Whatever you enjoy about archery, whether it’s the chance for a social occasion or the opportunity to improve your scores, competitions are a great place to find likeminded archers. Tournaments can measure your ability and they can drive you to improve ,but even the least competitive amongst us can gain valuable experience attending one. Competitions offer more than just the opportunity to win medals; they also allow you to see new places and make new friends.
Find out where you can go this year in my guide to the best outdoor competitions of 2018. There really is something for every archer, so you have a chance to make this your best season ever!
Whatever your archery dreams; whether it’s becoming national champion or just doing something you enjoy there’s a tournament out there for you.
There are hundreds of tournaments held every weekend throughout the UK; from small local competitions to national events, shooting every round you can imagine. But for those of you who are serious about competing these are sure to be top of your list:
AGB National Tour
New for 2018, the National Tour is a refresh of the National Series; there are 6 events in total held over 4 weekends across the country in which archers shoot a World Archery ranking round and a head to head competition. A finals event for the top 8 archers in each category is to be held in Birmingham later this year.
The biggest change to the format is the introduction of a new points based national ranking system; in order to allow senior archers to follow their position and progress throughout the year and to ensure greater parity across all competitions Archery GB have devised a new rolling ranking which divides all world record status competitions in the UK into one of three tiers. Points are awarded to the top 64 archers in both the ranking round and head to head rounds and as the National Tour events are tier 1 competitions they award archers the maximum amount of points for the highest ranking.
Remember in order to qualify for the National Tour final you must shoot the same bow style at every event and there are prizes to be won for the top 3 archers in each category along the way.
Stage 1 – Bucks or Bounty, Lilleshall, Shropshire – 5th May 2018
Stage 2 & 3 – Evesham, Worcestershire – 9th & 10th June 2018
Stage 4 & 5 – Kingston, Surrey – 14th & 15th June 2018
Stage 6 – Oxford, Oxfordshire – 25th August 2018
Entry Fee: £25-£45 depending on the event
Entries open early for these events and they fill up fast. Some are likely to be sold out, although most operate a waiting list for those unlucky enough not to secure a place.
For more information go to www.archerygb.org
British Target Championships
Like the National Tour events, the British Target Championships offers the highest level of national ranking points. But even if you’re not interested in improving your position it’s an ideal opportunity to shoot alongside the best archers in the UK.
The format is unusual in that it’s the archer who has accumulated the lowest amount of points over the weekend who wins. Saturday consists of a WA 720 round (72 arrows at 50m for compounds and at 70m for recurves) followed by head to head eliminations. On Sunday archers shoot a WA 1440 round, your ranking position in each of these competition elements will be added together so the higher your rank the lower your overall score will be. Entries are open to compounds, recurves and long bows and prizes are awarded for the top 3 gents and ladies in each category. The winner of each category will be crowned British Target Champion 2018.
Event Date: Lilleshall, Shropshire – 11th & 12th August 2018
Entry Fee: £40 for both days
For more information go to www.archerygb.org
If you are looking for something a bit different, why not try your hand at 3D archery? The 3DA UK National Series was set up a few years ago by Tony Weston, owner of The Archery Company, in order to better promote the 3D discipline in the UK. The tour consists of five events held across the UK throughout the year and gives archers of any ability the chance to experience this exciting and varied form of archery.
The competitions are divided according to style (that is the type of bow you use; there are 10 different bow styles to choose from) and class (that is the level at which you’d like to compete i.e. amateur or professional, senior or junior) shooting at known or unknown distances.
Archers shoot 20 different 3D foam animal targets each day, if you’re put off by the thought of shooting at an unknown distance (which isn’t as difficult as you might think) choose to compete at the known distances instead; you could even try shooting both rounds if you want to fully experience the 3D world.
At the end of the round the top six archers from each category enter a shoot-off comprising of five targets. Your score from these is added to your total, which gives you the opportunity to move up the final ranking. Cash prizes are awarded to those competing in the professional class.
The 3D Tour also offers archers the opportunity to enter two further competition elements which run alongside the main event; the K50 or K30 and the long shot.
The K-50 or K-30 event consists of a ten target known-distance course and depending on your discipline you’ll shoot either the 50 yard or 30 yard round. You can shoot as many times as you like, and your highest score will be used to determine your final position and your prize winnings. You’ll also be entered into a grand prize draw, which takes place at the end of the year, every time you enter, so you have even more chance of winning something.
The long shot event consists of six arrows on a small single spot target, the distance you shoot will be dependent on your style and class but the longest range is up to 101 yards away. If you hit the correct spot you’ll be entered into the grand prize draw and get yourself a space at the final long shot shootoff at the 3D British Championships for the special prize bundle. At least half of the proceeds from this competition will be donated to charity, so it’s well worth a go.
Series 2 – Liberty Archers, Suffolk – 20th – 22nd April 2018
Series 3 – Aurora Archers, Essex – 8th – 10th June 2018
Series 4 – Long Eaton Field Archers, Leicestershire – 20th – 22nd July 2018
Series 5 – Fleet Ibex Field Archers, Surrey – 5th – 7th October 2018
Annual 3DA Registration: £15
Pro/Am Entry: £30- £75
K50/K30 Entry: £7.50 – £15
Long Shot Entry: £4
For more information go to www.3darchery.co.uk