WA Star Tournament - Match ReportNeil Dimmock
Revival of the Event
It is now over ten years since Kent last organised a 'FITA'-style event; one of the reasons why the event wasn't held for so long, had been the lack of support from local archers, not least because it was seen as taking too long and finishing too late - in a word, boring! And that was as a non-record status event, shooting without 'traffic lights' time control!
Another reason was that its lack of FITA Star and record status meant that it was not attractive to the archers who enjoyed shooting this round, especially those who were looking for qualifying scores for a Master Bowman or higher classification.
Well, more recently there have a been number of requests from archers in the county to bring it back, so the committee has responded and did just that.
In the intervening years there have been a few changes: FITA has changed itâ€™s name and is now World Archery, but the award is still a Star. The old familiar FITA round is now known as the World Archery 1440 round.
However the most significant change is that there are now a number of alternative ways in which the 1440 round can be shot; it can still be shot in the familiar way with three arrow ends at the two shorter distances but now, more popularly, with six arrow ends using a special target face (80cm with the zones 1 â€“ 4 removed) so that each archer has their own. By combining the six arrow ends with shooting in a single detail and the time controls required of a World Record and World Archery Star event, it is possible to speed up the tournament considerably, but without making it unduly taxing for those taking part.
And then, of course, there has been the introduction of several new rounds:
- the Masters and Cadet versions of the 1440 round,
- the 70m and 60m Recurve Rounds and the 50m Compound Round (all shot at a single distance),
- head-to-head elimination rounds.
On the Day
Kent chose Sunday, 22 June for the resurrection of the tournament, but now with World Record and WA Star status for the 1440 rounds and UK record status for the Metric rounds. It proved to be a very warm day, requiring everyone taking part to take on board much water. 75 archers out of 80 entrants competed in all of the recognised bow-styles.
Shooting was in one detail and the Director of Shooting (Robert Potts) gave much needed respite between ends. As is common practice, archers were asked to move targets between distances and since they were also asked to remove faces at lunchtime, extra time was given for lunch - nearly an hour and a half was made available to them.
Even with such a comparatively leisurely schedule, shooting finished around 4:30p.m. just before the clubhouse was closed. (That's about 2 hours earlier than was normal in the 'old days'!)
Signing-in was a little fraught as a number of Masters asked to be moved to shoot the full Senior distances.
18 World Archery Stars were claimed which shows the expertise of our archers and the popularity of the event.
Two archers were of particular note:
- Lilly Piper (Woking Archery Club) hurt her wrist in the days preceding the event. X-rays showed no damage, but she requested to return to the Metric 4 round which corresponds to her age. She showed her ability by breaking the National Record for 10m (80cm face).
- Vicky Flack (Crystal Palace Bowmen), on finding that there was a space on the Menâ€™s 1440 round, asked to be transferred from the Womenâ€™s round. She then proceeded to take third place and with just one extra 10 would have taken second place! Her feat was greeted with great hilarity by the barebow/longbow archers, who took great delight at the discomfort of their compound comrades.
For the Future
There was some long term discussion amongst the non-sighted archers over the smaller faces; â€œSome of us need to use more of the faceâ€. A straw poll was taken at prize-giving and a small majority was in favour of using the reduced face.
The committee need your input, for example:
- Do you want the event to be repeated? (If so, would you prefer 1 or 2 days? Would you prefer the 1440/Metric rounds or the 70m, 60m and 50m rounds? Would you like to see the inclusion of head-to-head? Would you like some combination of these?)
- What is your opinion of the use of the reduced face? (But please bear in mind that for many archers this is the most practical way of shooting the faster ends of 6 for the shorter distances in the 1440 and Metric rounds.)
- Were you put off entering the event because of the format?
It would be very helpful if you would send your constructive comments and suggestions about how this year's event went and/or what you would like to see for the future to the tournament organiser before the end of August. The committee will then look at the feedback before organising an event for next year.