Ontario Spring Classic

Ontario-Spring-ClassicThis past weekend, I attended the Ontario Spring Classic, one of Canada’s premiere archery events usually held in Toronto. This year’s event attracted over 110 archers from Nova Scotia to British Colombia and several international archers including France, Netherlands and the United States.

photo 2The Ontario Spring Classic is a two-day tournament and usually held every year over Father’s day weekend. The tournament starts with a ranking round on Saturday consisting of either double 720 round OR FITA1440 round. On Sunday the tournament finishes with a complete double elimination round.

photo 1This year’s Spring Classic was a double 720 held at Bill Connor Secondary, and doubled as trials for the Youth Olympic Games and the Pan Am games trial run. This year’s competition marked my first outdoor tournament of the 2014 season. Saturday’s weather conditions for the double 720 were crazy. For June, it was very cold at 11°C outside and there were a lot of swirling winds that caused havoc for everyone. The winds were totally unpredictable, they were constantly changing direction and speed, forcing you to really watch closely on each and every shot.

For me, I took the approach to have a good time, talk with friends, continue to embrace it as a new challenge, and a true learning experience. Although the weather finally cleared up for the last two ends, after fighting the winds, I was happy to get back to the hotel, take off my shoes, and sit in the hotel’s hot tub.

photo 3Sunday was a complete reversal of weather conditions, sunny, calm and about 20°C. It was an absolutely beautiful day for shooting. I did manage to last through three rounds of elimination, finally losing to my World Indoor Championships teammate Gayle from Nova Scotia. For me, the best part was getting back to competition, shooting with some of Canada’s top World and Olympic archers, seeing all my friends and spending time with my mom and sister who accompanied me.

2014 Ontario Indoor 10-ring Target Championship

IMG_7714All this week, from February 15th to February 23th, clubs across Ontario are hosting the mail-in scoring tournament. The 10-ring target championship is an indoor FITA tournament and is the standard format for the Canadian National Indoor Championships and all World Indoor Championships. The tournament follows standard FITA rules using a 10-ring 40cm target ( 60 cm for Cub and Pre-cub Recurve) with two rings each of Gold, Red, Blue, Black and White and everyone shooting from 18M. Consistent archers may choose to use a vertical 3 spot to avoid breaking arrows and nocks.

Yesterday, I shot in my 9th Provincial Indoor 10-ring Target Championship. Although I have not always won a medal, I have always enjoyed it and this year was no exception. Being away at university and focusing on my education and career development, I was unable to participate in the Provincial Indoor Field Championship. That aside, I have been able to train. Redeemer has been extremely generous to afford me the gym a couple of days a week to train and practice. I have been fortunate enough to be able to co-ordinate some virtual training time with my awesome coach Kathy Millar via SKYPE. That aside, archery is a social sport and although it has been great to keep shooting, what I really missed was shooting with sister, my little brothers (both who are not little anymore) and my archery family. I had a lot of fun shooting, joking around and spending time with my family and friends.

If you live in Ontario and have never competed in an indoor target championship, check out the Ontario Association of Archer’s website for host site and dates near you. Hurry as pre-registration is usually required.

2013 MICA

IMG_8171Every year, COPARCO the pan-American archery organization, hosts a mail-in tournament called the Multi-Indoor Championships of the Americas OR MICA for short. MICA is only one of very few indoor International Championships that is open to all archers that you do not have to travel for.

Designated host archery clubs throughout North and South America host tournaments for both individuals and teams to submit scores from January 1 – April 30. Male or female archers can compete individually in cadet, junior, senior or master categories in either compound or recurve. Additionally clubs can also host junior or senior male or female teams in either compound or recurve, provided they are all from the same club.

Since it is a FITA sanctioned event, individuals submit their score from a double indoor FITA (60 arrows) and the team event submit a FITA team score (24 arrows) where each archer shoots 2 arrows alternating for four ends. This is one of my favorite events and one of the few times you can practice the team event.

On May 13 they officially announced that my sister Sydney, our great friend Lindsay Fulmerton and myself once again captured gold for the Multi-Indoor Championships of America Junior female team. This will be my third gold in the team event since my coach, my good friend Nancy Chalut and I were also very lucky to captured gold to in the senior division in 2011.

If you love indoor archery and would like to participate in the 2014 Multi-Indoor Championships of the Americas, contact you local club or archery organization for a host club near you.

2013 OFSAA

ofsaa_kcvi_2012The Ontario High School Archery Invitational Tournament, a sanctioned Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) event is once again being hosted by Richmond Green Community Sports Centre. To my knowledge, Ontario is the only province in Canada offering a high school archery championship. I am very happy the organizers have decided to move forward with the event, since it is a good stepping-stone tournament for archers in their development into competitive archery.

