TSAA Archery News
Changes In Archery and Tournament Deadlines
March 11, 2006
In this newsletter:
First Texas Outdoor Event Is Only Weeks Away!
The USA Archery's High Performance Program Must Continue With Our Support
Texas Shootout and Arizona Cup
Aurora City BackPack - A Definite TEN!
NADA - An Interesting Acronym For Texans..
Paralympics Will Be Net Streamed
Format For The 2006 Events
Excellent Quality TSAA-Logo Clothing and MORE
NASP Instructor Training Opportunities In Texas
|First Texas Outdoor Event Is Only Weeks Away!|
The University of Texas will once again conduct the first Texas outdoor event of 2006 - the LONE STAR FITA. This is a FITA STAR FITA (don't you just love that phrase?) being held on two days - Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd, in Austin. (and yes, it starts on April 1, NO FOOLIN'!)
Archers from Mexico have registered, making this an INTERNATIONAL event! Long distances will be shot Saturday morning, and short distances on Sunday morning. An optional elimination round will be held on Saturday afternoon.
The OR will have only two divisions, Recurve & Compound. When talking about weather in Texas, most anything can happen, but what with the drought in Texas, along with this early time of the spring, certainly improves the chances of good temperate weather! Especially when many parts of the US will still be shoveling snow.
The field is somewhat limited in size, and in the past registration has had to be limited. SO REGISTER SOON AND REGISTER OFTEN! For some idea of what the field looks like, you can peruse a few photos from past events.
For more information and to register, please check the UT Archery Club's website. Don't delay, you might find there is no place on the line for you.
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|The USA Archery's High Performance Program Must Continue With Our Support|
As of this writing, the USA Archery/NAA has a program unlike anything in its history. This program has been required by the USOC who has in the last few years become the primary benefactor of the NAA.
As I understand it, the USOC is only interested in funding winners and those that show the promise of attaining excellence through a scientific methodology.
If a sport's National Governing Body for the USOC (NGB) doesn't provide positive outcomes or adhere to a scientifically sound approach they will likely suffer punishment in the form of diminished financial support from the USOC. This is the cold, hard world we live in today, and we must recognize this reality.
Tom Parrish "got it" early on. As a result of Tom's foresight and efforts, we in the NAA are in the midst of a concerted, intelligent, and dynamic process to develop and deliver quality and high performance. We are fortunate to be at a point where the process that Tom Parrish has established. With the help and support of some and over the vehement resistance of others, the new High Performance Program will eventually reveal to us a new generation of America's finest archers.
This was not some haphazard, slap-dash effort, either. I have watched as Tom first gathered the information regarding what defined excellence in America compared to excellence abroad among our competing countries. When plotted, the FACTS he correlated are very startling; demonstrating just how far American competitiveness has fallen. The numbers are clear, even to those that would cover their eyes and ears and chant a mantra of "no".
There are many parameters that he used to document the competitiveness(and lack thereof). One simple but clear example is the difference in scores between the medallists at the world championships in 1997, 1999, and 2003. In this, both the US men and US women show a huge disparity compared to those abroad. (2001 has no green bar for US archers due to 9/11 - they were prevented from going to China to compete). The key point being that the US has not shown an upward trend in scores at the same rate that other countries have. Roughly speaking, other countries have improved at a rate twice that of the US over the years included in this study. Tom is currently working on incorporating score since 2003 into the study and preliminary analysis show much the same result.
One way to look at this graph is to see what the top 5 scorers averaged in 1997 compared to 2003. The top 5 women in the championships gained 39 points over 6 years. US women, only 21 points. But the graph demonstrates that even if US women had gained 39 points, they would have STILL missed the podium in 2003 by some 49 points.
(Female Recurve Scores)
A parallel graphing for the men shows a similar lack of competitive excellence by the US. The top 5 male archers added 17 points, while the American men added just 4. But to stand on the OR podium in 2003, the US men needed to improve by at least 36 points.
(Male Recurve Scores)
The US Archery NGB was required to respond to the USOC's mandate to develop a process to achieve excellence on the world stage and to hire a High Performance Director to lead that process. Tom Parrish as hired in 2003 for this purpose. Tom's background as an archer, coach, teacher, and his penchant for logical thinking and clear vision made him uniquely suitable for the daunting task of creating excellence and overcoming our organization's admittedly large resistance to change.
