finals in Las Vegas.
The USA Archery Indoor Nationals are a multi-site indoor competition. Archers compete at venues across the United States for two days in two World Archery indoor 18-meter rounds. Their scores are tallied at a central location, and the highest score out of 120 wins the national championship. This format lets everyone shoot against the top U.S. archers without having to travel. In addition, the top eight finishers in each equipment category advance to a shoot-off finals in Kentucky to determine each group’s national champion.
The NFAA Indoor Nationals, which will be in Louisville, Kentucky, this season, feature a format in which archers shoot at a five-spot blue-and-white face. Archers shoot 60 arrows daily during the two-day event, scoring a maximum of 5 points per shot. Out of those 120 arrows, many archers score a perfect 600/600, but the separator is the number of arrows in the X-ring. Last year, 21 men in the Freestyle Pro (compound unlimited) shot 600s. In the women’s pro division, eight archers shot a perfect 120, but with at least 115 X’s.
The Lancaster Classic is one of the most popular indoor competitions in the United States. In just a few years it grew from an in-house tournament at the Lancaster Archery showroom in Pennsylvania to an event featuring over 1,700 archers at an indoor soccer complex. In addition to the recurve and pro compound expert levels, the barebow division grew in popularity thanks to amazing performances in the finals. Those contests resemble the finals venue at the Nimes Indoor World Series stage. This is one of the best shoots besides the Vegas Shoot, where you compete on the same line as the sport’s favorite pros.
The Vegas Shoot is the world’s largest indoor competition. This three-day event, held by the National Field Archery Association, draws over 3,000 archers from around the world. In 2018 it drew over 3,500 archers to Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel. The competition follows a 90-arrow-highest-score format. The professional compound archers shoot at least 15 perfect scores of 900/900 in the men’s and women’s category. The competition also includes a well-rounded trade show where many pros and industry engineers answer questions, and companies sell archery gear, mostly at discounts. The Vegas Shoot also doubles as the Indoor World Archery Series Final, where the top 16 archers shoot to determine the series’ championship.