Canada’s wait continues

Canada’s wait for it’s first Olympic medal will unfortunately be extended four more years. Both Crispin Duenas of Ontario and Marie-Pier Beaudet of Quebec were eliminated in their opening match in London.

Crispin Duenas : http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=402049

Marie-Pier Beaudet : http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=401855

Nonetheless, I am very proud of them. While watching these games, I can empathize with the pressure that they are experiencing. After participating in the World Championship in Las Vegas this past winter, I have a new appreciation of the pressure that is cast-upon athletes at these competitions.

At large competitions like the Olympics and World Championships they try to make archery more viewer friendly for the spectators through the addition of commentators. This can be very nerve racking for the archers as they announce each shot and various competitors’ scores, sometimes right at the very moment of your release. In my team bronze medal match, the commentators were already declaring victory for the other team before we had finished shooting. It is almost impossible to block it out, at this level it is about who can manage their nerves and the pressure since they are all excellent shooters.

I have also read comments of news stories, blogs and twitter asking “Why is archery an Olympic sport?”.  For those people, I challenge you to pull 50 pounds, hold for 7 seconds with enough calm composure to hit an apple 70 meters away, adjusting on the fly for all the elements. Now repeat 72 times, consistently. It takes strength, endurance, and composure, just like any other sport.

All of these archers are amazing athletes and deserve to represent their respective countries at these games. For Canada, eighth and twenty-ninth in the world are awesome!

Congratulations, Team Canada on a job well done.

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Rules of Archery

After I started to get some success in archery, my extended family started to take an interest in the sports even though they did not understand the rules; so they often ask me “what are the rules of archery?”  The answer depends on governing body of the tournament and the specific rules will depend on many factors including bow type, type of tournament, archer age and archer sex.

There are many governing bodies such as FITA, NFAA, OAA, etc… however the primary one is World Archery Federation which was formerly known as FITA (Fédération Internationale de Tir à l’Arc) which was formed in 1931 in Poland.

Its seven founding member states were France, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Poland, United States, Hungary, and Italy. The aim of the organization was to create regular archery championships, and to return archery to the Olympic Games (the sport had not been featured since 1920). FITA was finally successful in returning archery to the Olympic program in the 1972 Summer Olympics.

FITA began holding Target World Championships in 1931. They were held every year until 1959, when the Championships became biennial events. 1959 was also the first year that FITA held the World Field Championship. Wikipedia

Personally, I started shooting indoor target tournaments using FITA rules. I remember the first time I decided to try a field tournament, I asked my coach Larry Smith for advice and what to expect. He simply said “Jordan, shoot the X, no matter the target tournament just shoot the “X”.

If you are deciding to participate in various competitions it is important to remember, it is the responsibility of the archer to know the rules for that tournament. Most archers will not “intentionally” give you incorrect information, however if you make a mistake, like shoot the wrong target, you are the one who suffers not them, therefore you need to advocate for yourself. Even at international competitions, it is the responsibility of the archer, not the coach to know and understand the rules. Officials will often help if you politely ask a question, and are far more understanding to juniors since they are considered new to international rules.

If you are planning to participate in archery tournaments familiarize yourself with the rules of that type of tournament. Rules for various governing bodies are available on their website. Check out my Links page for shortcuts to World Archery Federation, National Field Archery Association, International Field Archery Association, Federation of Canadian Archers and Ontario Association of Archers