The High Performance Director assessed the situation and was able to conclude that clearly, the U.S. has the same quality of equipment and that Americans were at least as capable as our foreign competitors. Our desire to win, our drive for success, and our mental capacities are just as good. It became clear that the distance between American archers and the winner's podium must be caused by a deceptively simple item: The SHOT EXECUTION PROCESS (which in turn is affected by coaching and training).
Tom Parrish (as HPD) recognized the need for the development of a better system of teaching proper shot technique within the U.S. and for a qualified National Head Coach to help develop such a system. It is important to note that the concept of a National Head Coach working in conjunction with a High Performance Director is one which the USOC advocates and supports. It has already been a successful model for several other NGBs. Integral the Tom's thought process was the philosophy - if you're going to do something, do it right: in other words, he looked for the best long-term solution. The High Performance Plan (HPP), developed by Tom, can be downloaded from the NAA website at this link.
You can also read a lot about what he was thinking just by reading the past issues of the USA Archery magazine, which includes these numbers and much more.
Tom, with the help of many fine coaches and archers, developed a teaching method to begin the process even before the coach could arrive: The BEST method, the Biomechanically Efficient Shooting Technique. Hopefully you have heard of this or better yet, been taught it. It got the ball rolling even before the arrival of the National Head Coach, a start against the huge inertial resistance of those in our community that preferred the status quo (which gave us the scores graphed above in 1997, 1999, and 2003). number of opportunities for the public to learn from him and from Tom, to begin to understand what is happening in the US to create sustained competitive excellence. It is very important that the archery community understand this process and know where it is coming from, in order to assist in its success.
Coach Lee is here in the US now, and this outdoor season will see a
This process does require our participation and our active support, perhaps even more so now than before since Tom was recently released by USA Archery as the HPD, due to lack of funding. While they praised him for the amazing job that he has done, the timing of this could not have come at a more inopportune moment for US and perhaps suggests a lack of foresight and financial planning by the NAA.
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|Texas Shootout and Arizona Cup|
Just when you don't think it can get any better, they add FREE presentations by Kisik Lee and Tom Parrish to two of the most important competitions of the outdoor season!
If you like standing on a line on beautiful clear spring morning, flinging arrows among friends, then you are probably already planning to be in the desert and in aggieland for what will be (I bet) excellent conditions - with an early spring projected for the Texas Shootout in College Station, a drought is a good thing for archery in Texas. And this will be before the hurricane season, definitely a good thing.
The AZ Cup is also a great time where an archer can get away from the dreary cold weather of the north, and get a great tan without sitting in a chairlift on some freezing ski slope.
Now in addition to the rewards intrinsic to the participation in these events, the archer, parent, coach, and supporter can attend a significant educational experience for free and leave with some tangible goals, as well as good memories of competing. And the chance to hear from the two leading experts and proponents of the BEST method, up close and real personal like, is an added BONUS. Gravy on the biscuits, if you will...
The AZ Cup is up first, April 5-8 , just a few days after the Lone Star FITA. THE DEADLINE FOR THE AZ CUP IS JUST A DAY OR TWO AWAY! (postmark by March 13, 2006) The AZ Cup has been just plain fantastic in recent years, an event that challenges archers to do their very best. In looking over the "registered list" for the AZ Cup I can readily see archers from the Netherlands, England, and other nationalities.
The best event (said the biased Texan writer) will probably be the Texas Shootout, to be held in College Station on April 28 - 30. This will likely be a very large event, given the timing.
BOTH the Cup and the Shootout will conform to the NAA's schedule of shooting 70 meters only (in even years), rather than the multi-distance FITA (odd years). Check the links for more information, and don't miss the registration deadlines.
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|Aurora City BackPack - A Definite TEN!|
Want to get from here to there with TWO full recurve bow setups safely packed on your back, as well as tools, a few clothes, assorted knickknacks (what the heck is a knickknack anyway, and why NOT give a dog a bone?)?
I've been examining and using a great product from Aurora Outdoors, of Italy I think, provided to me through AIM Archery here in the US. Despite it's newness it is a very popular case and hard to find as a result.
(Click for a series of photos)It is NOT suitable for airline use as I know just how incredibly harsh the baggage handlers can be to luggage. I suspect luggage handlers have an obligation in their contracts to drop a bag at least 2 feet each time they touch it. Since the City Backpack is not a hard-shell, I would be reluctant to let them try to crush it. It would PROBABLY make it through the trip intact, but there are other cases much more suitable for the rigors of airline baggage holds.
