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VIII Junior World Outdoor Championship

Lilleshall, England



From left to right

Ryan Davis, Brady Ellison, Margaret Hargett, Lindsay Pian, Robyn Repp and Maggie Huff

Six Arizona JOAD members of the 32 member 2004 US Jr World Championship Team



NAA Press Release         Event Website        FITA Photos


Arizona Photos  Page1  Page 2


The six Arizona JOADs and their families had an incredible experience at the

VIII Junior Outdoor Target Archery World Championship Tournament

in Lilleshall, England. 


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.

  • Maggie Huff, 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 Championship.

  • Ryan Davis, 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.

  • Robyn Repp, 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.  

  • Margaret Hargett, 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

  • Brady Ellison 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.

  • Lindsay Pian:  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      EVENT DIARY


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 of Arizona.


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 accustomed.


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.


Facilities included 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 competitors.


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 major activity.


In the afternoon many of the juniors went to Shrewsbury, a medieval town, a hours drive away, 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 REMOVED.

  • 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.)

  • Perceived rudeness 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.


The tournament 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.


In summary, 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