Monday, May 5, 2008

Archery Takes Off, Part 5: Tournament #2: The Bay State Indoor Open

I signed up for the Bay State Indoor Open a few weeks before the tournament. In order to participate, however, I had to be a member of the National Archery Association. Becoming a member of the NAA is not a complicated endeavor, normally. It generally includes filling out a form giving them your name and address, and sending them a check for a stipulated amount of money. Due to some confusion over what amount of money I needed to send the NAA (and a slightly outdated form that caused said confusion), my membership in the NAA would not be confirmed by the time the tournament rolled around. Fortunately, to shoot, membership only needs to be applied for.

The upshot of this NAA membership story is this. After trading phone calls and emails with the NAA over confirming the proper amount to be paid, I was able to get them to start running my one-year membership from the date of payment, instead of from the date of application. A small but significant victory (which required nothing more than asking "Can it start from this date instead of that one?") which means that my NAA membership would still be valid come the 2008 Bay State Indoor Open. I unfortunately will not be in Boston when the tournament date rolls around, but that is beside the point.

And now, the story of the 2007 Bay State Indoor Open, held at Archery USA in Dedham, Massachusetts.

On October 20, 2007, I headed out to Dedham a little on the early side. I was going to be shooting on the 1:00 line of my second archery tournament. When I arrived, the morning line was about halfway through their second round. I set up my equipment, checked in, and watched some of my friends finish up their round.

Then it was time for the afternoon line to set up to shoot. Because the afternoon group was smaller than the morning group, we would all shoot on the same line. I therefore had the choice of the top target row or the bottom. Flipping a mental coin, I pinned my target on the bottom row. The line was divided into groups of four, with a scorer, two scorekeepers (to write down the scores), and a marker, who would put a mark on the target for each hole caused by the arrows.

I discovered one of the most annoying and obnoxious things in archery at this tournament. Each group of four shooters has two clipboards, each with the scoresheets of all four archers. That way, there is one sheet for those running the tournament (and for the State Archery Association of Massachusetts), and one for the archer to keep. Well, when I finished writing the scores for an end, I placed the clipboard on the ground under our targets. Members of a team from a certain range (who shall remain nameless), were not so polite or considerate. Every time they finished with their clipboard, the lot of them would come crashing to the floor. While not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, of course, to this day, months and months later, I cannot fathom why they would make sure to drop the clipboards from such a height, instead of placing them on the ground, which takes approximately one half second longer, and does not cause annoying loud bangs to ring throughout the range at semi-random intervals.

I started slowly, but ended up with a solid performance. Once again, I was able to put all 60 arrows in the scoring rings. For rankings, I finished fifth out of six in the FITA Olympic Senior Male division.

Score: 428, including 3 10s and 12 9s (also known as putting a full quarter of my arrows in the gold rings).

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