The six Arizona JOADs
and their families had an incredible experience at the
Outdoor Target Archery World Championship Tournament
They all also learned
a lot about themselves and the responsibilities of a team member
representing the USA. It was also quite enlightening for these US
national champions to see how they measure up internationally. Here
is a summary of how our six Arizona JOADs performed. This is their
first World Team experience. Further below is an event diary.
Recurve Cadet Female: Maggie did very well in the FITA by scoring
a personal best resulting in 16th place in the FITA.
In Olympic round match play Maggie finished in 37th
place. The US Recurve Cadet Female team played two team OR
matchers and finished in 7th. These results are quite
an accomplishment considering the level of competition at a World
Recurve Cadet Male: Ryan's division was the most competitive
Cadet division by far with 61 competitors. Ryan finished in 37th
place in the FITA, 48th place in the OR and his team
finished in 9th place. A real learning experience.
Compound Cadet Female: Robyn finished in 8th place in
the FITA and improved to 6th place in the Olympic
Rounds. The highlight for this Cadet Compound Female was the Team
round Event Silver Medal. Robyn
learned some valuable lessons about tournament preparation.
Compound Cadet Female: Margaret finished in 3rd place
in the FITA. She went on to finish in 8th place in the
Ors. Margaret was also a member of the US Cadet Compound Female
Team that won an Event Silver Medal.
Compound Cadet Male:
Brady finished a very respectable 8th place in the FITA
and 11th place in the OR after retiring to a fellow USA
team mate. As part of the US Cadet Compound Male Team, Brady was
a part of the number one seeded team and won a Gold Medal
with rest of the USA team.
Recurve Junior Female: Lindsay finished the FITA in 13th
place shooting a personal best FITA. Lindsay shoot some nice OR
matches and finished in 22nd. The US Junior Recurve
Female team played two team OR matches losing to the ultimate gold
medal Korean team to finish in 7th place.
These results are
quite an accomplishment shooting against
the world's best juniors and cadets as selected by their countries.
It is proof that hard work and commitment of the Arizona Joad and
their families pays off.
July, 17-25, 2004
Travel day, Saturday/Sunday:
The US team gathered
at 4 airports, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and Newark on Saturday and
flew to Manchester, England. For Arizonans, the travel time from
Phoenix totaled 14 hours. (Depart Saturday morning Phoenix to
Newark, 4.5 hours; layover, 1.5 hours; Newark to Manchester, 5.5
hours, arrive Sunday morning; drive to Telford, 2.5 hours) Some
took longer as the unfamiliar road system made for slower travel.
The 32 US team plus 7 team coaches/leaders rode from the airport to
the team village (Harper Adams University) on charted buses. The
team had a quick bite to eat at the college and then dressed for the
4:00 PM opening ceremonies. The team was shuttled on buses for the
5 mile ride to the venue. A highlight is that all of the USA
archer’s equipment and luggage arrived. (One of the team leader’s
luggage was delayed for a day and a half.) For the families just
finding the tournament field/ ceremony location was an adventure. I
am sure many a liter of petrol was used circling around “round-a-
bouts” looking for the sports center. England is 8 hours ahead
Opening Ceremony, Sunday Afternoon:
The hour long
opening ceremonies were quite a production in keeping with the
importance of the championship. A drum corp. band unit provided the
primary entertainment. The weather was beautiful with partly cloudy
skies and temperatures in the 60 to 70 degree F range. Banners or
“Gonfalon” from archery clubs throughout the UK were marched in.
Then came the march of the athletes which was the highlight. 398
junior archers from 47 countries, competing in 8 divisions. Each
team marched in behind their countries banners announced over the
public address system in english, then french. They were then
greeted officially by the tournament and FITA representative
speeches of welcome and good luck. A “jumbo” video screen fed by
multiple cameras zoomed in on all the ceremony details. Helium
balloons were release that rose into the air with the names of each
archer on an attached card. The card found and returned from the
most distant location will win a prize for both the archer and the
person that found the card. A tournament archer’s goody bag was
given out and then it was back to Harper Adams for dinner and a good
night’s sleep. For many it was their first sleep in 30 hours.
Notes: Travel to
England is long, but not that long from the east coast. ATMs were
all around allowing all to get cash with a Credit/Debit card and a
PIN. Driving on the left takes a bit of getting used to along with
round-a-bouts. There was a “McDonalds” not too far from the field.
The best part was that all spoke English. The cost of things in the
UK verses the US dollar was not favorable. The exchange rate is
around $2 dollars to 1 British pound, as a result things seem to be
twice as expensive as back home. Finally, travelers from 110 volt
countries need to bring two power converters, one for up to 100 amp
for electronic devices and one for 500 to 1500 amps for hair dryers
and curling irons. These power converters did not seem to work
with rechargeable camera batteries.