For any other need of mobility and portability, this pack is very handy. The straps are sturdy and adjustable, and keep the pack itself located in the best area of the back - high enough that the hips can move easily without throwing you off balance. A cross strap really cinches it down and helps stabilize it for those riding bicycles. I prefer a hip belt, but since the pack won't be all that heavy even fully loaded, I will learn to live without it, I guess.
The bottom is a heavily reinforced, heavy-duty mesh-but-slick and solid material. When you set it down it is durable enough that you don't have to worry about it getting messy or scraped up.
The exterior comes in typical backpack material, a mix of black nylon with one of several colors to choose from. The exterior has a stretch band useful for strapping/securing on a jacket or sweat suit, making quick access easy. The area that contacts the back of the archer has thick modular pads that cut down on the "sweaty" back syndrome.
There are numerous compartments with see-through plastic walls to help you quickly find that tool you need between ends.
Larger pockets hold and protect well, larger objects like sights. Still larger pockets, with more than 1/2" of padding, accommodate even TWO 25" risers as well as 4 long limbs. Arrows and stabilizers can be carried in a tube like pocket or, if you want to buy a separate arrow tube holder, it fits neatly in that pocket to provide a nice rattling effect that will drive you nuts, or to a store for a little foam padding to go in the tube.
This backpack has other nice touches that show the degree of sophistication and design that went into it, such as several handles, to make picking it up before hoisting it to your back easy. One handle is located such as to make it easy to carry, like a satchel. An interesting touch is a silver shroud that comes out of its own little pocket at the top of the pack and covers the pack with a rain-proof covering or to keep the backpack contents from heating up in direct sunlight during the summer. Or, you can take the shroud the other direction and use it as a disguise or rain shelter for yourself. It is attached to the pack, which may be handy for some. If not, a pair of scissors can be used. (It may not stay in place as well, though.
All considered, for less than $100 this pack is well worth the price for archers needing a degree of portability that you just can't get with a hard-sided case. It's especially good as a first case for JOAD archers due to the price, and will certainly give plenty of storage space to expand into.
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|NADA - An Interesting Acronym For Texans..|
About Access Archery by NADA - and NADA in this context doesn't mean what y'all might think it means.. But Doug Engh, Lloyd Brown, and the other good folks at NADA have been very, very busy.
In February 2005, the National Alliance for the Development of Archery (NADA) sponsored a first-ever Professional Coaches Seminar in Orlando. During that seminar, the coaches requested NADA create a series of neutral regional courses designed to make current USA Archery Level 2 Intermediate instructors stronger at their craft.
The initial curriculum is complete and has been named ACCESS™, for "Archery Coaches Continuing Education Seminar Series." This consists of a number of training modules which can be grouped together to form single-day or multiple-day courses. It combines the latest coaching techniques on recurve and compound shooting with the convenience of regional course "access."
NADA has trained over a dozen top-level coaches to act as official facilitators of ACCESS. Each facilitator will specialize in conducting courses in their geographic region. NADA will promote these courses to all USA Archery 2 instructors including those involved in the National Archery in the Schools Program, 4-H, scouting, pro-shops and clubs. A new ACCESS website is being developed to handle online registrations. Participants will be able to register for single or multiple classes.If you have not seen the "Skills and Drills" that NADA has produced you are missing a good, very good, training tool. NADA has a new website devoted to ONLINE TRAINING ! for you to check out. Visitors can register on the site, pay $20 to read through all the new materials online, take an online 50-question test, pass the test, print out a certificate, then get a “free” printed copy of the instructor guide automatically (that’s why they charge the $20). The Drills & Skills Student guides are $5 each, and additional instructor guides are $20. This is a really excellent way to get going with NADA.
To get more information on NADA'S new ACCESS program, please follow this link! And for a more concise summary on what is involved, use this link to an acrobat file on the TSAA website.
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|Paralympics Will Be Net Streamed|
Hopefully you are up for some stunningly impressive feats of human athleticism: The Winter Paralympics. The Parallel Olympics, to explain the name Paralympics, generally involves athletes who have suffered a physical insult of some type and decided to fight through.
