2015 Texas Shootout Recap
Posted on 06 October 2015
The 2015 Texas Shootout is a two-part event. The first is a typical archery tournament where archers shoot Thursday and Friday. Thursday is qualification based on two 36 arrow rounds. Compound archers shoot 50 meters and recurve archers shoot 70 meters. Compound archers are shooting a 80cm face and recurve archers are shooting a 122cm face. Friday is eliminations based on the archer’s qualifying scores on Thursday. These eliminations differ for compound and for recurve archers. The second part is the qualifications for the Olympic team. These are called the Olympic Trials.
For compound archers each archer will shoot three arrows per end and five ends for a total of 15 arrows. They will score each end and place the total score on scorecards below the bale at which they are shooting as well as update the electronic or manual scoring devices. This means the spectators can see the scores as they happen. Scores will normally go from a possible 30 each end up to 150 total. It is single elimination, so once you are bested you are a spectator to cheer on your fellow competitors.
For recurve archers they will still shoot three arrows each end, but they will continue until one archer reaches five points or, in the case of a tie at five points, there will be a one arrow shoot-off. Points are scored per end. If one of the two archers scores higher on that end than the other archer on that bale, they receive two points, if the two archers tie on that end, they each get one point. Scores are also displayed on score cards below the bale for the spectators and Director Of Shooting (DOS) to see.
In both recurve and compound if both archers score the same, that is to say recurve archers both reach five points or compound archers have the same score at the end of five rounds, then they will compete in a one arrow shoot-off. One arrow shoot-offs aren’t uncommon in either format and during the one arrow shoot-off each archer shoots one arrow and the arrow closest to the center of the target is declared the winner.
One interesting point. The line judge is a certified individual normally dressed in a red shirt that is normally at the line and bales to help in the case of a archer’s need on the line. During the one arrow shoot-of the line judge has the distinctive role of not only calling which arrow is the closest to center, but turning to the spectators and declaring a winner by a lowered extended hand towards the winning side. In my experience this is a rare case of flair shown in archery and is well mannered and respectful while maintaining a sense of suspense.
The second portion of the Texas Shootout is the first leg of the Olympic Qualifiers for Recurve archers. This means that the top 16 archers in Junior division and above and qualify to be a part of the “Shadow Team” and 3 of those 16 will make up the Olympic Team. The Trials is a qualifying round with 144 arrows on one day, with the top 16 shooting round robins against each other on Sunday and Monday. This means a winning recurve archer like Brian Bullis can shoot at least 72 arrows on Thursday, at least 75 arrows on Friday, and then over 150 arrows on Saturday and up to 250 arrows on Sunday and Monday!
Youth archers at this level regularly shoot over 100 arrows a day. Female cadet compound archers at this level are pulling back 40 - 60 pounds! These are girls that ranged in age from 12 to 15. They have the back strength to shoot many more arrows. A tournament at this level is more about the conditions and the mental game than the number of arrows being shot.
Texas is HOT in September. The temperature was 96 degrees and the humidity was approaching 100%. Being from Arizona this meant the conditions were tough for both the spectators and the archers. Shooting in that heat and humidity means your clothes are sticking to you which can be a new feeling for some archers. It is also physically draining. Water consumption was a must.
Thursday was just hot and humid with some windy conditions directly from the back of the archer. Friday was more of the same with a little less wind.
On Saturday the rain hit. By the end of Saturday the qualifying field was simply soaked. There were puddles of water at the line. This meant the archer’s shoes were wet and muddy and in some cases they were shooting while standing in water above the soles of their shoes. In an outdoor tournament this happens!
The good news is that the elimination rounds were held in the practice field which was setup and maintained during the rain and thus had far less wear on the field for Sunday. Everything went smooth for the eliminations and the recurve archers that qualified will head to stage to of the Olympic Trials next month!