Are you a beginner in archery and about to appear in a tournament?
Archery tournaments are not just for the pros. They are also for the beginners, the intermediate level shooters as well the advanced archers. For the amateurs, the tournaments offer an opportunity to
- evaluate skills
- have fun
- make friends
Every archer preparing to shoot has several questions and it is quite normal to be curious about the things that will take place in the tournament. If you are heading towards a competition and are unsure of the things you need to undertake before it, here is a checklist for you.
Know the Format and the Rules
Make sure that you are aware of the format of the competition. This includes the distance you will be shooting at, the target size as well as the set of rules to follow. Appearing for tournaments is one of the best ways to get used to shooting in a competitive environment. You need to know the rules that apply to the concerned event. The best way to find this is by checking it out with the event organizers.
Do Not Forget Etiquette
Be quiet in the shooting line, so that you don't end up distracting others. Avoid making exclamations of disgust or delight. After you are done with shooting, wait till other archers complete their shot. Stepping off while an archer is shooting can be quite disturbing.
Avoid touching the equipment of others without asking for permission. Respect your fellow archers, competition organizers, and the judges. Avoid speaking negatively about them.
Practice in the Clothes and Shoes You Will Wear
Make sure that you are wearing appropriate apparel if it is cooler or warmer than expected. Indoor facilities can also have temperature swings on the basis of their heating or cooling system. Several organizations have a dress code as well. Regardless of the things that you wear, practicing in it is must. Nothing can be worse than discovering that your shoes hurt or the sleeves snag your bowstring on the tournament day and that affects your performance.
Have All your Equipment Ready
Make sure to pack all the equipment before the day the competition is to be held, so that you do not have anything left behind. Make sure that you are carrying the following:
- Bow (limbs and riser)
- String (with a spare one, if possible)
- Arrows (labeled properly)
- Sight (and the spare apertures)
- Finger guard
- Bow stand
- Other accessories or equipment like finger slings or clickers
- Tight fitting jacket
Pack Water and Snacks
If you are lucky, the shooting site will come with a snack bar as well as a water station. But who knows if you will be so lucky? Packing snacks and water is key to spending a great day. Staying nourished and perfectly hydrated is vital. So pack snacks to keep your energy level high. Opt for nuts, fruits, and snacks that are not super sugary or caffeinated to sustain yourself through the tournament.
Know the Time and Location
Make sure that you know where you will be going and the time you need to reach there. It is better to reach an hour before the practice begins. You need to hang the target face, put the bows together, stretch, and find a place to sit. After you are done, you may say hello to your friends or spend time in relaxing before you start practicing.
If you are planning to use a GPS device or a smartphone to reach the location, carry a paper copy of the direction and the address. This way, you will be saved in cases of problems like a dead battery or lost signal.
Know the Schedules
This indicates the starting time. The experienced archers arrive early to find a seating space, review information, set up equipment, hang target face, and get ready before the beginning of day's events. Make sure to check daily for updates. You can think of the tournament as:
- Check in
- Equipment inspection
- Official practice
Official practice refers to the phase when you familiarize yourself with the range and relax a little before you begin shooting. It is quite unsettling not to have practice time owing to delay.
Tournament delays can also take place. This may be owing to an array of reasons like power failure or adverse weather. For local tournaments, make sure to arrive 45 minutes ahead of your schedule. If traveling out of town, arrive the day before and depart after a day.
Set your Goal
Set a reasonable goal. It need not always be of a high level or a score-focused one. Never. It can be as simple as deriving maximum fun or making new friends every tournament. The point in having a goal is just a way to build confidence by meeting it.
Regardless of whether it is a national level competition or your first shoot at the local archery club, the most significant part is to enjoy each minute. Archery is chiefly about excitement and fun of shooting with bow and arrow while challenging yourself, building confidence, and meeting new people.