Last year’s tournament saw over 440 archers compete in four divisions. Both boys and girls in Olympic recurve, Standard (one-piece fibreglass bows) shooting on a 60cm face, and compound fingers and compound release shooting on 40cm faces with everyone at 18m. This year compound bow and standard divisions compete on Wednesday, May 15th and all Olympic recurve divisions compete on Thursday, May 16th.

Participation is expected to be slightly less this year because of the Ontario Teachers strike impact on high-school clubs. However, if you are interested in participating in the event, please contact your high-school archery coach to find out if they are sending a team to the event and get registered.

Archery takes you places

ArcheryOnce you decide to become a competitive archer you will need to start planning to travel. Traveling is a big part of competitive archery, and the higher the level of competition, the further you need to travel.

Indoor archery can take you all over the planet at the upper levels however most competitions can be “mailed-in” because the conditions are controllable. For indoor archery, I have had the pleasure of visiting Louisville, Kentucky a couple of times for the NFAA Indoor Championships and Las Vegas, Nevada for the World Indoor Championships.

bb45s5817Since, hosting any outdoor archery tournament requires a fair amount of space, in Canada, you will need to travel a lot. Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area and stretches about 5000 KM (3000 Miles) from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.  Since 2009 to participate in the Canadian National Outdoor Championships I have visited Laval, Quebec; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Delisle, Saskatchewan; Victoria, British Columbia and this year our family will travel to Woodstock, New Brunswick.

Even competing at the provincial level requires a lot of travel since the province of Ontario is larger than Egypt, Spain or France and therefore even for Provincial competitions you will have to travel a lot. I have visited London, Sudbury, Ottawa, New Market, Petawawa, Caledon, Athens, Peterborough, Toronto and Sault Ste. Marie. All this and I do not participate in every tournament.

Budget is a large factor in participation; our family uses our family vacation budget to participate in tournaments. Unfortunately, only the highest level of Canadian archer receive funding to help pay for travel, lodgings, tournament fees and equipment. For the rest of us, it often falls on us or our parents to help fund those Olympic dreams.

So if you are planning to venture in the realms of competitive archery, I offer the same advice that was afforded to me when I started. “Start saving now” however be assured that it is a worthwhile investment.

Archery Judge

archery-group

Have you ever thought about becoming an Archery Judge? For Canadians, there are basically five judging levels towards becoming eligible to judge at the Olympics:

  • Level 1: Local/Club Judge
  • Level 2a: Provincial Judge Candidate
    • Level 2b: Provincial Judge
  • Level 3a: National Judge Candidate
    • Level 3b: National Judge
  • Level 4a: Continental Judge Candidate
    • Level 4b: Continental Judge
  • Level 5a: International Judge Candidate
    • Level 5b: International Judge: (Eligible to judge at the Olympics)

With the exception of the local/club judge, each level requires successful completion of the previous level. A judge with candidate status means they have completed the training but may need additional practical experience to complete the certification. Also for national, continental and international level judging, the governing body (or bodies) must recommend the judge for advancement to the next stage.

Over the past weekend, we hosted a provincial archery judging clinic at our home instructed by International judge, Randall JonesI want to congratulate my father who is now a provincial judge candidate with the successful completion of the course and passing the exam. He will now need to judge three tournaments including one indoor, and one outdoor with one major tournament such as Ontario Target Championship to become a certified provincial judge.

If you are interested in becoming a Ontario provincial judge, the next judging clinic is being hosted by Archers of Caledon in May 11th and 12th. If you are interested in becoming a provincial judge, contact the Ontario Association of Archers for more information.

Ontario Provincial Indoor 10-Ring Championship

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom February 16th to February 24th Ontario will be holding the second of the two annual indoor provincial championships, the indoor 10-ring Target Championships. Similar to the indoor Field Championships, this annual tournament is hosted by many sites across the province with mail-in scoring. It was at  this tournament that I won my very first medal at 12 years old, although I didn’t find out until two-months later at my archery club’s Annual Awards Ceremony because my parents wanted it to be a surprise.

The target championship is an indoor FITA tournament and is the standard format for the Canadain National Indoor Championships and all World Indoor Championships. The tournament follows standard FITA rules using a 10-ring 40cm target ( 60 cm for Cub and Pre-cub Recurve) with two rings each of Gold, Red, Blue, Black and White and everyone shooting from 18M. Consistent archers may choose to use a vertical 3 spot to avoid breaking arrows and nocks. A vertical 3-spot is also mandatory for all Indoor World Championships.

FITA_Target

With mail-in tournaments there are no elimination rounds where archers have head-to-head competitions. With the updated FITA target faces in 2012 there is no X ring anymore therefore ties can happen.

This tournament is typically the start of the premier shooting period in Ontario with the national indoor championships at the beginning of March and then COPARCO Multi-national Indoor Championships of Americas (North and South America) mail-in championship to follow. If you live in Ontario and have never competed in an indoor target championships, check out the Ontario Association of Archer’s website for host site and dates near you.