I had a great weekend at AoR this week. I was joined by John and Neil to help with the beginners course and Roy was away and Simon also joined us part way through the session. There are some promising archers in the group, others that needed help and the session was enjoyable and a lot of arrows were shot. Louis had a great session, several members helped Andy with his new bow, I learned a little more about setting up a bow as Albert’s limb adjusting screws came loose and everyone went away with happy smiles.
Saturday was much the same. I worked with several people on the line and I hope that I helped to move a number of people forward. We had a good crowd, the buzz was well and truly back and it was great to see archers pushing themselves, socialising and generally having a nice afternoon on the field.
Then Sunday. The weather was absolutely ace. I was planning on helping a few people setup their buttons doing a walk-back, but one offering they all declined wanting to shoot the scoring round – music to my ears and the walk-backs can wait for another time. So everyone settled down to shoot a Short Metric for the Selby Postal League.
Today was not a day for coaching and with no equipment issues I was left to simply cruise the line and make notes on some things for people to work on over the coming practice sessions. With some experienced seniors along the line, I typically turned my attention to the juniors and where I work best. Lauren and Katie settled into another one-on-one battle, Louis was shooting in a really relaxed manner (not worrying about the score as we are working on a few things), Imogen was trying hard and Ryan was on form.
I put a clicker on Ryan just last week and decided to spend the majority of my time up Ryan and Imogen’s end of the field. He’s been practicing at shooting above his age group, so setting the boss up at 20m and 10m for Ryan seemed plain mad, but that was his age distance and what he’d be shooting for the day. So, we started with a small pep-talk and he settled into the shoot.
Having a 20m sight mark helped and Ryan’s sighters were OK. Then into the scoring phase. Ryan would be shooting on his own as no one else was shooting his distance. Nicola would be scoring for him and I was keeping an eye on the scoring to make sure that Ryan called the arrows accurately and as he’d been taught by Roy and I. He opened with a 9,8,7,7,7,6 and followed that up with an X,8,8,7,6,6 to make 89 for the first dozen. A nice start, but in the knowledge that he could do better. The second dozen started with a wobble and pulling a black and white dropped the first half dozen to a lowly 31, but he bounced back with a 39 in the second half dozen to post a 70 for the dozen. The 20m distance would be rounded out with a 38 and a nice 51 to make another 89 dozen and back on form. That gave him a nice total of 248 at the break.
Now we don’t usually worry too much about the score until the end, but a quick check and it looked like Ryan was not just on for a club record but he was also on to set a good county record for the round. Then things started to take a turn and things became very annoying.
Firstly, Lauren and Katie’s battle raged on and both girls battled hard and their final scores saw them only 12 points different from each other. Lauren took the round with a 482 and effectively increased her own county record. Hot off their previous battle which separated them by just 8 points and these two girls are set to push each other throughout the summer. Best of friends and best of rivals seems to make a great combination for some good battles on the line.
So back to Ryan. With no sight marks for 10m, Lauren was called over and between Lauren, Ryan and I we guessed the sight mark. It looks like some of Bradley’s experience has rubbed off on Lauren as she helped us to get Ryan’s sight mark near to spot on from the first end. Last year Bradley was often helping Lauren to guess sight marks for new distances and getting them near to spot on, she appears to have listened and learned from the master.
Under instruction to shoot two good arrows and manually adjust if they are grouped together, Ryan stepped up and planted a 9,9,9,7,7,7 and the sight needed just a tiny tweak. Second half dozen saw a 10,10,6,9,9,8 and that lad was in the zone. A round 100 for the first dozen was nice and he pushed two X’s, a 10 and seven 9’s for the next dozen to post a 108.
Was he on a roll, you bet. With his eyes on the prize, his last dozen read: X,10,8 : X,10,10 (three gold end), 9,9,8 : X,9,9 and a very well deserved 112 for his final dozen and a 568 for the round. A new club record and a new county record = Yes and Yes, well maybe and then a no.
NCAS have a rule that clubs have to register their scoring rounds for them to count towards county records and to be officially recognised. I have to personally apologise to Lauren and Ryan because AoR had been down to shoot the Selby Postal League last weekend and a National this weekend. For various reasons, we had only a few archers at the field last week and not enough to have two teams shooting for the league. As club chairman, I therefore decided to postpone the Postal League shoot to today. However, I got busy at work (work does come first after all) and Mick was away on holiday and the change was not communicated through to county. I have learned my lesson, but too late for the two youngsters.
This change of round means that neither Lauren nor Ryan can officially claim their hard won county records. Something that Katie has also come up against in previous years and I have no doubt other people as well. It is a policy that I find hard to support and I will be voicing my opinion to NCAS. If a round is properly shot under Archery GB conditions (verging on tournament conditions as I was effectively acting as judge for Ryan) and it is the round that a senior club official dictates will be the chosen round for the day – Why can’t it qualify for county records. When I get an answer to that question, I’ll post the answer here.
In the meantime, I applaud the effort put in by Katie (she also beat the old county record), Lauren and Ryan earlier today, and I can only apologise again to Lauren and Ryan for the inability (at the time of writing) to claim those two new county records.
So a cracking weekend of archery at AoR and some great news from Slovenia with fabulous performances by Bradley Denny in which he missed a bronze medal by just one point and the gold/silver by an X. All AoR archers make me immensely proud to be heading a great club.
It’s just too annoying to build up motivation, get results and then to have it taken away by (in my view) a technicality.