Practice day Monday:
The Junior division
practice session was in the morning and the Cadets in the
afternoon. During the practice archers were called by team for
equipment inspection where both primary and back up equipment was
inspected. A team captain's meeting was also held for all the team
leader and briefed on tournament procedures. The practice sessions
went well and the archers were able to gather under canopies in team
seating areas. Unfortunately the canopy back walls made it almost
impossible for spectators to see the archers. The archers were
provided with water bottles on the field where by the USA team
learned the difference between “sparkling” verses “still” drinking
water. The archers also requested more familiar snack foods as the
University cafeteria food was different from what Americans are
The activity of the
day, besides practice and getting sight settings, was pin and
uniform trading. The Americans had USA pins to trade and Arizonans
had ASAA and AZ Cup pins to trade also. Some purchased extra Team
USA Archery Tee shirts to trade.
three spectator bleacher sets with rear, side walls and overhead
protection, a food vendor, and several archery retail vendors for
equipment, target faces and target butts. A toilet building was on
site along with port a toilets for the archers. The sports complex
also has lodging, scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as
beautiful grounds and gardens. The tournament charged ₤3.5 pounds
per spectator for the week long entry into the tournament. The
entry fee could be applied to the purchase of any of the goods sold
at the tourney field.
At days end, the
skies began to shower canceling the USA Cadet teams round practice
at the tournament field practice range and the USA Junior teams
round practice at the Harper Adams practice range.
First ˝ FITA, long distances, Tuesday:
The Juniors shot in
the AM on 64 targets while the Cadets competed in the PM on 40
targets. The morning air was chilly with temps in the low 60s,
overcast skies and light breezy in AM followed by very stiff winds
in the PM. Again the canopy back walls were making viewing of the
event difficult and sometime impossible for spectators. Nerves were
at a fever pitch for some. Things like making sight adjustments,
remembering to bring all your equipment to the field, knowing that
both their main bow and backup bow both must inspected or
remembering if you shot 5 or 6 arrows suddenly became challenges.
The lesson learned is that the JOAD is expected to think and act
independently even though they may only be 14 years old.
Leader board scores
were collected at every end by an army of volunteers stationed
between every other bale. The scores were displayed on a large
LED display that scrolled all the competitors’ scores division by
division. Of note was the lack of equipment failures. The score
card that was nothing like any American had ever seen. US team
family members made up the bulk of the spectators during the week.
Coaches Kirllov, Penaz and Towne were on the field coaching during
the competition with Randi Smith, Cindy B, Eva Fuller and Teresa
filling in when they didn’t have team coordination duties. They had
their hands full figuring out what each US archer needed for
support. A practice field at the team lodging village allowed for
quality practice thru out the day, even when away from the field.
As for the actual
shooting, the US compound teams dominated while the recurvers
were knocked around a bit in the competitive world competition. All
had to be reminded that a FITA is a marathon of 144 arrows, and not
the result of just one arrow or one end. Rain began to fall just as
the Cadets finished their rounds. All were looking for a better day
tomorrow now that the first day jitters were gone.
Focus was reported
to be an issue in the evening. Unfamiliar foods, sleeping away
from home, constant noise made many uncomfortable and unable to
sleep. Tiny shower compartments were a real challenge for the Male
Second ˝ FITA, short distances, Wednesday:
The schedule was the
same as the day before except shooting ran behind schedule because
of the time it takes to shoot 12 ends of three verses 6 ends of
six. Also the juniors had three equipment failures. Weather was
again wonderful with great very comfortable temperatures, light
breezes and partly cloudy skies. Some had better day while others
didn’t. Compound males set a team world record.
The Cadets came to
the field early which allowed them to support the juniors and get
some very beneficial practice on the practice field. It also
allowed time to go back to Harper Adams to pick up forgotten
equipment which occurred for one Cadet for the second day in a row.
The Cadets shot in beautiful weather. Pin trading continued to be a
In the afternoon
many of the juniors went to Shrewsbury, a medieval town,
for a McDonalds snack, shopping, sightseeing and then
a welcome Italian dinner. Unfortunately, the custom of closing
shops at 5:30pm limited the anticipated shopping. The Cadets
were back at Harper Adams around 8:30 PM and then went to Harper
Adams and on to a restaurant for a well deserved dinner out. Food
poisoning was reported. Since Cadets always shot in the
afternoon, their sightseeing opportunities were quite limited.
As for the actual
shooting several personal bests were shoot by the Americans. The
USA Cadets early arrival to the field seemed to pay off as they
performed much better on the second FITA day. At days end, all the
US team were in the OR matches. Many thrived under the competition
conditions to shoot personal bests.