It is interesting to see how they perform in their sports, and this year they will be streaming video coverage over the net. Here in the US, the networks have in the past disdained to cover the Paralympics - for example, there was zero minutes, let alone hours, of network coverage of the Athens Paralympics. So the net allows us in the US to get to see some great competitive performances.
I for one am moved deeply to see someone paralyzed from the waist down taking a run on a downhill course at 60 or 70 miles an hour, strapped into a monoski chair. And the excitement of watching a skier with one leg bombing through the GS gates sure beats watching Bode Miller shrug after DQing and saying "so what". These athletes are not competing for endorsements or money, they do this to enjoy the exhilaration of competition and winning. Recommended. There will be a banner link at the top of the TSAA website for the duration of the games, so that you can drop in anytime to see what is happening. Here is the link to the streaming player.
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|Format For The 2006 Events|
In keeping with the directives of the NAA, the major archery events will follow an "odd-even" regimen. In even years, such as 2006 (this year for those who have not yet realized it) the format of competition will be all 70 meters - 36 arrows per round, two rounds per "Qualifier" round, and TWO of those per tournament to be used as the way to determine archer ranking for the OR (Olympic Round) - a head-to-head competition which quickly whittles down the number of competitors to arrive at the winners for the tournament. In odd years the format is the traditional 4-distance FITA.
The AZ Cup and the Texas Shootout both established they would use this format when their 2006 event websites were established, and now the New Jersey Gold Cup will also follow this format.
The organizers for the Gold Cup recently issued this: "There has been a CHANGE IN SHOOTING FORMAT FOR THE 2006 GOLD CUP. Instead of shooting a single 72 arrow qualifier on Saturday, we will now have a DOUBLE 72 ARROW QUALIFIER on Saturday (Total of 144 arrows on Saturday.) This is the standard format for USAT events in 2006." The application for the Gold Cup can be found on the Gold Cup Website.
I attended the Gold Cup last year, my first time, and I have to say that the venue is excellent and the event well organized and run. It made me think of the way the grand slam tennis events are all the same, yet all different. In tennis, one is held on clay courts, another on concrete/synthetic, and yet another on grass surfaces. With the diverse natures of the Texas Shootout, the AZ Cup, and the Gold Cup, as well as the National Target event in Colorado Springs, the archer is likewise subjected to a variety of conditions and environments to adjust to and endure.
For those that might wonder, I should point out that the format at the 2006 NAA National Target Championships is NOT the 72 arrow Olympic Qualifier used at the other events, but rather the traditional 4-distance FITA followed by the same OR as at the other events (that part is called the US Open and is held on the day immediately following the two FITAs).
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|Excellent Quality TSAA-Logo Clothing and MORE|
The TSAA is offering a variety of choices in shirts that bear a high quality, 5 color printing of the TSAA Logo. I just bought myself a polo/golf style shirt that is very, very nice. It has a huge logo on the back, and the same logo in a smaller size on the front. The quality of the shirt is first rate, and it took just 7 days from order to delivery, with the el cheapo deluxe shipping (USPS ground). Prompt, Fast, and Quality at a great price.There are mugs, clocks, license plate holders, notebooks, baseball caps, bags, , as well as many different styles of shirts and a portion of the proceeds go directly to the TSAA! You can even get postage stamps with the TSAA image on them. Use these to show the world that archery is good.
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|NASP Instructor Training Opportunities In Texas|
National Archery In Schools Program (NASP) has exposed more than 1,000,000 school-age kids to the joys of archery in schools throughout the U.S. without a single injury. Wow. Clearly they are doing something right.
One thing they are doing is to train their instructors properly. To this end, a number of opportunities to get trained in the NASP have been scheduled throughout Texas in upcoming months. Please check this link for Texas opportunities, and if your state's program has similar opportunities and would like them posted (for free, of course), contact the webmaster with your schedule and I'll post it forthwith (I like that word: forthwith - very positive just like NASP is!)And as a member of the NAA or 4-H you can take pride in the knowledge that when these kids, fresh from their admittedly brief exposure in schools, can continue their archery fun with local 4-H and JOAD organizations. I'd like to remind the readers that if you are in a JOAD or know of one near you, make sure the JOAD instructor knows to enter his/her club in the Texas JOAD online searchable database! A week doesn't go by that I don't hear from a parent interested in archery for their child, frustrated that she/he cannot locate a JOAD near their home. We need to hear from all JOADs and 4H Archery Programs!
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