Notes: Some odd
occurrences were perceived by the parents:
One noted that
those marking the score card wrote a higher score on their card
than then had been called. In turn they wrote a lower score on
others cards. Score cards are very easily mixed up. Whether
intentional or not, the best way to eliminate the possibility is
for each archer to check both score cards BEFORE THE ARROWS ARE
One noted that
some archers seemed to be intentionally missing their targets at
the short distances to the point of intentionally shooting
opponents targets, deliberately missing or shooting the target
number. The impression was that they were trying to manipulate
the OR match ups or rattle their opponent.
One noted that the
archer adjacent to them moved “wildly” while on the line
shooting. Typically the action is a wide swinging bow and arm at
release. This can take the adjacent archers focus off of their
shooting and on to the opponents shooting. The solution is to
practice ignoring out of the ordinary shooting behavior by
focusing on ones own shooting only. (Note the Judges are to
determine if an archers actions are dangerous and have them stop
or dismiss them from the competition as a safety measure.)
of the other archers. Some remarked that their target mates said
nothing, had a scowl on their face or barked angrily. Remember
that there are rude and nice people in all countries and there is
no prize for congeniality. Note that language barriers and
cultural barriers can lead to mis- understandings, too.
The best way to
stay out of the drama is to focus on your own game and check that
the scores are correct prior to pulling the arrows.
Finally, it is
easy for the archers that are accustomed to “winning” to become
depressed at not being in contention. The “funk” can be very
contagious to the rest of the team. It is essential that the
entire team keep their spirits up and look forward and prepare for
the next competition.
First Olympic Round Day, Thursday
Again the weather
was great. Of note was the lack of official practice on the
tournament field immediately prior to the OR matches. Instead all
of the competitors crowded onto the Practice field and sighted in
under different wind conditions. The highlight of the day were the
numerous personal bests OR match scores achieved under the stressful
conditions. A low point occurred each time two USA archers had to
shoot against each other eliminating one of them. At days end only
a few US Junior and Cadet Compound team members made it to Friday's
semi-final and medal matches.
Semi Final/Medal Match Day, Friday
Five US archers made
it to the second OR day. US Team member spectator support grew and
grew as the day went on. The matches were quite tense as all could
see what each arrow scored followed by thunderous applause or
gasps. US individual archers won three won gold medals and one
bronze. Medals were awarded in a formal ceremony which included a
procession under each medal winner’s countries banner, medal and
teddy bear presentation, flag raising of each country and anthem
playing for the gold medal winner. Quite a spectacle! The USA
parents and USA team all sang our anthem. The staff went out
for a well deserved sit down dinner while the parents arranged for
pizza for the archers.
Team round day, Saturday
The USA was the only
country to field a full team in every division. The USA Junior male
compound team won silver while their female counterparts won gold.
The weather was very cold and breezy and deteriorated as the day
wore on such that the Cadets shoot their rounds in difficult
conditions. The Cadet Compound Males took team Gold, a real
highlight. The Cadet Olympic Females including won their first
match and lost their second as did the Junior Olympic Females. The
Cadet Olympic Males had a tough team match and were eliminated in
the first round. The Cadet Compound Females didn’t have any teams
to compete against, but the organizers were innovative and put
together mixed country teams. The USA Cadet Compound Females took
the silver special event team medal.
The Team round
ceremonies took place with the same formality as the individual OR
awards. The closing ceremonies were grand including the banners,
all the teams gathered on the field, speeches, the playing of an
Olympic hand holding unity song, and the retiring of the FITA flag.
hosted a BBQ for the archers at the college. Before the BBQ, the
USA team filled out their NAA coach evaluation form as well as a
FITA anti-doping form and signed posters for their teammates. There
was a social party after the BBQ which was too European for most of
the USA team, where smoking and drinking were allowed. The team
then packed and was ready to bus back to the airport at 5 and 6 AM.
Many flew and then traveled directly to the USA National Target
Championships in Reading, PA. Others stayed in England to tour or
traveled home for a much deserved rest.
“’A word”…We were
made to feel very welcome at the tournament. The event volunteers
came from all around England and they went out of their way to be
helpful. The youth that carried the USA banner traveled six hours
by car just to carry our banner. Security was firm, but
pleasant. The event ran smoothly with the only delays coming about
when the archers took more time than anticipated. The target butt
system were new and nice. The leaderboard was well run considering
the large number of archers. The only disappointment was the "jumbotron
TV" which was not reliable and ran sporadically.
considering the limited USA resources and limited USA preparation
time by both the Archers and the NAA, the event went off as well as
could be expected. Those that are considering trying out for a Jr
World Team should speak with both a team member and their family to
get a real impression of what its like to understand the pluses and
minuses. Levels of expectations vary greatly.
Submitted by Bob Pian